Many configurations of wooden structures were used by the Romans to perform crucifixions:
There does not appear to be conclusive evidence of the exact design that was used to execute Jesus.
After the victim was dead, the body was typically thrown on a dump to be eaten by scavenging animals. Some liberal theologians believe that this was Jesus' fate. The Gospels give a different story; they describe how Joseph of Arimathea obtained special permission to lay Jesus' body in his unused tomb.
Crucifixions were carefully designed to generate the greatest feelings of horror and thus to have the greatest deterrent effect on the populace. They were a form of psychological terrorism by the government:
When was Yeshua killed?
Most people believe that Jesus was crucified starting on a Friday morning, in the spring time, near the time of Passover about the year 30 CE. The Gospels of Mark 15; Matthew 27; Luke 23 John 19 and Peter 4 & 5 record events associated with the crucifixion.
Like the four canonical Gospels, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, the author of the Gospel of Peter is unknown. The Gospel is pseudepigraphical. That is, it states that the author was Peter, one of Jesus'' disciples. However Peter did not actually write it. Most theologians believe that it was written long after Peter's death, sometime in the 2nd century CE. It was never accepted into the official canon of the Christian Scriptures.
Most Gospel writers state the crucifixion began at the 3rd hour (9 AM), and that Jesus died about the 9th hour (3 PM). The exact year is unknown. Estimates range from 29 to 33 CE.
Where was Yeshua killed?
He was executed at Golgotha, The Place of the Skull, in Jerusalem, Judea. This was the location where executions were performed in that city. It was originally located outside the city gates. Jerusalem has since grown to encompass the execution site. Golgotha's exact location is not known today with certainty. A church has been erected on what some Christians believe was the location of the crucifixion.
Who killed Yeshua?
He was executed by soldiers of the Jerusalem garrison of the Roman army. They were the only organization in 1st century Palestine authorized to carry out crucifixions. They were also the only group with the necessary experience to carry out this grisly task with efficiency.
The gospels record that the execution was authorized by Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea. The Bible describes that Pilate's judgment was greatly influenced by the local Jewish leaders and by an angry Jewish mob of unknown size. Most conservative Christians believe that the Gospel story is precise, and free of error. Many religious liberals view this story as unhistorical, anti-Jewish propaganda. Pilate was known to be an arrogant ruler who would not have been swayed by the demands of a Jewish mob. Also, there are many events recorded in the Bible about Jesus' trial which would not have been permitted at the time by the rules of the Great Sanhedrin -- the highest religious court in Israel.
Three facts might be helpful in assessing the steps that led to Jesus' execution:
It is almost certain that anyone who committed aggravated assault in the Jerusalem Temple at this time would have been detected by the soldiers. Standard practice would have the person seized, and taken before an officer. He would certainly consider Jesus to be guilty of insurrection under Roman law and sentenced to crucifixion on the spot.
Unfortunately, the Christian Church has historically considered the Jewish people to be guilty of the death of Jesus. This would include not only the Jewish mob in front of Pilate, but all Jews in Jerusalem at the time, all Jews throughout Judea, all Jews in the diaspora, their children, their grand-children, all the way through about 75 generations until the mid-20th Century.
This, of course, is totally irrational. To hold a person responsible for an act committed almost two millennia before their birth by an ancient ancestor is a violation of fundamental justice. It is scapegoating. Yet one still occasionally hears the accusation "Christ killer" yelled at Jews. Fortunately, during the 20th essentially all Christian denominations ceased to blame present-day Jews for events circa 30 CE. Unfortunately stories that hold an innocent person(s) responsible for the crimes or sins of a guilty person is found in many places throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and is still a foundational belief for some Christians.
Why did the Romans decide kill Yeshua?
Many theologians reason that since Jesus was not a slave, then he must have been viewed by the Roman authorities as a rebel -- a threat to the established order. Only slaves, and persons considered traitors or insurrectionists were crucified by the Roman occupying forces.
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