This page is part of the Death of Jesus curriculum unit.
Suggested lesson plans are available for each session at the following pages:
Permission is given for this material to used, with or without modification under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License. Acknowledgement of its source (including a link to this page) is requested.
For this lesson you could focus on what we know about crucifixion as a form of capital punishment.
Students could be asked to prepare information about the following questions and then to present their findings briefly to the class:
- Define crucifixion
- What is the history of its development in the ancient world?
- How was it used? What crimes were punished by crucifixion?
- How did crucifixion kill people? (physical phenomena, duration, etc)
- Did anyone ever survive being crucified?
- What usually happened to the corpse after crucifixion?
You may wish to watch the segment “Danger to Jesus” from the BBC Son of God series.
There are a number of sites that offer information about ancient crucifixion practices, but the following are recommended as neutral academic sites:
- Crucifixion in Antiquity (CenturyOne Foundation) - Joe Zias
- Crucifixion in Antiquity: The Anthropological Evidence - Joe Zias
- Jesus & Jehohannan: An archaeological note on crucifixion (PBS Frontline series) - Prof James H. Charlesworth
The following non-academic site also has lots of useful information and links:
- Crucifixiion (Wikipedia)