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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?"

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

    by TrumpetPower! (590) <> 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.



    All but God can prove this sentence true.
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