Was Jesus’ body placed in a known tomb? “This is a topic that might seem obscure initially,” says Dr. Craig Evans in a recent lecture at The Center for Faith and Culture, “but it is really basic and fundamental to the origins of Christianity and our faith.”
In this Carver-Barnes Lecture, Dr. Evans explains the significance of Jesus’ burial, why he was buried in a known tomb and why this topic matters for us today. Dr. Evans is Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University.
Watch the video above, or read key excerpts below (edited for clarity):
If you don’t know anything about Jewish burial traditions, you’re not going to understand fully what Jesus said.
Why we should care about Jewish burial traditions.
“This may sound like an obscure title, but it’s actually a very important topic because what some claim is that Jesus was not in fact buried in a known tomb, perhaps not buried at all. If that’s true, then the gospel account of the women who discovered the empty tomb on Sunday morning is more than likely a fiction.
“What I’m saying in response to that is that people who claim that, including some who in fact argue against it, don’t know Jewish burial traditions very well. And that’s a lot of the problem. Even people supporting the truthfulness of the gospel account as well as people who are casting doubt on it, neither side usually knows what’s going. That’s what I’m trying to deal with now….
“Why is the archaeology of burial important? It explains some of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus says some things, that if you don’t know anything about Jewish burial traditions, you’re not going to understand fully what Jesus said. It explains some of the events of the first Easter, [such as] why the women visited the tomb when they did and what they were intending to do. And it helps us avoid the errors we see in some popular books and documentaries.”
This article originally published on March 30, 2018.