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Some said that He was crucified because he punched and kicked things around in the temple. Would that be plausible?

Some said that He was crucified because the religious leaders were jealous of his influence.

Some said that He was crucified because He claimed that He is God. So the religious leaders wanted to kill him for blasphemy, but Pilate, who saw this as a mere religious difference, do not find anything worthy of capital punishments and hence wanted to set Jesus free.

Some said that He was crucified because people actually wanted him to be a king, by screaming Hosanna to him. That would change political structures at that time and hence motivate status quo to kill him.

Or may be there are other reasons.

The most popular reason is of course, that He was crucified to atone for our sin. If I search in google, most sites would show this theory. I sort of need a secular historical reason.

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closed as off-topic by Samuel Russell, Mark C. Wallace, LateralFractal, knut, Pieter Geerkens Oct 13 '13 at 2:03

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This is a matter of some contentment and a lot of speculation. I'm not sure it's answerable historically, as the only records we have of it are religious records, who does not give any historical reasons, but only religious ones. – Lennart Regebro Oct 9 '13 at 5:20
Crucifixion was the standard death sentence for non-citizens. He was (if at all) crucified because he was sentenced to death and was not a citizen. Further than that we only have the biblical record which has been interpreted in many different ways by many different people depending on what they wanted to read in it (from "he upset the Romans" to "the greedy evil Jews wanted to kill the messiah before he exposed them for how bad they were"). – jwenting Oct 9 '13 at 5:46
fair enough. No criminal record at all? Officially, Jesus' crime is "being the king of the jew". That's what's put on top of his cross. – Jim Thio Oct 9 '13 at 5:54
@JimThio No, that's what the bible says, which is not in any way "officially". It is in fact highly unlikely that this is the actual cause, as it would be blasphemy to claim that you were some sort of Messiah, and that would be a Jewish religious crime, and in that case he would have been stoned, not crucified. – Lennart Regebro Oct 9 '13 at 7:13
@Ali - Interesting. That was a Gnostic position too. Still, even they admit that somebody attempted to Crucify Jesus. What specifically happened after that attempt began isn't part of this question. – T.E.D. Oct 9 '13 at 20:51
up vote 3 down vote accepted

We don't know the secular historical crime that Yeshua ben Yosef was executed for. The reason we don't know this is that there are no such records from Roman times. All we have are texts written a lot later, by people who was not there and never met this Yeshua, and was only told about it.

In fact, most texts that we have are written by people, who got all their information from Paul of Tarsus, who was not there and never met Yeshua ben Yosef himself. As such, the information we have is at best third-hand. In addition to this, it's generally written with specific aims in mind.

As such, one of the text claims that Pontios Pilatos said "I find no fault in this man" with regards to Yeshua. But do we know that for sure? No, this is likely to be a part of an effort of the Romans who wrote the texts to blame the Jews for the Crucifixion, and putting less blame on the Romans, in an effort to make the religion more palatable to Romans.

But it was a crucifixion which was a roman punishment, and one especially used for lower classes. The Jewish bible does not prescribe crucifixion as a punishment at all. If Yeshua's crime had been a Jewish religious affair, he would rather have been stoned (or possibly strangulated, if he was deemed to prophesy).

As such, there are simply no reliable sources on this, and therefore we do not know the reason he was executed. Any discussion about it is therefore not much than at best educated speculation.

Many of the crimes that would have been punishable by execution would have been incompatible with the Jewish faith anyway. Tradition has it that three men was crucified that day, and that the other two were thieves. If Yeshua ben Yosef was executed for crimes like this his followers would have kept quiet about it and in that case they would have made up an acceptable reason. But yet again, we don't know if the story of these two thieves is true, it may very well also have been made up. It's very convenient from a religious standpoint, as one of the thieves is regretful and the other not, as this forms a good basis for a moral story, which is how it's used in the bible.

A probably more likely, and for his followers, acceptable, reason would be if he was executed for sedition or revolting against the Roman rule. This is also compatible with him being a religious leader, as the Jewish religious leadership was in power with the support of the Roman rulers. As such it is possible that if he was deemed to try to overthrow the Jewish religious leadership, he might have been sentenced as trying to overthrow the Roman power in Jerusalem, and that would definitely have been punishable by crucifixion, even for a high-standing citizen.

Again, if this was the case, the later Roman authors of the biblical texts would have kept quiet about that, as they had no interest in portraying their religion as opposed to Roman rule. As such this is a quite popular theory, but again it's just speculation.

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We can be fairly certian the crucifiction itself happened. It is one of only two events found in all four Gospels. Also, from the point of view of Biblical authors, it would be a very inconvienent event to invent.

We also know why the Romans (and the Greeks before them) generally crucified people. It was not a punishment for ordinary everyday crime. It provided a slow excruciating death, as well as a very public and graphic show of the executed person. It was used an instrument of terror, typically on people who had defied the authority of the rulers, but sometimes just for particularly heinous crimes (again, in the view of the rulers). The Romans generally reserved this punishment only for slaves, pirates, and enemies of the state. Victims were generally set up on busy throuroughfares, where the general public could not help but see them and get the point.

So, again we don't know. However, two of those possibilities seem less likely than the third. So based on the historical record that we do know, it seems most likely that the Romans felt that Jesus' activities represented a direct challenge to their rule.

Now I know a lot of the Gospels we have today take pains to blame the Jews, not the Romans. But you have to realise that the Gospels we have today were laid down by people living under this same Roman system. One can't say for sure the early Christians "modified" things to alleviate political heat for themselves, but all the pressure would certianly have been to do so.

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-1, your answer references Wikipedia but neglects to state that paragraph is marked [citation needed]. It is also at odds with the rest of the WP article, which states: "Notorious mass crucifixions followed the Third Servile War in 73–71 BC (the slave rebellion under Spartacus), other Roman civil wars in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, and the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. To frighten other slaves from revolting, Crassus crucified 6,000 of Spartacus' men along the Appian Way [...]" and "Roman soldiers would amuse themselves by crucifying criminals in different position [...]" – Eugene Seidel Oct 11 '13 at 3:32
Your answer makes the same mistake as the question, which is to assume that a Roman crucifixion was anything special. The Romans crucified absconded slaves, common criminals, and sometimes any old soul they could get a hold of in a mass roundup to make an example of them and terrorize the public. Life was cheap in that age. – Eugene Seidel Oct 11 '13 at 3:36
@EugeneSeidel - I disagree. Mass execution of rebelling slaves, or rebelling anyone for that matter, is precisely the kind of thing that falls under the heading "slaves, pirates, and enemies of the state. – T.E.D. Oct 11 '13 at 3:51
Again, you are wrong to state that the Romans reserved crucifixion to some special class or classes of "culprit". To give but one example -- but there are others -- from Flavius Josephus' The Judean War: "This Felix [procurator over parts of Judea] took Eleazar the arch-robber, and many that were with him, alive, when they had ravaged the country for twenty years together, and sent them to Rome; but as to the number of the robbers whom he caused to be crucified, and of those who were caught among them, and whom he brought to punishment, they were a multitude not to be enumerated." – Eugene Seidel Oct 11 '13 at 4:45
@EugeneSeidel ... and that new example comes under piracy. So far you're just convincing me that I perhaps need to clarify that one sentence a bit, not that the whole answer is misguided. – T.E.D. Oct 11 '13 at 12:51

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