I was reading the Gospel of John earlier today and I came across the crucifixion account. There was one verse that I’m pretty sure I’ve looked over before but caught my attention this time around. John 19:36 “For these things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of his will be broken.”” My question is how was Jesus crucified (nailed to the cross) without no bones breaking? Thanks!


As I understand it, scholars who have studied Roman crucifixions in the first century have concluded that most likely, they were done by driving a nail through the opening between the ulna and the radius. The nail-through-the-hand is a tradition from the Middle Ages. This tradition is so strong–especially for Roman Catholics–that it has become an assumption for most people. The problem comes from a confusion about vocabulary. For example, in Psalm 22:16 we find the phrase “They have pierced my hands and my feet.” I am not an expert on Hebrew, but I have learned from scholars that the word for feet would include the foot and the ankle. The word for hand would include the hand and the wrist. Archaeologists have discovered an anlke with a nail through it, proving that the crucifixion was through the ankle, not the foot. The evidence leads me to conclude that the nail in Jesus’ “hand” was struck through his wrist, avoiding breaking any bones.

John Oakes



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