What is true about the Bible story on the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and what is not? It will remain an eternal debate, and the well-known German historian Johannes Fried adds a new layer to it. According to him, it was quite possible that Jesus actually never died on the cross, but is in a coma where he is awakened after three days.

Fried wrote about the case a new book with the significant title ‘No death on Golgotha’, to the mountain on which Jesus was crucified and died by the Romans according to the Christian faith.

But that thesis may not be true, according to Fried, who tries to formulate an answer in his book to the question of how someone might rise from the dead. And his theory: not. For Jesus may never have died on the cross and certainly never rose again. However, he would have fallen into a so-called carbon dioxide coma due to a sharp increase in carbon dioxide in his blood. The lance that Jesus received in his side from a Roman soldier to speed up death would have just turned the other way around: that would allow the wound fluid and water to flow out of his lungs and Jesus could continue to breathe.

Three days in a coma with one lung

After that, according to theory, Jesus would still have become unconscious because of the increase in CO2 in his blood, after which he was put in the grave and lived there for three days with one lung. The oil that was used at that time to anoint the dead would have made Jesus’ wounds heal faster. After three days he awakened from his coma, stood up, and appeared to his disciples. Then he fled to present-day Jordan, eventually to go to Egypt.

Fried also gets clues from the fact that other people who were sentenced to death by the Romans sometimes hung for days on the cross alive before they eventually died. That Jesus Christ was so ‘dead’ anyway, is hard to explain, says the German.

The theory that Jesus was somehow deadly is not new and pops up every now and then. Twenty years ago, the Norwegian physician Kjell Ytrehus suggested after research that Jesus may have become so hotly hypothermia with the cross that he may have fallen into a seemingly dead condition.

How credible the theory is, remains a big question mark. The body of Jesus has never been recovered, nor any other material trace. The stories about his life were written down by the evangelists only after decades. Moreover, the story about the lance that pierced Jesus’ lung only appears in the gospel according to John, the last gospel. German media who could already look into Fried’s book, point out that his theory is no more than “pseudeo-scientific speculation”.

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