Did Jesus Really Die On A Cross?

JesusHangingAssuming Jesus was a real person, did he die on a cross? A Christian scholar is arguing that the “Christ on a cross” idea seems to be a complete fabrication, with no reliable ancient texts indicating that crucifixion was an execution method of the era, and the Bible itself saying only that Jesus died on a staurus (pole). Which means that rather being a symbol of ultimate sacrifice, the Christian cross is a branding/graphic design choice. From the Atlantic:

The crucifixion is apparently under review. In his doctoral thesis, newly graduated Swedish theologian Gunnar Samuelsson argues that the cross Jesus supposedly died on may not actually have been a cross. He explains in an interview with DRadio Wissen, a German station: “the New Testament said that Jesus died some way on something called a staurus … that’s a Greek name for a cross or a pole or something … I call it an execution device only to be [distinguished] from the common notion that it must be a cross, because it mustn’t be a cross–it could be a pole, for instance, or a tree trunk, or something else.”

Samuelsson did some serious research before advancing this provocative argument: “I spent almost three years,” he says, “reading all the ancient texts I could find … from about Homer until the first century of the Common Era.” He says “some kind of suspension of a living or a dead person or a part of a person” was indeed common at the time, but crucifixion is not mentioned. In the Bible itself, all it says is that Jesus carried and then was executed on a staurus–“there is no other description beyond that.”

26 Comments on "Did Jesus Really Die On A Cross?"

  1. tonyviner | Jun 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm |

    That's a pretty heavy assumption. Next people are gonna start to doubt whether Russel Crowe's wife was crucified in Gladiator.

  2. 1. It's possible that a pole might have literally been a pole. Romans were nasty with this particular torture/execution of Impalement, and this guy is not the first to point out that the term crucifixion could just as easily mean impalement.

    2. His idea that no one mentions crucifixion is just outright wrong. Josephus talks about it plenty as it happened to thousands of other Jews, and it was a method of execution much older than Jesus' time.

  3. Tuna Ghost | Jun 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm |

    Pretty much the entire Passion is under review as historically legitimate, which is pretty wise given that it has been used as an excuse for prosecuting jews for basically two thousand years

  4. Hadrian999 | Jun 29, 2010 at 2:01 am |

    it is still debated weather or not he died in the crucifixion at all.
    the whole jesus in india story is quite interesting

  5. You are looking at the real existence of this myth?

    []'s
    @Compulsivo

  6. He makes it sound like a new idea. It's not a new idea, that's what Jehovah's witnesses believe.

  7. What a foolish notion. “no reliable ancient texts indicating that crucifixion was an execution method of the era”
    There is the Bible and it ' is' a reliable ancient text! Of course, you probably don't think the Bible is the true word of God and we could debate that for eternity. As far as the execution method, the Romans crucified thousands of Christians in that time period and that was when Jesus was alive. You researched for how long? As far as who's right, we will have to wait and see. If your wrong, the outcome for you and everyone who desperately wish to trash that which in your heart you know is true are in for a horrible eternity.

    • Tuna Ghost | Jun 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm |

      Wait, so having a different account on how exactly Jesus was executed is now worthy of eternal damnation? For fuck's sake, guy. Listen to yourself.

    • seeker25801 | Jun 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm |

      Unless of course the Buddhists have chosen the right god; or the Hindus. Or maybe it was the Pagans that had it right all along. See, the thing is, you say that if people who don't believe in the Christian god are wrong they're in for a horrible eternity, but what if you're wrong? What if you chose the wrong god? Reducing faith to a crap shoot? I don't know about all that. As Stephen Roberts said “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you'll understand why I dismiss yours”.

    • The Bible never ever once mentions a cross it refers to the device as a staurus or a stake, sorry.

    • Mister Chaddy | Jul 10, 2010 at 9:00 am |

      How exactly did the Romans crucify thousands of Christians in that time period, while Jesus was still alive? There was no such thing as a Christian before the alleged death and resurrection of Jesus, you silly goose!

  8. Andreab_49 | Jun 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm |

    Bollocks! Jesus wasn't crucified at all. Simon of Cyrene took the cross from J.C. but he never gave it back! Instead there was a substitute crucified.

  9. Namelesswon | Jun 30, 2010 at 5:45 am |

    CHRIST!. WILL YOU UNCHRISTIAN THUGS STOP TROUBLING THIS “JEEBUS” FELLA AND LET HIM HANG IN PEACE, FOR GOD'S SAKE GIVE IT A REST ALREADY. ANYWAY EVRYONE KNOWS THERE WAS A THIRD CRUCIFYER IN THE SANDY BUSH.

  10. Jesus never existed. Case closed.

  11. I think Jesus died on a wood structure shaped like a capitol “T” that was not more then 6' tall. He probably carried the top part through the streets which was then set on top of the 6' post which he was tied to until death.

  12. Anonymous | Aug 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm |

    HE DIED ON A STAKE THE BIBLIE IS CLEAR ABOUT THAT

  13. felipemasaki | Aug 25, 2010 at 11:26 am |

    HE DIED ON A STAKE THE BIBLIE IS CLEAR ABOUT THAT

  14. Peter Terry | Sep 6, 2010 at 9:40 pm |

    There is reasonable evidence & even upon the marks of the body of Jesus that the person thought to be JC was a victim of an elaborate primitive religious cannibalistic ritual. According to ACTS & Peter he was eventually hung upside on a tree or stake to drain the remainder of his body fluids for consumption, after his vital body parts & blood had been removed. The Pharisees were given what remained to be boiled & eaten.

    This explains the disappearing body…..yum yum

    The religious thinking there & across the globe was that to drink the blood & consume the vital body parts of one of high religious status, they would receive their power. In the modern Eucharist or Communion this disgusting ritual is practiced symbolically even today in the Roman Catholic system.

    The finger points at St Paul & his genocide of Jesus’ supporters.

    Peter Terry

    http://www.myspace.com/nambassa

    http://twitter.com/Nambassa

    • Actually Catholics are supposed to believe what they are told by the church and the supposedly Holy Roman Catholic Church very specifically states that once blessed the Communion wine and wafer actually transubstantiate into the real blood and flesh of Jesus. There’s not supposed to be anything symbolic about it, although I imagine few Catholics would be aware of this and even fewer believe it.
      If you don’t think that’s truly insane you may as well line up with all the other sheep every Sunday.

  15. Cross reference John3:14 with Numbers21:9 and you get the answer. Jesus died on a pole or stake simple.

  16. Cross reference John3:14 with Numbers21:9 and you get the answer. Jesus died on a pole or stake simple.

  17. Thats what every “Christian “should believe

  18. Actually Catholics are supposed to believe what they are told by the church and the supposedly Holy Roman Catholic Church very specifically states that once blessed the Communion wine and wafer actually transubstantiate into the actual blood and flesh of Jesus. There’s not supposed to be anything symbolic about it, although I imagine few Catholics would be aware of this and even fewer believe it.
    If you don’t think that’s truly insane you may as well line up with all the other sheep every Sunday.

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