Jesus’s crucifixion is one of the most famous images in history, with countless films, books and paintings having depicted the scene.
Consistently, Jesus is shown as having been nailed to cross. But as Good Friday approaches, one scholar has asked why that is it.
Meredith J C Warren, lecturer in biblical and religious studies at University of Sheffield, says that little evidence exists to back it.
In an article for The Conversation, she writes that “since the evidence from antiquity doesn’t provide a clear answer as to whether Jesus was nailed or tied to his cross, it’s tradition that dictates this common depiction.”
“Those who have seen the film The Passion of the Christ will recall how much time the director, Mel Gibson, devoted just to the act of nailing Jesus onto the cross – almost five whole minutes.
Constanza gemstone with the executed Christ, encompassed by 12 missionaries. (English Musem CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
“Given the relative hush on the demonstration of execution in the Gospels, this emerges as a realistic extension. One of the main movies that does not accept that torturous killing included nails is Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which demonstrates numerous execution casualties, however not Jesus, attached to their crosses.”
Warren contends that “romans did not generally nail execution casualties to their crosses, and rather some of the time tied them set up with rope.”
“Actually,” she composes, “the main archeological confirmation for the act of nailing torturous killing casualties is a lower leg bone from the tomb of Jehohanan, a man executed in the principal century CE.”
The researcher additionally says that a few accounts are conflicting with regards to the story of Jesus’ torturous killing.
“None of the Gospels in the New Testament notice whether Jesus was nailed or attached to the cross. Notwithstanding, the Gospel of John reports wounds in the risen Jesus’ hands. It is this entry, maybe, that has prompted the staggering custom that Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to the cross, instead of attached to it.”
She contends that numerous early portrayals likewise don’t demonstrate Jesus’ hands nailed to the cross.
Researchers surmise that the Constanza gemstone, as it is known, dates from the fourth century CE. In this delineation, Jesus’ hands don’t have all the earmarks of being nailed to the cross, since they fall actually, as though he is tied at the wrists.”
You can read the full article here.
(Credit: Peter Gertner Crucifixion Walters)