The Resurrection & Islam & the Western Swoon Theory (4)

3. The Western Swoon Theory 

After Jesus faints and has remained unconscious for a good while, His body is taken down and encased in cloth sheets and also about 75 pounds (= 34 kgs) of spices.  During the entire encasing process Jesus remains unconscious and does not recover.  Even the strong odor from the spices and not to mention the noise, do not wake Him up.  After being encased, Jesus is put in the tomb and a massive stone (two tons weight possibly) is rolled in front of the tomb and Roman guards are stationed.

After being just unconscious – not dead – for three days and nights, Jesus wakes up. His fainting spell is now over.  Jesus then manages to muster up enough strength to break free from all the clothing encasing that is tightly bound to Him.

What then follows are some amazing, herculean feats on His part.  Jesus, in spite of not having eaten food or drank any water for three days and nights, and in spite of having fresh wounds from his beatings, the Crucifixion, the spear piercing, and in spite of having suffered much blood loss and in spite of the dehydration and weakness, and in spite of not having received any medication for his wounds – in spite of all of this, Jesus manages to roll away the two ton stone covering the entrance.  He does this from the inside and in the pitch darkness where He has to feel his way along the walls to find the entrance.

Once outside He then beats the living daylights out of all the armed Roman guards. Although they greatly outnumber Him and are fully armed with spears, swords, whips, clubs, etc., they are no match for Him.[1]  This is indeed a surprising turn of events for Jesus never in His life, even once lifted a finger of violence towards another and moreover towards the end of His life, He famously said that one who fights by the sword, will die by the sword (Matthew 26:52).

Once Jesus has escaped from the tomb, He manages to quickly wash up, find a change of clothes and make Himself look good.  He then goes and appears to all His disciples here and there. Physically, He looks to be in pretty good condition – however He does not have a glorious resurrected body.  It is just the same old body that He had before along with some scars.

Seeing that Jesus had only fainted and now is back, the disciples rejoice and now go around telling everyone that Jesus has been resurrected from death.  They know that what they are saying is a lie but they go ahead and say it anyway.  In the meantime they pray fervently to God that their lie will not be exposed because they and the church will be persecuted and killed if they are caught.  Strangely enough for the next forty days that Jesus spends time with them, He fails to rebuke them of this lie.  Although for over three years now He has modeled and enjoined upon them a life of honesty and integrity, now He quietly approves of this falsehood.  As life moves on Jesus disappears from the scene and the disciples continue to propagate the lie side by side with fervent prayers for its progress.

Unfortunately for them their prayers are not answered and they all die for this lie.  For example, the apostle Luke goes off to Greece to preach the risen Christ.  Here he becomes a martyr and is hanged.  Matthew goes off to Ethiopia preaching the risen Christ and is martyred at sword-point.  Peter gets martyred by being crucified upside down on a cross shaped as an X.  Ultimately it is not just the apostles who are martyred.   Many persecutions break out against the church.  Under the persecution that breaks out under the Roman Emperor Nero, many Christians are put to death in a most gruesome manner.  Nero, “the beast” makes human torches out of Christians by tying them to wooden poles and then during evenings and nights, setting them on fire to provide light.[2]

At no point do the Apostles breakdown and just admit that they lied – if not to save their own lives then to save the lives of many other innocent deceived Christians.  It is all very strange.  However as the Western Swoon theory would have it, this all results in the birth of Christianity and its subsequent success. As for Jesus who never went up to be with God the Father, since He never really died and was resurrected, He simply disappears from sight.[3]

[1] There would have been at least four Roman guards in addition to any temple guards whom the Pharisees and Sadducees would have posted. See Matthew 28:11 and John 19:23.

[2] See the famous painting, Nero’s Torches by Henryk Seimiraski (1843-1902):

[3] Note: There is another objection to the Crucifixion that I have not discussed in here because it is very rare.  This objection states that nothing happened and that the crucifixion, the Gospels, etc. are all a legend or a myth.  The problem with this objection is that it takes time for legends to develop –sometimes centuries.  That is, it often takes 3 to 4 generations before myths start to develop.  What I mean is this: Let us suppose that I go around telling to everyone that the current PM of India went to the moon last year as an astronaut.  If I say this, then not only will many people disprove this, but the PM himself can get on TV and disprove it.  Now if suppose 4 generations from now – during the lifetime of PM’s great-great-grandson, this falsehood is propagated, then it becomes much harder to disprove.  Why? For one thing there may be no witnesses around.  Like so with the Gospel accounts.  The Gospel accounts were written by not to long after Jesus’ crucifixion.  If Jesus’ miracles and crucifixion were mere myths, then Jesus’ enemies would have immediately disproven them.   None of them however wrote competing accounts to disprove it.