Further, an even stronger refutation of the swoon theory is gained from the medical conclusion that the Roman lance entered Jesus’ heart, the final assurance of death by crucifixion as recorded by Roman author Quintilian (Declarationes maiores6.9). The gospel writer probably never understood the medical significance of what he recorded, for which eyewitness testimony is claimed (John 19:34–35). Medical doctors who have studied this issue usually agree that this is a very accurate medical description. The water probably proceeded from the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart, while the blood came from the right side of the heart. Even if Jesus was alive before he was stabbed, the lance would almost certainly have killed him.^17 Therefore, this chest wound also disproves the swoon theory.
We have noted three major problems that are sufficient to refute the swoon hypothesis. The physical condition of Jesus (as advocated by Strauss), the nature of death on the cross by asphyxiation, and the study of Jesus’ chest wound combine to eliminate this theory. Additionally, we witnessed the difficulties above (with Schonfield and Joyce) in the actual implementation of this view. Neither are these the only key problems. For example, this thesis cannot account for the conversions of James, the brother of Jesus, and especially Paul, from their skepticism to Christianity. Therefore, it is no surprise that this hypothesis is rejected today by critics.^18 Qumran Connections
17 For examples of physicians who deal with this issue, see William D. Edwards, Wesley J.Gabel, and Floyd E. Hosmer, “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,” Journal of the American Medical Associationvol. 255, No. 11, 21 March 1986; Robert Bucklin, “The Legal and Medical Aspects of the Trial and Death of Christ,” Medicine, Science and the Law(January, 1970); C. Truman Davis, “The Crucifixion of Jesus: The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View,” in Arizona Medicine, March, 1965, pp. 183–187; Pierre Barbet, A Doctor at Calvary(Garden City: Doubleday, 1953); Robert Wassenar, “A Physician Looks at the Suffering of Christ” in Moody Monthly, 79/7, March 1979, pp. 41– 42; James H. Jewell, Jr., and Patricia A. Didden, “A Surgeon Looks at the Cross,” in Voice, 58/2, March-April, 1979, pp. 3–5.