Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by LaminatorX on Saturday April 19 2014, @11:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the Down-the-hall-to-the-left dept.

Each year, Cahleen Shrier, associate professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at Azusa Pacific University, presents a special lecture on the science of Jesus' crucifixion detailing the physiological processes a typical crucified victim underwent based on historical documentation of crucifixion procedures used during that time period. According to Dr. Chuck Dietzen, the Romans favored it over hanging because it was a slow death taking as long as two days making it quite effective for quelling dissent. "It is important to understand from the beginning that Jesus would have been in excellent physical condition," says Shrier. "As a carpenter by trade, He participated in physical labor. In addition, He spent much of His ministry traveling on foot across the countryside."

Evidence suggests that Jesus dreaded his fate. The New Testament tells of how he sweated blood the night before in the garden of Gethsemane. A rare medical condition known as hematohidrosis may explain this phenomenon, Dietzen says. In this condition, extreme stress causes the blood vessels around the sweat gland to rupture into the sweat ducts. While few of these cases exist in the medical literature, many of those that do involve people facing execution.

Crucifixion was invented by the Persians in 300-400 BC. It was developed, during Roman times, into a punishment for the most serious of criminals and is quite possibly the most painful death ever invented by humankind. The Romans would tie or nail the accused to the cross being sure to avoid the blood vessels. While many people envision the nail going into a person's palm, it was placed closer to the wrist. The feet were nailed to the upright part of the crucifix, so that the knees were bent at around 45 degrees. "Once the legs gave out, the weight would be transferred to the arms, gradually dragging the shoulders from their sockets. The elbows and wrists would follow a few minutes later; by now, the arms would be six or seven inches longer," says Alok Jha. "The victim would have no choice but to bear his weight on his chest. He would immediately have trouble breathing as the weight caused the rib cage to lift up and force him into an almost perpetual state of inhalation." Suffocation would usually follow, but the relief of death could also arrive in other ways. "The resultant lack of oxygen in the blood would cause damage to tissues and blood vessels, allowing fluid to diffuse out of the blood into tissues, including the lungs and the sac around the heart," says Jeremy Ward.

Eventually the person being crucified would go into shock and die after organs failed. Medical science can also explain why blood and water spurted out of Jesus's body when a Roman stabbed him with a spear. That was likely a pleural effusion, in which clear lung fluid came out of his body as well as blood. Shrier says Jesus' stamina and strength were, most likely, very well developed so if the torture of the crucifixion could break a man in such good shape, it must have been a horrific experience. "I am struck every time with the stunning realization that as a flesh and blood human, Jesus felt every ounce of this execution," concludes Shrier. "What greater love than this can a man have for his friends?"

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by TrumpetPower! on Sunday April 20 2014, @01:49PM

    by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Sunday April 20 2014, @01:49PM (#33595) Homepage

    I was talking about the opinion among historians (including non-Christians), but never mind...

    The overwhelming majority of historians who study early Christianity are Christian and employed by seminaries or other Christian institutions.

    In any case, there is nothing so unusual about a person preaching in 1st century Jerusalem.

    Of course not. But Jesus is not and never has been merely a person preaching in first century Jerusalem. Even the earliest author we have, Paul, described him as an eternal divine force from another age who was the ultimate source of love and humanity's only hope for salvation after death. And that same Paul deliberately introduced the Mithraic Eucharist into Christianity; that's not the sort of thing done for some dumb schmuck shouting on a street corner, but it's exactly how syncretic paganism has always worked: you invent a new god, and steal bits and pieces from the other gods representative of the attributes you want in yours.

    It was only after the belief attracted a significant number of followers that it was worthwhile to talk about

    And your evidence supporting this radical and novel theory of theogenesis? Oh...that's right: as nonexistent and / or fabricated as the evidence that Jesus liked getting his intestines fondled through a gaping chest wound.

    To be honest, I do not see a reason to get worked up about whether or not this particular person existed

    If you were instead insisting that Hercules, Perseus, Mithra, Mercury, Bellerophon, and all the rest really did exist and really were real people but they were all just dumb schmucks around whom fantastic legends accrued, would you be surprised when people challenged you on such nonsense?

    That, and it's taken right out of the Christian apologetic playbook, whether you're using it in that way or have simply been taken in by it. Various theologians have known for a long time that Jesus is clearly no more real than Paul Bunyan, but if word of that got out they'd not only be out of a job but facing angry hordes upset at the way they've been duped. So, they erect layers of misdirection, and the "Jesus was a dumb schmuck" is one of the most effective. If you can convince people that even non-believers accept that Jesus was real, it's nothing from that point to, as you're trying to do, move the argument to the nature of the miracles he performed -- and, at that point, the theologians have already convinced you of their Big Lie and won the game.

    Fuck that noise. The question isn't whether Santa brings better presents to rich kids because they're more likely to have been good little boys and girls. The question is why anybody old enough to need to remove a shoe to count her age still buys into that nonsense, except perhaps as an indulgent fantasy game.

    I've provided copious amounts of evidence to support the entirely mundane claim that Jesus was no more real than any other Pagan demigod. All you've offered is implausible assertions that an absurd position -- that this one god out of all the thousands of the history of humanity really was real -- isn't so tough to swallow.

    If you'd like me to take you seriously, I'd urge you to offer up at least some bit of positive evidence to support your claim. Otherwise, all you've got is a fantastic conspiracy theory that some literal nobody whom nobody would even have thought to have mentioned managed to convince the world that he was the Alpha and the Omega, the Word who Spoke the world into existence, the ultimate judge of all humanity...and who, oh-by-the way as an encore, also manage to found and personally serve as the cornerstone of the religion that supplanted the Olympians. That's not just rags-to-riches; that's as fantastic a journey as YHWH spitting on some dirt, fashioning it into a pair of golems, and the pair becoming the ancestors of us all.

    Cheers,

    b&

    --
    All but God can prove this sentence true.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Tuesday April 22 2014, @09:01AM

    by moondrake (2658) on Tuesday April 22 2014, @09:01AM (#34291)

    And see what happened. It turned out to be a pointless discussion...

    >I've provided copious amounts of evidence to support the entirely mundane claim that Jesus was no more real than any other Pagan demigod.

    No you did not. You merely asserted that the earliest mentions of Jesus were myths, fantasies or fabrications. You cannot prove this.

    >All you've offered is implausible assertions that an absurd position -- that this one god out of all the thousands of the history of humanity really was real -- isn't so tough to swallow.

    I have never said that the god was real (and, as an aside, I find it actually a good starting hypothesis to believe some mythical person are real. I do think it is plausible that both Buddha and Mohamed walked this world. What would be the point of going to look for evidence if you do not believe it a priori? We are lucky Schliemann believed (part) of Homer, or we would never have seen Troy.). In fact, I pointed out that was a different question.

    I have posted a link were you find a list of papers on the subject, several of the most interesting publications are actually from Jewish scholars. But I also admit that, although I have no idea if the majority is Christian, it is likely.

    But you do not need the link. I can see you have read enough to form an opinion. You will not convinced by their arguments as there simply is no, and _there cannot be a_ 100% proof. History is not an experimental science. If we would follow your rules, you can throw out more than 90% of your history book, because many things (i.e. everything that was written down) in there could have been fabricated or be just stories (and the more far back you go, the more zombies and magic is written between lines with possible facts). Luckily, we do not disbelieve everything that is written and instead form a picture of the past based on interpretation and opinion. And yes, some things might be wrong.

    But I find it absurd you disbelieve the existence of a person merely because your dislike for (the) religion. Why is it easier to believe that NOBODY was at the core of the story compared to that a nobody was at the core of the story? The second hypothesis is far more simple in my opinion.

    • (Score: 2) by TrumpetPower! on Tuesday April 22 2014, @01:49PM

      by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Tuesday April 22 2014, @01:49PM (#34383) Homepage

      No you did not. You merely asserted that the earliest mentions of Jesus were myths, fantasies or fabrications. You cannot prove this.

      I'm astonished you even think this might be questionable enough to need proof.

      The Christians have been quite helpful in compiling the best evidence for Jesus into a single volume. Any Christian would be delighted to give you a copy of the book, and you can find one for the taking in many hotel rooms -- or, of course in the library.

      Turn to the section towards the back labeled, "New Testament." And in it you'll read a story of a man born of a virgin, who did incredible magic tricks like turning water into wine and walking on water and making zombies, who turned himself into a zombie and -- just to prove it all -- had somebody fondle his intestines through a gaping chest wound.

      If you do not accept that those stories are fantastic, I again urge you to read Justin Martyr's First Apology. In it you will see him repeatedly and emphatically equate Jesus's story with the stories of the pagan demigods whom he and virtually everybody else in the modern world would agree are fantastic fabrications. I would also take this opportunity to deliver to you the sad news that Santa Claus is just your parents, and no amount of clapping will bring Tinkerbell back to life because she's just an imaginary character in a make-believe book; sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

      Why is it easier to believe that NOBODY was at the core of the story compared to that a nobody was at the core of the story? The second hypothesis is far more simple in my opinion.

      So you think there was a real Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Paul Bunyan, or Tatiana at the core of their stories? How about Hercules, Mercury, Perseus, Mithra, and Jupiter, all characters whom Martyr accused the Pagans of stealing from the Christians? Maybe you think there's a real Xenu at the heart of Scientology, that the Angel Moroni was some hobo who met Joe Smith behind the woodshed, that Orpheus was a drunken vagabond who couldn't carry a tune to save his life?

      Credibly explain to me how you think it's "far more simple" that the Olympians really were really real, only somehow exaggerated, and I might stop laughing at your naivete.

      Cheers,

      b&

      --
      All but God can prove this sentence true.