My Answer to Bradley Bowen on Blood and Water

Image result for taking Jesus body down from the cross

Bradley Bowen wrote a post on Secular Outpost blog responding to my criticisms of his defense of the "swoon theory." He gives it the mature adult title: "Hinman's Pathetic Defense of his Sad Little Argument..[1]    I feel like I'm back on the Carm board. Oddly enough he did not read and makes no reference to my post"Blood and Water from Jesus Side,"[9/1/19] [2] which should have known about because I put  the link in the comment section of SOP. So attacks upon my argument are out moded and ignore  my major work. His whole first section assumes the wrong idea.   

Bowen: "In response to my criticism of Peter Kreeft’s weak and patheticobjections against the Survival Theory, Joe Hinman wrote the following in one of his blog posts:" [note the link is to "Bread and Butter Apologetics Aug 12, 2019--note the dates this one and blood and waternow quoting me:
The second issue Bowen argues the book of John Implies the Romans were confused about Jesus’ death, quotes passages John 19: 31-33 to prove the Romans may have thought he was alive. The reasoning is one soldier pierced Jesus’ side the only reason to do that was to see if he was dead. Therefore they didn’t really think he was dead. So apparently if they were confused he was alive? Of course they ignore the fact that the sticking would have proven he was dead because water coming out separate from blood proves heart is not working.[emphasis his] 
 Even so it’s that literalism that says it can’t be that they thought he was probably dead and just wanted to confirm it. …  [emphasisadded]
Bowen: The argument that Hinman puts forward here against the Survival Theory follows the miserable example of intellectual sloth by Peter Kreeft, being stated in a single unclear and sloppy sentence:The sticking would have proven he was dead because water coming  out operate from blood proves the heart is not working:   
At this point it is important to observe that this is the argument in outmoded form. He thinks I'm saying the liquid has to be water and that proves the heart quite working. I never said the liquid has to be water for my argument to proceed. In the latter article which he does not address,I said it was probably not water per se. It is a medical fact that a clear liquid bled out the wound means hes dead that is empirical   does not have to be more than one line it NOT a matter of deduction. It is  evidenced,

1. Bowen's major argument against me at this point is that the clear liquid may not have been water

2. Bowen bases his argument on the wrong article by me

3. Had read the right article (which is "blood and water") he would see that I assume the clear liquid was not water

4. clear liquid pouring from a wound separate from blood is indicative o many condition  them all of
them are indicative of death. (I baked this with 3 sources  he has none)

5.therefore Bowen's attack on my argument so far is irrelevant and doesn't apply because I don't assume the premise he thinks I do.

Now he suggests my argumemt:
1. Water coming out separate from blood proves [the] heart is not working
True in so far as it goes but that is not to say that other clear liquids of the body don't prove the same thing.
 Bowen: First, even eyewitness testimony by a trustworthy person at the Crucifixion of Jesus cannot Establish that water came out of any part of Jesus body. This is because many different liquids LOOK LIKE water, and nobody did a chemical analysis of the liquid, or even tasted or smelled the liquid in order to verify that it was just water. So, no ancient historical document can establish that “water” came out of some part of Jesus’ body.
Here he is still assuming I am committed to  water (again with the water) as the liquid that came out with blood I am not, I accept it could have been another bodily fluid  they are all indicative of death,l
Bowen: Second, most of te Christian apologists and medical investigators who have suggested theories about the medical cause of Jesus’ death DO NOT BELIEVE that the transparent (or translucent) substance that (allegedly) came from Jesus’ wound was WATER. Instead, they believe it was pleural or pericardial fluids, or urine, or…? NOBODY thinks that it was “water” that came out of Jesus’ wound!
Now here he's creating a straw man argument. He wants to make the reader think that I'm committed to it being water, he totally ignores the fact that being another liquid does not change the reality that it indicates the man was dead. The other liquids are also indicative of death! (Treloar [3] Maslen [4] )
Bowen: Let me try to improve and clarify the first premise of Hinman’s sad little argument:
 In other words he is going to re-write my argument to make me say what he can answer. But don't forget he is still working on the wrong article,
1A. Fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately.
1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately, THEN Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross
2. Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.
3. If Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross, then it is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.
4. It is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.

B0wen; "...Those Premises (1 and 2) are controversial and questionable so they must be supported  with evidence and reasoning to get eh argument off the ground. 
Arguments are clear and reasoned weather they have Numbers by them or not. The only controversy is if the liquid was water or not but it doesn't matter either way he was dead so my argument stands;  not controversial It;s a medical fact,yes I do document:

"So a spear to the heart will bring forth blood and water which is diagnostic of death."  (Adrian Treloar see above ft 3) "there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium" (Davis) [5]

what is so controversial? He wants us to think it;s the liquid being indicative of death but it's not.He has no source that denies it. It's because there are many theories of the exact cause of death. That does not work against my argument he knows it. Because  they all end in death. None of them support survival. No medical authority that Bowen presents(he didn't present any) denies that the clear liquid is indicative of death,it;s just that it could be caused by different things,

1. if there is a discharge from a wound with clear liquid separate from blood it is indicative of being dead.

2. apparently Jesus had such a discharge

3. Therefore Jesus was probably dead.

4. I support my view with medical evidence 

5. Bowen has no documented medical evidence to refute this position

6. therefore my argument is supported by expert testimony and his is not

Concerning premise (1A), I have already provided ten reasons for doubting the accuracy, reliability, and historicity of the passage from the 4th Gospel that is used to support this premise. This historical claim is VERY DUBIOUS. This problem is sufficient by itself to sink this argument as being probably UNSOUND.
His famous 10 things which I answer in addendum below the sources on this page

Up to this point those were not part of the debate but I will deal with those in the comments
Bowen;Concerning premise (1B), Joe is NOT a medical doctor. His educational background is in theology, so he is NOT qualified to make medical claims like this. NOBODY should believe (1B) just because Joe says so.
Brad is not a medical doctor. either. He has to quote them but I don't see him even doing that, I have quoted doctors, He has no expertise. He only has background in philosophy which means all he can do is ask questions and number his sentences. Of course he ignores the fact that my Ph,D, was history of ideas and my BS is in sociology and debate. the essence of 1B is 1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out ... Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.

I have documented that with three different sources in this debate and in the blood and water article.
He OBVIOUSLY needs to provide evidence to support this claim. But Joe apparently doesn’t see this obvious point, because he simply asserts (1B), without providing any evidence for it.
He just ignores the three I;ve quoted above which were quoted in the paper he did read, actually I provided evidence in the artifice the one he links to "bread and Butter" so he;s just lying.
HINMAN’S PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO REPLY TO MY OBJECTIONS TO (1A)I have pointed out and explained in detail TEN problems with the historicity and historical reliability of the relevant passage from the 4th Gospel. Here is Hinman’s pathetic reply to those TEN detailed objections against premise (1A):
ME: "Sorry your understanding is out of date. Since Bauckham’s book Jesus and the Eye Witnesses it is form criticism that is now considered dubious and John has a new credibility. Remember our first 1×1 debate? You used Bauckham as your own source to argue against me."
Bowen: My understanding of the 4th Gospel is “out of date”.  That is Hinman’s brilliant reply to my ten detailed objections against premise (1A).
It's my field not his, I have Masters in theology from Perikns at SMU..   

  Bowen: I’m a bit skeptical that Bauckham’s book has in fact turned 150 years of NT scholarship on its head, and converted hundreds of NT scholars to believers in the historical reliability of the 4th Gospel.  That seems more like a fantasy that Hinman wishes were the case.  However, even if Bauckham’s book has actually pulled off this minor miracle, and turned NT scholarship around, that still DOES NOT ANSWER my ten detailed objections to premise (1A).
He knows nothing about biblical scholarship I've already said it was not that one book alone,

Is my fantasy how is it that Ben Wotherington III said it?

"There are books that are interesting, there are books that are important and then there are seminal studies that serve as road markers for the field, pointing the way forward. Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is in the latter category, to be sure. It thus deserves a thorough review, but a little background is in order."[6]

This is not only because of that one book, it's a trend involving many scholars:

\"But during the 1990s, the “Jesus, John, and History” section of the preeminent Society of Biblical Literature had a solid focus on this question of whether or not the Fourth Gospel is historically trustworthy. And they were moving toward the conclusion that it does, thus in opposition to most of the academy. Members of the panel of this section, such as Paul Andersen, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, have now produced three volumes on this subject as editors, with contributing chapters being mostly from section members. Their conclusion is that the Fourth Gospel is historically reliable." [7]

see also another book by Bauckham, Testimony of the BD: "there are signs that this dominant approach is now undermined or at least considerably modified by very recent trends in Johanine scholarship,,," fn p9 he says "a major transition in Johanine  scholarship  is widely acknowledged" He also cites scholars Ray  Brown, John Aston, J.Louis Martyn [8] the dominant view being undermined is the older view Bowen knows where John is seen as not historically reliable.
Hinman is again displaying his extreme intellectual SLOTH. If Bauckham’s book doesn’t answer my ten objections, then his book is basically IRRELEVANT to those objections. On the other hand, if Bauckham’s book really does make a strong case for the reliability of the 4th Gospel, then it should directly answer all (or nearly all) of my ten objections. But in that case, all that Hinman had to do was to POINT US TO THE PAGES in Bauckham’s book where my objections are answered.
His assertion that Bauckham must couter all ten things is wrong. All that book has to do is change attitudes about John because that is all I claimed for it. I did not advance Bauckham as answer to his 10 things but  as answer to the notion that John has no corroboration in the wound in the side (he does answer several of  the 10). And that's not my only source on that point, but since the first 2 of the 10 things are about the historicity of John's account this does answer some of them.
Hinman wouldn’t have to generate a single argument (unless Bauckham failed to cover one of my objections). But that would be far too much effort for Mr. Hinman. He would have to pick up Bauckham’s book and scan through it (or read it for the first time) to locate the pages where my objections are answered by Bauckham. That would take at least an hour of intellectual effort and might completely exhaust Mr. Hinman’s mind to the point he would be unable to ever write another comment on my posts. (Not that I would complain about that.)
It is his burden of proof to include the 10- things in this argument he can't refer to them from the past and expect me to know about them that is not debate. If he can do that I can say I beat them on message boards 20 years ago.
When Mr. Hinman decides to push past his extreme intellectual SLOTH, and put out just a tiny bit of intellectual effort,
I put forth my tiny bit of effort when I got my masters degree in theology from a major liberal seminary, That means I am qualified to understand the Biblical scholarship he's trying to use and he's not.
he can easily provide us all with the various page numbers in Bauckham’s book, where my ten objections are answered.
I have actually done that. see comments
 Since I already have a copy of Jesus and the Eye Witnesses, Hinman doesn’t even have to write out the quotes for me. I suspect that this, however, is too big of a request for Mr. Hinman, and that no such page numbers will be forthcoming, and that Mr. Hinman will continue to simply ignore my ten detailed objections against the reliability and historicity of the 4th Gospel and of the passage from the 4th Gospel that is used to support premise (1A).

He has thrown up an irrelevancy as a road block and then harped on it enough to where it becomes the point. Again he did not include the 10 things in the posts that I am dealing with so they are outside the jurisdiction of this discussion. But see the comment section for thumbnail answers to them.
Premise (1B) asserts a questionable and controversial medical claim:
He asserts that clear liquid as indicative of death is controversial it is not in the least, he present no medical evidence to support his assertion i presented three sources,
1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately, THEN Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.
I just answered that above
Here is Hinman’s pathetic attempt to reply to my objection to his sad little argument:
Joe: I already did that [i.e. presented evidence supporting premise (1B)] your majesty. In three different posts above.I am not a doctor but I quote several of them in the internet,

my source Adrian Treloar FRCP, “Blood and Water,” Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 63(1) (February 2013)…

“To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart. The medical significance of the blood and water has been a matter of debate. One theory (Bergsma) states that Jesus died of a massive myocardial infarction, in which the heart ruptured [a]which may have resulted from His falling while carrying the cross [b]. Davis suggested that Jesus’ heart was surrounded by fluid in the pericardium, which caused pericardial tamponade [c]. Another theory that I have often heard is that in a sick man (Our Lord was badly beaten) after death the blood will separate into clot and serum. We do know that death of the cross occurs from exhaustion and inability to support the weight of the body and to breathe.”
There are so many problems with Hinman’s pathetic attempt to reply to my objection to his sad little argument that it is difficult to know where to begin.FIRST, the author of the article quoted by Hinman is a medical doctor, but his expertise is in an irrelevant area:Old Age Psychiatry (!)
This guy is really something he has no medical training at all, that is supposed to count against me but not agaisnt Bowen??Bergsma, Davis, Treloar, that's three doctors man!  Bowen doesn't  accept the medical credentials of  Adrian Treloar because he works on old people. What sense does that make? Old people have hearts, Old people die, knowing how to tell one is dead would seem to fit that job description.
Hinman does NOT claim that Jesus died of old age. Hinman does NOT claim that Jesus died as the result of Alzheimer’s or of some other mental illness. So, the expertise of the author of the quoted article does not apply to the medical issues concerning the alleged cause of death in cases of crucifixion and in the case of Jesus’ crucifixion in particular, since he was a relatively young man at the time of the crucifixion, and was not showing signs of dementia.
He thinks the only problems faced by the elderly are Alzheimer’s and the like what that shows a stunning lack of understanding! Old people have circulatory systems and physiology and their doctors must know all of that.

SECOND, the title of the publication where this article appeared is VERY MISLEADING:Catholic Medical Quarterly 
This title, especially in the context of this debate, suggests that this is a MEDICAL JOURNAL, which it is NOT. This publication is clearly a Catholic propaganda publication, and most of the articles in the publication are NOT peer reviewed, not reviewed by medical professionals, at least most are NOT required to have such a peer review by the policy of the publication:
First does he expect me to change the title of the publication? I chose it because of the article not because it sounds like a medical journal. Moreover, he is hiding from the National Institute of health article (fn4) he can't even imply that it;s not scholarly. Not being peer reviewed does not change the fact that the source is qualified and Bowen has no competing sources.

I have refuted every point he made. I have sources which outweigh anything he offered, He offers no medical sources. Bowen's entire enterprise is refuted by the one simple point that bleeding clear liquid is a sign of being dead. Since his whole point is that Jesus did not die on the cross, then Jesus' bleeding clear liquid or the liquid cumming out with blood is indicative of being dead thus Jesus must have been dead. That means Bowen's entire argument is disproved. He offers nothing to counter this, all of his arguments against me have been based upon the wrong article.He's ignored the documentation *I clearly gave so his arguments fail.

1. if there is a discharge from a wound with clear liquid separate from blood it is indicative of being dead.

2. apparently a discharge had such a discharge

3. Therefore Jesus was probably dead.

4. I support my view with medical evidence (3 sources)

5. Bowen has no documented medical evidence to refute this position

6. therefore my argument is supported by expert testimony and his is not.
There is one other major point I ask the reader to keep in mind. Despite his proclivity to put his arguments in deductive form it is not a matter of deductive reasoning, Both of us are making arguments of probability with empirical means of checking the truth claims. He gives us no reason to assume Jesus did not die. I argue that there were three groups of "checkers" that saw Jesus' body (the Romans who took him off the cross, the men who transported him to the grave, the woman who prepared his body). The odds are one of these would have noticed if he was still alive.
1, both arguments his and mine, are arguments of probability
2. Bowen gives us no real reason to think Jesus was still alive.
3, If Jesus had been alive there were three chances for someone to see that in addition to the possible post mortum evidence of the liquids.
4, We are given no reason to think he was still alive.
5, Therefore we are more justified in our assumption that Jesus was dead

see ADDENDUM: Answers to Bowen's 10 points below sources


[1] Bradley Bowen,
"Hinman's Pathetic Defense of his Sad Little Argument."  The Secular Outpost blog,  (Sept. 2, 2019 )  (accessed  sep 3, 2019)
[2] Joseph Hinman, "Blood and Water from Jesus Side," CADRE Comments (spt2.2-2019)

 [3] Adrian Treloar FRCP, "Blood and Water," Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 63(1) (February  2013)

[5] Dr. C. Truman Davis "A Physician's Analyzes The Crucifixion."
From New Wine Magazine, April 1982.Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965 Arizona Medical Association.Davis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He is a practicing ophthalmologist, 

[6]  Ben Witherington III, nook review: "Jesus and The Eyewitnesses," Bible History Daily, published by the Biblical Archaeological society. (December 31, 2011)

[7]  "the Historical Reliability of the Gospel of John" Kermit Zarley blog (Oct 8, 2018)

[8]Richard Bauckham,"Introduction,"  The Testimony of the Beloved  Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John. Grand Rapids Mi: Backer Academic, 9

 ADDENDUM: Answers to Bowen's 10 points.

These are Bowen's "10 things"that supposedly demonstrate that John cannot be taken seriously as a historical source. Thus we can't accept the clear liquid as post mortem evidence on Jesus' death. Even though he calls these "detailed" they are not This is not the way textual criticism works. Thus I will only give thumb nails answers, I will do a full blog piece on this soon,.

POINT #1: The 4th Gospel was probably NOT written by an eyewitness of the life, ministry, or crucifixion of Jesus.

Answer: The point of Bauckham's entire book Jesus and the eye witnesses, us to show that the work is full of eyewitness testimony he points to and proves a huge number. Showing a specific page is irrelevant because it's all over the book. There is oneset of page in particular ,however, as they show his argument for the main authorship of the books is the eye witness "Edler John" named by Papias, 420-425

POINT #2: The 4th Gospel is the least historically reliable of the four Gospels.

That is taken out by Bauckham and the three sources Zarely names (see the main article) as evidence if scholarship supporting John's reliability. Bowen's understanding of Biblical scholarship is false. Just having some mistake in John does not invalidate all of John. This answer and the one above actually do take out all 10 points.

Paul Andersen, 
Felix Just, 
and Tom Thatcher, 
Bauckham names John Aston, 
J.Louis Martyn

POINT #3:The account of the trial and crucifixion in the 4th Gospel conflicts with the trial and crucifixion accounts in other Gospels.

Answer: 2 problems,

(1) he gives no details there's a good possibility what he calls "conflict" can be harmonized.He has to present the conflicts. It's meaningless otherwise,

(2) He commits the inerrant fallacy, the idea that one mistake in a given biblical document means that we can't trust anything in the document,

POINT #4: Internal conflicts in this passage cast doubt on the historicity and reliability of this passage.

Answer: I have answers. Sorry not enough, he claimed he had a detailed list, this is not detail. It's totally general. this is no better than me simply saying I have answers.
Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
POINT #5: This passage is reasonably viewed as “prophecy historicized’, thus there is a good chance that Kreeft’s two key historical claims are FICTIONAL.

Answer: (1)Since he doesn't say what they are he can't prove I make the same clam. Nor can he prove that historicized prophecy doesn't use real history.

(2)no OT prophesy invokes water flowing from Messiah's side

POINT #6: Other gospels provide no corroboration of the two key historical claims that Kreeft derives from this passage in the 4th gospel.

Answer: The Source has credibility as I document in the main arithmetic. Simce

POINT #7: Other gospels provide no corroboration of Jewish leaders asking Pilate to remove bodies from crosses before the Sabbath day began.

Answer:totally unnecessary we we know they did it they had to.Hebrew Law. we know it from history.

POINT #8: Other gospels provide no corroboration of a wound in Jesus’ side.

Answer: no reason to make it up they had no it;s importance. We know from history the Roans did do that.

POINT #9: Other gospels provide no corroboration of the beloved disciple at the foot of the cross.

Answer: Bauckham argues for Elder john as author (making him the BD) which means he is attested as historical by Papias. The witness at the cross did not have to be the same guy who wrote the gospel He just had to report it to the author,

POINT #10: Other gospels provide no corroboration of stories about the beloved disciple.

Answer: Papias proves Elder john existed, Backham proves he was the BD.

"Bowen-Hinman debate: Papias" no date listed

The problem for Bradley's view is that while Bauckham does think that there were two Johns it's far from saying that Papias did not have direct access to an eye witness to Jesus. His book is called Jesus and the Eyewitnesses and he believes that EJ is one of the eyewitnesses. Not only that but Baukham believes that Elder John wrote the Gospel of John.[pp 420-425]