Priest Argues That Jesus Died After Dislocating His Shoulder From Carrying the Cross

Andrei Tapalaga
The Roman soldier may have not been the one who killed JesusGeralt/Pixabay

The literature present in the Bible states that Jesus had died from a Roman soldier’s spear that reached his heart and made him bleed out. However, one priest believes that the cause of death was not from the spear, but from a wound created whilst Jesus was carrying the heavy cross on his shoulder. The Rev. Prof Pullicino, based in London, has written a scientific paper about his theory and published it in the Catholic Medical Quarterly.

Professor Pullicino who is considered an expert in religious studies had regionally searched biblical texts to find some evidence for his theory and there actually is. According to pious legend, St Bernard of Clairvaux asked Jesus which was the greatest unrecorded suffering of his Passion. From the texts Jesus replied:

‘I had on my shoulder, while I bore my cross on the way of sorrows, a grievous wound that was more painful than the others and which is not recorded by men.’

Most scholars in the field of religious studies agree that Jesus most likely dislocated his right shoulder when he fell, carrying the cross. Once again the information shown in biblical texts contradicts each other. In John 19:17, John says Jesus carried the cross while in Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, and Luke 23:26 we are informed that Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus to carry the cross.

The texts do not specify how heavy the cross actually was, but taking into consideration that it was most probably made out of solid wood, we would be looking at an estimated 70–90 pounds, heavy enough to dislocate someone’s shoulder. 

Professor Pullicino also analyzed the work carried out by forensic experts on the Shroud of Turin, which is believed to have been the material in which Jesus was wrapped after the crucifixion. Despite this being one of the most controversial relics in the Christian world, it bears the evidence of a man that has nail wounds to his wrists and feet. From this relic, Prof. Pullicino acknowledged the figure having a dislocated shoulder based on the position of the shoulder

“The shoulder was pulled so far out of its socket that the right hand stretches 4 inches (10cm) lower than the left. This paper postulates that over the course of three hours, the subclavian artery became abraded, injured and its wall attenuated until finally the artery ruptured and profuse bleeding ensued.’” (Quote by Professor Pullicino)

Based on this theory, Prof. Pullicino believes that such a severe dislocation would cause the subclavian artery to rupture, resulting in a lethal internal hemorrhage. He also argues that the reason so much blood squirted out when the Roman soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear is because a lot of blood was accumulated from internal bleeding

Taking into consideration that this theory is supported by evidence from the Shroud of Turin, some scholars within the field of religious studies and Christianity are skeptical about it, but it does sound like a plausible theory. The world is still waiting to see what Pope Francis has to say about this theory.

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