An Empty tomb and A Dead man walking.

There are numerous theses, articles books etc  on the subject of the Empty Tomb, its plausibility or lack thereof, and none I have ever encountered has considered the tale from the perspective of the Romans and the Sanhedrin.

This does not have to be an exhaustive post rather a brief illustration of  the reactions one would have expected from the main antagonists, Pontius Pilate and the Sanhedrin.

To set the scene.

Pilate has had Jesus executed for sedition.

A request is received from Joseph of Arimethea to remove the body from the cross in order to bury it in a newly hewed tomb. Pilate grants the request.

Jesus is buried and because the leading priests and Pharisees fear the body may be stolen have guards placed outside the tomb.

As far as Pilate is concerned it is job done. As far as the Sanhedrin is concerned it is good riddance to bad rubbish.

But within 72 hours rumours are circulating that the criminal so recently put to death for treason/ blasphemy has risen from the dead, opened the tomb and is seen up and about.

How could this be?

Well, either it is simply a load of nonsense or … this Jesus character wasn’t dead in the first place? Perhaps he was merely in a coma? Had those damn Jews done something? Maybe some if his family had given him a drug that made it look like he was dead?

If this is the case then someone was making a mockery of the Romans and more importantly, of Pilate.

Within days more reports begin to trickle in suggesting that the criminal who was supposedly executed is alive and well. Other reports suggest that it is a vision of some sort.

In fact reports are popping up from all over the place.

Later he is reported as being seen by 500 witnesses. A large enough group that in Roman occupied Judea would have likely been considered a mob.

What did Pilate do?

What would any reasonable person expect him to have done?

Pilate was known as a man of few scruples when it came to keeping law and order and:

According to Josephus, who wrote about it around AD 93,[6] Pilate was deposed and sent to Rome by Lucius Vitellius after harshly suppressing a Samaritan uprising, arriving just after the death of Tiberius which occurred on 16 March in AD 37.

So we have numerous reports of Jesus’ resurrection circulating for up to 40 days and there is not a single report that Pilate did anything.

Neither a single record of the Sanhedrin doing anything.

Not one follower is reported to have been hauled before Pilate for interrogation, even if he thought the reports were nonsense.

Pilate did not even consider an interview with Joseph of Arimethea, who he had granted special dispensation to remove and bury the body – a body that seemingly was not a corpse but rather a very much alive individual that had escaped, and was now running around his province as free as a bird!

Not a single record of a Roman patrol doing any sort of  house search for the escaped criminal.

Not one Christian mention at all from any source concerning any reaction from the Romans or the Sanhedrin.

Dead man walking?

What do you think?

 

Ark.

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58 comments

  1. There’s only one answer: zombies. Everyone is afraid of zombies, so nobody would be actively look for one because they wouldn’t want to find one.

    It is interesting that the first Gospel, a religious tract trying to make an historical fictional account of the events for marketing purposes, dates to 40 years after the supposed events and doesn’t include all of the goings on of the resurrection. Paul’s claims prior to Mark showing up all referred to events as if they were “as predicted by scripture” events, not real ones. In other words, Fake News! Fake Good news!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Perhaps Jesus, after returning from the dead, shaved his beard and got a crew cut. Now he’d look very different. Maybe then he started talking with a thick Irish accent and claimed he was a potato farmer searching for new species of potato to bring back to Ireland with him. Who’d think anything odd of that, eh? HA! No friggin’ way the Romans would think anything was off with this.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This is a great 1-minute “commercial promo” Ark. Well done.

    …and none I have ever encountered has considered the tale from the perspective of the Romans and the Sanhedrin.

    I love this obvious red-flag for ANYONE that is not partial to the ancient story and its Mob-Herd mentality. I’ve argued this to die-hard Believers and Apologists for decades about how very, very little INDEPENDENT sources there are to corroborate the Gospels of this man. And oh by the way, the Roman records are null and void about an executed Jewish rebel-king (as you allude) coming back around to challenge or collapse the mighty Empire.

    “Home cooking” to the hilt! There’s something fishy-stinky going on when there is NO ONE outside of Judeo-Christian or Gentile-Christian sources/testimonies from 33 CE – 45 CE to give equitable account of this tomb stuff. It damn sure isn’t the epileptic Saul of Tarsus. Any high court judge worth his weight in gold would’ve thrown this case out on insufficient evidence and plausibility in a circumcized second! Which, oh by the way, could have very well happened — there is no Roman records of these events or their ripple-effects in 33 CE – 45 CE — and it is about 98.9%+ sure it never happened!

    Ark, I have always been perplexed by how very, VERY LITTLE Christians know anything about the Roman Empire, their authorities, their governing style, and most importantly their obsession with making and keeping official records, all of it GREATLY related to their highly biased story or folklore. Is their gross tunnel-vision or utter blindness (denial) possibly due to the fact that Rome — from 63-64 BCE until its collapse in 480 CE — was increasingly anti-Semitic in order to pass/push the blame away from themselves? 😉

    Thinks that make you go… Hmmmmm? 🤔 😉

    Liked by 5 people

    • “Ark, I have always been perplexed by how very, VERY LITTLE Christians know anything about the Roman Empire,” As I began studying ancient Rome several decades ago, and I still do, I was literally shocked by little to nothing my Catholic upbringing taught me about reality. If some dude bounced back from the dead, the Romans would have written volumes on it. If a group of Jewish leaders would have knocked on Pilate’s door at 6 AM asking him to crucify one of their own rabbi’s over a Jewish, theological disagreement, Pilate would have crucified each and every one of the people asking him to do it cause they’d bothered him. Why in f**k’s name would he care about such gibberish? It simply doesn’t connect because it simply didn’t happen. Utter nonsense.

      Liked by 3 people

      • BOOM Jeff! (mic drop)

        Probably the biggest reason why you, myself… while in seminary, and millions upon millions from Sunday Schools, church pews, and from too many generations to count since c. 34 CE (these events) never heard or were taught anything about this period of the Roman Republic and the start of the Imperial Age was because if the masses were made aware of the REAL historical contexts way too many ‘perks’ would completely unravel and end! So what does a state/empire do to avoid that?

        Either be a harsh Police state (controlling everything, news especially!) or join them (3rd – 5th centuries CE) and tweak, distort, and convolute everything in an anti-Semitic version — because those near exterminated Jews know way too much — then make it Roman law and the Imperial religion enforced by her Legions. Done. The rest, as they say, is F*CKED UP history the Roman way! LOL 😛

        Liked by 2 people

        • Btw, there are a litany of modern examples of a Police-state controlling news, media, surveillance that benefits THEIR cause(s)… do I need to list them? Does our U.S. White House act as if it wants to Police everything like China, N. Korea, Russia, Syria, etc, etc, et al? Hmmmmm? 🤔😳

          Liked by 2 people

        • Even something as idiotic as Jesus being crucified in a friggin’ diaper and not nude like EVERYONE else was is ridiculous. Christians are SO offended by nudity, they had to make up this nonsense. Crucifixion was intended to be utterly painful and humiliating. Your naked body hung on a cross sometimes for days, naked. Then, when you dies, your naked ass STAYED on the cross until it rotted and was eaten by wild animals. This is why there’s so little physical evidence left of crucified bodies–one ankle bone is all there is if I recall correctly. Yeah, crucifixion was meant to be awful even after people died on the cross. The Jesus story is total B.S.

          Liked by 4 people

          • On the related subject of wood-fragments of the cross, a nail, the spear-that-pierced, ankle bone, etc, etc, just HOW fanatical Followers would get — and RC monks, bishops, cardinals knew this all too well — RELICS of anything Jesus or pseudo-Jesus or bogus-Jesus 🤣 quickly became hot marketing tools for insane profits!!!

            Wow, talk about ultra gullible, huh? 🤭

            Liked by 3 people

          • Yes. On a sensible note, why? Because fortunately humanity — in much bigger rising numbers — are being better educated and expanding their cognitive powers, barring those with genetic hereditary issues. All that ancient antiquated paranoia about the entire world and demonic tricksters around every corner is now (almost) complete nonsense. IMO of course. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • I had a piece of St. Francis’s bones as a relic. Got it from my maternal grandmother. It was in a little metal box. Can’t remember what the hell I did with it. Sure wish I had it to sell now. I could use the $$$. Oh, and I’m CERTAIN it really was a bone chip from St. Francis. Why would anyone lie about something like that? 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

    • VERY LITTLE Christians know anything about the Roman Empire, their authorities, their governing style, and most importantly their obsession with making and keeping official records

      Well after many apologist keep on telling them that almost none of the 1st century records survive, and the christians don’t bother to verify

      Like

    • The problem is that once you admit to agreeing in any part to this nonsense you allow apologists – such as Gary Habermas – to construct an argument for their theological clap trap.

      The sheer ludicrousy of how Pilate and the Romans are portrayed in this tale needs to be pointed out every time any of these indoctrinated twits attempts to demonstrate any plausibilty of the tale of the Empty Tomb and the related incidents.

      In my experience the Roman involvement is never raised in any meaningful way and they become nothing but bit players in a nonsensical yarn.
      The true Pilate, not the limp-wristed wimp in the bible, does not come across as a man who would tolerate even the idea of a convicted criminal being celebrated.
      It would have seriously undermined his authority.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Empty tombs are a dime a dozen.

        If an empty tomb were evidence of a resurrection, then resurrection would be a very common event.

        To me, the gospel accounts of the resurrection seem to be descriptions of mass hysteria. If the gospel writers were trying to make up evidence of an actual resurrection, then they completely botched their effort.

        Liked by 2 people

        • And then the gospel writers played it safe by stating that the story by the Jewish authorities was that the disciples stole the body and the fact that Jesus only appeared to his selected few. This made it almost impossible to verify the claim, and so if whoever you ask claim that the whole resurrection story is a lie, it can be easily dismissed as Jesus did not appear to the person making the claim

          Like

    • If he’d left a note, or a bloody foot print…even an old scrap of something or a relic of the true cross aha, then we’d have something to go on. But, absolutely, an empty box is still an empty box unless it has the ‘open by” date on it.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Or, if you consider the possibility that Jesus was invented as a construct to promote the start of a new religion (think Ronald McDonald or the Sta-Puf man), it makes perfect sense that there was no mention of him anywhere except in the Biblical texts. And any religion worth its salt requires a martyr…

    Mary was modeled on Astarte (or possibly Isis), right down to the blue robes and the swaddled baby in a manger, thing, and she conveniently disappeared after Jesus was born. Who was also going to be called Emmanuel, why, I do not know.

    Equally conveniently the Catholic Church celebrates her ‘passing’ as The Assumption, meaning you can hunt all you like, she was lifted whole cloth (aha, the first Rapture) into heaven. You might want to ask those good Christians where Mary was buried. See what they say.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Equally conveniently the Catholic Church celebrates her ‘passing’ as The Assumption

      This claim by the catholic church just shows how religion is man made. They just thought of this and after deliberation and voting it gets passed as a fact

      Like

      • And let us not forget Purgatory. Dante thought it up, the Catholic Church thought it was wonderful, and suddenly we have purgatory, sort of a holding tank for the unintentionally but not lethal naughty among us. A Limbo, if you like, for adults.

        Like

  5. Reading the comments from Prof & IBTD1 got the old grey matter ticking over. Not related to this jesus story but what the Romans were like in that era. It concerns our national (East Anglian) hero Boudica. Over in the good old UK the Romans were giving the Druids a good kicking because they didn’t follow the Roman religions (hmmm ok in Judea) Boudica having been mightily pissed off by these invaders set about getting revenge and nearly succeeded. However she got her come-uppence. The thing is this history was written by a Roman, and although there was a lot of details of her life, when it comes to the final battle no one knows exactly where it was, how she died or what happened to her body, which I find very odd as I thought the Romans would have made a big deal of it. So if this jesus was going around making a bit of a to do I’m sure the Romans would have documented it? and anyone not obeying their rules would surely have had their wrists slapped as a deterrent.

    Like

    • Boudicca? Is that the same Boadicea they built a statue of, beautifully aligned with a prominent clock-tower landmark thing … right outside the most stinking foul filthy reeking disgustipating public dunny in London?

      When and why did they change her name? (I know … it’s fashionable these days—even Jesus has more (legion) names than the Bad Guy His Daddy created) (with no malice intent. I still don’t understand that, and nice knowledgeable people tiptoe fearfully by rather than elucidate me).

      Like

        • Sky daddy created satan because without a scapegoat he might have to take responsibility for his actions just like many people and so he created someone so we can put the blame on

          Like

          • Damn … I wish I’da thunk of that.
            But knowing what He was doing (an omniscient couldn’t not know) I’d say that puts a new slant on His infinite compassions and mercies.

            But when you ask this, the religious just glaze over and gloss over … and if you persist they run screaming from the room. (In earlier times they’d have been reaching for their racks and stakes, so that’s progress for you; of a sort.)

            Liked by 1 person

      • That’s our girl Argus, Queen of the Iceni around ce60, had a lovely little fort near here where I photograph butterflies (remember the Brown Argus?) Well I’m not sure when the name changed, when I was a kid it was always Boadicea. Turns out that that is the Latin name and as we are true blue, stiff upper lip Brits someone obviously thought that was a jolly bad thing and we must give her a real British name! (you’re named after a Greek god with a hundred eyes btw)
        The point was Roman historians wrote down her life story (or bits of) as she was a bit of a rebel, but none documented that of jesus who was said to be a sh*t stirrer. Also they didn’t piss about when it came to putting down uprisings in those days when the empire was still quite young, sends out the right message!

        Like

        • She’s my heroine!

          Hero … wotever … (damned PC people fiddling with MY language).

          As for Argus—Odysseus’s faithful old hound was also named Argus, that’s where I first purloined the name. I guess he knew about the hundred-eyes guy too and admired him.

          A semi-sage I knew years back quoted often the line— “In the world of the blind the one-eyed man is king … the two-eyed a monstrosity!” A hundred, you say? Wow!

          The butterfly should be renamed back to the earlier name and to hell with the PC (but then again, it does have a certain jenny say kwa).

          Like

  6. Good point! As with most characters of the bible, they are veeerrrrrry 2 dimensional. They show up to move the story along and then go away. But they seldom act like real people, or do the things real people would do. Almost like the story is made up……

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I mentioned in the post, Pilate’s nature is documented and his recall to Rome is evidence of his brutal nature.

      I have just raised this issue with a Scottish Pastor, David Robertson who goes by the blog title the wee flea .
      Naturally, he came out stating we do not have records, absence of evidence etc and then called me ignorant!

      https://theweeflea.com/2014/03/05/unbelievable-the-matt-dillahunty-showdown/comment-page-2/#comment-22516

      Maybe you would like to add a few words?

      I warn you though, he is incredibly arrogant

      Liked by 1 person

      • He didn’t even try. I asked him to explain his methodology in determining the authenticity and veracity of Flavium Testimonium, he said no, he wouldn’t answer because I made up my mind. I appealed and said no, I’m interested in history. Still no.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Smile … yeah … that’s Robertson to a T – an ignorant apologist. And when I say ignorant I mean don’t simply mean arrogant and pig- headed. He is ignorant.

            Like

          • I’ve noticed that when believers don’t have a valid answer, they deflect, discredit, or simply “walk away.” They’ll SAY it’s because they don’t want to “argue” or they don’t have the “time,” or you wouldn’t “accept” their answer anyway.

            I’d be more inclined to say it’s because, at some point, someone pinned them in a corner with no place to go!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Robertson did exactly this when I raised the issue of Pilate’s apparent complete indifference to hearing that Jesus was up and about and preaching after he’d just been executed for treason.
            He said I was ignorant!

            Liked by 1 person

          • “Jesus was a Palestinian peasant – he would have been of no interest”
            Based on how Jesus trial was reported to have occurred, saying Jesus would be of no interest to Pilate is quite a leap

            I left this comment at theweeflea and his response was I wasn’t talking about Pilate. Anyone who read that section of comments will know that he was talking about Pilate

            My request for him to show the sources for his overwhelming evidence for Jesus has fallen on deaf ears

            Like

          • Of course.
            There are a number of atheists who visit such blogs and all are respectful and try to engage honestly.
            I am not one of them.

            We all get moderated sooner or later, because polite or rude there comes a point in the dialogue where they will all either brush you off and deflect , lie or ignore you completely.
            That is if you are even allowed out of moderation on some blogs.
            You see it with Mel, Branyan, Robertson and all of their ilk.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ark it seems it is far easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for theweeflea to give me his list of sources for his overwhelming evidence for Jesus

            Liked by 1 person

          • Aah .. but you must buy his book, dontcha know?
            I imagine it will be much like Lee Strobel, Wallace, and their ilk.
            He was somewhat gasping for air when I initially raised the Pilate issue as he was with you.

            They are simply liars/ poor,indoctrinated disingenuous fools

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel Ark you make one error here. You are appearing to give some credit to the Biblical account as having historical substance. Whilst there might be fragments of real history in the stories how do we know what they are? My fundamental problem with relying on the Gospel accounts of what happened is that are sufficient irreconcilable inconsistencies between the accounts to show they are not a record of actual events. Not that you will ever get an apologist to admit to the inconsistencies.

    I am increasingly of the view that people cling to a belief because it becomes part of their identity. When a persons identity is challenged more often than not they double down rather than seriously examine the challenge to their views. The funny thing is that some very intelligent people are most successful at maintaining the illusion as they are the most inventive at finding an “explanation”.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Peter, I agree with you about the lack of reliable history in the bible, but when this is what the believer is basing his entire life on, it’s sorta’ necessary to “talk his language” so you can point out the fallacies. Agree?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I understand the point perfectly. Pete, and am aware of the reality of the gospels. But these fund – da – mentals consider the story to be as real as the nose on their face, even if that nose is styled somewhat after Pinocchio.
    Thus, unfortunately one has to lower the bar to the point where even the most flexible limbo dancer might struggle.

    This is why I raised the subject of Pilate’s likely reaction knowing what we do of his character.
    As so many of them just love to quote Josephus then it is only fair they consider what Josephus had to say about Pilate.

    I have actually never seen this side of the story put forward before – if you have read anyone else who has mentioned how Pilate might have reacted, I’d love a link.

    I’ll bet most Christians don’t even consider it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “Tacitus does mention Jesus and the Testimonium Flavianum is disputed – but then so is every ancient document by someone.”
    What are your sources that show that the biblical Jesus existed as a historical figure. I’m aware of who the historical Jesus is and how he deviates greatly from the biblical Jesus. What are your sources in favor of the biblical Jesus

    “but then so is every ancient document by someone.”
    I’m quite certain that you don’t take Perseus, Achilles, Hercules to be historical figures. On what bases other than you don’t believe it to you arrive at this stance

    A comment I left on theweeflea, not sure if he will allow it

    Like

    • I wonder if he will?

      My reply to him was this, and it too is still in moderation.

      And if he is an historian in the generally accepted sense then what does that make me who has an O level in history? Am I a partial historian because I studied agricultural and economic history of the 19th century in Great Britain?

      Nope. Tacitus mentions Chrestus. I have Annals and Histories.

      As a historian you should know the history behind Annals and the Chrestus piece especially.
      How many copies were discovered, where when and how many Church Fathers and other Christians quoted this particular passage in Tacitus prior to its discovery.
      And which parts/years are considered incomplete.

      You are the one who is showing your bias, David.

      And I repeat, when the TF was first mentioned -Eusebius wasn’t it? – it was Christian scholars who rejected it in its entirety.

      I wonder why this is?
      You’re the one with the history degree – you tell me the reason!

      No doubt your fellow evangelical, John, will soon leap into the fray and with his usual aplomb, claim to dismantle my comment/s and dismiss me as ignorant.,
      Par for the course I suppose.
      This will look great to those other evangelical Christians reading along.

      Liked by 1 person

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