I know some of you believe Jesus never existed at all, but assuming he did exist at least as a mortal man. Could he have simply fainted?
One theory suggests that he didn't die on the cross but fainted or swooned. Some people who experience severe trauma experience "pericardial tamponade" where the sac surrounding the heart fills with fluid muffling the beat and restricting how much blood it can pump to the rest of the body. It doesn't take long for the victim to lose consciousness and appear dead.
The treatment for such a condition begins with relieving pressure on the heart by draining the fluid in the pericardium. Doctors today use a shunt but a spear point with be just as effective.
So he could have been revived later, and his followers would have thought he raised from the dead.
Ok no problem.
But I don't necessarily think that such a person would have to be Jewish. There are even some atheists who believe in the historical account of Jesus, they just obviously don't believe that he was God or had the ability to perform miracles. They just believe he was a regular man.
True, but 99 times out of 100 the "opposition" here is Christian, not Buddhist, Muslim, or Zoroastrian.
Did a fictional character (who may but probably didn't exist in real life) faint on a cross instead of dying on the cross (as was recorded in several variations in half a dozen religiously charged sources in a mythical narrative style) later proceeding to regain consciousness some days later giving the appearance of a resurrection (a resurrection which was recorded in several different variations in several different religiously charged sources in a mythical narrative style).
What do you think we would gain by answering this question?
Put this way, as it really is, there is nothing useful in this debate
I've heard of this idea before - even read up a little on the pericardial tamponade and thoracotomy. I suspect that someone was crucified, suffered a pericardial tamponade and was unintentionally saved by a soldier stabbing him with his spear testing to see if he was dead. The clear liquid that leaked out was odd enough to be noted by several. As was the man's recovery later - he 'rose from the dead'.
I take pretty much the opposite view from Richard Carrier (Reg's link). There are historical records of several rebellious quasi-rabbis (not sure what else to call them atm). I think is likely that a few of these rebels did things to try to draw others to their cause - one healing people, another performing illusions (feeding a multitude on little food; walking on water) and the one who survived crucifixion could have been another. Years later as the stories are being told about these various people - stories which have grown into amazing feats - the people start getting conflated into just one because one very amazing person is more believable than several. So the healer and the trickster and the survivor become one man who 'must' have divine origin. Presto, Jesus is 'born'.
It explains why there is no independent historical records of one man doing all those amazing things. But several con men with a healer or two and an amazing survival have a much better likelihood of happening and not getting recorded - or recorded but overlooked by current historians looking for records of a historical Jesus.
I agree that this may be a plausible explanation. It could also have been 95% made up. Or completely made up. We are unable (or barely able) to confirm or falsify any of these theories. And even if we could...would we really care?
because one very amazing person is more believable than several.
More exciting to believe in, I think, but not easier to believe in.
Take a similar example. Suppose you have three magicians today. One who does card tricks, one who does disapperances, and one who saws his assistant in half.
One magician who can do all three tricks is definitely more impressive, but what would make a nonexistent 3-in-1 magician easier to believe than the truth. More exciting, perhaps, and that may be the motivation for believing a falsehood.
I didn't word it well - one of those times where it sounds right in my head but doesn't actually convey what I meant it to.
By "very amazing" I meant more than human. I didn't want to use the term superhero because they didn't have that concept back then - the person would have been thought of as a demigod or otherwise divine. (I wish I had thought of demigods when I wrote the first post.)
Once the stories have grown to the point where the person is bordering on being a demigod, I suspect 3 similar such demigods might get conflated as being just one. Basically the "telephone" game combined with "I caught a fish this big". Even one person relating the stories mixing up the names could start the demigods being fused into just one.
When there are few current (during their lives) tales about demigods, three in one area and none elsewhere versus just one - the one is more believable. Basically are three impossible things likely, or just one? (rhetorical since zero is the most likely number of impossible things)
Hopefully this has cleared up my above post.
@Davis - Yeah, it could be totally fiction.
Some credence could be given to my idea if the historical researchers found accounts of several different people each doing just one or two of the things Jesus supposedly did. It wouldn't prove my idea but it would give us a better idea of what might really have occurred back then.
Quite a few people care - at least because of curiosity.
Are you falling into the trap of thinking that somehow monotheism is better than polytheism or pantheism?
Hinduism has a handful of major gods worshipped almost everywhere where Hinduism exists (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Durga, Kali, and Saraswati). But there are anywhere between 33 million and 330 million Hindu deities, depending on who is counting.
Based on survival value of a religion, Hinduism is way ahead of Christianity.
I want to ask if this was meant to be for me since I don't see how you got to this from my post - but I don't know of any other post it could be for so the answer is probably yes.
I was mentally adding up the facts that most of the people who would have been hearing about the "demigods" would have been Jews who only believe in one god. Being contemporary with Rome they would know about a pantheon of gods but they wouldn't believe in them. So either they reject the "demigods" being real or they try to figure out how their god created such beings. Since there is a prediction of a savior of divine origin in Jewish tradition, they would likely reject the idea that there are three and figure the accounts are using different names by mistake - that it is just one being.
This is a mental exercise taking all the facts I know and seeing if there is a plausible explanation based on those facts.
As for the general ideas of monotheism, polytheism/pantheism - all of them have flaws as well as merits. Monotheism has a hair's breadth more logic to it but polytheism/pantheism has slightly better appeal to people. (Part of the reason Catholicism has a growing body of saints - to let it be polytheistic yet claim to be monotheistic.) But ultimately all of them are false since they all require at least one god.
Jesus committed suicide. If He was the son of God as many people believe then He could have asked His father to save Him. If He made a concious decision to die then He committed suicide.