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To the Editor:
—Dr. Cyril E. Bousfield's comment on page 1152 of The Journal for July 21 requires further comment. Where is the evidence that Jesus was dead when speared? His companions' legs were broken—a custom based on experience to keep the crucified from reviving and walking away. A spear was thrust into His side to make sure He was dead. The fact that blood came when the skin was punctured makes it likely that He was alive. The "water" is another thing entirely. Even a small amount of blood mixed with it at any time prior to the deep puncture wound would have given the appearance of blood; hence the word water would not have been used. One must conclude that an effusion was tapped, either pericardial or pleural.
Phillips IE. MORE ABOUT CLOTTING IN BIBLICAL LITERATURE. JAMA. 1951;146(16):1526. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670160068027
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