Easter is upon us, so it is a timely question that may just have been answered: How did Jesus die?
A priest – who used to be a doctor – claims he suffered from a shoulder injury that caused a major internal bleed.
Reverend Prof Patrick Pullicino, former consultant neurologist at East Kent Universities Hospital Trust, came to his conclusion based on a study of the Shroud of Turin.
He argued that the image on the shroud shows a man with a dislocated shoulder, pulled so far out of its socket that the right hand stretched four inches lower than the left.
He wrote: ‘Because of this right arm stretching, the right subclavian/axillary artery was also subjected to stretch, as it was one of the only remaining intact structures connecting the body and the right arm.’
He argues that as Jesus was stretched out for crucifixion, the subclavian artery – a pair of major arteries that feeds blood to the head, neck, shoulder, and arms – ruptured.
In the Bible, it says blood flowed out of his side when he was pierced by a spear. However, Pullicino believes this was actually because of the major internal bleed caused by the rupture.
Pullicino said: ‘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.’
Pullicino agrees with other scholars that Jesus’s dislocated arm was most likely the result of it being trapped under the T-shaped cross he was forced to carry.
The Shroud of Turin is claimed to show the negative image of Jesus Christ.
However, the authenticity of the shroud, which has been preserved in Italy since 1578, has long been questioned with a study in the 80s concluding it was probably medieval and not 2,000 years old.
Jewish and Roman historians have written about Jesus being a Galilean Jew, born at the beginning of the 1st century. It is estimated that he was around 31 or 33 when he died.