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Gods, idols, statues and accuracy

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I went to a christening not long ago. It was held in a small but beautiful Catholic Church with a personable and knowledgeable priest conducting the ceremony.

Most Catholic Churches bother me with the overbearing representations of Christ on the cross, Mary, Mary with the baby Jesus, various saints, and other representations or idols of their particular Christian delusion. This one was no different.

Many of these churches and cathedrals have life size “statues” of various religious figures, with some slightly smaller or larger than life size. The christening church had an almost life-size figure of Christ on the cross.

Aside from the burning question of the idol-or-God-or-statue problem, it bothered me. The statue was totally inaccurate. It was wrong in four or perhaps five ways.

First, the nails or spikes were through the palms of the hands. That’s patently wrong, since the weight of the average person would cause nails to pull through the palm and cause the one crucified to fall down. That would mean more work for the Roman soldiers, and they would not like that.

Crucifixion was always done through the wrist, where the complex of wrist bones would hold the body in place on the cross. That’s one error. A second error comes with the two nails – one through each foot – on the vertical part of the cross.

That would never happen, since nails and spikes were handmade and a valuable commodity. The Romans used one nail through both feet – one foot on top of the other. That’s the second error.

The third error in this statue/idol/God was the triangular platform nailed to the cross standard to provide a partial rest for the feet. That never happened, and is a later fiction added to the Christ Crucifixion scene. The lack of a platform would cause more pain, less rest, and more of an agonizing struggle to the one crucified. That was the goal of the Romans.

The forth error was one that you find in all crucifixion scenes – Catholic and Protestant. It was in that little swatch of cloth or linen around the genitals and hips to make Christ seem less sexually offensive to worshiping parishioners. In truth, Christ as with all those crucified at the time, was as naked as a jaybird, as the expression goes. In today’s parlance, his junk would be hanging out for all to see.

A fifth questionable aspect of this statue/idol/God was that the body was completely uninjured. In John 19:33 -34, it states that “But when they (the soldiers) came to Jesus, and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” (Standard practice with those crucified). “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”

Thus, in this statue in this Catholic Church, we could argue back and forth about whether this was a before-pierced or after-pierced statue. Since the statue appeared as if it was a representation of a dead Jesus, it would have been pierced in the side and thus inaccurate.

A final questionable aspect of this also relates to John 19:36-37 that the piercing rather than leg breaking fulfilled the scripture prophecy that “. . .not one of his bones will be broken.”

This is questionable since hammering a spike or nail through a wrist and foot or ankle would most likely break some of the bones involved.

Sound to me as if some Catholic priests might want to check with Biblical scholars before crafting any more statues or idols, and might want to revisit those idols or statues that they have for possible corrections.



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