The swoon theory was advanced by the German theologian and Biblical critic Heinrich Paulus (Miller, Jesus Christ is Alive, 38). This idea asserts that Christ suffered terribly on the cross, He suffered from shock, and swooned but did not die. The disciples thought he was dead (and apparently so did the Roman guards and Dr. Luke) so Jesus was buried in haste due to the approaching Sabbath. While in the cool air of the tomb, Jesus awakened. John Stott responds,
[Can we really believe] that after the rigours and pains of trial, mockery, flogging and crucifixion he could survive…in a stone sepulcher with neither warmth nor food nor medical care? That he could then rally sufficiently to perform the superhuman feat of shifting the boulder which secured the mouth of the tomb…without disturbing the Roman guard? That he could appear to the disciples in such a way as to give them the impression that he had vanquished death? … Such credulity is more incredible than Thomas’ unbelief (Stott, Basic Christianity, 49).