Q & A with Dr. Craig: Excavating the Tomb of Jesus

Reasonable Faith

Q: Hello Dr. Craig,

Today I stumbled upon a few online articles that reported that the stone the Jesus was laid upon after his burial was found. This stone was released from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. National Geographic reported that they can now uncover more information about Jesus’ death and burial. Then I saw a linked article that said that they bible is “wrong” about Jesus’ death and burial. How well established are the biblical facts of Jesus’ death and burial?

Joanna (United States)

A: Your summary has it almost right, Joanna. For a more accurate account of the excavation, see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/jesus-christ-tomb-burial-church-holy-sepulchre/. It’s not that the stone upon which Jesus was laid has been “found” or “released.” Rather the marble covering protecting the original limestone slab upon which Jesus was believed to have been laid by Joseph of Arimathea has been temporarily removed for restoration and cleaning, thereby exposing to view the original slab, which has not been seen since 1555. This is truly thrilling for those who think that the tomb enclosed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre really is the tomb in which Christ was buried after his crucifixion. To think that archaeologists after all these centuries have been able to gaze upon and even touch the very stone upon which Jesus’ body was laid!

You ask how well established “the biblical facts of Jesus’ death and burial” are. I’m not going to answer that question here, since I have so often discussed it in my published works and debates. No historian denies the fact of Jesus’ death by Roman crucifixion under Pontius Pilate, principally for two reasons…

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Q & A with Dr. Craig: Excavating the Tomb of Jesus | Reasonable Faith