Tuesday, 18 March 2008

For Posterity - Comment made elsewhere....Warning : Not for the squeamish.

{Fr Ray Blake opined that the evangelists were sensitive enough to be reticent in describing the brutality Our Lord went through on Good Friday}

Not sure if I should say anything but I had to research crucifixion and roman scourging for my work on the Marcan Passion Narrative.
Please remember that the moment Our Lord was condemned to death by crucifixion he became a non-person [it's also one of the theories about why Barabbas is called Barabbas - there's possible illegitimacy [i.e. his [unknown] father's son] ; but it could be his father was executed and therefore unnamable by judaic as well as roman law so Barabbas was called 'his father's son' ]
Non-persons were subject to the full villainy of the Roman soldiers' hyper-violent malice, contempt and hostility - with no reprisals - they could do anything - and I mean anything - to the criminal.
If you read Matthew's Passion many commentators believe it has undergone some revision and editing - there's absences within the regular pericopal structure - merely enough to emphasise the extreme poignancy and bitterest of ironies of the kingship, the messianic identity, the Godhood, all being mocked.I cannot remember where it is [probably Justin Martyr ? cannot remember offhand] where there is a reference to possibly the Q or M sources where there is a brief more brutal depiction which seems to be a proto-gospel quotation.
Remember too that our imagery and artistic portrayals surrounding the crucifixion is simply wrong [ironically everything we know about contemporary crucifixions is verified by the shroud of turin - e.g. the arms over the crossbeam , the hemlock wedged in to hold the nails in place; the extension of the feet nail holes indicating the pivot to prevent long-term diaphragm respiration without tearing of the feet etc.
The top of the cross was barely seven feet above the ground - the reason we imagined them to be high was the sponge on the hyssop stick - the stick was to prevent lost fingers - not to reach any height - remember too golgotha was a rubbish dump -an open sewer - vermin cared little if their food source was dead yet - the body was not placed as the JPII cross imagines but the knees were raised to the side and the body contorted -and the pains involved are unimaginable - the direct shredding of nerves, the excruciating rapid muscle death, the poisoning of limbs with tetany, oedema fluid flooding the pericardium and drowning the heart from without - and death doesn't come !!! the body dies around the person before they ultimately expire....there is a no more sadistic form of death - it's there as a form of proselytism to enemies - so die the enemies of Rome -remember too hanging from a tree was the punishment in Judaism for a false prophet - again a non-person - there could be no reprisals for any degree of humiliation or malevolence one inflicted upon the dying....

We are not informed of this because we could not cope with it; even in the Mel Gibson bloodthirsty debacle it was nothing compared to what truly happened....

When we hear cretins like barbara thiering or the da vinci code lunatics speaking of christ surviving the crucifixion we must understand this is an impossibility - crucifixion was not like the filipino emulations - the victim - even if taken down within a few hours would not even be able to crawl upon their bellies - the muscles and fascia would have been damaged and poisoned irreparably; neuropathy would be the predominant sensation -no feelng except for agonising electrical short-circuiting in the limbs - heart damage would prevent even the slightest physical exertion - brain damage would cause intermittent convulsions and fits.

So in your wildest imaginings never, ever, ever imagine that the resurrection was not exactly as it was - it simply could not have been Christ having a cataleptic fit on the cross and presumed dead - Our Lord and saviour died there - there is no way for it to have been any other way...the only way was for there to have been either a resurrection or every apostle and disciple lied - and were tortured and executed solely upon that lie...

all too often we tend to shy away from the reality, the history, out of fear that the gospel stories aren't true - aren't real, and there's a possibility that the whole of our faith is a lie [we're told such every five minutes by new 'evidences' for the historical jesus by some academic ]

we need not fear history - we need not shy away from the truth out of terror that it reveals things we dare not face in our lack of Trust in the dogma of the Church...because in history it is there we are utterly vindicated !

It really happened !!! He did die - He is risen - don't run away from it because the world cannot face the fact of it....

P.S. As with all history - we should always be careful what we assess as credible and what is more 'evangelistic licence' - invariably it's the facts which are 'hard to find feasible/tenable' that are the most corroborated by external sources - take for instance the 'darkness over the land' [incidentally even an amateur astronomer would inform you an eclipse was an impossibility] and the earthquake - but the historians Thallus[AD52], Phlegon[AD137] and Africanus[AD221] confirm the darkness and earthquake happened ! [certainly they may all be wrong ;but we take for granted Suetonius on Caesar crossing the rubicon 110 years after the event, and Arrian and Plutarch on Alexander the great 400 years after he died]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What about the portrayal of the Flagellation in Mel Gibson's film? Could anyone actually have survived that, with all the loss of blood? Did you research into that as well?