It is not my intent to get any of the good Christian folk upset with this post. Our whole life comes down to what you believe or know about in this case, as black folk say, “our Jesus.” This has always vexed me. Nonetheless, let’s clear up something first; Jesus was not blonde haired blue eyed and surely not a white man – I repeat Jesus was NOT a white man, if he existed at all. Supposedly, he came from Palestine, and those people were not white. So maybe an open minded person will see the fallacy proposed in that fact and, therefore, the basic premise of the story is untrue.
Just as with it with the date of his birth, and where he was born. What we think we know are falsehoods and there is equally as much doubt about the fallacies surrounding his death. I will, however, say this is the greatest story ever told. In a new book Crucifixion’s a Doddle by Julian Doyle, he uses ancient texts, religious artworks, and the Bible itself to refute some of the most common-held beliefs about the death of Jesus.
He points out something that I never thought about, which is the popular image that has become the image of Jesus’ death on the immense wooden cross; when there were so few trees in Judea. Further, he points out that the Romans executed criminals by impaling them, while Jewish law preferred stoning them, and asks why there were no images of the cross for almost four centuries after Jesus’ death?
After he realized something was wrong with what we have been told. He researched the earliest images of Jesus being crucified, but there are none. Okay, we have seen millions of such paintings, but there are none for hundreds of years after his death. It is not until the fourth century that scenes of the Crucifixion of Jesus began to appear, almost exactly 400 years after the event. No church before this date even had a crucifixion image. So around AD 430 the image, we know this concept was invented.
In the pictures, we’ve all seen the executioner is up a ladder, which is leaning on the cross. The cross had to be set deep in the ground to stay up from the weight of both men; something to think about? The purpose of a Crucifixion is to put the body on show, as a deterrent, as long as possible. Upright like a banner, struggling with pain, degraded and dehumanized, till it rotted.
In the Bible, Jesus is raised on the cross at either 9 or 12 o’clock and is dead by 3 pm. Many scholars say it takes a lot longer than four hours for a person to die. So the likelihood of someone dying in such a short period of time seems impossible. To cover this criticism the Gospel of John, tries to suggest Jesus was speared in the side to prove he was dead. Problem is it says: “and immediately blood and water came out.” Which means the heart is pumping so he is evidently not dead.
Next, he explains that crucifixion was not the method of capital punishment used by the Romans. Look at this from the Jewish historian Josephus, writing at the time: “Varus sent his army into the country, to seek out the authors of the revolt; he punished those that were most guilty: the number who were crucified on this account were two thousand.” He asks how can these numbers possibly be? Where are all these trees coming from, not to mention the tons of nails (6,000)? The answer strangely is just a matter of translation.
The word we translate from crucifix – stauros does not actually mean crucifix at all. Here is the full dictionary definition: “The word stauros comes from the Ancient Greek histemi: ‘straighten up,’ the same root from which come the German Stern, or the English ‘stand.’ In classical Greek, until the early 4th century BC, stauros meant an upright stake, pole, or which might be used in impaling. In the literature of that time, it never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always one piece alone.”
Jesus’ crime was blasphemy, so why does the High Priest take Jesus to Pilate? Blasphemy has nothing to do with the Romans. The crime is punishable would have been by stoning, which is clearly decided by the Jews themselves. Crucifixion is the Roman punishment for rebellion.
Deuteronomy 21:22 says Jewish law about stoning: “If a man is guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body hung on a tree, you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse”’. Another important point to make her; Pilate could not have crucified Jesus because the Roman governor left Judea years before Jesus’ death.
Jesus’ two-year mission begins after the death of John the Baptist. If John had been killed eight years before the destruction of Herod’s army, surely nobody would link the two events? The destruction of the army in 36 AD must have been no more than six months to a year after the Baptist’s death, for them to be linked, which places his death in AD 35. If Jesus’ two-year mission began, then he would still be alive in 38 AD. Pilate left Judea in 36 AD.
Just the fact that trees were clearly a scarce and valuable commodity; why use them just to kill criminals? I understand that all of this comes down to faith and faith is to believe what is unseen and believing it to be truth. This is just a collection of thoughts that may or not cause you to rethink what you believe. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…