Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jesus died on a cross? (Or not)

Today's link has an article about Gunnar Samuelssona Swedish pastor/theologian questioning whether or not Jesus died by crucifixion on a cross, or rather died via some other torturous execution device. The argument centers around the greek word "stauros" which is normally interpreted as cross in the Gospels, but rather has a much more ambiguous connotation than that, and rather can refer to many various devices of torture. 

Further, the theologian's research also leads him to argue that the widely held assumption that "prisoners were routinely nailed to crosses" is not accurate, as use of the cross as an execution device was the exception not the rule (impaling was the standard practice).

While I have no opinion one way or the other at this point (since I am not trained in Greek and will try to find thoughtful rebuttals), it must be said that the theologian is no skeptic and has no agenda. Rather he considers himself quite the conservative and still believes "the man who walked this earth was the Son of God, and that he will return to judge the living and the dead."

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