Stephen Jones is up with part 2 of why he prefers Barbet’s hypotheses over Zugibe’s.

  • Part 1 was ‘The nail wound in the hand’
  • Part 2 is ‘The thumbs are not visible because of damage to the hand’s median nerve’
  • Part 3 will be ‘Crucifixion victims died primarily of asphyxiation’

imageEach of Stephens’ reasons have something of a debatable point within them, which in this blog,, are still being debated. In part 1, for instance, do we know the nail wound is in the hand? And for part 2, one might factually state that the thumbs are not visible and recognize that the reason is an open question. Part 3, when Stephen publishes it, will compel us to wonder if crucifixion victims died primarily of asphyxiation; it may be true but is it a known fact?

To Stephen’s credit he finds and presents an abundance of quotations from papers and books. His citations and notes are extensive and precise. Doing so, possibly over-doing so, can lead to narrative battles of the quotes. In what Stephen just wrote we see an example:

Zugibe was well aware that this is what Barbet claimed, because as we saw above, he himself states:

"Barbet made another serious error, claiming that when he drove the nail through Destot’s Space, anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of the trunk of the median nerve was severed." (Zugibe, 2005, p.74. My emphasis).

So again, it is difficult not to believe that Zugibe was not deliberately and dishonestly trying to mislead his readers (as I for one was mislead, until I went back and read what Barbet actually wrote and checked it against diagrams of the hand’s bones and nerves).

From the foregoing evidence of Zugibe’s apparent dishonesty, it is difficult to place any credence on his claim that":

"2) even if it did [the median nerve … pass through Destot’s Space (which Barbet did not claim)] and was injured, there would be no flexion of the thumb."

First, Barbet carried out the experiments and found that there was flexion of the thumbs. So Zugibe was, in effect, calling Barbet either a liar, or incompetent (along with those, like Medical Examiner Bucklin who agreed with Barbet), without performing the experiment himself.