Jesus did not Die on the Cross — View of Eminent British Physician

by The Editor

The Light & Islamic Review (US), September/October 1991 Issue (Vol. 68, No. 3, p. 15)

According to Press reports at the weekend of 27–28th April this year [1991], Dr Trevor Lloyd Davies, a former honorary physician to the Queen of England, has written an article in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians, concluding that Jesus did not die on the cross, but was merely unconscious and later recovered. His findings are based upon applying modern medical knowledge to the descriptions of the crucifixion in the Bible and information from historical sources. He writes:

“At his crucifixion, Jesus was in shock and hypotensive, and lost consciousness because of the diminished blood supply to the brain. His ashen skin and immobility was mistaken for death, and there is no doubt bystanders believed he was dead.”

These words remind us of the description given in the Holy Quran:

“And for their saying, We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah, and they killed him not, nor did they cause his death on the cross, but he was made to appear to them as such.” (4: 157)

Dr Lloyd Davies also suggests that close followers then detected signs of life, took him away and tended him. Jesus was taken away by either Mary and Martha to Bethany or by Joseph of Arimathaea to Arimathaea, and then became a hermit, says Dr Davies. We will review this paper in our next issue, and also comment on the subsequent correspondence about this matter which later appeared in the journal.

A Christian clergyman, refuting Dr Davies’ conclusions in the Observer Sunday newspaper of 28 April [1991], commented that the details of the crucifixion given in the Gospels cannot be taken as a precise record because they contain inconsistencies! So we now find the church protagonists arguing in their own defence that the Gospels are inaccurate and unreliable. We need not comment further.

[Related: Resurrection or Resuscitation of Jesus (Controversy in a British Medical Periodical)]

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