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[XTalk] Tomb of Christ ?

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  • Richard Mallett
    Reply to : Ed Tyler ... wounds inflicted by crucifixion would necessarily lead to gangrene in the hands and feet unless the person were removed from his cross
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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      Reply to : Ed Tyler

      >> I do remain skeptical of the third's long-term survival, because the
      wounds inflicted by crucifixion would necessarily lead to gangrene in the
      hands and
      feet unless the person were removed from his cross within minutes of the
      suspension. Throw in other complications like tetanus and other infections

      and the prognosis would not be good. <<

      Could you explain how the wounds inflicted by crucifixion would
      'necessarily' lead to gangrene in the hands and feet, along with 'tetanus
      and other infections' for a non-medical man like me ? I understand that
      many scholars believe that Jehoanan (sp ?) had his hands tied to the cross,
      and that those who were crucified after the Spartacus rebellion were nailed
      through the fore-arm. Would this have still produced gangrene in the hands
      ?

      Richard.


      E-mail from: Richard Mallett, 01-Aug-2001
    • LeeEdgarTyler@aol.com
      In a message dated 8/2/2001 12:04:50 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Sure: When one is suspended from the wounds in the wrists, a weight several times that of
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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        In a message dated 8/2/2001 12:04:50 PM Central Daylight Time,
        100114.573@... writes:


        >
        >
        > Reply to : Ed Tyler
        >
        > >> I do remain skeptical of the third's long-term survival, because the
        > wounds inflicted by crucifixion would necessarily lead to gangrene in the
        > hands and
        > feet unless the person were removed from his cross within minutes of the
        > suspension. Throw in other complications like tetanus and other infections
        >
        > and the prognosis would not be good. <<
        >
        > Could you explain how the wounds inflicted by crucifixion would
        > 'necessarily' lead to gangrene in the hands and feet, along with 'tetanus
        > and other infections' for a non-medical man like me ? I understand that
        > many scholars believe that Jehoanan (sp ?) had his hands tied to the cross,
        > and that those who were crucified after the Spartacus rebellion were nailed
        > through the fore-arm. Would this have still produced gangrene in the hands
        > ?
        >
        > Richard.
        >
        >

        Sure: When one is suspended from the wounds in the wrists, a weight several
        times that of the body is placed upon the points of suspension (I'm still out
        of town and don't have the resource with the precise figures on that handy).
        Whether the nails are driven through the forearms or through the carpal
        interstices (the nails were certainly not through the palms, which would tear
        away under the weight), sufficient displacement of the bones and tendons
        occurs to cut off almost all blood supply to the hands. (That happens
        whether any blood vessels are ruptured or not, and since veins and arteries
        are pretty durable and flexible it would be quite possible to drive nails in
        such a manner as to avoid their rupture.) So, after considerably less than
        an hour, gangrene would start to develop in the hands; and of course gangrene
        is irreversible. The same situation applies to the feet, but to a lesser
        extent because there was considerably less weight placed upon the wounds.
        Gangrene of that degree is still a virtual death sentence. Just not much to
        be done about it once it goes systemic. Of course, this fact did not
        influence the method of crucifixion, since the whole point was to kill the
        victim in as miserable a manner as possible.

        Tetanus and other infections in association with such wounds were also a
        certainty in those days; in fact they remained so until shortly after the
        First World War, when antibiotics began to be mass-produced. Tetanus alone
        was typically fatal, although other infections might not be. But when you
        couple them with the poison of gangrene, the trauma of the crucifixion and
        its attendant beatings, and the dehydration and fever accompanying the whole
        ordeal, it's not likely at all that the fellow Josephus mentioned survived
        for long. It is not utterly impossible, but I for one would have to see it
        to believe it.

        best,

        Ed Tyler


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • expcman@aol.com
        Ed, Did you miss what I take to be the point of the inquiry? Namely that Jesus not was attached to the cross by nails (through hands or fore-arms or feet) but
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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          Ed,

          Did you miss what I take to be the point of the inquiry? Namely that Jesus
          not was
          attached to the cross by nails (through hands or fore-arms or feet) but
          rather by being bound by ropes as the means of attachment. Thus, there would
          be no wound. I have understood that such a method of execution is in effect
          "death by dehydration," which takes a long, long time in effecting death.
          With this revision/clarification in mind, would you please try again in
          responding to the prior question?

          Thanks,

          Clive


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • LeeEdgarTyler@aol.com
          In a message dated 8/2/2001 1:46:53 PM Central Daylight Time, ... There was an exhaustive study done in the late 1800s by a French surgeon, whose name I
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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            In a message dated 8/2/2001 1:46:53 PM Central Daylight Time,
            sblack@... writes:


            > Ed, thanks for the helpful medical insights on crucifixion!
            > Firstly, I would like to know (as a future resource) where you got
            > this information.
            > As to Richard's question, your explanation only would refer to those
            > who have been nailed to the cross - many were only tied, and the
            > symptoms you describe would not seem to apply.
            >
            >
            >

            There was an exhaustive study done in the late 1800s by a French surgeon,
            whose name I believe was Pierre Barbet. He used cadavers. I'll post his
            bibliographic info upon my imminent return to sivilization.

            You know, I've often heard it said that many people were tied to their
            crosses, but that's also something of which I'm skeptical. For one reason, I
            don't see the point in tying anyone to a cross. Is that a "kinder, gentler"
            form of execution? The whole point of crucifixion was to create the most
            hideous punishment a cruel age could provide, and tying a fellow to a couple
            of logs doesn't fill that bill. Driving iron spikes through his carpals and
            hanging him up by them, on the other hand.... Gives me shivers.

            But the main reason I doubt it is that one never finds any contemporary
            reference to tying people to their crosses. Although there are very few
            accounts of actual crucifixion, the punishment of crucifixion gets mentioned
            a lot, especially by Roman writers. They usually mention nails, and never
            mention ropes. For example: Cicero writes that he gets more joy out of
            seeing the reputations of his enemies slandered than he would from seeing
            them "nailed to a cross;" you never read anyone writing about people "tied to
            a cross." The one exception I can think of is St. Andrew, but then he was
            supposed to have been tied to a horizontal cross on the ground so that wild
            animals could eat him; so that's not an execution by crucifixion. I think
            the assumption that people were tied to crosses is pretty weak.

            But of course you're right: If a person were tied to a cross, gangrene of
            the hands might not be the inevitability it would be if he were nailed. But
            then again, it'd still be pretty likely after a few hours. You'd have to tie
            a fellow mighty tight in order to make him stay put.

            best,

            Ed Tyler


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Barlow, James C. DOC
            Yes. A Doctor Looks At Calvary, still avlb. from Catholic bookhouses (TAN out of Rockford, Ill., I believe.) -jb ... From: LeeEdgarTyler@aol.com
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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              Yes. "A Doctor Looks At Calvary," still avlb. from Catholic bookhouses (TAN
              out of Rockford, Ill., I believe.)
              -jb

              -----Original Message-----
              From: LeeEdgarTyler@... [mailto:LeeEdgarTyler@...]
              Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 2:17 PM
              To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ ?


              In a message dated 8/2/2001 1:46:53 PM Central Daylight Time,
              sblack@... writes:


              > Ed, thanks for the helpful medical insights on crucifixion!
              > Firstly, I would like to know (as a future resource) where you got
              > this information.
              > As to Richard's question, your explanation only would refer to those
              > who have been nailed to the cross - many were only tied, and the
              > symptoms you describe would not seem to apply.
              >
              >
              >

              There was an exhaustive study done in the late 1800s by a French surgeon,
              whose name I believe was Pierre Barbet. He used cadavers. I'll post his
              bibliographic info upon my imminent return to sivilization.

              You know, I've often heard it said that many people were tied to their
              crosses, but that's also something of which I'm skeptical. For one reason,
              I
              don't see the point in tying anyone to a cross. Is that a "kinder, gentler"

              form of execution? The whole point of crucifixion was to create the most
              hideous punishment a cruel age could provide, and tying a fellow to a couple

              of logs doesn't fill that bill. Driving iron spikes through his carpals and

              hanging him up by them, on the other hand.... Gives me shivers.

              But the main reason I doubt it is that one never finds any contemporary
              reference to tying people to their crosses. Although there are very few
              accounts of actual crucifixion, the punishment of crucifixion gets mentioned

              a lot, especially by Roman writers. They usually mention nails, and never
              mention ropes. For example: Cicero writes that he gets more joy out of
              seeing the reputations of his enemies slandered than he would from seeing
              them "nailed to a cross;" you never read anyone writing about people "tied
              to
              a cross." The one exception I can think of is St. Andrew, but then he was

              supposed to have been tied to a horizontal cross on the ground so that wild
              animals could eat him; so that's not an execution by crucifixion. I think
              the assumption that people were tied to crosses is pretty weak.

              But of course you're right: If a person were tied to a cross, gangrene of
              the hands might not be the inevitability it would be if he were nailed. But

              then again, it'd still be pretty likely after a few hours. You'd have to
              tie
              a fellow mighty tight in order to make him stay put.

              best,

              Ed Tyler


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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            • Mark Goodacre
              Joe Zias is inclined to think that some victims were tied to the cross and that some were tied & nailed. See his excellent (illustrated) article Crucixion in
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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                Joe Zias is inclined to think that some victims were tied to the
                cross and that some were tied & nailed. See his excellent
                (illustrated) article "Crucixion in Antiquity: The Evidence", available
                on-line at the Century One site:

                http://www.centuryone.com/crucifixion2.html

                And also available on Tabor's site:

                http://www.uncc.edu/jdtabor/crucifixion.html

                See also the bibliography cited there.

                Also available on-line is James Charlesworth's article on Jesus and
                Jehohanan, at the PBS From Jesus to Christ site:

                http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/jesus/crucifixion.html

                More links to historical Jesus articles available at:

                http://www.ntgateway.com/Jesus/biblio.htm

                Mark
                -----------------------------
                Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                Birmingham B15 2TT
                United Kingdom

                http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                Homepage
                http://NTGateway.com
                The New Testament Gateway
              • Steve Black
                Ed, thanks for the helpful medical insights on crucifixion! Firstly, I would like to know (as a future resource) where you got this information. As to
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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                  Ed, thanks for the helpful medical insights on crucifixion!
                  Firstly, I would like to know (as a future resource) where you got
                  this information.
                  As to Richard's question, your explanation only would refer to those
                  who have been nailed to the cross - many were only tied, and the
                  symptoms you describe would not seem to apply.


                  > >
                  >>
                  >> Reply to : Ed Tyler
                  >>
                  >> >> I do remain skeptical of the third's long-term survival, because the
                  >> wounds inflicted by crucifixion would necessarily lead to gangrene in the
                  >> hands and
                  >> feet unless the person were removed from his cross within minutes of the
                  >> suspension. Throw in other complications like tetanus and other infections
                  >>
                  >> and the prognosis would not be good. <<
                  >>
                  >> Could you explain how the wounds inflicted by crucifixion would
                  >> 'necessarily' lead to gangrene in the hands and feet, along with 'tetanus
                  >> and other infections' for a non-medical man like me ? I understand that
                  >> many scholars believe that Jehoanan (sp ?) had his hands tied to the cross,
                  >> and that those who were crucified after the Spartacus rebellion were nailed
                  >> through the fore-arm. Would this have still produced gangrene in the hands
                  >> ?
                  >>
                  >> Richard.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >Sure: When one is suspended from the wounds in the wrists, a weight several
                  >times that of the body is placed upon the points of suspension (I'm still out
                  >of town and don't have the resource with the precise figures on that handy).
                  >Whether the nails are driven through the forearms or through the carpal
                  >interstices (the nails were certainly not through the palms, which would tear
                  >away under the weight), sufficient displacement of the bones and tendons
                  >occurs to cut off almost all blood supply to the hands. (That happens
                  >whether any blood vessels are ruptured or not, and since veins and arteries
                  >are pretty durable and flexible it would be quite possible to drive nails in
                  >such a manner as to avoid their rupture.) So, after considerably less than
                  >an hour, gangrene would start to develop in the hands; and of course gangrene
                  >is irreversible. The same situation applies to the feet, but to a lesser
                  >extent because there was considerably less weight placed upon the wounds.
                  >Gangrene of that degree is still a virtual death sentence. Just not much to
                  >be done about it once it goes systemic. Of course, this fact did not
                  >influence the method of crucifixion, since the whole point was to kill the
                  >victim in as miserable a manner as possible.
                  >
                  >Tetanus and other infections in association with such wounds were also a
                  >certainty in those days; in fact they remained so until shortly after the
                  >First World War, when antibiotics began to be mass-produced. Tetanus alone
                  >was typically fatal, although other infections might not be. But when you
                  >couple them with the poison of gangrene, the trauma of the crucifixion and
                  >its attendant beatings, and the dehydration and fever accompanying the whole
                  >ordeal, it's not likely at all that the fellow Josephus mentioned survived
                  >for long. It is not utterly impossible, but I for one would have to see it
                  >to believe it.
                  >
                  >best,
                  >
                  >Ed Tyler
                  >
                  >
                  >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >The XTalk Home Page is http://www.xtalk.org
                  >
                  >To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

                  --
                  Peace

                  Steve Black
                  Vancouver, BC
                • LeeEdgarTyler@aol.com
                  In a message dated 8/2/2001 2:34:07 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Yes, Zias is one of the scholars I had in mind when I expressed doubts that the Romans did in
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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                    In a message dated 8/2/2001 2:34:07 PM Central Daylight Time,
                    M.S.Goodacre@... writes:


                    > Joe Zias is inclined to think that some victims were tied to the
                    > cross and that some were tied & nailed. See his excellent
                    > (illustrated) article "Crucixion in Antiquity: The Evidence", available
                    > on-line at the Century One site:
                    >
                    > http://www.centuryone.com/crucifixion2.html
                    >

                    Yes, Zias is one of the scholars I had in mind when I expressed doubts that
                    the Romans did in fact tie victims to their crosses. (There are accounts of
                    Persians doing so, as I recall.) Several scholars discuss it as if it were a
                    given, but I remain puzzled about this assumption when the contemporary
                    evidence seems to weigh against it. If tying were at all a common practice
                    among the Romans, one would expect it to be mentioned at least once or twice
                    in all the references to crucifixion. But it isn't.

                    best,

                    Ed Tyler


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • LeeEdgarTyler@aol.com
                    In a message dated 8/2/2001 2:49:18 PM Central Daylight Time, expcman@aol.com ... Two points: As I have mentioned, I doubt very much that the Romans crucified
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 2, 2001
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                      In a message dated 8/2/2001 2:49:18 PM Central Daylight Time, expcman@...
                      writes:


                      >
                      > Ed,
                      >
                      > Did you miss what I take to be the point of the inquiry? Namely that Jesus
                      > not was
                      > attached to the cross by nails (through hands or fore-arms or feet) but
                      > rather by being bound by ropes as the means of attachment. Thus, there
                      > would
                      > be no wound. I have understood that such a method of execution is in
                      > effect
                      > "death by dehydration," which takes a long, long time in effecting death.
                      > With this revision/clarification in mind, would you please try again in
                      > responding to the prior question?
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      >
                      > Clive
                      >
                      >

                      Two points: As I have mentioned, I doubt very much that the Romans crucified
                      in any way other than nailing their victims to their crosses.

                      Second: The Gospel accounts of Thomas take for granted that Jesus was
                      nailed, otherwise there'd be no holes in hands and feet for him to examine.

                      If you are referring to the crucifixions described by Josephus, as I recall
                      he mentions that the Roman garrison entertained themselves by inventing new
                      positions in which to nail their victims. In any case, Josephus never
                      mentions any method of crucifixion other than nailing. He never talks about
                      anyone being tied to a cross and neither does any contemporary who writes of
                      Roman crucifixion.

                      So if I might return the ball to your court: If you would first care to
                      establish that the men of whom Josephus wrote were tied, not nailed to their
                      crosses, I'd be delighted to change my mind. As it stands, I remain quite
                      skeptical of the man's survival.

                      best,

                      Ed Tyler


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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