Roman Influence on the Birth of Christianity

The Crucifixion


  • None of the written accounts of the crucifixion in the New Testament say anything about nails being used.

  • The most common form of Roman crucifixion:

    • Subject was tied to a large post or cross.

    • Subject remained on the cross indefinitely, usually denied the dignity of burial.

    • Usually took several days to die from thirst, exposure and/or asphyxiation.

  • Jesus spent a relatively short period (six hours) on the cross, from the third hour of the day[1] to the ninth hour.[2]

  • The women who knew Jesus[3] and all of Jesus’ acquaintances[4] watched from a distance.

  • Roman soldiers[5] and a Roman centurion[6] stood guard at the cross.

  • In Matthew, Mark, and Luke no form of physical violence was committed against Jesus while he was on the cross.

  • A Roman centurion pronounced Jesus’ supposed death.[7]

  • Pontius Pilate directed who was allowed to take Jesus’ body from the cross.[8]

  • A heretofore unknown person, Joseph of Arimathea, took Jesus’ body, not a member of Jesus’ family. He is documented as being:

    • A rich man.[9]

    • A member of the council.[10]

    • A “secret” disciple of Jesus.[11]

[1]Mark 15:25

[2] Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, Luke 23:44-45

[3] Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41

[4] Luke 23:49

[5] Matthew 27:36

[6] Matthew 27:54, Mark 15:39, Luke 23:47

[7] Mark 15:45

[8] Matthew 27:58, Mark 15:45, Luke 23:52, John 19:38

[9] Matthew 27:57

[10] Mark 15:43, Luke 23:50

[11] John 19:38


Historical Discussion
In Depth

Historical Context

Dating the Gospels

I Was a Sunday-School Spy


Post Appearance of Jesus

Who Did Jesus Curse-Praise

Taxes to Rome

Submissiveness to Oppression

John the Baptist

Admirable and Amazing Works

The Term Gospel

Jewish Judgment

Pilate's Defense (animation)

Roman Soldiers at the Tomb

Migration of Christianity to Rome

Irony of Faith

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