Why We Believe The Crucifixion
Story Is A Fabrication
By James Donahue
A brilliant spiritual
associate once offered a most remarkable thought about the Easter crucifixion story. He asked how the Romans could have tortured
political prisoners by hanging them on wooden crosses in an area where there are few, if any trees.
Indeed, the so-called
“holy land” is an arid and rocky country where mostly olive and palm trees are mentioned in the New Testament.
Neither tree is very useful for providing building materials. Buildings are mostly constructed of rock, concrete and mortar.
When you see pictures of the area, you rarely see trees, and those you see are somewhat spindly and in the distance.
True, there are suggestions
that trees may have been more abundant in Jesus’s time. The Bible story identifies Jesus as a carpenter who learned
his trade from his father, Joseph. But this could have been part of the overall fabricated story of Jesus, or else it may
mean that Joseph and Jesus were craftsmen, who worked not only with wood, but with metal, fabric and hides.
There also is a story
that the “woods” of Jerusalem contained cinnamon trees, and that when the wood from these
trees was used for fuel it produced a pleasant aroma that filled the home.
The historian Josephus
notes that cedar was used for the roof beams in the temple at Jerusalem, but this wood was
imported from Lebanon. It was not grown
Olive trees are not trees
at all, but an “evergreen” shrub that never grows more than 15 meters in height. It does well in arid areas because
of its deep root system. As it ages, an olive plant develops a thick trunk that has proved to be a source of fine wood-made
crafts. Thus it is possible that Jesus and Joseph carved ornamental pieces from olive wood. This wood would not have been
used to manufacture crude frames on which to hang and torture political prisoners.
The Cinnamon Tree is
an exotic plant which, like the olive bush, rarely grows taller than 15 meters. Its tubular bark is extracted and used for
seasoning and it is considered a shade tree when it reaches maturity. The tree is so highly treasured that it is unlikely
that it would be used for making a crucifix.
The palm tree in the
Middle East at the time of Jesus was probably the Date Palm, a unique tree that provided
a form of date fruit that was found to be a concentrated energy food. The tree also provided shade and protection from the
desert winds. All parts of this tree were used for a variety of domestic purposes, but the wood is so porous and pithy, it
is highly unlikely it would have served as a proper support on which to hang and torture a grown human.
Common sense thus suggests
that the Romans did not use wooden-made poles or crosses for torturing Jesus or any other political prisoners in that part
of the world. If they did it, it would have meant the costly importing of lumber from Europe,
just for the barbarous killing of people. It just seems that the simple stoning of such prisoners in the public square, or
some other means of torture would have made more sense.
This simple problem alone
makes us seriously question the whole Easter story. We suggest that Jesus was never crucified. Rather he was probably just
murdered and his body buried somewhere in the area.
James Cameron, the film
director that produced the Oscar-winning film Titanic, last year emerged with a shocking documentary about a tomb found near
Jerusalem in 1980 that he believes contained the remains of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their
son, named Judah. The claim has since
been attacked by theologians and archaeologists, but this was to be expected.
The fact remains that
the discovery, carefully recorded and documented by Cameron, raises serious questions and puts a blanket of doubt about the
Biblical account of the murder, burial and so-called resurrection of Jesus.