In a message dated 98-12-20 17:00:11 EST, firstname.lastname@example.org (Spike Jones)write:
>could not the
>ollowers of jesus christ have given him death-simulating drugs in
>order to get the romans to release his body, then revived him and
>set up a resurrection story? just a thought.
Seems to demand more medical knowledge than they displayed. In any case, according to the story, the Romans didn't want him dead anyway, so they wouldn't have required much persuasion. In no version is Jesus up there long enough to kill a healthy man in his thirties. That normally takes days with crucifixion. My speculative take on the real-world origin of the Passion story is that at some point the Romans were coerced into crucifying somebody they didn't want dead. After a couple hours they said "he's dead" and took him down. Later the guy shows up and naturally the rumor starts up that he rose from the dead.
Of course, maybe it's just a story. Our only source of information is the Gospels, which are horribly corrupted with mistranslation, additions, and stuff from other myths. Still, I'm inclined to think there's some reality behind it.