Post Appearance Story
As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them. But they were startled and
frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in
your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see
that I have.” And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him
a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.
Again, why is there no mention of nail wounds? Jesus asks his disciples to “see” exposed parts of his body (i.e., parts not
covered by clothing, like his hands and feet) and to physically handle other parts of his body to prove he is flesh and blood,
and not spirit. Jesus is doing this to calm their fears by proving he is not a ghost.
One very simple and logical explanation of why there is no mention of nails in the written accounts of the crucifixion, and
there is no mention of nail wounds in the post-appearance story is nails were not used and Jesus was supported in the more common
fashion using ropes.
As shocking as the next statement may appear, it is a relatively simple statement with complete viability. This statement is
not only simple, but also exceedingly logical if one tries to throw off the intense cultural emotion placed upon it:
If Jesus appeared live after the crucifixion, then this necessarily means he did not die on the cross.
If Jesus survived a Roman execution then this in turn strongly suggests Pontius Pilate allowed Jesus to live. The strong possibility
that nails were not used in Jesus’ crucifixion and his relatively short time on the cross, fits well with a Roman design (discussed
in the following pages) to protect Jesus from a death demanded by a Jewish mob.
When did the word-of-mouth version using nails become part of Christian folklore?
It is possible first-hand written accounts may have existed. But there is no record of such an account
and the written accounts that do exist do not support this.
The word-of-mouth version had to have started after the first three Gospels were written, but within a few
decades when the Gospel of John was written.
The Gospel of John has a modified version of the post-appearance story called the “doubting Thomas.”
This modified account has the flavor of a story adjusted over time. The basis for this conclusion is the
nature of the much earlier version in Luke, which makes no mention of nail wounds.
The word-of-mouth version dominated over the next few centuries given the prevalence in religious art work
(sculptures and paintings).