Bart Ehrman said Jesus didn't get taken down from the cross because all crucified people had to stay there until dogs and birds had their way. (My responses)

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    Jul 16, 2014 2:29 AM GMT
    Most current response at

    Bart Ehrman supports Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum. In that testimony, Jesus appeared to those who loved him, spending the third day after crucifixion restored to life.

    I am Mary, mother of Jesus. I wait at the cross. I've got sticks for the dogs. I've got rocks for the vultures. John, the beloved disciple is next to me, helping me honor the flesh of my flesh that the flesh of my flesh not be degraded. One of the 10 lepers is there. Five of the 5,000 fed are there. People who are glad he exorcised one or more demons from their community are there. Nicodemus comes to visit.

    I am the Roman who, when gambling, won his robe.

    I am one person who liked his Our Father prayer.

    I am one person who was touched by the Beatitudes at the sermon on the mount.

    I waved a palm for him (Palm Sunday) when he entered Jerusalem.

    I loved his wisdom when he had exchanges with Temple authorities.

    I loved his parables.

    I liked John the Baptist and I liked Jesus.

    If one person crucified deserved a respectable removal from the cross, it was Jesus.

    SO, we're all gathered at the cross (at the cross, where I first saw the light, and the burdens of my heart rolled away) for three days. You say Jesus is on the cross still, but he appears to us who loved him. He also has his physical encounter with Thomas while he is still on the cross?

    Vernal equinox or whatever, Jesus, the Sun, rises and the length of day comes back to life.

    Josephus dies as a Jew in the cave, after the Jotapata suicides he orchestrated, and comes back to life on the third day as a Roman with all powers in his hand.

    Domitian acts as emperor until his father returns to Rome. Then he dies as emperor while, day 1, his father is emperor, day 2, his brother, Titus, is emperor, and on the third day, he rises with all powers in his hands.

    Osiris rises from the dead and becomes Lord of the Resurrection.

    Reincarnation shows we have victory over death.

    The Lazarus Syndrome shows we have victory over death.

    Vernal equinox, Josephus, Christ Emperors, Vespasian and Titus of the Gospels and Domitian of Revelation, Osiris, reincarnation, Lazarus Syndrome whatever or whomever, Christianity has a resurrection. And the Love of Mother Mary, John the Beloved, and others waiting, not abandoning Jesus gets Jesus down from the cross with some respect.

    You can feed Jesus to the dogs and to the vultures, Bart Ehrman...

    When I lived in NYC, there was Grant's tomb. A documentary said, there was a great death watch for him. People waited for people to die. And given all the grand wakes and funerals. People waited, stopped their lives to see a good person's incarnation come to an end and the vehicle of incarnation buried with respect. Jesus got a decent burial.
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    Jul 20, 2014 7:44 PM GMT
    mdw91170 and Bart Ehrman,

    In reference to: “and sometimes it is not permitted, especially where persons have been convicted of high treason” with high treason being the important part here? Seems if Jesus was justifiably convicted and sentenced to crucifixion for sedition then why would the Romans go against their own rules to allow the same people who brought charges up against Jesus to Pilate to allow them to bury him?”

    My Response:

    The rebels during the Jewish Revolt all committed high treason but Josephus secured Titus’ permission to have three crucified men taken down.

    Conclusion: Titus who would outrank Pilate, as a favor to Josephus in tears, a friend in tears, allowed three men in Jewish Revolt arms–of higher treason, and more dangerous than Jesus who was not in the midst of a violent and difficult revolt–to be taken down from the cross.

    Now, if this doesn’t win the debate, I give you a more powerful reason for the seditious not only to be saved from prolonged hanging for dogs, vultures, and weather but to survive deserved crucifixion all together. This comes from one of the composite Jesuses, Eleazar, of the singular biblical Jesus. (Emperor Vespasian is also a Jesus as he healed the blind with his saliva as the biblical Jesus did. Yea, write me into the book that will be oh, so important for thousands of years; but, not to digress.)

    I’m paraphrasing and quoting from Wars of the Jews VII, I believe vi, 194-206.

    There was a certain young man among the besieged [rebels besieged by Romans] of great boldness and very active of his hand. His name was Eleazar. He greatly signalized himself in those sallies and encouraged Jews to go out in great numbers in order to hinder the raising of the banks. This did the Romans a vast deal of mischief. …

    When the fight was over, Eleazar, contemptuous of the Roman enemy, thinking they wouldn’t begin the fight again, staid outside the gates.

    Well, Rufus runs him down and carries him to a Roman camp.

    Go straight to the cross? No: strip him naked and whip him in front of his city, then go to the cross.

    Well, the city cried their eyes out sorely lamenting him and the mourning proved greater than could well be supposed upon the calamity of a single person. (Oh, but Jesus is so insignificant, you say.)

    When the Roman general Bassus saw the lamentations he perceived a stratagem. He began to think of using this against the enemy and was desirous to aggravate their grief over a naked young man being whipped by the enemy as punishment. If they will lament so just over the scourging of Jesus, what gain is their in making a crucifixion of him the carrot before the horse?

    IN ORDER TO PREVAIL WITH THEM TO SURRENDER THE CITY for the preservation of that man, he turns his back and with a wicked military smile to his soldiers, he ordered them to “PUT UP A CROSS!”

    I’m going to crucify this Jesus IMMEDIATELY. (Talk about playing to the crowd.)

    The sight of this occaisioned a sore grief among those that were in the citadel and they groaned (GROANED, seriously and VEHEMENTLY), and cried out that they could not BEAR to see him thus destroyed.

    Whereupon Eleazar besought them not to disregard him now that he was going to suffer a MOST miserable death. He exhorted them to save themselves by yielding to the Roman power and good fortune.

    The Jews arranged a surrender of the citadel that they might be permitted to go away and take Eleazar along with them, attend to his Mel Gibson Passion of the Christ wounds and be done with this ordeal.

    The Romans and their general accepted these terms.

    Resolved: Romans did not always leave the crucified to hang (like Vlad the Impaler); a favor could break the rule, a political/military gain could break the rule.

    Do you agree?
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    Jul 31, 2014 5:18 AM GMT
    Bart Ehrman: He was crucified for calling himself the King of the Jews. Only Romans could appoint the King. If Jesus thought he himself was going to be the King, for the Romans this would have been a declaration of war

    Steefen: There was a non-Roman appointed queen in Jerusalem who converted to Judaism, took Jewish vows not for 7 but 14 if not 21 years. Her son, a prince, was not appointed by Rome.

    Princess Diana was not just a princess in England, she was the people's princess, and across the Atlantic, we embraced her too and mourned her loss.

    Queen Helena of Adiabene had a child named Izates. As the Gospel according to John calls Jesus "only begotten son" Izates, in Josephus is called only begotten son. Men in his royal family wore crowns of thorns. Izates father was known to be a man of wisdom in the court of the Roman emperor. The wisdom of Izates father could well be the wisdom of the parables in the gospels. Izates in his famine relief fed 5,000 on multiple occasions. Roman Catholicism hails Mary full of grace. As mentioned above, Queen Helena with her purity of conversion to Judaism was also full of grace. She too bore an only begotten son.

    If Mother and Child loved Jerusalem so much that they became de facto Queen Mother and Prince-to-be-king, it is absolutely imperative that we question the special care that is given to crucifying royalty.

    We have the the gospels with less historical intent than the works of Josephus. There is more proof of the historicity of Queen Helena whose golden candlestick in the Temple was carried away by Titus than there is for the Gospel's Mary, if she's a different person.

    In my book, the Greatest Bible Study in Historical Accuracy, I mention that where Josephus speaks of the only begotten son of Monobazus, he also speaks of this son being the result of royal sibling incest, which Virgin Birth does well to conceal.

    When Queen Helena and her prince, son-to-be-king became de facto royalty for the benefit of Jerusalem, adorning the temple, taking vows, Prince Izates becoming circumcised, and with grace, preventing a famine when Rome is not known for out-gifting them, they were not enemies of the state or declaring war, then.
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    Aug 01, 2014 3:25 AM GMT
    Scott F
    One important point here is not that Jewish authorities could only take care of those bodies that they had control over. The body of a crucified insurrectionist was under control of the Romans.

    The fact that Pilate was recalled for treating the locals harshly does not help your case. A man who suppressed an uprising so harshly that it upset even the Romans, is not going to think twice about the sensibilities of the Jewish custom when it comes to an executed rebel.

    My response
    It helps my case because the rule in Rome wasn't to disrespect Judaism and incite the people to disturb the peace.

    "For at least a century before the establishment of the Augustan principate, Jews and Judaism were tolerated in Rome by diplomatic treaty with Judaea's Hellenised elite. Diaspora Jews had much in common with the overwhelmingly Hellenic or Hellenised communities that surrounded them. Early Italian synagogues have left few traces; but one was dedicated in Ostia around the mid-1st century BC and several more are attested during the Imperial period. Judaea's enrollment as a client kingdom in 63 BC increased the Jewish diaspora; in Rome, this led to closer official scrutiny of their religion. Their synagogues were recognised as legitimate collegia by Julius Caesar. By the Augustan era, the city of Rome was home to several thousand Jews. In some periods under Roman rule, Jews were legally exempt from official sacrifice, under certain conditions. Judaism was a superstitio to Cicero [Excessive devotion and enthusiasm in religious observance were superstitio, in the sense of "doing or believing more than was necessary",[123] to which women and foreigners were considered particularly prone], but the Church Father Tertullian described it as religio licita (an officially permitted religion)."

    Scott F, your point misses the mark. The fact that Pilate was recalled for treating the locals harshly helps my case because Bart Ehrman is speaking of standard practice. It was not sanctioned standard practice and indeed, there was a negative consequence for Pilate's actions.

    Scott F: [Pilate] is not going to think twice about the sensibilities of the Jewish custom when it comes to an executed rebel.

    Steefen: Jesus before Pilate is sandwiched between Jewish authorities. Pilate/Rome wasn't even the first to arrest Jesus. Nonviolent Jesus as enemy of the state of Rome is quite weak.

    1) First, disprove

    a) Pilate asks, "what do you have to say for yourself" as opposed to, "Roman soldiers caught you in the act of being an enemy of the state of Rome." Did Rome arrest Jesus on Palm Sunday? No. Did Rome arrest Jesus when he allegedly turned over the tables of the money changers? No. So, what statement Rome has to make by not letting Jesus' mother and Joseph of Arimethea transport Jesus' body to a place of decent burial?

    b) this was more of a Jewish matter than a Roman matter because Jesus was arrested by Jews and was questioned by Jews. Jesus answered, they cried, carried on, and sentenced him: "Rome, we want you to execute Jesus." They did not cry and carry on because Jesus was an enemy of the state of Rome. They couldn't even get Jesus to admit people should not pay taxes to Rome. Roman policing activities did not catch Jesus in an act of sedition. Rome did not make a case against Jesus, the case was pre-made.
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    Aug 31, 2014 1:32 PM GMT
    Dr. Ehrman, I'm reading for the definition of soudarion means a head cloth (for the dead). Can you find any evidence that Jews of the first century used soudarions in burials. If they do not, Lazarus and Jesus didn't receive Jewish burials.

    Would you agree that soudarions were used in Roman burials?

    Would the use of a soudarion be a major breech in Hebrew burials? Would a proselyte have the option of using a soudarion, not as bound to Hebrew tradition has a Hebrew?