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What happened to the body of Jesus after his death on the cross? According to the New Testament Gospels, his body was buried in a tomb and raised on the third day. And yet, according to some scholars, the body of Jesus was abandoned and consumed by wild beasts. So how do we know that Jesus was actually buried? What was the meaning of the cross in the ancient world? And what does this mean for the ways that Christians understand the crucifixion today?
In the second half, we’ll search for truth in a song that Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock and discover a yearning for justice that God has placed in every human heart. Then, we’ll reach inside the Infinity Gauntlet and pit Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters against Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
What Questions Do We Discuss in this Episode about the Cross and the Lynching Tree?
1. How did people in the ancient world perceive the practice of crucifixion?
2. Pastors and Bible teachers sometimes compare crucifixion in the ancient world to the electric chair today. What works in this analogy and what doesn’t?
3. According to the New Testament Gospels, the body of Jesus was buried in a tomb and raised on the third day. And yet, John Dominic Crossan and some other scholars claim that the body of Jesus was left on the cross or thrown in a communal grave to be consumed by animals. What is the evidence for Crossan’s claim?
4. How do the perceptions and practices of crucifixion in the ancient world support what we read in the New Testament Gospels?
What Resources Do We Recommend?
If you want to dig deeper, one great place to start is Reasons for Our Hope by H. Wayne House and Dennis Jowers. To download a sample chapter, visit http://www.bhacademic.com
* James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. For an evenhanded review of the strengths of this book and of the problems with Cone’s understanding of the death of Christ in relation to the gospel, see “When He Died Upon the Tree” by Bruce Fields.
* Martin Hengel, Crucifixion.
If you are interested in earning a master’s degree online or on campus that will equip you with the most comprehensive apologetics training available anywhere, go to http://www.sbts.edu/bgs/degree-programs/mdiv/apologetics/
What Are We Discussing in the Next Episode?
Atheist Richard Dawkins has defined faith as “a state of mind that leads people to believe something—it doesn’t matter what—in the total absence of supporting evidence.” But is the evidence for Christian faith really that weak? In the next episode, Timothy and Garrick explore historical evidences for the resurrection of Jesus Christ; then, in the second half of the show, they take a look at the theology of “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum.
Do You Have Any Questions?
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What Else Do You Need to Know?
Music for the podcast has been licensed through ArtList.io and performed by the band Vegan Friendly—even though neither Garrick nor I have ever been vegan friendly.
Music identified as having been composed by Timothy Paul Jones may not be reproduced, used, adapted, or performed in any other context without his express written permission, except for the purposes of review with acknowledgment of the source.
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