May 23, 1986

On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ

Author Affiliations

Springfield, Va

JAMA. 1986;255(20):2756. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370200054018

To the Editor.—  The most recent post mortem on Jesus of Nazareth1 brings new meaning to the pseudoscience of forensic mythology. The reader must ask, is the author's avowed purpose of presenting an "accurate account of the physical death of the one called Jesus Christ" naive enough to be true, or are we witnessing yet another revisionist approach to history? It would certainly not be the first time that assumptions, hearsay, prejudice, and gossip have been given the legitimacy of "fact" by being discussed in a "scientific" context.The Jewish people are held accountable for the death of Jesus no less than six times, with care to ensure that the Romans are given equal time and, in fact, special credit for administering the coup de grace. The juxtaposition of such assertions with anatomically accurate pictures of barbarism and torture (is that too a modern medical interpretation?) is thinly veiled anti-Semitism