n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die kruisiging van Christus as medies-historiese gebeurtenis

Volume 44, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


The crucifixion of Christ is reviewed as a medical-historical event. He was probably crucifed on a short Tau-cross, and died within 6 hours (probably even within 3 hours). This is not an exceptionally short period of time, and there is no reason to postulate unusual causes for His death. He probably died from the classic progressive asphyxia syndrome and hypovolaemic shock typical of the crucifixion-process, finally ending in cardiac arrest as result of a vaso-vagal reflex. The latter could have been elicited by intense pain due to various causes, although hypoxaemia per se or various other less common conditions could also have pertained. The spear wound in Christ's side which probably pierced his heart, was certainly inflicted after His death. The appearance of blood and water is discussed as an expected post mortem phenomenon, specifically as proof against a functioning blood circulation indicating apparent rather than true death.

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