Thursday, February 19, 2004

Crucifixion in The Gospel of John

I commented yesterday on the question of filmic depictions of crucifixion, specifically nailing through the wrists. Earlier I checked The Gospel of John's crucifixion scene and as in most of the other recent Jesus films, it does depict the crucifixion with nailing through the wrists, with pieces of wood in between the wrist and the head of the nail. Unusually, Jesus is fastened to the sides of the cross by his ankles, as in the picture in Joe Zias's article, Crucifixion in Antiquity. No doubt this is because the academic advisory committee would have been familiar with the work of Hengel and Zias. Good for them. One other really chilling element in the film is when the soldiers come with hammers to break the legs of the other two men crucified with Jesus. The hitting happens off screen but it's still enough to make your blood go cold. I can hardly imagine how I will cope with watching The Passion of the Christ.

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