[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 23, 1986

On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ

JAMA. 1986;255(20):2756-2757. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370200054020

To the Editor.—  It has been a source of great pride and pleasure for me to have reviewed manuscripts for the JAMA staff over the last two years. The Journal seems to get better and better. However, I must tell you of my surprise and disappointment when I read the article, "On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ."1The authors present as science material from references that are speculative, unverifiable, and open to conflicting interpretations. Some of what they write may be true, but much is creative reconstruction, stated with too much certainty. For example, the authors accept literally the biblical statement that Jesus' sweat became like blood. They diagnose hematidrosis, an exceedingly rare condition, and rely upon their tenuous diagnosis to support a conclusion that Jesus must have been hypovolemic.Detailed and horrifying figures appear. While they may represent what happened to Jesus, the connection between these pictures and