Jerusalem Report: -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 01:1 (Winter 1972)
Article: Jerusalem Report:
Author: Anonymous

Jerusalem Report:

First Remains Of A Crucified Man Found

In the summer of 1968 Israeli archaeologists found the first identifiable remains of a crucified man on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem. Israeli scholars studied the find more than two years before announcing it. The bones of the crucified man, whose name was Jehohanan, were found in a Jewish cave-tomb which had in it an ossuary (bone casket) bearing the inscription “Simon, builder of the Temple”. By this inscription, and pottery in the tomb, the remains were dated to between A.D. 7 and A.D. 70.

A Roman crucifixion in the first century A.D.

The reason for the positive identification of Jehohanan as a victim of crucifixion lies in a bent nail. The nail used to fasten his feet to the cross (see sketch) struck a knot, thus causing it to bend to the side as it was

hammered into place. When they attempted to remove his body from the cross, the nail could not be extracted. Therefore his feet were cut off and the entire complex - nail, plaque of wood (which kept the feet in position) and feet - was taken down and buried together.

From the damage done to the bones (including the shattering of the lower legs to hasten death - see John 19:32, 33) the scholars were able to determine that the position of the body on the cross was that shown in the sketch.

This archaeological discovery helps us to understand a little better the agony of our Lord, “Who His own self bare our sins in His Own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (I Peter 2:24).

(Israel Exploration Journal, vol. 20, No. 1-2, 1970. See also New York Times, January 4, 1971 and Time Magazine, January 18, 1971)

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