The implement of Christ’s death
The timber that was used to execute Jesus had to be substantial. Thus, its weight could not have been carried entirely, but rather it had to be dragged.
Get a log with no crosspiece, one substantial enough to nail a man to, and try to drag it through town. Try to get a hold of it without it sliding out of your grip.
The Romans were brutal, but they were not stupid. They “lifted up”, as was the term, many a person. The condemned, as a rule, would have proved that it was generally impossible to drag a straight beam all the way up to Golgotha.
Now, affix a crossbeam and even a beaten and hungry and exhausted man can bear the cross all the way.
Give me a simple piece of rope and I would quickly make the log easy to drag. A cross indeed. As for the weight and distance, who knows?
There are archeological findings that support the position that Roman crucifixes were indeed two pieces of wood one crossed over the other. (T)
The WTS endeavor of saying that Jesus was crucified on a single stake with one piece was to make mainstream Christendom false, they failed.
A human could carry a cross beam....which would be ultimately attached to a grounded pole, which is already in position, in situ.
Carrying a whole post, a stake of wood?
And how long would it take to fix the stake in the ground and for it to hold steady enough to keep upright with the weight of a human on it?
The ‘crucifixion’ stake was already in place surely, the victim carried the cross beam.
An unthinkably horrific death.
And yes, I reckon the WT just tried to be deliberately ‘different’ to ‘christendom’.
In retrospect, the whole idea that an entire stake was carried by the condemned across the city and up a hill....? It can’t be.
But the cross beam.....sadly yes.
I think it was Colonel Mustard in the parlor with the candelabra.
Many think he only carried the cross beam and then got help too.
The Romans were doing the executing factory style. Jesus was not the first ever and it was not as if their method was just invented that day. They had a system. It was a regular event. The poles and such would get reused over and over.
The condemned were subjected to all kinds of brutality prior to the actual lifting up. They would be exhausted. Jesus all the more so. There’s no way a person who was beaten and abused as was Jesus, could drag a pole, without even a way to grip it, the distance.
In fact, Simon from Cyrene was impressed into carrying whatever Jesus crucifiction required, Jesus was beat that bad.
I am not going to say that I know exactly how it was done, but certain things shine through. According to the Gospels, Jesus was nailed hand and foot. He would not have been nailed until he was on site at Golgotha. So, the idea that he was tied with ropes to a crosspiece and then later untied and nailed does not add up to an efficient Roman system.
The timbers used would have been brought into town as part of the system. It was part of the whole action to first force the condemned to carry their timber the distance through town, a public humiliation and torture meant for all to see, such that people learned to fear the Romans. It was for effect. It was terrorism.
Jesus was abused beyond the norm, such that even the Romans could see it was not business as usual. Hence Simon was employed.
Yes, a condemned prisoner could drag a pole, with a crosspiece to grab on to, through town and up to Golgotha. It would have been difficult, for sure. But that was the point, as the condemned was going to be killed. And it was a painful spectacle.
But a single pole, with no means to grip it, would be ridiculous. And it would be historically inconsistent.
If Jesus was tied to a crosspiece first, and that is all He had to manage, did they then unite him from it and tie Simon to it? I think not.
The Roman system needed to be simple and uncomplicated and able to be reused efficiently. And the site at Golgotha would certainly have had prepared and fortified holes for the timbers to drop into. It was, after all, a public torture and execution chamber. They didn’t dig the holes that day.
To have the condemned using every ounce of energy trying to grasp the straight pole would mean they would tire long before getting to the site. I’d like to see it tried.
Yes, it is simple physics (and basic maths).
What would the length of the torture stake be? Well if someone’s hands are to be nailed above their head, you need 2 metres. To have them on public display and out of reach of help for hours on end, you would need 2 to 3 metres more. (Let’s just say 2m for argument). Then you have to bury the base. The base needs to be long, as the load is unbalanced (hanging to one side) and the victim might potentially shake the stake with convulsions. If it is in hard rocky ground, and rocks wedged in afterwards, you might get away with just 1m. Anything else, you would need 2m. I would estimate longer because the Romans wouldn’t risk the embarrassment of a flopped execution. But let’s go with 1 m anyway.
That totals 5m minimum (and in reality, more likely closer to 7m.
The stake diameter would have to be at least 300mm, for strength, to enable nails to hold without splitting the timber, and because it would be difficult to get a straight length that long that is any thinner. In fact, it was probably wider than that, at least at one end.
Approx weight (assuming density of 1000 kg per cum):
5 x 1000 x 0.3 x 0.3 x 3.14 / 4 = 353 kg. Too heavy for a single person to lift at one end, let alone drag anywhere.