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May 23, 1986

On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ

Author Affiliations

Escondido, Calif

JAMA. 1986;255(20):2759-2760. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370200054025

To the Editor.—  The Journal deserves to be commended for publishing "On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ"1 with its breadth of scope and inclusion of interesting ideas, some of which do not fall within the strict discipline of science.The drawing in Fig 4 of a typical nail is illuminating. It seems to have been made from a study of the (clinched) nail that impaled the ossa calcis of Jehohanan. Removal of the body of Jesus from the cross was a problem, solved, I propose, by partly driving out from the back of the patibulum the nails transfixing the wrists, if the nails protruded, after which dirt was removed from behind the stipes until it leaned and could be pulled out of the ground from behind. If there was a suppedaneum, it could have been split up by a chisel or wedge and removed piecemeal, whereupon the feet could