Sunday, 27 June 2010

Swedish theologian: Jesus was not nailed to the cross

Only dead people get buried. Jesus’ tomb is a real Easter miracle. Image of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, courtesy of Dennis 1980, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Gunnar Samuelsson, a theologian at Gothenburg University in Sweden says he believes that Jesus is the Son of God just like the New Testament describes. He also believes that we have good evidences of the historicity of Jesus.

However, Samuelsson does not think that Jesus was nailed to the cross. He suggests that the non-biblical literature of Jesus’ time does not mention this execution method.

Although he says that the Bible’s descriptions are reliable, he thinks that the way Jesus was put to death is not explicitly stated in the New Testament texts. He suggests that Jesus might have been fixed to a pole instead of a cross.

Samuelsson explains that in the first century the Latin words crux (’cross’) and patibulum (’cross-beam’) were also used in a wider sense than just the literal.

The New Testament describes explicitly how Jesus was executed. John, for instance, describes the crucifixion in his Gospel as follows (19:17-19):

Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Matthew, Mark and Luke also mention explicitly that Jesus was nailed to the cross. He suffered and died for our sins according to the Scriptures.


Jesus did not die on cross, says scholar. The Telegraph. 23 June 2010.