Editor’s Note: Welcome to number 4 in the Bart Ehrman series. /Linda LaScola, Editor ========================= By Bart Ehrman QUESTION: Could Pilate have conceded over burial rights also? Granted this may not extend to those accused of treason, but as Pilate did permit some local customs, does this not open up sufficient space for Josephus’ claim over burial rights to be taken seriously?RESPONSE: This question arose a couple of weeks ago after I had returned briefly to an older conversation about whether Jesus would have been buried on the afternoon he was crucified. I tried to show that if so, this would have been in clear violation of policy and precedent. Part of the entire punishment for capital offenses — especially crimes against the state (e.g., claiming to be a ruler of a people ruled instead by Rome) — was to be left *on* the cross for days, as a public display, and a humiliation and denigration: bodies were left subject to the elements, the scavengers, and natural decay. The Romans wanted everyone to know that THIS is what happens to those who cross the power of Rome. A number of readers suggested that Pilate was possibly sensitive to Jewish law and… Read full this story
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