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Jesus may not have died on the cross, Christian scholar claims.


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Jesus may not have died on the cross, Christian scholar claims.

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 6:03 AM on 24th June 2010

Jesus may not have died nailed to the cross because there is no evidence

that the Romans crucified prisoners two thousand years ago, a scholar

has claimed.

The legend of his execution is based on the traditions of the Christian

church and artistic illustrations rather than antique texts, according

to theologian Gunnar Samuelsson.

He claims the Bible has been misinterpreted as there are no explicit

references the use of nails or to crucifixion - only that Jesus bore a

'staurus' towards Calvary which is not necessarily a cross but can also

mean a 'pole'.

Mr Samuelsson, who has written a 400-page thesis after studying the

original texts, said: 'The problem is descriptions of crucifixions are

remarkably absent in the antique literature.

'The sources where you would expect to find support for the established

understanding of the event really don't say anything.'

The ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew literature from Homer to the first

century AD describe an arsenal of suspension punishments but none

mention 'crosses' or 'crucifixion'.

Mr Samuelsson, of Gothenburg University, said: 'Consequently, the

contemporary understanding of crucifixion as a punishment is severely

challenged.

'And what's even more challenging is the same can be concluded about the

accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus. The New Testament doesn't say as

much as we'd like to believe.'

Any evidence that Jesus was left to die after being nailed to a cross is

strikingly sparse - both in the ancient pre-Christian and extra-Biblical

literature as well as The Bible.

He said: 'The overwhelming number of texts only offer a noun "stauros"

or a verb "anastauroun" or "anaskolopizein". In almost every dictionary

these terms are said to mean "cross" or "to crucify".

'But as I show in my thesis they are used in a much wider sense than

that. The verbs refer to some kind of suspension of a human being -

living or dead - while the noun refer to the suspension device used in

such suspension.'

Mr Samuelsson, a committed Christian himself, admitted his claims are so

close to the heart of his faith that it is easy to react emotionally

instead of logically.

He said: 'My question deals with the traditional understanding of the

death of Jesus - that He carried a cross-beam toward Calvary, but since

he could not stand the burden of the cross a passer-by was forced to

carry it for him.

'On Calvary the rest of the cross was awaiting, that the two parts were

conjoined and Jesus was then nailed to the crucifix-like cross.

'As a matter of fact these text are strikingly silent when it comes to

depict the actual event. The texts say that Jesus carried a stauros,

which has a much wider usage in antiquity than just referring to a

"cross", towards Calvary, to be "stauroun" - which is used in a much

wider sense that just "to crucify".

'The text is silent about why Jesus carried a stauros, what that looked

like - was it the whole execution tool or just a part such as the

cross-beam - and why a passer-by was forced to carry it for Jesus.'

Mr Samuelsson said the actual execution texts do not describe how Christ

was attached to the execution device.

He said: 'This is the heart of the problem. The text of the passion

narratives is not that exact and information loaded, as we Christians

sometimes want it to be. If you are looking for texts that depict the

act of nailing persons to a cross you will not find any beside the

Gospels.'

Mr Samuelsson said: 'That a man named Jesus existed in that part of the

world and in that time is well-documented. He left a rather good

foot-print in the literature of the time.

'I do believe that the mentioned man is the son of God. My suggestion is

not that Christians should reject or doubt the biblical text.

'My suggestion is that we should read the text as it is, not as we think

it is. We should read on the lines, not between the lines. The text of

the Bible is sufficient. We do not need to add anything.'

Article Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1289136/Jesus-died-cross-Christian-scholar-claims.html#ixzz0s4GWu7G9

- Bob Angle Jr.

{posted via email}

 


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Interesting. I agree with his statement about people reacting "emotionally instead of logically" to the facts about that. I spoke to my grandmother on that topic once and she, after looking at the facts presented, said "Yeah I guess you're right. But it doesn't matter because no one will ever want to change it" and then she put it behind her and forgot about it.

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They are used to sentiment and family tradition... So hard for some folks

to break... Sad but true. :-( Sometimes it's even a matter of honor and

they're willing to die for it. :-(

On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:06 PM, Angela Gardner wrote:

> Interesting. I agree with his statement about people reacting "emotionally

> instead of logically" to the facts about that. I spoke to my grandmother on

> that topic once and she, after looking at the facts presented, said "Yeah I

> guess you're right. But it doesn't matter because no one will ever want to

> change it" and then she put it behind her and forgot about it.

>

> ----------------------------------------

> Subject: Re: Jesus may not have died on the cross, Christian scholar

> claims.

> Posted by Angela Gardner

> Link to topic:

> http://members.jwtalk.net/yhwh/read.php?10,17780,17792#msg-17792

> ----------------------------------------

>

>

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  • 3 months later...

Here is another, and even better article, published by ABC news....

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/jesus-christ-died-cross-scholar/story?id=11066130

Someone forwarded this to me. I blogged about it here, and highlighted the portions of the article I thought were very interesting...

https://robertangle.com/ruminations/jesus-christ-may-not-have-died-on-cross/


Edited by Dismal_Bliss

Fixed my blog link

 


I have a website about healthy low carb eating, nutrition, and weight loss. Come join CarnivoreTalk.com and learn more!

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  • 1 year later...

SURPRISE SURPRISE!!! (HA!)

Subject: ABC News says Jesus Christ May Not Have Died on Cross

Jesus Christ May Not Have Died on Cross

No Evidence in Ancient Sources Backs Up Defining Symbol of Christianity, Scholar Says

By RUSSELL GOLDMAN

July 2, 2010

For 2,000 years the crucifix has been a potent symbol of both Jesus Christ's death and Christianity. Now one Swedish theologian says that despite the crucifix's proliferation in art and literature, there is scant evidence in the Bible or other ancient sources to indicate that Christ was killed on a cross.

People carry a crucifix while taking part in the Christ the Savior procession on the beach of... http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/jesus-christ-died-cross-scholar/story?id=11066130&page=1

(Diego Tuson/AFP/Getty Images)

Gunnar Samuelsson, an evangelical preacher and theologian, says he spent three years combing thousands of ancient texts to research his recently completed 400-page doctoral thesis "Crucifixion in Antiquity."

What he discovered, he said, "came as a shock." While there were numerous references to "suspension devices" used for executions at the time of Christ's death, he could find no explicit references to the classic T-shaped cross.

"There is no distinct punishment called 'crucifixion,' no distinct punishment device called a 'crucifix' anywhere mentioned in any of the ancient texts including the Gospels," he told ABCNews.com.

Samuelsson devoutly believes the story of Jesus' death and resurrection, but says for generations people have misinterpreted and mistranslated the Greek word "stauros" to mean crucifix, when really the term just means a suspension device, which might have been anything such as a "pole or a tree trunk." The earliest versions of the New Testament were written in Greek.

"If you chose to just read the text and ignore the art and theology, there is quite a small amount of information about the crucifixion. Jesus, the Bible says, carried something called a stauros out to Calvary . Everyone thought it meant cross, but it does not only mean cross. We cannot say every instance of this noun, stauros refers to a cross," Samuelsson said.

Suspension devices, basically tall polls or pikes, were routinely used in the ancient world, by the Romans and their contemporaries, both as execution devices and for displaying the bodies of executed criminals and enemies as a public warning.

Part of what tipped Samuelson off to the apparent mistranslation, were routine references to things like fruits and dead animals being "crucified" in ancient texts, when translating the word as "suspended" makes more sense.

Samuelsson, a 44-year-old pastor who is completing his research at the University of Gothenburg , says, "I am not saying no 'crucifixions' took place in the ancient world. But we cannot find evidence of them in the ancient texts," he added.

Given that the Romans were careful record keepers who wrote detailed and gruesome histories about their military conquests and lengthy legal treatises, it is strange that they would not have written plainly about their execution methods, he explained.

Samuelson says the idea of suspension devices would have been understood in the ancient world and by the contemporaries of Jesus.

"If you were walking around Galilee and heard Jesus say he will be suspended in days, people would have an understanding of the kind of torture involved."

While the Gospels mention Jesus' suspension, none specify a cross, according to Samuelson. Furthermore, the passion is described differently in different Gospels and has been depicted in various ways throughout history.

"In the movie the 'Passion of Christ,' Jesus carries the whole cross on his back. In some scholarly works, he just carries the cross beam. Nails are not mentioned before the passion and only mentioned in one book after he is executed," he said.

Samuelson said he never expected the international reaction his thesis has already received. He originally printed just 200 copies that he thought would be read by family and friends. He said he hoped scholars would be intrigued by his work, but has been surprised by the worldwide attention.

The Bee

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When I was still in Christendom I never gave it a second thought. You know, no matter what the shape of the instrument was, why would anyone want to wear the symbol of the method of execution or of a loved ones death around their neck? I had a cousin die in a car wreck, two family members who shot themselves, etc. I don't wear a little golden car or little golden gun around my neck. The method of death has nothing to do with the Resurrection. That is purely Jehovah.

Get more exercise....walk with Jehovah!

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The Uffizi Art Gallery of Florence Italy is famous for it's many paintings by Italian artists Botticelli, Michaelangelo,Raphael etc. However, the highlight for us when we visited there 34 years ago was of 2 of the ancient Greek/Roman sculptures of criminals nailed to upright stakes/tree trunks at one end of corridor 3 of the famous gallery:

72221=4024-File1 (536 x 336).jpg When we returned to the congregation and showed them this picture of the sculptures in the Florence guidebook and elderly sister commented that she had seen 2 just like them in the Vatican museum years before, but they were no longer there when she went in later years and wondered if these were them and they had been removed to Florence, or does the Pope still have 2 others now in storage where the 'evidence' will no longer raise questions.

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When I was still in Christendom I never gave it a second thought. You know, no matter what the shape of the instrument was, why would anyone want to wear the symbol of the method of execution or of a loved ones death around their neck? I had a cousin die in a car wreck, two family members who shot themselves, etc. I don't wear a little golden car or little golden gun around my neck. The method of death has nothing to do with the Resurrection. That is purely Jehovah.

That is the same way I feel about it - why would you wear what you perceive as the method of execution? Shows how perverted the thinking is.

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The Uffizi Art Gallery of Florence Italy is famous for it's many paintings by Italian artists Botticelli' date=' Michaelangelo,Raphael etc. However, the highlight for us when we visited there 34 years ago was of 2 of the ancient Greek/Roman sculptures of criminals nailed to upright stakes/tree trunks at one end of corridor 3 of the famous gallery:

72221=4024-File1 (536 x 336).jpg When we returned to the congregation and showed them this picture of the sculptures in the Florence guidebook and elderly sister commented that she had seen 2 just like them in the Vatican museum years before, but they were no longer there when she went in later years and wondered if these were them and they had been removed to Florence, or does the Pope still have 2 others now in storage where the 'evidence' will no longer raise questions.[/quote'] Thanks for posting. This is very interesting.

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  • 4 weeks later...

you made my day brother .this is like hit the nail on the head one time without bending it.

That's what I liked in the old blue 'Truth' book about the cross: "Who would think of kissing the revolver that had been used to murder a loved one, or of wearing it around one’s neck? This being so, and the cross being proved to be a pagan religious symbol"

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  • 4 weeks later...

Such an interesting article. I've never understood why someone would want to wear a weapon around their neck anyway. If my son was killed by a gun I wouldnt want to wear the gun used around my neck.

My little boy wrote about Jesus at school and said he died on a stake, the teacher crossed it out and wrote cross, my son crossed that out and wrote I meant stake as thats what he really did diie on and he got detention for a few days!

Im pleased to read this artical and I'll show him when he comes in from school

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I thank Jehovah everyday for sending Jesus for a ransom sacrifice for the salvation of all humanity-me included. I thank Jesus for his integrity, love and for enduring the hardships that led to his death. Never mind the fact that Jesus died on a torture stake, but, to glorify the humiliation and violence of that moment. is repulsive. The son of God suffered equal amounts of humiliation and pain. Christiandom likes the image of him barely clothed with a thorn crown on his head, bloody all over and nailed to a "cross" with a blasphemous, ridiculous and insidious note proclaiming him king. This is hardly the loving image of Jesus Jehovah would like for us to commit to our memory or to our hearts. Nor, would anyone who has come to love Jesus would want hanging on their wall, rearview mirror or neck. The sacrifice was his perfect life not the spitting, blows, the degradation and thorn crown. Christiandom loves to glorify that diabolical symbol of the cross. I love this article. Its time for them to memorialize his teachings and not the gore of his death. /size]

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  • 2 weeks later...
The Uffizi Art Gallery of Florence Italy is famous for it's many paintings by Italian artists Botticelli' date=' Michaelangelo,Raphael etc. However, the highlight for us when we visited there 34 years ago was of 2 of the ancient Greek/Roman sculptures of criminals nailed to upright stakes/tree trunks at one end of corridor 3 of the famous gallery:

72221=4024-File1 (536 x 336).jpg When we returned to the congregation and showed them this picture of the sculptures in the Florence guidebook and elderly sister commented that she had seen 2 just like them in the Vatican museum years before, but they were no longer there when she went in later years and wondered if these were them and they had been removed to Florence, or does the Pope still have 2 others now in storage where the 'evidence' will no longer raise questions.[/quote'] This is what did it for me too....the one museum in London, I'm pretty sure it was the natural history museum that had a sculpture of one of the 'saints' nailed to a tree. Although I knew and accepted that Christ had not died on a cross, it really drove the point home.

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