Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The crucifixion that never happened and the nails that never were

The following is based on an article by Linda Gradstein at AOL News.

He's a journalist who makes documentary movies, this Simcha Jacobovici. His latest effort, "The Nails of the Cross," pretends it is possible that Jacobovici has found two the of nails that were used in the crucifixion of Jesus.

Please laugh heartily and loudly.

Unfortunately, many ignorant folks and others who are deliberately moronic will believe this journalist who makes documentaries. But they should not.

Here's the background: Twenty one years ago or so, archaeologists in Israel claimed to have found the tomb of Caiaphas. One Caiaphas, according to the Gospel tradition, was a high priest involved in Jesus' crucifixion.

Jacobovici located two nails at Tel Aviv University. He asserts these nails were found in the aforementioned tomb. But he has no proof this is so.

Now, Jacobovici is not stupid, so he doesn't say definitively these are the nails used to crucify Jesus. Just that such a scenario is "possible."

Okay, continue laughing. But Jacobovici will probably make a bundle on this pretend "documentary" about nails.

There are numerous problems with this story. First of all, scholars are generally agreed that at the time Jesus supposedly lived, the Romans did not normally nail people to a cross. That would be futile as the weight of the body would cause it to slide down the upright portion of the cross, ripping the hands or wrists free of the nails and foiling death, if only temporarily. But it would be a mess trying to nail the person back on the cross! The Romans crucified people by tying them to the cross with straps. As their bodies fell victim to gravity, their hands held and they slowly suffocated to death. This could take several hours, or longer.

Now, that in itself pretty much blows Jacobovici's theory out of the water!

Secondly, there is no evidence that these nails came from the tomb of this Caiaphas. And even if there were such evidence, there is nothing to indicate this Caiaphas was the high priest at the time of Jesus' supposed crucifixion.

Thirdly, assuming the story is true (which it isn't), the Jews of the time did NOT crucify Jesus! It is inconceivable that the high priest would have someone seek out and bring him the nails used in the crucifixion of a minor criminal, a nuisance but not really a threat to the Jewish establishment. Furthermore, the Jewish method of capital punishment was stoning. If the high priest had ordered Jesus killed, the temple minions would have stoned him to death!

Crucifixion was the method used by the Romans! Furthermore, we know the Romans crucified thousands of Jews. During the seige of Jerusalem (c. 70 CE), as many as 1200 Jews were crucified on a daily basis. One would expect to find the land littered with nails, in and out of tombs, if in fact, the Romans nailed people to crosses! Leather straps would, of course, have rotted away long ago.

Unfortunately for Jacobovici, the entire story of Jesus and his crucifixion is a fabrication, created from a single story and then elaborated upon by several different writers in the late 1st century and early 2nd century (in order to put flesh and bones on Paul's heavenly "Christ," the one spoken of in the prelude to the Gospel of John as the Word, or God himself).

The crucifixion is one aspect of that overall story. What we can say about the crucifixion of Yeshua (Jesus) is that it never happened. There is absolutely no evidence in any record found anywhere in the world for such a thing to have occurred. And because the Romans kept meticulous records of the ordering of their empire, such a crucifixion would have been noted somewhere, especially in light of the fact that Pontius Pilate (the Roman procurator in Palestine) was under suspicion and being observed carefully by his superiors in Rome at the time the crucifixion is set in history.

Maybe Mr. Jacobovici should make "documentaries" about George Washington never telling a lie or chopping down a cherry tree, or better yet, how our founding fathers were rabid evangelical Christians!

Oh yes: Happy Easter!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great expose and criticism of a pretend archaeologist who isn't an archaeologist at all. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in International Relations, and he's learned how to make documentaries. He is a charlatan; a fake and in my view wants to (1) make a lot of money and (2) destroy Christianity (but that's just my opinion). As you point out, he is careful to preface his claims by "maybe," "perhaps," or "could it be". He then proceeds to draw definite conclusions on unsubstantiated and flimsy "evidence."

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