Jesus – Did He Die by Crucifixion?


 As Christians, we seek to fulfill the Great Commission and share the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). In today’s culture, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be engaged in an intelligent conversation with non-Christians about our faith, for many of us cannot discuss our beliefs using logic and reason. To that end, I am presenting a series of papers that will take us to the beginning of the Christian faith: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Once the truth of that claim is established using both biblical and extra-biblical sources, Christians can begin to discuss matters of faith in earnest.

By using the skills and training found in the discipline of Apologetics, Christians will be able to address the person of Jesus, His death and His resurrection. Specifically, Christians will be able to better answer these questions:

  • Did Jesus actually live?[1]
  • What evidence is there of Jesus’ crucifixion and death?[2]
  • Was Jesus buried and was His tomb later found empty?[3]
  • Is there evidence that the empty tomb was the result of Jesus’ resurrection?

The purpose of this paper is to examine the second bullet point. Having previously established Jesus’ existence, in an earlier paper, it is now time to turn our attention to His crucifixion and death. This paper will examine four key areas: the pre-Roman historicity of crucifixion, Roman crucifixion, the archaeological find of what is known as the Crucified Man, and Jesus’ death by crucifixion.

First, the term crucifixion must be defined as it applies to this paper. Most modern dictionaries define crucifixion as a means of execution in which a person’s hands and feet are nailed or bound to a cross. Further examination of the word “cross” yields that it is a large wooden beam held vertical to the ground with a similar crossbeam attached near the top. The word itself is derived from the Latin word crux, which can be translated as a cross, crucifixion, hanging tree, impaling stake, and torture/torment/misery.[4] . This definition from the Latin is closer to our use in this paper, and the definitions found in ancient Greek further describe crucifixion as it will be discussed in this paper. Two words are often used in Greek to describe crucifixion. The first is ana-stauro (ἀνασταυρόω) or “on a stake.” This can also mean “to impale.” The second is apo-tumpanizo (ἀποτυμπανίζω) or “crucify on a plank.”

Martin Hengel provides greater insight regarding crucifixion. “There is not always a clear distinction between the crucifixion of the victim while he is still alive and the display of the corpse of someone who has been executed in a different fashion.”[5] He continues, “The common factor in all these verbs is that the victim—living or dead—was either nailed or bound to a stake.”[6] For the purposes of this paper, crucifixion is the act of affixing a person to a vertical stake, or a stake with a crossbeam. The shape can be a single stake or beam, or a combination in the form of an X, a Y, or a T, with or without a projection above the attached crossbeam. As we will see, there are a variety of ways in which a person can be attached to the stake, either by tying, nailing or even impaling through the body itself.

Pre-Roman Historicity of Crucifixion

Although crucifixion as a method of punishment and execution is perhaps most associated with the Romans, it can be dated as early as 2100-2050 BC. To date, the earliest known reference to crucifixion appears in the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus’ (90-30 BC) Bibliotheca Historica. Diodorus is not the earliest writer in history to mention crucifixion; he did, however, document the earliest record of it in antiquity.

Diodorus recounts events involving King Ninus of Assyria. King Ninus, the founder of Nineveh, began his rule around 2189 BC. Within a 17-year period, he had amassed an empire extending from modern-day Greece to the borders of India in the east. Diodorus’ account of the king’s campaign against Media gives historians and scholars the earliest known account of the use of crucifixion. He writes, “And the king of this country, Pharnus, meeting him in battle with a formidable force, was defeated, and he both lost the larger part of his soldiers, and himself, being taken captive along with his seven sons and wife, was crucified.”[7]

Diodorus also writes of Semiramis, the queen to King Ninus. After his death, Semiramis decided to make war on the last remaining monarch in Asia, King Stabrobates of India. Diodorus reveals how Stabrobates reacted to the queen’s war against him and India. In doing so, Diodorus records the first reference to crucifixion:

“Having therefore made all these preparations, he sent ambassadors to Semiramis (as she was on her march towards him) to complain and upbraid her for beginning a war without any provocation or injury offered her; and by his private letters taxed her with her whorish course of life, and vowed (calling the gods to witness) that if he conquered her he would nail her to the cross.”[8] (emphasis mine)

The details of the battle are then itemized, including how the queen avoided capture.

Ctesias of Cnidus, a physician and historian from the 5th century BC, also wrote about crucifixion, although the event about which he writes occurred some 1,500 years later than that of Stabrobates in the fifth century BC. The account is of Queen Parysatis’ revenge, which she exacted on the man who had desecrated her son’s body by decapitating him. Parysatis was married to King Darius of Persia and gave birth to four sons: Artaxerxes II, Cyrus the Younger, Ostanes and Oxathres. Ctesias’ record concerns Cyrus the Younger. In an abridgement to Ctesias’ writing by Photius[9], it reads,

“He relates how Parysatis arrived in Babylon mourning Cyrus and how she eventually recovered his head and hand only and buried him and went away to Susa. He tells the story of Bagapates, who had cut the head off Cyrus’ body under orders from the King. He relates how his mother played dice with the King staking bets, and how she won and took Bagapates as her prize. And he relates the way in which Bagapates was flayed alive and how he was crucified by Parysatis.”[10]

Ctesias was the court physician of Artaxerxes II, which would have given him immediate access to royal historical records, lending further credibility to his account regarding Parysatis’ revenge against Bagapates, the man who desecrated her son’s body.

The account of Cyrus’ death is verified by Diodorus. “For instance, when Cyrus the king of the Persians, the mightiest ruler of his day, made a campaign with a vast army into Scythia, the queen of the Scythians not only cut the army of the Persians to pieces but she even took Cyrus prisoner and crucified him.”[11] This account of Cyrus’ death is also mentioned by Justin, the Roman historian (not to be confused with Justin Martyr), and Tertullian, an early Christian apologist (160-225 AD).

The Carthaginians frequently employed crucifixion, and many historians and scholars believe the Romans learned this from the Carthaginians. Martin Hengel writes in Crucifixion, “[i]t was employed by the Numidians and especially by the Carthaginians, who may be the people from whom the Romans learnt it.”[12] Diodorus again provides the primary documentation for the regular use of crucifixion by the Carthaginians. “Hamilcar crucified Spondius. But when Matho took Hannibal prisoner, he nailed him to the same cross. Thus it seemed as if Fortune of set purpose was assigning success and defeat in turn to these offenders against humanity.”[13] Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian general, led the Carthaginian forces in Sicily during the First Punic War. (Hannibal the Carthaginian general referenced here should not be confused with Hamilcar’s son, also named Hannibal). This account is verified in the writings of Polybius: “Their next step was to take Spendius and the other prisoners up to the walls and crucify them there in the sight of all. Mathos noticed that Hannibal was guilty of negligence and over-confidence, and attacking his camp, put many Carthaginians to the sword and drove them all out of the camp. All the baggage fell into the rebels hands and they made Hannibal himself prisoner. Taking him at once to Spendius’ cross they tortured him cruelly there, and then, taking Spendius down from the cross, they crucified Hannibal alive on it and slew round the body of Spendius thirty Carthaginians of the highest rank.”[14] In another instance of crucifixion employed by the Carthaginians, Diodorus writes, “Indortes then raised an army of fifty thousand men, but before the fighting even began he was put to flight and took refuge on a certain hill; there he was besieged by Hamilcar, and although, under cover of night, he again fled, most of his force was cut to pieces and Indortes himself was captured alive. After putting out his eyes and maltreating his person Hamilcar had him crucified.”[15] The use of crucifixion was so commonplace that it was used not just for important individuals or high-ranking soldiers. Diodorus writes, “The Carthaginians, after bringing the Libyan War to an end, had avenged themselves on the Numidian tribe of the Micatani, women and children included, and crucified all whom they captured.”[16]

The purpose of establishing the practices of crucifixion by earlier civilizations will help to solidify that Jesus Christ more than likely died in this manner. This paper has shown that crucifixion had a long history of use before the Romans adopted the practice: an early date for crucifixion (around 2100 BC), the earliest recorded account of it (i.e., 5th century BC), and the frequent use of it by the Carthaginians, the people historians and scholars believe influenced the Roman acquisition and use of crucifixion.

 Roman Crucifixion

This part of the paper will examine seven specific accounts of Roman crucifixion leading up to the crucifixion of Christ and offer more details around the punishment of crucifixion, as used by the Romans, to further elucidate the Romans’ use of this method of punishment and execution. This will establish the groundwork to demonstrate beyond all probability that Christ died on the cross as a result of His crucifixion and the torture leading up to it.

In Roman times, crucifixion was preceded by scourging. An article by F.P. Retief and L. Cilliers contains a chilling narrative of what the victim of crucifixion could expect: “In Roman law a person condemned to death (including crucifixion) had to be scourged beforehand, with the exception of women, Roman senators or soldiers (but not in cases of desertion).”[17] The authors continue,

“Scourging was a particularly brutal procedure, performed with wooden staves or a short whip (flagellum, flagrum) with several leather thongs into which small balls or sharp sheep bone fragments were tied. The person was stripped naked, tied to an upright post and then flogged across the back, buttocks and legs by one or two soldiers (lictores). Primrose suggests that scourging was applied to the front of the body as well. In Roman law there was no limit to the extent of flogging, but in Jewish law it was limited to 40 blows. The extent of the scourging therefore depended largely on the inclination of the lictores, was intended to weaken the victim significantly, and invariably resulted in deep wounding, severe pain and bleeding. Frequently the victim fainted during the procedure and sudden death was not uncommon.”[18]

 Many accounts of the preliminary torture before crucifixion include not only the scourging, but also the gouging out of eyes, cutting out of tongues, removal of hands or feet or both, mutilation of genitals, and burning of the body. The intent of this was twofold: to inflict the most extreme pain short of death (that was reserved for crucifixion) and to absolutely humiliate the victim, thereby instilling terror into those observing the act.

An additional example of the brutality of crucifixion can be found in the writings of Josephus: “For they were whipped with rods, and their bodies were torn to pieces, and were crucified, while they were still alive, and breathed. They also strangled those women and their sons whom they had circumcised, as the king had appointed, hanging their sons about their necks as they were upon the crosses. And if there were any sacred book of the law found, it was destroyed, and those with whom they were found miserably perished also.”[19]

With the preceding as a background to what occurred prior to the actual crucifixion, it is now time to investigate Roman accounts of crucifixion. A Roman playwright, rather than a historian, provides modern historians and scholars with the first written record of crucifixion among the Romans. Gunnar Samuelson explains the word choice of Titus Maccius Plautus (254-184 BC),

“Plautus uses crux, patibulum, and furca in several texts. He is especially fond of the expression mala crux. The noun crux is, however, difficult to link directly to the punishment of crucifixion, as defined in the present investigation, cohering with a traditional sense. A crux is a device used in some kind of bad punishment, often with slaves as objects. But, the punishment might still be constituted by some kind of attachment to a pole, sometimes preceded by an act of carrying a beam. This makes Plautus’ texts—the oldest Latin texts of the present investigation—the closest call in the search for crucifixion so far.”[20]

Plautus is thought to have written about 130 plays, of which only about 20 or so have survived. It is in them that the reference to crucifixion is found.

In his work The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who lived from 60 BC to sometime shortly after 7 BC during the reign of Caesar Augustus, describes the attempted revolt of slaves during a negotiation between King Tarquinius of Rome and the Tyrrhenians. The horrific end of the slaves is made clear:

While this was going on, a conspiracy was formed against the state, numerous slaves having agreed together to seize the heights and to set fire to the city in many places. But, information being given by their accomplices, the gates were immediately closed by the consuls and all the strong places in the city were occupied by the knights. And straightway all those whom the informers declared to have been concerned in the conspiracy were either seized in their houses or brought in from the country, and after being scourged and tortured they were all crucified. [21]

 In another account, Dionysius reports,

“A Roman citizen of no obscure station, having ordered one of his slaves to be put to death, delivered him to his fellow-slaves to be led away, and in order that his punishment might be witnessed by all, directed them to drag him through the Forum and every other conspicuous part of the city as they whipped him, and that he should go ahead of the procession which the Romans were at that time conducting in honour of the god. The men ordered to lead the slave to his punishment, having stretched out both his arms and fastened them to a piece of wood which extended across his breast and shoulders as far as his wrists, followed him, tearing his naked body with whips. The culprit, overcome by such cruelty, not only uttered ill-omened cries, forced from him by the pain, but also made indecent movements under the blows.”[22]

 Even during one of the shortest reigns of a Roman emperor (eight months), it was marked by that emperor’s use of crucifixion. According to historian Suetonius, Emperor Galba was almost universally disliked and sentenced many to death, usually in an excessive manner. Suetonius describes Galba’s role in the particularly gruesome sentence against a man who claimed to be a Roman citizen:

“At first he was vigorous and energetic and even over severe in punishing offences; for he cut off the hands of a money-lender who carried on his business dishonestly and nailed them to his counter; crucified a man for poisoning his ward, whose property he was to inherit in case of his death; and when the man invoked the law and declared that he was a Roman citizen, Galba, pretending to lighten his punishment by some consolation and honour, ordered that a cross much higher than the rest and painted white be set up, and the man transferred to it.”[23]

Perhaps a better known account of Suetonius involves the emperor Nero. As his reign was collapsing, Nero was living in the residence of his freedman and confident Phaon. “A letter was brought to Phaon by one of his couriers,” writes Suetonius. “Nero snatching it from his hand read that he had been pronounced a public enemy by the senate, and that they were seeking him to punish in the ancient fashion.”[24] After asking what manner of punishment was the “ancient fashion,” Nero was told that the “criminal was stripped, fastened by the neck in a fork and then beaten to death with rods.”[25] The fork is referring to two pieces of wood fastened together in the shape of a “V.” It was also referred to as furca, one of the several ways a crucifixion device could be constructed.

To rounding out the discussion of crucifixion among Roman historians, this paper will look at one of the best-known among most modern-day Christians. Josephus, a Jewish aristocrat, served as a commander of Jewish troops in the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (AD 66-73). After his capture, he helped the Romans, eventually finding favor with the emperor and coming to be known as Flavius Josephus.

Josephus writes of his capture by the Romans, which occurred shortly after the siege of Jotapata (circa 67 AD); he was not put to death and went on to help the Romans from that time onward. In his autobiography, he writes,

“And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealius, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered.”[26]

This account is interesting for two reasons. First, an appeal to Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, was made and Titus granted the request to remove the captives from their crosses. Second, historians and scholars have the only reference from antiquity of someone’s having survived crucifixion. From the historical texts documenting the use of crucifixion, as practiced by the Romans and pre-Roman civilizations, it is clear that surviving it was nearly impossible.

Josephus describes the activity surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem. Although the passage is lengthy, it is necessary to establish the breadth of the scene of mass crucifixion. As the Jews were attempting to flee, Josephus writes,

“After they had fought, they thought it too late to make any supplications for mercy; so they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more: yet it did not appear to be safe for him to let those that were taken by force go their way, and to set a guard over so many he saw would be to make such as great deal them useless to him. The main reason why he did not forbid that cruelty was this, that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight, out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies.”[27]

 Although some may be inclined to doubt the severity and nature of crucifixion as a punishment in the ANE, this paper has presented a variety of writings from diverse sources that refute any notion that crucifixion was not widespread or particularly severe. Crucifixion was certainly very common during the Roman Empire and, as the historical texts have shown, was very brutal.

 Yehohanan – The Crucified Man

In 1968, while an area one mile north of the Damascus gate was being excavated in preparation for new apartment buildings, a tomb was discovered. This tomb was excavated by Vassilios Tzaferis. Inside fifteen ossuary boxes were thirty-five bodies. One of the bodies showed signs of crucifixion. This is, to date, the only known find of this type. The victim died around the mid-first century AD. “Osteologists and other doctors from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical School who examined the bones confirmed that the victim was a male between twenty-four and twenty-eight years old. He stood about 5 feet, 6 inches in height, about average for Mediterranean people of the time.”[28] His name was identified as “Yehohanan” because it was inscribed on the ossuary box that contained the bones.

The interest in how the nail was driven through the heal bone has resulted in considerable debate among scholars. “Still piercing his feet was a large nail about seven inches long that had been driven sideways through his heel bones, which indicates the direction in which the feet and legs were twisted in order to be attached to the beam.”[29] In Figure 1, the nail and the bend can be seen on the left. The consensus of most scholars suggests the nail struck a knot which caused the nail to bend or less likely due to the availability of nails, the end was deliberately bent to prevent extraction.

Shortly after the find, Dr. Nico Haas posited that the man was crucified with his feet nailed together, one on top of the other, with legs bent (right image in Figure 2). Haas also suggested that the hands were nailed to the cross and that both the left and right tibia were broken, along with the left fibula bone.

A few years after Hass published his findings, Yigael Yadin published a paper in which he disagreed with Haas’ assessment and put forth his idea that “the victim was crucified ‘in an open position, with knees apart.’” Yadin supported his conclusion by arguing that the inscription should be translated as “son of the one hanged with his knees apart,” instead of as “son of Hagakol.”[30] Yadin supported the idea portrayed by the left image in Figure 2.

There is now strong evidence that neither Haas nor Yadin is correct in his portrayal of the crucifixion of Yehohanan.

In 1985 Joseph Zias and Eliezer Sekeles reported their own findings upon examination of the evidence and took issue with many of the earlier conclusions. The first point of disagreement was the placement of the heels. They argue that the length of the nail holding the piece of restraining wood against the heel was insufficient to cover the width of both heels and attachment to the wood of the cross. Hershel Shanks confirms this:

“Haas also incorrectly assumed that the nail is seven inches (17–18 cm) long. In fact, the total length of the nail from head to tip is only 4.5 inches (11.5 cm). A wooden plaque less than an inch thick (2 cm) had been punctured by the nail before it passed through the right heel bone. After exiting from the bone, the nail penetrated the cross itself and then bent, probably because it hit a knot. As the new investigators observe, given the length of the nail, “There simply was not enough room for both heel bones and a two centimeter wooden plaque to have been pierced by the nail and affixed to the vertical shaft of the cross. … The nail was sufficient for affixing only one heel bone to the cross.”[31]

 This position supports the theory of the shorter nail and allows for sufficient length to be driven into the beam. “In short, only the right heel bone was penetrated—laterally, or sidewise—by the nail. Accordingly, the victim’s position on the cross must have been different from that portrayed by Haas.”[32]

A second point of disagreement is with regard to the manner in which the condemned man’s arms were fastened to the crossbar. In his article, Shanks again references Zias and Sekeles:

“One can reasonably assume that the scarcity of wood may have been expressed in the economics of crucifixion in that the crossbar as well as the upright would be used repeatedly. Thus, the lack of traumatic injury to the forearm and metacarpals of the hand seems to suggest that the arms of the condemned were tied rather than nailed to the cross. There is ample literary and artistic evidence for the use of ropes rather than nails to secure the condemned to the cross.”

Most scholars agree that when the condemned was forced to carry his instrument of crucifixion to the place it was to be carried out, he carried not the complete cross but just the crossbar. The upright part that the crossbar would become affixed to would most likely already be in place, having been used multiple times previously. “Literary sources giving insight into the history of crucifixion indicate that Roman crucifixion methods had the condemned person carry to the execution site only the crossbar. Wood was scarce and the vertical pole was kept stationary and used repeatedly.”[33]

As a result of these studies, the more likely position of the crucified man is likely what is shown in Figure 3.

The importance of this find cannot be diminished regardless of how the man was placed on the cross during his crucifixion. It matters not so much how his heels may have been attached to the cross or whether his hands were pierced with nails or bound with rope. What remains is the clear, archaeological evidence of a first-century AD Roman crucifixion.

In the previous paper, Jesus Walked Among Us – A Brief Introduction to the Historicity of Jesus Christ, numerous extra-biblical resources attesting to Jesus’ crucifixion were established. That now leaves the one remaining question in this paper.

 Conclusion – Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion

Did Christ die from His scourging and subsequent crucifixion? The evidence presented overwhelmingly supports a definitive “yes.” Multiple sources have attested to the severity and brutality of crucifixion. This paper has shown the history of this form of punishment as it developed over a period of about 2,500 years.[34] An archaeological find—The Crucified Man—confirms virtually all that has been written about crucifixion. Of all the accounts of crucifixion that historians and scholars have, there is only one account (provided by Josephus) in which a victim of crucifixion did not die; this only after he received the best care from a physician.

Robert Licona, in presenting evidence for the fate of Jesus, offers a fourth piece of evidence to support “the very low probability of surviving crucifixion.”[35] A special communication from the American Medical Association states, “The actual cause of death by crucifixion was multifactorial and varied somewhat with each case, but the two most prominient causes probably were hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia.’”[36] [37] Contributing to the factors that would have contributed to Jesus’ death was the spear thrust into His side by the Roman soldier, producing blood and fluid. The prevailing thought regarding this account is the spear pierced the aortic value resulting in His death. “While open to possibilities, historians must be guided by probabilities,” writes Licona. “Given the strong evidence for Jesus’ crucifixion, without good evidence to the contrary the historian must conclude that the process killed him. This is the conclusion shared by virtually all scholars who have studied the subject.”[38]

 NOTE: Figures referenced in this paper will be added later.


 Habermas, Gary R. The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ. Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Co., 1996.

Hengel, Martin. Crucifixion. London: SCM Press Ltd., 1977.

Samuelson, Gunnar. Crucifixion in Antiquity. Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.

Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd and James Robson. Ctesias’ History of Persia: Tales of the Orient. New York: Routledge, 2010.

Licona, Robert. The Resurrection of Jesus. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010.

McRay, John. Archaeology & the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991.

[1] This research paper by the author, Jesus Walked Among Us – A Brief Introduction to the Historicity of Jesus Christ, can be found under the Resources section of

[2] This research paper by the author, Historical Crucifixion and the Crucified Man, can be found under the Resources section of

[3] This research paper by the author, Burial Rituals of Ancient Israel and the Empty Tomb, can be found under the Resources section of

[4], s.v. “crux,” accessed May 16, 2014,

[5] Martin Hengel, Crucifixion (London: SCM Press Ltd., 1977), 24.

[6] Hengel, 24.

[7] Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 2.1.10.

[8] Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 2.18.1.

[9] Photius was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 BC and from 877 to 886 BC. His most important writings were a collection of extracts and abridgements of classical authors. As many originals have been lost over time, his work is valuable for preserving their content.

[10] Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and James Robson, Ctesias’ History of Persia: Tales of the Orient (New York: Routledge, 2010), 199.

[11] Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 2.44.2.

[12] Hengel, 22.

[13] Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 25.5.2.

[14] Polybius, Histories of Polybius, 86.4-6.

[15] Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 25.10.2.

[16] Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 26.23.1.

[17] F.J. Retief and L. Cilliers, “The History and Pathology of Crucifixion,” The South African Medical Journal, 938-941, accessed May 18, 2014,

[18] Retief and Cilliers, “The History and Pathology of Crucifixion,” 938-941.

[19] Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, 12:256.

[20] Gunnar Samuelson, Crucifixion in Antiquity (Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2013), 175.

[21] Dionysius, The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 5.51.3.

[22] Dionysius, 7.69.1-2.

[23] Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Galba 9:2

[24] Suetonius, Nero 49:2.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Josephus, The Life of Flavius Josephus, 46.

[27] Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 5:11.1.

[28] John McRay, Archaeology & the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991), 204.

[29] Gary Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1996), 174.

[30] McRay, 205.

[31] Hershel Shanks, “Scholars Corner: New Analysis of the Crucified Man,” Biblical Archaeology Review 11, no. 2 (Nov/Dec 1985), 20-21, accessed May 20, 2014,

[32] Shanks, “Scholars Corner,” 20-21.

[33] Biblical Archaeology Staff, “Roman Crucifixion Methods Reveal the History of Crucifixion,” Biblical History Daily Blog, July 17, 2011, accessed May 20, 2014,

[34] Crucifixion was abolished by Constantine I after 320 AD.

[35] Robert Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010), 311.

[36] McRay, 206.

[37] Hypovolemic shock is the result of losing more than 20 percent of one’s blood or fluid. It causes many of the major organs to fail. Exhaustion asphyxia is suffocation as a result of exhaustion from continued attempts to draw breath. Crucifixion resulted in a position whereby it was increasingly difficult to breath, due to restraint upon the cross.

[38] Licona, 311.

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