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May 23, 1986

On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ

Author Affiliations

Union of American Hebrew Congregations New York

JAMA. 1986;255(20):2760. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370200054026

To the Editor.—  We read the article "On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,"1 with astonishment and outrage.We are astonished that a medical journal would presume to roam beyond the borders of its own expertise into the realm of theology. It is about as appropriate as if we used our magazine, Reform Judaism, to have our rabbis instruct our readers in the technique of open heart surgery. Medicine should be left to the physicians, theology to the theologians, and interpretations of religion to the faith communities.We are outraged because your illconceived article is filled with historical inaccuracies that are invidious and offensive to the Jewish faith. Even if this were an appropriate subject for JAMA, the involvement of competent Christian scholars and the utilization of Jewish sources would have avoided serious problems.The editors of The Journal owe their readers—who are physicians of many religious backgrounds or