With regard to crucifixion, much depends on one’s conclusions concerning Yohanan and the Shroud of Turin. If they can be taken at face value, we learn that victims had their wrists and feet nailed to the cross (shroud; cf. Yohanan), and were apparently made to carry part of the cross to the crucifixion site, which often resulted in falls (shroud). Normal crucifixion procedure usually involved breaking the victim’s legs (Yohanan). The shroud corresponds to Jesus’ death by numerous agreements in points of abnormal crucifixion procedure, such as the crown of thorns, the severe whipping, the absence of broken ankles, the post-mortem chest wound and the flow of blood and watery fluid. Other “odd” similarities in the burial include an individual burial for a crucified person, yet a hasty burial in fine linen. We also learn much about medical factors, such as the cause of death being closely related to asphyxiation, as the victim pushed up and down in order to breathe (shroud; cf. Yohanan).

The Jewish burial process sometimes involved a sealed tomb, and usually the presence of a large stone. There were apparently reports in Palestine that caused the emperor to issue an exceptionally strong warning against grave robbing, which was punishable by death (Nazareth Decree).

If the Shroud of Turin is Jesus’ burial garment, then we have strong evidence for the resurrection, derived from the information on the cloth. In particular, the lack of bodily decomposition, indicative of a rather hasty bodily departure, the apparent lack of unwrapping, and the probable presence of an image caused by a scorch from a dead body, all reveal the probability of Jesus’ resurrection.


While archaeological evidence numerically includes only a comparatively few examples, we still find some helpful items that can provide insight into several aspects of the life of Jesus. As France points out, this subject contributes indirect material, usually of a background nature, that helps to confirm what we know about him.^32