It's a long flight to heaven
June 13, 2005 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Jesus: deep vein thrombosis's most famous victim. "This fits well with Jesus's condition and actually was in all likelihood the major cause of death by crucifixion," says Professor Benjamin Brenner, a researcher at Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa. Sadly, those special stockings that reduce your chances of developing DVT were developed almost 2000 years too late to help the King of Kings.
posted by goatdog (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That is very interesting. I had been told that the cause of death for someone who had been crucified was asphyxiation, not blood loss (which, according to the article, is the popular belief). Everything that I have ever been told or read about crucifixions indicate that they typically did not involve spikes; instead, the victim was attached to the cross with ropes. If this is the case, then it would seem as if crucifixion would have to result in some other condition aside from blood loss to be an effective method.
posted by Tullius at 2:23 PM on June 13, 2005

Not being a biblical scholar, and not having access to the referenced paper, this seems somewhat absurd. He also could have died of a stroke from the effects of stress and undiagnosed hypertension, or a torsed testicle, ruptured appendix, or neurasthenia. Maybe scurvy.

How long was he, in fact, purported to last between being tethered and dying?
posted by docpops at 2:36 PM on June 13, 2005

Scurvy. Hehe. "Argh! Why have ye forsaken me?"
posted by goatdog at 2:46 PM on June 13, 2005 [1 favorite]

docpops - He was up about three hours before dying, which is fast for a crucifixion. The Romans were surprised he didn't last longer than he did, even considering the scourging.

Crucifixion was supposed to be a slow, days-long process of dying by exposure and gradual asphyxiation. The position in which the hands/wrists are tied/nailed (either or both methods were used for different crucifixions) makes it difficult to breathe, so the crucifixee is forced to push himself up on the nail in his feet (ow) to bring his arms even with his shoulders and draw deeper breaths. Because the Sabbath was coming, the Jews asked the Romans to break the crucifixees' legs to hasten their deaths, but they found that Jesus had already died.

I remember reading that Jesus may have had haematidrosis, a skin/blood condition which can cause arteries to rupture near sweat glands when the victim is tense, which would explain the blood-sweating account. Don't know if that's medically related to thrombosis, though.
posted by brownpau at 2:50 PM on June 13, 2005

Too bad Mel Gibson wasn't in on this information!
posted by zaelic at 2:54 PM on June 13, 2005

The Buddha: morbid obesity's most famous victim.
posted by felix betachat at 2:57 PM on June 13, 2005

Three hours. I'm hard pressed to refute a british scholar, but that's, um, a bit brief to develop a DVT. Moreso, a small percentage ever break free and travel north. I must be missing something.
posted by docpops at 2:59 PM on June 13, 2005

"Death by Crucifixion" just isn't good enough? Sheesh.
posted by ilsa at 3:10 PM on June 13, 2005

Not meaning to be sacrilegious, but who cares? As an ex-Christian, I understand that his resurrection is important, but I fail to see any reason for interest in the method of his dying. Now, if Professor Brenner had alleged that he had died of syphilis, that would have been interesting, if only for the controversy that it generated.
posted by Chasuk at 3:25 PM on June 13, 2005

Please, we all know he traveled to India and other parts east during the period when the bible doesn't talk about him.

He obviously learned a yogi trick that mimicked death while he was there. Then, he made it look like he died until he was buried in that cave. How else would you explain that his body was missing and people saw him up and walking around later?
posted by willnot at 3:25 PM on June 13, 2005

I thought the whole point of the story was that he didn't die.
posted by kjc at 3:29 PM on June 13, 2005

You'd never really know that there is considerable controversy as to whether or not Jesus was even real in the first place from articles like this.
posted by graymouser at 3:42 PM on June 13, 2005

Didn't anyone tell you? God is dead!
posted by Floach at 3:42 PM on June 13, 2005

Yeah, but is he still dead? And who killed him?

(Also, I don't think anyone cares.)
posted by Snyder at 3:52 PM on June 13, 2005

he should have picked freedom.
posted by muppetboy at 3:56 PM on June 13, 2005

it's not like anyone ever got to do an autopsy ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:24 PM on June 13, 2005

Similar to what graymouser said: this might be interesting -- if one believed that (a) Jesus actually existed, and (b) he was the "son of god." If you believe it, great. If not, then *meh*.
posted by davidmsc at 7:54 PM on June 13, 2005

I thought the whole point of the story was that he didn't die.

you thought wrong. the whole point was that he did die.
posted by quonsar at 8:02 PM on June 13, 2005

But what if he was one of us?
posted by c13 at 8:41 PM on June 13, 2005

If Jesus had been crucified in the USA, this would likely be a preamble to a malpractice lawsuit claiming misdiagnosis
posted by ElvisJesus at 3:35 AM on June 14, 2005

Fascinating, thanks!
posted by agregoli at 10:01 AM on June 14, 2005

Cheers, quonsar.
posted by baphomet at 10:10 AM on June 14, 2005

Given the impact Yeshua continues to have on history, there actually isn't much doubt he existed and if you don't believe that just tell me the date. AD or CE, the numbers remain the same.

It's simple really. Jesus was in India during the years of his life not accounted for in the Bible, studying buddhism, yoga and meditation. He was able to slow down his heart to mimic death or otherwise survive a deep coma and this is how he survived the crucifixion. From what I understand, he lived out the remainder of his life span with his family in the Riviera. The Second Coming is simply reincarnation, another buddhist concept.

Only this time his people will accept him. I don't think so . . .
posted by kjc at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2005

He was able to slow down his heart to mimic death or otherwise survive a deep coma and this is how he survived the crucifixion.

Was that before or after the Roman soldier plunged a spear deep into his side?
posted by brownpau at 2:39 PM on June 14, 2005

brownpau, providing it did not hit any major organs, a spear wound is survivable.
posted by kjc at 8:31 PM on June 14, 2005

Metafilter: a spear wound is survivable.
posted by agregoli at 7:45 AM on June 15, 2005

I didn't know Jesus had a "condition." Being the son of God wasn't enough?
posted by Francesnash at 8:33 AM on June 17, 2005

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