NOT EVERYONE AGREES WITH ME. I get that. But it does puzzle me sometimes when all I do is report some facts of history, and then people tear into me for it.
Months ago I was curious about what Roman writers had to say about crucifixion in general. So, I did some research. Then I reported the research in a video I called What Romans said about crucifixion.
It got a lot of views over the Easter holiday. And a lot of criticism. The view count for the YouTube version is over 143,000, which is kinda high for a self-made Bible reference video.
Most of the video is of me reading the sometimes-gritty quotes from ancient Roman writers, and showing some supporting pictures.
I wasn’t preaching. I wasn’t trying to say that these quotes proved the crucifixion story of Jesus. But some quotes do corroborate what the Bible reports, such as the fact that the victim had to carry the cross.
Without replying here, I’ll simply let you read what some of the folks said in response to the video. I think it’s helpful to know what critics inside and outside the faith have to say about the crucifixion of Jesus.
I corrected the grammar.
- “You are a deluded, intellectually-challenged, IDIOT.” —Julian Hobrough
- “Time to grow up, kiddies…Sorry, Stephen, but you’re wrong, wrong, wrong right from the get-go!” [Then he gave me a link to read about Jesus as someone who never existed.] —Sevven1
- “What a calm voice. If Whitey says it’s so, then it must be. Get the f*** outta here.” [This is a paraphrase based on my recollection. I deleted the original because of the profanity, racism, and the fact that I do have a slight tan. But I didn’t forget the core message.]
- “Nowhere do you find the proof of the crossbeam in the Bible… it was not the cross that was used by the Romans to kill Jesus. You support the Christian religions that do not listen to the Bible.” —afterraincomessun
- “If Jesus died in the seventies [1970s], Catholics would wear electric chairs on their necks.” —krik etecap [Anthony Hulse replied: “Yes, we wear a symbol of a shameful death.”]
- “Please go educate yourself…Josephus is a fake…Zero evidence of Jesus’ crucifixion (or any other detail of his life) outside the New Testament.” —thephidias
- “Roman soldiers did NOT crucify Yahweh’s literal genetic SON Yahshua. John 19:14-19 tells us that Caiaphas and the chief priests literally crucified Yahweh’s Messiah. Caiaphas himself literally nailed the nails into Yahshua’s hands and feet.” —Raymond Lindroth
- “Jesus is a solar myth. Not based on a real person.” —Gib Mattson
- “Jesus never DIED on the cross—he took an ancient “date-rape” type of drug, which put him into a DEEP, DEATHLIKE COMA for a couple days.” —I Hate the Party
- “I wouldn’t say this is entirely accurate… They not only nailed them (sometimes just tied), they also had a foot-long spike inserted into their anus.” —ukcameraman
I changed my mind. I’m going to let you read my response to that one.
“Hi ukcameraman. What’s your source of info about the spike up the posterior? I haven’t read that in Roman documents about crucifixion. I wouldn’t doubt that it sometimes happened. But I haven’t seen a Roman source of info about that.”
Romans, Assyrians, and Babylonians, however, did sometimes impale victims on what amounted to a sharpened fence post. They impaled them through the chest or in the privates. Gruesome.
Late edition bashing
This came in last night.
“They were not nailed through the hands or feet/legs, the body cannot handle the weight. They were tied—but blood and nails make better religious art for the cowards who believe in the sky fairy and lie to others about the absurd belief. The train of humanity would be running and progressing so much faster if the cars full of ignorant folks could be unhitched from the train.” —Mark S. Smith
I’m afraid I wasn’t as kind to Mark as perhaps I should have been.
“Come on, Mark. Cowards? The people who chose the lions of Rome over denying their beliefs? And the people today in the Middle East and Africa who choose beheading over allowing someone else to bully them into saying what they don’t believe? Wouldn’t the train of civilization run must more smoothly if tolerance paid the ticket? Once we start calling people demeaning names we used as children, they stop listening.”
There was a lot of really nasty criticism and name-calling in response to the video, but I can’t report it because I quickly deleted it. I keep the comments, whether or not I agree with them, as long as they don’t call me Whitey or say other mean-spirited things that belong in the trash or in a political ad.
Now I have to come up with an idea for the next video.
Maybe something happy-go-lucky.
Here’s a quick update for folks praying for Chris, a 33-year-old gent I wrote about in Email from a reader in pain. He’s suffering from cystic fibrosis, a disease that generally limits life expectancy to age 37.
Some folks asked me to send him some books. One reader wanted me to send him a fruit basket, but when I checked with him about it he said, “A fruit basket would be a bad idea because I’m not allowed to eat anything raw due to my double lung transplant.”
Here’s part of his note from Monday, April 17, 2017.
Hi Mr. Miller,
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter. My Easter was spent in the hospital at UNC [University of North Carolina], so it’s not the best Easter that I’ve had. My family came up so I did get to spend some time with them.
My kidneys got worse last week so I had to be admitted to the hospital to start kidney dialysis. I am feeling some better and hope to come home one day this week. I will need to do my kidney dialysis at a kidney dialysis center once I’m at home.
I know some readers are praying for Chris. So I thought I’d pass along the update.