Please read these in order, so go to Part I first.
One of the reasons I'm breaking down the argument against Jesus' existence is because of the mountain of evidence (or lack thereof). It would be quite a long read if the entire argument were laid out in one post.
Today I want to focus on the crucifixion. You may be asking yourself, "If you don't believe Jesus existed, then why address his crucifixion?"
It's just one piece to a puzzle that depicts bible writers/fabricators as poor storytellers who obviously lacked an ability to research facts of the times and who clearly had no training in being historians.
The crucifixion of Christ supposedly took place in Rome, and at that time Rome was the world's most advanced civilization. What helped make Rome so advanced was its legal system; its courts were fair and above contempt, despite what you might see from Hollywood. When an alleged crime was committed, defendants weren't put to death without a trial; they received due process, just like today in America and other civilized countries.
Yet, if you read the story of the crucifixion, you are told Jesus, an innocent man, was brought in front of Pontius Pilate, a judge in the Roman court system. Pilate knew no charge was brought against Jesus and found him not guilty, yet when the mob demanded Jesus be crucified, he placated them by having him executed anyway. Really? The entire democratic world owes its legal system to the Romans of this age, but we are asked to believe a judge would send an innocent man to death to appease a group of idiots?
This doesn't sound like history to me; it sounds like a bunch of illiterates trying to square their own circle of lies. Speaking of squaring a circle, Marshall Gauvin makes a great point in his 1922 piece regarding Christ as a lamb.
"On the theory that Christ was crucified, how shall we explain the fact that during the first eight centuries of the evolution of Christianity, Christian art represented a lamb, and not a man, as suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world? Neither the paintings in the Catacombs nor the sculptures on Christian tombs pictured a human figure on the cross. Everywhere a lamb was shown as the Christian symbol—a lamb carrying a cross, a lamb at the foot of a cross, a lamb on a cross. Some figures showed the lamb with a human head, shoulders and arms, holding a cross in his hands—the lamb of God in process of assuming the human form—the crucifixion myth becoming realistic. At the close of the eighth century, Pope Hadrian I, confirming the decree of the sixth Synod of Constantinople, commanded that thereafter the figure of a man should take the place of a lamb on the cross. It took Christianity 800 years to develop the symbol of its suffering savior. For 800 years, the Christ on the cross was a lamb. But if Christ was actually crucified, why was his place on the cross so long usurped by a lamb? In the light of history and reason, and in view of a lamb on the cross, why should we believe in the crucifixion?"
Again, it's difficult to believe in a crucifixion if you don't believe the person who was crucified even existed, but let's take it a step further. We'll assume, for the moment, the Jesus of the bible had existed. This person performed all sorts of miracles and fantastic deeds (feeding the hungry, curing the blind/leprous, etc.), so why would any rational person want to kill him?
Sure, the Jews believed in irrational things (just read the Old Testament for proof) but surely they would recognize the benefit of having a fellow like Jesus around, even if they didn't believe he was the Messiah. He was a good man, right? Preached forgiveness, was kind and loving. ... How does this warrant life's greatest punishment? The Jews were civilized; they weren't savages. Certainly some middle ground could be found. After all, he was a Jew himself! Were they so unreasonable? I can't help but see this as another lie to tell the story the authors wanted to tell, rather than this being a historical document.
Part IV likely will wrap up this series. Stay tuned.