How did they remove the nails ?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Ted Grant II, May 14, 2017.

  1. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    118
    We are told that within a few hours of the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea, possibly with assistants, took down the body of Christ, wrapped it in a cloth and placed it in his own tomb.

    We are not given any details, that is, we have no idea how Joseph did it.

    It was a very strange thing to do and even stranger that the Romans allowed him to do it. Normally, the naked crucified person was left on the cross (or stake or tree) for a long time until reduced to a skeleton, eaten by wild animals and birds and weathered. From the Roman's point of view, the humiliation and cruelty of the spectacle was intended to show others that they should behave themselves and the Roman laws.

    "If you don't behave, this will happen to you".

    We can think about the problem of taking down a bloody dead body, even though we don't have the details.
    One assumes that the body was quite high up so that it could be seen from a great distance. Joseph would need at least one ladder or platform to reach the body.

    Assuming a ladder, where did he place it? On the front perhaps ? Would that mean it rested on the body ? On the back perhaps ? but then it would be difficult to access the nails at the front.

    Presumably, he remove one nail at a time. How? They must have been big nails in big pieces of wood. Did he use a crow bar ? If so, how was it placed ? A crow bar needs to rest on something, but the body would be in the way and he wouldn't want to damage the body.

    Suppose he used pincers. He would find it very difficult to remove a big nail with pincers whilst balancing on a rickety old ladder and holding on to the corpse. Bear in mind, there were three nails. As soon as he removed one (assuming that was possible), the body would slump. Then matters would worsen on removing the second nail. In addition, the body must have been bleeding profusely, so imagine handling that, with all the other problems to manage.

    Then there is the big question, why did he bother ?

    The story of the resurrection depends on the body being removed from the cross.
    The removal is a key, albeit difficult, part of the story.
    No way could Jesus come back to life whilst nailed to the cross.

    So the story composers had to get him down and placed somewhere safe, where his body could be miraculously restored without the attentions of wild beast to worry about.

    The snag in the story is HOW ?

    I just thought of an answer.
    A miracle !

    The nails fell out and the body floated gently down into the arms of Joseph.

    Simple !
     
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  3. DrKrettin Registered Senior Member

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    Your assertion that bodies were left to rot is interesting. There is no mention of this in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, but it refers to what happens after the body was removed, suggesting that this was normal practice. I think this is the usual stance in classical scholarship.

    Can you give me a reference for your assertion?
     
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  5. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    BTW: Many (most) believers seem to think that nails were driven into the palms of the hands. The body would not be supported by nails in the palms, which would rip.

    A crucified person required the nails to be driven through the wrists or providing some way to allow the feet to support most of the weight.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    22,883
    The easy way would be to lower the cross itself, the reverse of the procedure for standing it up and certainly a routine for which all necessary gear would have been ready to hand - and the Romans would help, since they had an interest in the cross and the nails, both items of some expense.

    Death was by asphyxiation or dehydration - we have an account of Jesus receiving electrolytes, and he was apparently taken down before asphyxiation would have been likely with unbroken legs, as the account also describes (much earlier than normal for an execution). Which raises some possibilities, if the entire account is not mythical.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    2,513
    None of the gospels suggests that Joseph took the body down from the cross himself. The Roman soldiers had to take every body down eventually, so they had the means to do so. No mystery.
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    5,537
    I don't think this is particularly strange. According to the biblical account, the whole business was the Romans (Pilate) keeping the Jewish establishment happy rather than having any special reasons to condemn Christ themselves. So they might have let his followers remove the body once they had made sure he was dead (the spear and blood and water - pulmonary oedema). There would be no "profuse bleeding" by the way. Once the heart has stopped, blood does not flow very profusely from small wounds.

    It seems to me you are struggling to find things wrong with the account. It may well have been make-believe*, but I don't think you can deduce that it was from the descriptions of the crucifixion itself in the bible.

    *St John's account was written some considerable time later than the synoptic gospels and seems to go out of its way to incriminate the Jews and let Pilate off lightly. One has to be a bit suspicious of it. I say this having sung the part of the narrator in the plainsong St John's Passion for the last 4 years at our local church. It makes a dramatic narrative all right - but perhaps a bit too much so to be literally true......
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    3,937
    I had thought between the radius and the ulna near the wrist?
     
  11. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    2,533
     
  12. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    2,533
    When you read read properly . The body was taken down the same day, the beast been around were the soldiers, and the centurion become a believer after earthquake have taken place, I would not be surprised if he did not become compassionate in how to take the nails out. We don't know, how thik was the wood , so it could be cracked linearly to the nail and the nail would just fall out . If you are not commissioned you would be a butcher.
     
  13. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    2,062
    I haven't seen the Oxford Classical Dictionary

    Does it mention if the body was removed to recycle the cross?

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    I have heard it you gather up all the bits of the true cross in church's around the world you can make a Sherwood Forest size field of crosses

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  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    I read once that the buddha's frail little body yielded 84 pecks of relics.
     
  15. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Good business in photocopied relics

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  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. This sort of snake oil stuff is one reason why the Catholic Church officially is rather wary of relics - though of course loads of individual churches go in for them! Wasn't abuse of relics one of the things Martin Luther railed against?
     
  17. DrKrettin Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    145
    It says that the cross was usually destroyed after the body was taken down.

    Everybody refers to crosses, but the bible makes no reference to one. The only word used is stauros, which means stake.
     
  18. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    2,062
    My knowledge of Martin Luther is very minimal

    A 3 neurone brain can only hold so much

    Currently it is running on The Trump model for regulations

    For every item of knowledge put in push 2 out

    Which church still supports the Turing Shroud?

    While it still seems to baffle as to how it was made the age of the cloth rules it out as being JC's burial wrapping

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  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    You mean the Turin shroud. Alan was an homosexualist mathematician.

    And no, the church has always been very circumspect about its authenticity. Just as well, in view of much of the modern evidence.
     
  20. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    118
    By all means. Most people do not have access to academic historical sources and I don't wish to be tiresome with pages of references, so I will provide a diet of two contemporary and easy sources that wouldn't satisfy a professor of Roman history, but will, I hope suffice..

    "How and why the Romans executed people" by C.M. Hypno

    "How Jesus became God" by B. Ehrman
     
  21. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    118
    Luke 23:50-56 " 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.
     
  22. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    118
    I also have all the necessary gear to hand, but found it impossible to remove any nail without severally damaging the flesh.

    Obviously, an explanation is required here.

    In the interest of science, I used a 4x6 piece of wood (an old fence post) and a six inch nail, then used a club hammer to nail a chicken carcass to the wood, up to the head of the nail, without crushing the carcass. I then used various tools, including a crow bar (or iron rod) and tried to remove the nail. I managed it eventually, but by then the carcass was a sorry mess. I first tried this with the post fixed at head height to a wall in my garden and standing on a modern ladder. This proved impossible as the beam kept springing towards me and I nearly fell off the ladder, so for safety, I removed to post and placed it on the ground to complete the messy experiment. I concluded that no sane person would ever attempt this on a human.
     
  23. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    2,533
    Should I believe them ( your site ) then it was written in the Gospels which were closer in time to the incident ?
    In our present time people write books with exciting ideas to make a sell of there product , otherwise it will not sale.
     

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