True Jew: How Jesus Really Ended Up on a Roman Cross, How We Still Cover It Up

Christians must understand that for Jews the cross is a symbol of oppression

Given the history of Christian antisemitism, using the murder of 6 million Jews as a pretext for converting Jews to Christianity is mind-bogglingly offensive. As Jews commemorate Yom HaShoah on Sunday, the only proper Christian response to the Holocaust ought to be one of contrition and an acknowledgment of the ways in which Christian antisemitism prepared its ideological ground. Instead, the film That Jew Died for You uses the Holocaust for Christian propaganda, ending with a quote from the book of Isaiah that evangelical Christians have long used to explain the meaning of Jesus's death on the cross: The idea here is that Jesus's death is a punishment by God for human wickedness.

He pays the price of human sin on our behalf. This understanding of what Christians mean by salvation — known technically as penal substitutionary atonement — was actually unknown in the early church, though some Christians seem to think it is the only way of understanding the cross. They ignore the fact that it transforms God into some sort of psychopath who murders his own son as a magical way of dealing with endemic human wickedness.

When set in the Holocaust, it doubles the offence by implying that the gas chambers are also a sort of payback by God for human wrongdoing. Even in terms of Christian theology, penal substitution is a mistake, not least because it doesn't give the resurrection any work to do in the economy of human salvation. Indeed, there are multiple other readings of the cross, which do not rely on this payback model but, out of respect, I am not going to go into that here.

While Christians regard the cross as an inevitable part of human salvation, for Jews it remains a symbol of centuries of oppression. And the right and proper Christian response to this is a confession of complicity, not a trumpeting of theological superiority. Topics Judaism Loose canon. Order by newest oldest recommendations.

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Depictions of the crucifixion

Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Only a great writer can share the suffering of Auschwitz. Although the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, as well as other sources, [ which? This was discovered at Givat HaMivtar , Jerusalem in The only reason these archaeological remains were preserved was because family members gave this particular individual a customary burial.

The remains were found accidentally in an ossuary with the crucified man's name on it, ' Jehohanan , the son of Hagakol'.

The position of the nail relative to the bone indicates that the feet had been nailed to the cross from their side, not from their front; various opinions have been proposed as to whether they were both nailed together to the front of the cross or one on the left side, one on the right side. The point of the nail had olive wood fragments on it indicating that he was crucified on a cross made of olive wood or on an olive tree.

Since olive trees are not very tall, this would suggest that the condemned was crucified at eye level. Additionally, a piece of acacia wood was located between the bones and the head of the nail, presumably to keep the condemned from freeing his foot by sliding it over the nail. His legs were found broken, possibly to hasten his death.

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It wasn't just the Old Testament material that was used to augment the Passion story. Eventually, Emperor Constantine put an end to crucifixion as a method of execution, not for ethical reasons, but out of respect for Jesus. University of Hawaii Press. Constantine the Great , the first Christian emperor , abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire in out of veneration for Jesus Christ , its most famous victim. The Gospel of Peter , a non-canonical gospel from the first or second century CE, specifically describes in verse 21 how after Jesus had died, the nails were removed from his hands. He pretty much followed the Jewish law, departing from it only in the name of what he saw as its deeper meaning. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

It is thought that because in Roman times iron was rare, the nails were removed from the dead body to conserve costs. According to Haas, this could help to explain why only one nail has been found, as the tip of the nail in question was bent in such a way that it could not be removed. Haas had also identified a scratch on the inner surface of the right radius bone of the forearm, close to the wrist. He deduced from the form of the scratch, as well as from the intact wrist bones, that a nail had been driven into the forearm at that position.

However, many of Haas' findings have been challenged. For instance, it was subsequently determined that the scratches in the wrist area were non-traumatic — and, therefore, not evidence of crucifixion — while reexamination of the heel bone revealed that the two heels were not nailed together, but rather separately to either side of the upright post of the cross. Crucifixion or impalement , in one form or another, was used by Persians , Carthaginians , and Macedonians. The Greeks were generally opposed to performing crucifixions.

This barbarity, unusual on the part of Greeks, may be explained by the enormity of the outrage or by Athenian deference to local feeling. Some Christian theologians , beginning with Paul of Tarsus writing in Galatians 3: This reference is to being hanged from a tree, and may be associated with lynching or traditional hanging.

However, Rabbinic law limited capital punishment to just 4 methods of execution: Investigate and seek and know how Jonah wept. Thus, you shall not destroy the weak by wasting away or by Let not the nail touch him. Alexander the Great is reputed to have crucified 2, survivors from his siege of the Phoenician city of Tyre , [71] as well as the doctor who unsuccessfully treated Alexander's friend Hephaestion. Some historians have also conjectured that Alexander crucified Callisthenes , his official historian and biographer, for objecting to Alexander's adoption of the Persian ceremony of royal adoration.

In Carthage , crucifixion was an established mode of execution, which could even be imposed on generals for suffering a major defeat. The oldest crucifixion may be a post-mortem one mentioned by Herodotus. Polycrates , the tyrant of Samos , was put to death in B. The hypothesis that the Ancient Roman custom of crucifixion may have developed out of a primitive custom of arbori suspendere —hanging on an arbor infelix "inauspicious tree" dedicated to the gods of the nether world—is rejected by William A.

Oldfather, who shows that this form of execution the supplicium more maiorum , punishment in accordance with the custom of our ancestors consisted of suspending someone from a tree, not dedicated to any particular gods, and flogging him to death. Crassus crucified 6, of Spartacus' followers hunted down and captured after his defeat in battle. He also says that the Roman soldiers would amuse themselves by crucifying criminals in different positions.

Constantine the Great , the first Christian emperor , abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire in out of veneration for Jesus Christ , its most famous victim.

What's 'true' about the cross that killed Jesus?

Crucifixion was intended to be a gruesome spectacle: It was originally reserved for slaves hence still called "supplicium servile" by Seneca , and later extended to citizens of the lower classes humiliores. According to Roman law, if a slave killed his or her master, all of the master's slaves would be crucified as punishment. One of the only specific female crucifixions we have documented is that of Ida, a freedwoman former slave who was crucified by order of Tiberius. Crucifixion was typically carried out by specialized teams, consisting of a commanding centurion and his soldiers. The convict then usually had to carry the horizontal beam patibulum in Latin to the place of execution, but not necessarily the whole cross.

During the death march, the prisoner, probably [96] still nude after the scourging, [95] would be led through the most crowded streets [87] bearing a titulus — a sign board proclaiming the prisoner's name and crime. There may have been considerable variation in the position in which prisoners were nailed to their crosses and how their bodies were supported while they died. Justin Martyr calls the seat a cornu , or "horn," [98] leading some scholars to believe it may have had a pointed shape designed to torment the crucified person.

In Roman-style crucifixion, the condemned could take up to a few days to die, but death was sometimes hastened by human action. Islam spread in a region where many societies, including the Persian and Roman empires, had used crucifixion to punish traitors, rebels, robbers and criminal slaves. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: The corpus of hadith provides contradictory statements about the first use of crucifixion under Islamic rule, attributing it variously to Muhammad himself for murder and robbery of a shepherd or to the second caliph Umar applied to two slaves who murdered their mistress.

Most classical jurists limit the period of crucifixion to three days. Crucifixion was introduced into Japan during the Sengoku period — , after a year period with no capital punishment. Several related crucifixion techniques were used. Petra Schmidt, in "Capital Punishment in Japan", writes: Execution by crucifixion included, first of all, hikimawashi i. The cross was raised, the convict speared several times from two sides, and eventually killed with a final thrust through the throat.

The corpse was left on the cross for three days. If one condemned to crucifixion died in prison, his body was pickled and the punishment executed on the dead body. Under Toyotomi Hideyoshi , one of the great 16th-century unifiers, crucifixion upside down i. Water crucifixion mizuharitsuke awaited mostly Christians: In twenty-six Christian Martyrs were nailed to crosses at Nagasaki , Japan. The executions marked the beginning of a long history of persecution of Christianity in Japan , which continued until its decriminalization in Crucifixion was used as a punishment for prisoners of war during World War II.

Ringer Edwards , an Australian prisoner of war, was crucified for killing cattle, along with two others. He survived 63 hours before being let down. In Burma , crucifixion was a central element in several execution rituals. Felix Carey, a missionary in Burma from to , [] wrote the following: Four or five persons, after being nailed through their hands and feet to a scaffold, had first their tongues cut out, then their mouths slit open from ear to ear, then their ears cut off, and finally their bellies ripped open.

Six people were crucified in the following manner: Four persons were crucified, viz. In this posture they were to remain till death; every thing they wished to eat was ordered them with a view to prolong their lives and misery. In cases like this, the legs and feet of the criminals begin to swell and mortify at the expiration of three or four days; some are said to live in this state for a fortnight, and expire at last from fatigue and mortification.

Those which I saw, were liberated at the end of three or four days. During World War I , there were persistent rumors that German soldiers had crucified a Canadian soldier on a tree or barn door with bayonets or combat knives.

Two investigations, one a post-war official investigation, and the other an independent investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation , concluded that there was no evidence to support the story. It has been reported that crucifixion was used in several cases against the German civil population of East Prussia when it was occupied by Soviet forces at the end of the Second World War. Crucifixion is still used as a rare method of execution in some countries. Several people have been executed by crucifixion in Saudi Arabia in the s, although on occasion they were first beheaded and then crucified.

Most recently, in March , a robber was set to be executed by being crucified for three days. Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr was arrested in when he was 17 years old for taking part in an anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring. Theoretically, crucifixion is still one of the Hadd punishments in Iran.

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Sudan 's penal code , based upon the government's interpretation of shari'a , [] [] [] includes execution followed by crucifixion as a penalty. When, in , 88 people were sentenced to death for crimes relating to murder, armed robbery, and participating in ethnic clashes, Amnesty International wrote that they could be executed by either hanging or crucifixion. Crucifixion is a legal punishment in the United Arab Emirates. On 30 April Islamic extremists carried out a total of seven public executions in Raqqa , northern Syria. On 22 January , an anti-government activist and member of AutoMaidan was kidnapped by unknown parties and tortured for a week.

His captors kept him in the dark, beat him, cut off a piece of his ear, and nailed him to a cross. His captors ultimately left him in a forest outside Kiev after forcing him to confess to being an American spy and accepting money from the US Embassy in Ukraine to organize protests against then-President Viktor Yanukovych. In , a video surfaced depicting members of the Azov Battalion , an official regiment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, allegedly crucifying a separatist rebel of Novorossiya and burning him alive.

Therein they declare, "all the separatists, traitors of Ukraine and militia fighters [sic] will be treated the same". The Azov Battalion is associated with neo-Nazism and flaunts symbols associated with the SS such as the wolfsangel and black sun. They allegedly sent the video to the pro-Russian hacktivist organization CyberBerkut, which responded by threatening to take no Ukrainian Army soldiers or militia fighters as prisoners from then on.

The authenticity of this video is unconfirmed.

Arrest and Execution

Allegory of Poland — , postcard by Sergey Solomko. The Catholic Church frowns upon self-crucifixion as a form of devotion: In the Philippines , some Catholics are voluntarily, non-lethally crucified for a limited time on Good Friday to imitate the sufferings of Christ. Pre-sterilised nails are driven through the palm of the hand between the bones, while there is a footrest to which the feet are nailed. Rolando del Campo, a carpenter in Pampanga , vowed to be crucified every Good Friday for 15 years if God would carry his wife through a difficult childbirth, [] while in San Pedro Cutud , Ruben Enaje has been crucified 27 times.

The Department of Health insists that participants in the rites should have tetanus shots and that the nails used should be sterilized. In other cases, a crucifixion is only simulated within a passion play , as in the ceremonial re-enactment that has been performed yearly in the town of Iztapalapa , on the outskirts of Mexico City , since , [] and in the more famous Oberammergau Passion Play. Also, since at least the midth century, a group of flagellants in New Mexico , called Hermanos de Luz "Brothers of Light" , have annually conducted reenactments of Christ's crucifixion during Holy Week , in which a penitent is tied—but not nailed—to a cross.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Crucifixion disambiguation. Crux simplex , a simple wooden stake. Image by Justus Lipsius. The crucifixion of Jesus. Image by Justus Lipsius [27]. Instrument of Jesus' crucifixion. The Alexamenos graffito , a satirical representation of the Christian worship, depicting a man worshiping a crucified donkey Rome, c AD 85 to 3rd century.

Visible at the museum on the Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy left. A modern-day tracing right. Crucifixion in the arts. Antisemitic American political cartoon, Sound Money magazine, April 15, issue. Crucifixion in the Philippines. This section needs additional citations for verification.

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. It is not clear, however, whether the inscription was written by the same person who drew the picture, or added by another person later. It is also not known whether the grafitto is intended to depict an actual event, as distinguished from, perhaps, the writer's desire for someone to be crucified, or as a jest.

As such, the grafitto does not itself provide conclusive evidence of female crucifixion. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. Retrieved 12 December Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association. Retrieved 1 June Harvard University Press, 2: The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach. Jesus and Greco-Roman Masculinity. Two Details of the Passion Narratives". Journal for the Study of the New Testament. De cruce , p.

BBC - Religions - Christianity: The Passion of Christ

It is a second-century graffiti scratched into a wall that was part of the imperial palace complex. It shows crude stick-figures of a boy reverencing his 'God', who has the head of a jackass and is upon a cross with arms spread wide and with hands nailed to the crossbeam. Here we have a Roman sketch of a Roman crucifixion, and it is in the traditional cross shape.