Alternative Naturalistic Theories #2: Swoon  
Alternative Naturalistic Theories to the Resurrection

The Swoon Theory

This theory states that Jesus did not die on the cross, but only swooned. When he was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, he was still alive, and in the coolness and quiet he revived.




1. Scourging and crucifixion were efficient means to kill someone. The historian Josephus describes seeing three friends who were in the process of being crucified: 

 “And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hand, while the third recovered.” (Life 76)

2. Furthermore, Jesus had a sword thrust in his side.


3. The Romans were professionals and knew how to tell if someone were dead.


4. Even if Jesus was alive when taken down from the cross, he was wrapped in about 75-100 pounds of gravecloths and spices, including over his face.


5. Near death, Jesus would have had to unwrap the stuck-together gravecloths around him, push the golel from the tomb, and walk out to make multiple appearances to the eyewitnesses. Despite the severe stress of crucifixion etc. he would have had to give the appearance as a conqueror of death rather than as someone who was near death.


© 2011 Amy Deardon |