Royal Society of Medicine weighs in on the crucifixion

The Royal Society of Medicine (RMS) has made a statement about the manner of Jesus' crucifixion. Now, before proceeding, let me hightlight the following quote from the article: "The authors do not express any doubt on the act of Jesus' crucifixion itself." That is so important to note in any article about Jesus crucifixion in the age of travesties like The Jesus Papers. Anyway . . . .

The bottom line of the news article entitled "Image of Jesus' crucifixion may be wrong, says study" is that we cannot be certain that Jesus was crucified in a head up, arms extended position as depicted on many crucifixes and paintings of the crucifixion. The Romans did not always crucify people in the same way, and the means of crucifixion may have varied depending upon the status of the person being crucified and the crime they are accused of having committed.

Their crucifixion methods probably evolved over time and depended on the social status of the victim and on the crime he allegedly committed, says the paper in April's issue of the RSM journal.

The cross could be erected "in any one of a range of orientations", with the victim sometimes head-up, sometimes head-down or in different postures.

Sometimes he was nailed to the cross by his genitals, sometimes the hands and feet were attached to the side of the cross and not the front, or affixed with cords rather than nails.

"If crucified head-up, the victim's weight may also have been supported on a small seat. This was believed to prolong the time it took a man to die," says the study, co-authored by Matthew Masien, also of Imperial College London's medicine faculty.

For purposes of apologetics, I find this article interesting, but say "so what?" It really does not make any claims that counter what the Gospels portray -- Jesus was crucified and had nails driven through this hands (probably the wrists) and feet (probably the ankles). The fact that the Romans may have crucified people using different techniques over time and dependent upon the nature of the offense does not in any way show that Jesus was not crucified in exactly the manner shown in the Gospels.

Comments

Jennifer said…
Very interesting! You've given me yet another challenging topic to explore. Thanks.

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