Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)


John Steven Knox


Crucifixion, Resurrection, Swoon Theory, Evidential Apologetics, Medical Crucifixion, Roman antiquity, bloody sweat




This study explored whether it was possible for Jesus to survive the crucifixion from a medical and historical perspective. The scope of this thesis is based purely on what is evidentially plausible and more likely. Therefore, the data must reflect whether it was possible for Jesus to survive being crucified. Medical examination and ancient Roman sources were utilized to determine the nature and effectiveness of a Roman crucifixion. Furthermore, several theories concerning how one expires by the crucifixion were included to provide a rounded conclusion. Contrasting hypotheses offered greater insight into refining the question for which this thesis was designed. Finally, this study analyzed other theories and assertions from Muslim beliefs, Jewish thoughts, Christian theists, and apologetic responses to the overall subject of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Upon viewing several texts from Muslim scholars and the Quran, Jewish scholarship, and Christian scholarship, this study concluded that it was medically impossible for Jesus to survive a Roman crucifixion. Upon this realization, the ultimate conclusion supports the authority of Scripture on the matter—namely, the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

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