Not all people in the world believe that Jesus exists and He was crucified on the cross. That is why I wrote this article to help readers understand the Bible biblically and historically.
We know that those who do not believe in Jesus and His crucifixion do not also believe the Bible so we will use pieces of evidence to prove this.
What is Our Strong Evidence Jesus Was Crucified?
Cornelius Tacitus is one of the greatest Roman Historians.
Tacitus provides very strong evidence outside the NT on the death of Jesus.
Tacitus described the great fire that swept through Rome in AD64 and mentioned Nero blamed it on Christians.
“To dispel the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits and treated with most extreme punishments, some people popularly known as Christians whose disgraceful lives (he claimed) were notorious. The source of their name, Christus, has been executed when Tiberius was emperor by order of the procurator Pontius Pilate. (Annals 15:44)”
Lucian talks about Christ in his attack on Christianity. He reported accurately facts about 2nd Century Christianity. He knows Christians worshiped a god who was a man and was crucified in Palestine. (Page 60, Jesus outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence)
Here is the inscription that proves Pontius Pilate lived during that time.
In AD 26 Tiberius appointed Pontius Pilatus or Pontius Pilate as the fifth governor of Judea. At the excavation of Caesarea in 1961, an inscription bearing his name was uncovered. As governor, he had full control of the territory of Archelaus. He based himself in Caesarea with a large contingent of Roman soldiers and came to Jerusalem only when necessary, staying no doubt at the well-armed Antonia fortress or Herod the Great’s palace. (Page 44, The New Testament in Antiquity)
The oldest copy of our New Testament manuscript (P52) proves there was a Pontius Pilate and Jesus who was brought before him for judgment.
Here is Papyrus 52.
Source: Photographed by Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts – csntm.org
Here is what Papyrus 52 contains:
ΟΙ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΟΙ ΗΜΕIΝ ΟΥΚ ΕΞΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΠΟΚΤΕΙΝΑΙ
OYΔΕΝΑ ΙΝΑ Ο ΛΟΓΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΠΛΗΡΩΘΗ ΟΝ ΕΙ-
ΠΕΝ ΣHΜΑΙΝΩΝ ΠΟΙΩ ΘΑΝΑΤΩ ΗΜΕΛΛΕΝ ΑΠΟ-
ΘΝHΣΚΕΙΝ ΙΣΗΛΘΕΝ ΟΥΝ ΠΑΛΙΝ ΕΙΣ ΤΟ ΠΡΑΙΤΩ-
ΡΙΟΝ Ο ΠIΛΑΤΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΦΩΝΗΣΕΝ ΤΟΝ ΙΗΣΟΥΝ
ΚΑΙ ΕΙΠΕΝ ΑΥΤΩ ΣΥ ΕΙ O ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥ-
This is what is written in English.
the Jews, “For us it is not permitted to kill
anyone,” so that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he sp-
oke signifying what kind of death he was going to
die. Entered therefore again into the Praeto-
rium Pilate and summoned Jesus
and said to him, “Thou art king of the
Crucified Man Found in 1968
A first-century bone box was discovered containing the skeleton of a man who was crucified in 1968 at Giv’at ha-Mivtar in Jerusalem.
Here is the image I took using the mobile phone of my wife from a copy of The New Testament in Antiquity.
Left: The artist’s model gives a credible option for understanding how Jesus was crucified. Note the seat for the victim to rest called the sidle. Josephus called this “the most wretched of deaths” (The Jewish War 7.6.4 ). Right: The ankle bone of the crucified man still shows the nail used in his death. A model foot is next is next to it showing how the original nailing would have looked. (The New Testament in Antiquity, Page 143)
History says that, upon examination of the bones, part of a rusty nail was found intact in the heel bone. This was proof this man was crucified. Up to now, this is the only person whose remains show evidence of crucifixion. He was executed during in the mid-first century A.D.
Did the Crucifixion Nails Pierce the Hands or Wrists of Jesus?
The New Testament does not use a Greek term for wrists. The Greek word χείρ can mean hand or wrist. The Latin version of the Bible uses MANUS in Luke 24:40 and specifically referred to hands. This shows interpretation dates at least in the second century. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. Hence, grammatical line of reasoning does not determine the answer to this question.
Here is what the nails used in the crucifixion of Jesus looked like.
The pulse of Jesus cannot be pierced since His bones would have been broken. The Bible also says His hands were pierced.
“For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; they pierced my hands and my feet. “(Psalms 22:16)
The wrist has eight bones. These are scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate. They are secured together tightly by ligaments. If you drive a nail through the wrist, some of these bones will be pierced and broken. The wrist pierced by a nail will break one or more bones.
” These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “
None of his bones shall be broken.”(John 19:36, NRSV)
Was Jesus Crucified on Wednesday or Friday?
Some preachers believe Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. They claim Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. They insist on the literal meaning of the phrase “3 days & nights”. Likewise, they argued the Passover was not a fixed day. It changed. Many biblical scholars believe Jesus was crucified on Friday. The phrase “3 days and nights” is a Hebrew figure of speech that referred to any period within the 3 days and nights. This phrase does not essentially indicate a full 24-hour period.
This is written in Psalms 1:2:
“but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.”(Psalms 1:2, NRSV)
Meditating “Day and Night” on God’s word does not mean we must read the Bible all day and all night!
It is clear in the phrase “3 days and 3 nights” does not mean 72 hours in the Book of Esther.
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16, NRSV)
They fasted for three days & nights between that time and when she appeared before the king. The passage said Esther appeared before the king “on the third day”.
“On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace.”(Esther 5:1, NRSV)
If they started on Friday, the 3rd day would be Sunday.
See attached comparison between the two resurrection views.
The Wednesday proponents need to read Plato, for Socrates was right. Thinking that you know, when you in fact do not know is dangerous. Literal reading of biblical texts with a strict modern English mindset is often very misleading. “Day” can meaning several different things (even in English). Think Genesis 1: Fundamentalists (ignorantly) insist on a literal, physical meaning of “day.”
Jesus Didn’t Die on the Cross?
The Roman soldiers would have failed in their duties if Jesus did not die. He could not survive heavy blood loss, torture, stab wound in his side, and roll the stone away (It will take several men to do this).
Witnesses saw water mixed with blood poured out when Jesus was stabbed in the side. This is medical proof Jesus had already died.
Studies of first-century tombs disclosed the tomb was likely a sealed by a 2,000-pound rolling stone in a sloping track. It was impossible for one person to move this stone from inside the tomb.
What is written in the Quran of Muslims (Surah 4:157) is very doubtful. Even their scholars cannot agree on the interpretation. Some say Judas replaced Jesus contrary to what other Muslim scholars insist that it is Simon of Cyrene. It is impossible Jesus was replaced by another person since the place was heavily guarded by Roman soldiers.
Other things that remind us about Jesus
Well-designed long-necked glass bottles were found and probably used for perfume in tombs during Roman times around Jerusalem. Nard that came from the Himalayan region to the Holy Land through the Red Sea was very expensive. It was often kept in a container that is not easily broken like glass.
The Alabaster perfume bottle is similar to the container used to anoint Jesus.
The “Palatial Mansion” is the biggest house in this quarter. It has an area of about 5,500 square feet (c.510 sq m and two stories high. The ‘Palatial Mansion’ has a patio with cobble-stone floor that was about 260 square feet (24 sq m).
(The Archaeology of the Bible, Page 155)
Gospel writers could have this in mind when they described Apostle Peter entering the courtyard of Caiaphas’ home to find out what was happening to Jesus (Matthew 26:54). Peter denied knowing Jesus three times in this place. The wall was plastered and painted elegantly. Some portions of the flooring were decorated with mosaics. Just like other mansions in the neighborhood, it had mikvahs on the lower level.
Mosaic on the floor of a first-century Jerusalem mansion.
The Bible points to the place of crucifixion outside the city. This is in accordance with Jewish practice their dead were buried outside the camp or city. The other clue about the location is there was a garden at the place where Jesus was crucified. In the garden was a new tomb where nobody was ever buried (John 19:41). It is clear Golgotha was near certain tombs and an indication the area was outside e city walls.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was constructed on the traditional site of the crucifixion.