Researcher says Jesus died of 'economy class syndrome'

An Israeli researcher has challenged the popular belief that Jesus died of blood loss on the cross, saying he probably succumbed to a sometimes fatal disorder now associated with long-haul air travel.

The ABC reports that Professor Benjamin Brenner writes in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis that Jesus's death, traditionally believed to have occurred three to six hours after crucifixion began, was probably caused by a blood clot that reached his lungs.

Professor Brenner, a researcher at Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa, says such pulmonary embolisms, leading to sudden death, can stem from immobilisation, multiple trauma and dehydration.

"This fits well with Jesus's condition and actually was in all likelihood the major cause of death by crucifixion," he writes in the article, based on religious and medical texts.

A 1986 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association mentioned the possibility that Jesus suffered a blood clot, but concluded that he died of blood loss.

But Professor Brenner says research into blood coagulation has made significant strides over the past two decades.

He says recent medical research has linked immobility among passengers on lengthy air flights to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in which potentially fatal blood clots can develop, usually in the lower legs.

Professor Brenner notes that before crucifixion Jesus underwent scourging, but the researcher concludes that "the amount of blood loss by itself" would not have killed him.

Jesus died of blood clot, researcher says (Reuters/ABC 8/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Did Jesus Christ die of pulmonary embolism? (Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis)

Israeli researcher says Jesus died of blood clot (Reuters/Haaretz 8/6/05)
An image of Jesus: All that in a bag of chips (South Tampa City Times 7/6/05)

9 Jun 2005