Miracles, Part 2: The skeleton of a dogfish and the resurrection of Jesus Christ

I was surprised when the Turin Shroud was tested in 1988 and allegedly turned out to be a forgery made 1290-1390. I’m still not totally convinced it isn’t the real shroud. But, when the tests were taking place, it got me thinking about the crucifixion of Jesus.

I am no Christian, but it did take me back to the Religious Knowledge lessons at my school where our R.K. teacher was an ex-Army padre and he went into so much physical detail about the crucifixion that I had to leave the class. I was a frail wee soul whenever gross anatomical detail was discussed and prone to nausea at the mere thought of the innards of things. Let’s not even mention the skeleton of the dogfish in the General Science lesson.

But I do remember from R.K. that the reason Roman Citizens were never crucified was that it was such a horrendous way to die. You didn’t die from having nails hammered into your wrists and ankles (they were not hammered into the hands and feet, they were hammered into wrists and ankles to support the weight of the body more and prolong the agony). You died from exhaustion, dehydration etc and it could take a week or more to die.

Jesus, according to the Bible, managed to die in one brief afternoon. A bit of a surprise, that. He was then taken down from the cross. Normally, at this point, the Romans broke people’s arms and/or legs to check they really were dead. This did not happen, according to the Bible. Instead, Jesus’ ‘body’ was taken away by a rich man whose personal physician treated the body not with the normal oils used to anoint dead bodies but with medical oils normally used on live but injured bodies. A bit of a surprise, that.

It seems to me entirely likely that Jesus was not dead when he was taken down from the cross. But, given his body had been scourged, had had a crown of thorns shoved on the head and he had been stabbed in the side with a spear, it might take a bit of time for him to recover – let’s say it might take three days before he was up and able to walk around and talk to people. Let’s say he would rise on the third day.

After three days, the lad could have been talking to people – let’s say he talked to the uneducated and fairly simple fishermen etc who were his disciples – and, if you doubted that the Son of God whom you had seen with your own eyes crucified and die was now resurrected… well,  you could actually put your fingers in the holes made by the nails of the crucifixion. There would be no arguing with that.

If you were a simple fisherman or shepherd or prostitute, that would certainly convince you that a dead person had come back to life just as Lazarus had apparently been brought back to life by Jesus himself and you would be prepared to die yourself in the certain knowledge it was true and you had seen God’s only son re-born.

If Jesus had survived the crucifixion, though, with his injuries, he might only last about a week before he died from his wounds and/or disease from the injuries. After that he would die or, to re-phrase it, join his Father in heaven.

No surprise there.

1 Comment

Filed under Religion, Strange phenomena

One response to “Miracles, Part 2: The skeleton of a dogfish and the resurrection of Jesus Christ

  1. John,

    Re: Jesus surviving the crucifixion – I think it’s a bit simpler than that.
    If you read the new testament and the Acts of the Apostles you will discover that the “risen” Jesus behaves in a markedly different way than the dead one.

    For example people who see him often confuse him with someone else until the last moment when he then dissapears. When Mary Magdalene encounters Jesus in the garden she doesnt recognise him until he dissapears and similarly when he shows himself to two remote followers on the Road to Emmaus he is again not recognised until the last minute when he dematerialises? The risen Jesus has the power of teleportation and behaves like the Tardis – being able to cross his own time stream. These clear indications that Jesus is a spector of the imagination after the ressurection are clearly in the original text – and these are the texts they liked and not the ones that were thrown away when Constantine dumped the Roman Gods for Jesus after the dialectician persecution failed. It is a testament to the illogicality of religion that something that is clearly shown to be dodgy within its own frame of reference can be paraded as “a further reason for faith because the object of the ressurection is faith” …you doubting Thomas you.

    So the Catholic Church came up with the doctrine that Christ’s post crucifixion body is not the same as his pre-crucifixion body due to …erm … having been to hell for us and stuff.

    However, the truth is that there have never been a shortage of people who see Jesus or Mary or some kind of person which is why they have whole departments in the Vatican designed to assess apparitions for their “authenticity” because otherwise they would schism off into new religions. They’re having particular problems at the moment with Our Lady of Surbiton who has particularly vociferous views on peadophile priests and pro life issues and is rumoured to have called the Pope four letter words.

    To solve these problems someone invented Fideism -the epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths. However, this was eventually abandoned by Pius X as it was too much like an admission that it is all nonsense.

    Sometimes I feel I have accumulated too much useless information…
    We did

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