Evidence for Jesus's Tomb?

I’ve been doing my own research on the resurrection as of recently. I know that when you accept the fact that Jesus had been buried in a tomb and was gone thereafter, there’s no escape from the conclusion that the resurrection happened. However, I recently saw a counterclaim that went along the lines of ‘Jesus was most likely buried in a mass grave along with others who died similar deaths, therefore the resurrection never happened.’

I have my own reasoning to why that might not be true, but I would really like to see what others think.

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Counterclaims are easy to make?

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This speaks to the question I think:

One of the main proponents of the “mass grave” view is Bart Ehrman. Dr. Craig Evans did some scholarly work on Jewish burial practices and Roman crucifixions and wrote a chapter in the book “How God Became Jesus” to explain why Bart’s skepticism about the existence of a tomb is unwarranted. It gets a bit technical but is fascinating! Probably if you google “Craig Evans” “Jesus” “burial” you may come up with some of his info, if you don’t want to buy the book.

Oh…I just found some of his info on this site. Not all of it, but you get the flavour:


My guess: Somebody saw “Spartacus” and has read about Crassus’ crucifixion of 6,000 rebel slaves along the Appian Way from Capua to Rome, and figured a "mass burial’ was the only way to “clear the air”. [Crucifixions on the Appian Way].

Furthermore, there are minimal similarities and some really big differences between Crassus’ crucifixion of 6,000 rebel slaves along the road to Rome and the crucifixion of Jesus, such as:

  • Jesus was one of three men crucified at the same time, on a hill in Israel;
  • Jesus was not a rebel slave;
  • There is a historical note reporting the burial of one man, Jesus, not in a mass grave, on the same day of his crucifixion, not more than a day after his crucifixion.
    • So his body had not begun to stink.
  • In other words, “most likely” sounds “seriously unlikely”, at best, and “desperately ridicuolous”.

So are assertions the tomb story, which only shows up in one independent source, is historical.

Could you show me where I could find more information on the ‘historical note’?

Thank you very much!

  • Correction: "Notes"
  • Matthew 27:57-60
    • 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who also was himself a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60 and laid it in his new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.
  • Mark 15:42-46
    • 42 When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead, and summoning the centurion he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 45 When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then Joseph bought a linen cloth and, taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.
  • Luke 23:50-53
    • 50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph who, though a member of the council, 51 had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.
  • John 19:38-42
    • 38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and removed his body. 39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
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In the same way, when you accept the fact that Mohammad is Allah’s prophet there’s no escape from the truth of the Koran. Asserting something as fact is a bit easier than establishing fact through evidence. I think it would be better to describe the burial and Resurrection as an article of faith as derived through the trust put into the accuracy of the gospels.

As to the claim of mass burials, I see no reason why it should be taken seriously. It is speculation at best.

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Read the ancient sources. There is a reason why many critical scholars do not think Jesus would have been allowed burial but I think they overstate the evidence on Roman burial practices for crucifixion victims which would have varied over time and place. The texts seem to be clear that during a time or war burial was not the norm but Jesus wasn’t killed during war though If Jesus was crucified as an enemy of the state (and the title was not just mockery) some would argue the lack of burial would have been part of the shame of his crucifixion. But, even if we could demonstrate that burial was very unlikely for most victims, it is just arguing from a generality to a specific case and committing the fallacy of division. We need more than that to definitely say the the burial of a specific individual did not occur when a text, which may or may not be trustworthy, says he was–and several others seem to support the practice. Jesus’s closest followers don’t seem to have been hunted down from the surviving record after he died so I doubt Rome actually considered him a real threat.

We also have an ossuary (Jehohanan) that provides evidence a crucified individual was buried. Though if this is the only one (???) maybe its an exception to the rule? Josephus also mentions burial but he is doing a bit of apologetics so we can’t just naively trust what he writes. Ehrman offered a bunch of reasons he thought Josephus was untrustworthy here on his blog but Mark Smith writes of Josephus’s statement:

This evidence is particularly illuminating when taken together with Deuteronomy, the Temple Scroll , the Gospel of John, and Philo. All concur that the executed, even the crucified, must be properly buried by sunset. Josephus and Philo further concur that Romans regularly honored this Jewish expectation. As we have seen, Josephus did not hesitate to describe the many victims of crucifixion before the walls of Jerusalem whose bodies were probably exposed on crosses. Here he seems to be drawing an important distinction between ordinary executions, and the extraordinary ones that took place in a context of war.


That’s where I sit with the claims, too. Just because something is usually done in a specific way is not evidence that it was done in that way in this one instance. It is certainly nowhere close to being a challenge to one’s faith.


Seth on Jesus Here is one read but a little long on the crucifixion.

I liked a lot of Courtney Brown’s sessions and here is one of his on the matter of Jesus’ crucifixion. http://crucifixionruse.com/

Just some more material here to flesh out this background.

  • Do you know who “Seth” is?
    • “…this “theory” was proposed by “an energy essence personality” named Seth who was “channeled” by a woman named Jane Roberts…”
  • Do you know what Seth says about the crucifixion?
    • Are you aware that Seth says:
      • “Christ, the historical Christ, was not crucified.
        He had no intention of dying in that manner; but others felt that to fulfill the prophecies in all ways, a crucifixion was a necessity. Christ did not take part in it There was a conspiracy in which Judas: played a role an attempt to make a martyr out of Christ. The man chosen was drugged-hence the necessity of helping him carry the cross (see Luke:23) and he was told that he was the Christ. He believed that he was. He was one of deluded, but he also himself believed that he, not the historical Christ, was to fulfill the prophecies.”
      • “The Seth Material is a collection of writing dictated by Jane Roberts to her husband from late 1963 until her death in 1984. Roberts claimed the words were spoken by a discarnate entity named Seth. The material is regarded as one of the cornerstones of New Age philosophy, and the most influential channelled text of the post-World War II “New Age” movement, after the Edgar Cayce books and A Course in Miracles. Jon Klimo writes that the Seth books were instrumental in bringing the idea of channeling to a broad public audience.”
  • Galen, I don’t know anything about you except that you are posting “New Age” stuff that dates back to the 1970s. IMO, you may want rethink your exploration of that kind of stuff. It’s a deep “rabbit hole” which leads to nowhere.

So the big deal about the empty tomb is so we can know that Jesus was a reanimated corpse like a zombie or vampire rather than just a life giving spiritual body as Paul says in 1 Cor 15? Who needs church when a zombie vampire marathon comes with popcorn.

Yes, I do embrace New Age over Old Age books, 2,000 years out of date, compiled under the order of Constantine and edited, directed, and produced by the Catholic Church. I’m not that much into this kind of stuff though, because I have other interests and priorities.

The Old Testament books were written well before Jesus’ Incarnation, and all of the New Testament books were written by roughly the end of the first century A.D. But the Bible as a whole was not officially compiled until the late fourth century, illustrating that it was the Catholic Church that determined the canon—or list of books—of the Bible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Constantine called the Council of Nicea—the first general council of the Christian church, 325 A.D.—primarily because he feared that disputes within the church would cause disorder within the empire. The dispute in mind was Arianism, which was the belief that Jesus was a created being. The famous phrase they were disputing was, “There was when He was not.” This was in reference to Jesus and was declared heretical by the council and thus resulted in the following words about Christ in the Nicene Creed: “God from true God…from the Father…not made.” It was determined by the council that Christ was homoousia, meaning, one substance with the Father.

Popes were hardly the holy people that the Vatican would claim.

Part 1, 2 and 3. It’s probably easiest to download from Nexus Magazine for cheap.
I was not a big reader of Jane Roberts’ books, as Seth was about as clear as the old books that make up the bible. I do know people that read most, or all of her books though including one of my brothers.
I and others, I know, do not make a religion out of this, or Edgar Cayce, or Robert Monroe readings. Its more about widening an expansion of ideas and entertaining other beliefs beyond the stuff we were indoctrinated with over our formative years.

I mentioned Jane’s channeled entity/personality Seth saying that Christ was not crucified because it seemed to be further confirmation of Courtney Brown’s students’ remote viewing sessions that Jesus had a stand-in for his crucifixion. Anyway, it was an interesting session .
My advice to you is to expand your mind and keep up with the times. Read a couple of Michael Newton’s books. The Papacies edited, worked over, and deleted books from the old bibles are like a “rabbit hole” that leads to nowhere in my world, but is maybe good enough for others in their world.

Let me play the Devil’s advocate a bit here and ask evidence for the site of the tomb of Jesus some of the proponents here argue for. Because in my mediocre countless hours of reading history I haven’t found a single source.

Don’t conflate the Roman Catholic Church with the Early Church. Constantine, who died in 337, had nothing to do with establishing the canon. East and West independently arrived at the same New Testament canon. But in the case of the Old Testament canon, the RCC, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox churches vary in which deuterocanonical books they accept as canonical. (And then came the reformation, but that’s another story)

That is true.

The creed portion is usually translated like this:

Describing Jesus as

God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one being with the Father;

Yes, some of the popes sucked,. but in our own day we see have major sex scandals with the Catholic and Baptist churches.

We don’t know where the tomb is. Stop wasting your time looking.


If you are an advocate of the tomb then I’m sure you just contradicted yourself. If not move along my comment was not for you(I thought I made that clear above)

There are two proposed sites (maybe there are more) for the tomb of Jesus, although there is no evidence that any one of these places is correct. The most famous one is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Several rival churches share the space, and from time to time they actually have brawls. An Arab family has custody of the church keys, and this helps keep the peace.

The other proposed site is much more modest and doesn’t attract as many pilgrims

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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