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Why the BBC thinks Christ did not die this way
BBC ^ | 16 Mar 2008 | Jonathan Wynne-Jones

Posted on 03/16/2008 11:29:16 AM PDT by BGHater

With his arms outstretched, his legs straight and his hands nailed to the cross, it is the image of Jesus's crucifixion held dear by Christians for centuries.

But now the producers of a BBC drama about Christ's final days have challenged the traditional representation, saying they believe Jesus probably did not die that way.

Instead of portraying Christ with his arms out wide and his legs straight down, The Passion will show him nailed to the cross in a foetal position, with his arms above his head and nails through his arms - the way, the producers claim, he may well have been crucified by the Romans.

Leading theologians accused the BBC of "misleading" the public and said it was ignoring the Biblical account of the crucifixion. But the makers of The Passion insist their ideas are based on new historical evidence.

Simon Elliott, the production designer, claimed that they had tried to make the drama as "historically accurate" as possible.

"The Victorian image of Jesus doesn't tie in with the historical evidence," he said.

"He was probably put on a crude wooden gibbet and made to stand in a loose, foetal position. It was fiendishly designed."

While acknowledging that his ideas are likely to upset Christians, Mr Elliott argued that the position so familiar to churchgoers was only one of a range of methods used by the Romans in crucifixions.

"It is a minefield, as everyone has such strong feelings about it. Our portrayal is based on lengthy research." In particular, he said they had been influenced by the discovery of a crucified skeleton, which was found near Jerusalem in 1968 and is the only such archaeological find.

This led them to believe that Christ could well have been crucified on a T-shaped gibbet, with his arms above his head and his legs tucked up and under him so that his chest was crushed and he died of asphyxiation. Instead of having nails through his hands, they could have been driven through his arms.

The Passion has already proved controversial for appearing to exonerate Judas and Pontius Pilate for their roles in the Christ's death.

But Mark Goodacre, associate professor of religion at Duke University, who advised the producers, defended the decision to put forward an alternative representation of the crucifixion. "The Romans used a number of ways to crucify people and this was one of the most common and effective methods," he said.

"The makers wanted something that wasn't the typical image that would surprise the viewers. This is not an attempt to be iconoclastic, but to get people to look again at the events surrounding his death." He added that he thought the Bible did not actually explain in any detail the form of crucifixion employed.

Paula Gooder, a New Testament scholar, said that the traditional image had become important to Christians in understanding what the crucifixion was about.

"They have clearly decided to go for this option because it's unusual and will jolt viewers and challenge them about their assumptions," she said.

"Their portrayal causes a problem as it seems to ignore what the Bible says."

In the Book of John, Jesus says to Thomas: "Put your finger here; see my hands."

Dr Gooder, canon theologian at Birmingham Cathedral, said that the BBC's version would change the image of Jesus "throwing his arms out in a symbol of love".

She added: "There's a lot of significance attached to the traditional image that has been lost in this version and is likely to upset those who don't like a move away from what they're used to."

The Reverend George Curry, who is the chairman of the Church Society, said: "They are misleading people by distorting the facts.

"That's a serious and dangerous thing to do, but sadly utterly predictable and regrettable. Jesus's nails went through his hands, not his forearms. We should be true to history and the events that occurred."

The Passion begins tonight on BBC1. The programme is to be broadcast in four episodes, culminating on Easter Sunday with the Resurrection.

The traditional Christ on the cross, performed at an Easter Passion parade

The BBC's alternative crucifixion position


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: bbc; catholic; christ; christian; cross; crucifixion; easter; orthodox

1 posted on 03/16/2008 11:29:18 AM PDT by BGHater
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To: BGHater
The crucifixion victim probably had the nails driven in just above the wrist where the radius and the ulna come together. If it were the hand there would the the tendency for the nail to rip through the hand from the palm out b/w the fingers.

IIRC, the wrist was considered part of the hand in those days.

Josh McDowell's book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" deals with the crucifixion pretty well.

But I do note this: it's not so much the issue where the nails were driven, it's the issue of His bodily resurrection 3 days later.

Paul preached the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus not nail placement.

2 posted on 03/16/2008 11:39:18 AM PDT by Bosco (Remember how you felt on September 11?)
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To: BGHater
Allow me to cut through the nit picking of the BBC.

The BBC doesn't believe in God.

The Judeo Christian God VIOLATES their beliefs which of course are NOT Christian.

There. Got it?

3 posted on 03/16/2008 11:47:50 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: BGHater

Did the BBC have a man at Calvary? I must have missed that small detail.


4 posted on 03/16/2008 11:49:23 AM PDT by RichInOC (...William Frank Buckley, Jr., November 24, 1925-February 27, 2008, R.I.P.)
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To: BGHater
“The Passion” is not Biblically accurate either.

Can't we just take God's Word for what happened?

Must we always resort to fallible man and elevate that over God? Must we? In this house, we don't. It's God's Word that supersedes man's fallible word.

5 posted on 03/16/2008 11:49:53 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Bosco

This is an excellent book -

Josh McDowell’s book “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”.

Josh started out as an ATHEIST and wanted to prove the bible wrong and became an ardent BELIEVER - because the Bible is true.

All this idiotic nit picking won’t make it false - to those who KNOW.


6 posted on 03/16/2008 11:51:52 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: nmh

Are the exact body position and nail placement described in the Bible?


7 posted on 03/16/2008 11:55:50 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: BGHater

I saw a documentary a few years ago on this subject. A medical researchers used cadavers to demonstrate how the crucifixion was carried out. He said the nails were driven through the heel of the hands—the lower part of the palm at a downward angle. He showed that this method would support a body without the nails ripping through the flesh. BBC is managed by aging gay, British Bolsheviks.


8 posted on 03/16/2008 11:58:04 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: EveningStar
I'd have to look it up.

Frankly,

“Are the exact body position and nail placement described in the Bible?”

Does it matter?

Isn't it more miraculous that He overcame death?

Or don't you believe that either/

I could care less where the nails were placed - it's moot!

Why don't YOU look it up if this silly detail is so critical to YOU?

9 posted on 03/16/2008 12:00:13 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
BBC is managed by aging gay, British Bolsheviks.

Imagery I could do without on this Sunday. But you're right.

10 posted on 03/16/2008 12:00:34 PM PDT by Bosco (Remember how you felt on September 11?)
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To: BGHater

they pierced my hands and my feet. Psalms 22:16b

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. John 20:24, 25

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. John 20:27


11 posted on 03/16/2008 12:17:11 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

Thanks for the info.


12 posted on 03/16/2008 12:26:36 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: xzins

They’re coming out a little late this year...


13 posted on 03/16/2008 1:26:16 PM PDT by Gamecock (Viva La Reformacion!)
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To: BGHater
"...he said they had been influenced by the discovery of a crucified skeleton, which was found near Jerusalem in 1968 and is the only such archaeological find."

I believe the "skeleton" in question consists merely of an ankle bone with a nail throught it. This in no way indicates Jesus was crucified in the position they claim.

14 posted on 03/16/2008 1:29:25 PM PDT by joebuck (Finitum non capax infinitum!)
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To: Tennessee Nana
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. John 20:24, 25

John should know, he was the only disciple who witnessed the crucifixion. Matter of fact this is the only gospel (RC) read during the Vigil of Easter.

15 posted on 03/16/2008 1:40:50 PM PDT by mware (mware...killer of threads.)
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To: BGHater
Simon Elliott, the production designer, claimed that they had tried to make the drama as "historically accurate" as possible.

"The Victorian image of Jesus doesn't tie in with the historical evidence," he said.

The "Victorian image"? Apparently the early Fathers who wrote about the Crucifixion were simply relying on Victorian art. Who knew? /sarc

While acknowledging that his ideas are likely to upset Christians, Mr Elliott argued that the position so familiar to churchgoers was only one of a range of methods used by the Romans in crucifixions.

Which also means that Mr. Elliott's claimed "historically accurate" method was also "only one of a range of methods used by the Romans in crucifixions." It is not his "ideas" that are irksome, but his ignorance of history and the basic laws of logic, which wouldn't be so bad if they weren't accompanied by the air of certainty with which he makes his claims.

16 posted on 03/16/2008 1:51:13 PM PDT by Zero Sum (Liberalism: The damage ends up being a thousand times the benefit! (apologies to Rabbi Benny Lau))
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To: Tennessee Nana
But Mark Goodacre, associate professor of religion at Duke University, who advised the producers, defended the decision to put forward an alternative representation of the crucifixion. "The Romans used a number of ways to crucify people and this was one of the most common and effective methods," he said.

"The makers wanted something that wasn't the typical image that would surprise the viewers. This is not an attempt to be iconoclastic, but to get people to look again at the events surrounding his death." He added that he thought the Bible did not actually explain in any detail the form of crucifixion employed.

I think you should apply for a professorship at Duke. :)

17 posted on 03/16/2008 1:55:47 PM PDT by Zero Sum (Liberalism: The damage ends up being a thousand times the benefit! (apologies to Rabbi Benny Lau))
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To: Zero Sum

WOW

:)

I just knew the scripture...

If you read Psalm 22 through, the discription of what happened to Jesus on the cross is there...


18 posted on 03/16/2008 1:58:19 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana
they pierced my hands and my feet. Psalms 22:16b

Yes, the manner of crucifixion was important, because it occurred in order to fulfill prophecy.

The Passion has already proved controversial for appearing to exonerate Judas and Pontius Pilate for their roles in the Christ's death.

This is also leftist sabotage of the Gospel, because Jesus said that "evil must come, but woe to him by which it comes." Judas and Pilate were guilty as...as sin.

19 posted on 03/16/2008 2:21:16 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: joebuck
I have a recollection from around that time (late sixties, New York Daily News) of a quite complete figure being found with a cross which didn't have a very tall vertical part. And the body was more in a crouched position than the traditional depiction.

I don't get why it's being one way or the other is supposed to be upsetting to us.

20 posted on 03/16/2008 2:29:32 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: BGHater
"The Victorian image of Jesus doesn't tie in with the historical evidence," he said.

"He was probably put on a crude wooden gibbet and made to stand in a loose, foetal position. It was fiendishly designed."

The Easter Silly Season is upon us.

"Victorian"? They must not have ever heard of the Alexamenos graffito.

21 posted on 03/16/2008 3:44:41 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("dispensationalism -- the eschatology of the Pharisees")
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To: joebuck
I'm glad you brought this up, because the skeleton in question does not validate the claims very well. First, the evidence from the forearm bones indicates that, while the nails in this instance were, in fact, driven through the arms, they were a lot closer to the wrist than the elbow. Further, the wear marks on the arm bones indicate that the man's arms were stretched out horizontally, in a similar, if not identical, position as Christ's arms are generally portrayed. Finally, it is impossible from the evidence of the nail through the heel bone to conclude definitively that the legs were in the tucked position alleged. They could have been, but it is equally likely that the legs were relatively straight, though canted 90 degrees so they could be nailed to the upright beam through the heels.

As for the "evidence" that Christ was crucified in the manner they allege, there is not a shred of testimony to back this up. The Gospel accounts clearly state that the "hands" were nailed. This could include the wrist, but it definitely does not include the forearm proper! Thus, the "scholarship" of these people takes the only direct accounts of the event of Christ's crucifixion and then proceeds to completely ignore them! Evidence? What evidence can they have about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ but the Gospels? There is no "new evidence" in the details of Jesus' crucifixion! What utter nonsense it is to claim otherwise! To ignore the Gospel accounts completely like this is a certain betrayal of nefarious motives!

Further, the evidence of contemporary graffiti referencing crucifixion in general in the Roman Empire, and one specific graffito of Christ's crucifixion in particular (found, as memory serves, in Rome itself), seems to indicate clearly that the "standard" method of crucifixion is quite along the lines of the tradition portrayal of Jesus' crucifixion. Sure, the soldiers were allowed to indulge their whims sometimes, but there were actual methodologies taught to them about crucifixion, and these norms were generally followed.

There is no evidence, based on alleged "scholarship" or otherwise, that can demonstrate that crucifixion was not normally carried out in the way we're all familiar with as depicted in renderings of Christ's own crucifixion. As usual around Christmas and Easter, the materialists and atheists in the MSM have attempted yet again to cast novel forms of doubt on the reality of the Gospel accounts. This time, the BBC has taken its turn at the wheel. Here in the US, Time, Newsweek and US News and World report assault us in turn in similar fashion. But the result is always the same: poorly researched, breathlessly overwrought trumpetings of modern "scholarship" that are as thoroughly unconvincing in their theses as they are transparent in their motives!

As the Brits themselves might say: "This is a horse that won't run!"

22 posted on 03/16/2008 6:29:21 PM PDT by magisterium
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To: Gamecock

I think they’ve fired off all their HE rounds.


23 posted on 03/17/2008 1:22:43 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: xzins

hehehe


24 posted on 03/17/2008 2:31:15 AM PDT by Gamecock (Viva La Reformacion!)
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To: BGHater
Medical Aspects of Crucifixion
25 posted on 03/17/2008 9:10:52 AM PDT by SC DOC
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To: Tennessee Nana

I’m going to say it’s a bit of poetic license. Those Jews are such creative writers. We have many facts, but only one Truth.

Really, can you imagine Jesus saying stick your finger in my lower arm - that’s right between the Ulna and Radius.


26 posted on 03/18/2008 12:25:12 PM PDT by Philly Nomad
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To: BGHater
"They have clearly decided to go for this option because it's unusual and will jolt viewers and challenge them about their assumptions," she said.

Oh the truth comes out. It is not about accuracy, it is about creating controversy and thus free publicity.

27 posted on 03/18/2008 12:31:21 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Philly Nomad

Really, can you imagine Jesus saying stick your finger in my lower arm - that’s right between the Ulna and Radius.
______________________________________________

God, who created the arms and hands on man, knows the difference..

It would have been in His word as “arm” if it was so...


28 posted on 03/18/2008 12:34:25 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Lee N. Field

I thought of that same one


29 posted on 03/18/2008 12:34:27 PM PDT by BibChr (Amillennialism -- the eschatology of Roman Catholicism and liberalism)
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To: Tennessee Nana

God wrote the bible, man edits.


30 posted on 03/18/2008 1:41:47 PM PDT by Philly Nomad
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