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Acts 10:39 "whom they slew and hanged on a tree"
Acts 5:30 "Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree"
Acts 13:29 "they took him down from the tree"
1 Peter 2:24 "who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree"

None of the pre-fourth century Christian writings mention a Roman cross.

Two methods of stoning

Stoning has a Biblical basis as many verses as this article show, but the method of stoning varied greatly.

Pharisees threw one large stone and then threw the criminal down from great height. Then hung the person on tree.

The Sadducean method, which was in force during Jesus time, was putting the person on a busy spot and everyone passing by was required to throw a stone.

Two totally different interpretations of casting out (excommunicate) a criminal from Israel. There was also a difference in the method of fastening someone to  tree. The Jews used ropes, while the Romans used nails.

If the methods are compared to the actual Biblical Law/verses it's not hard to see the executions were not (always) according to God's Law. Jesus died from the most brutal combination. Hung alive instead of dead + nails instead of ropes + many small stones instead of one or a few large ones.

Deut 21:22 And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is executed, and you hang him on a tree,

First kill the criminal and after execution hang the criminal on a tree. So the order of events during Jesus' crucifixion day was reversed and unlawful.

Jesus was execute in a combination of a Roman and Sadducean methods.

Roman: alive + nails
Sadducean: alive + stones
Combined: alive + nailed + stones



It was taught:

On the Eve of Passover they hung Yeshu the Notzarine. And the herald went out before him for 40 days: “Yeshu the Notzarine will go out to be stoned for sorcery and misleading and enticing Israel [to idolatry]. Any who knows [anything] in his defence must come and declare concerning him.” But no-one came to his defence so they hung him on the Eve of Passover.


"[And chokes prey for its lionesses; and it fills] its caves [with prey] and its dens with victims (ii, 12a-b). Interpreted, this concerns the furious young lion [who executes revenge] [Alexander Jannaeus] on those who seek smooth things [Pharisees] and hangs men alive ,...formerly in Israel. Because of a man hanged alive on [the] tree, He proclaims, 'Behold I am against [you, says the LORD of Hosts']
"Commentary on Nahum (4Q169)," G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, p. 280.


"If a man is guilty of a capital crime and flees (abroad) to the nations, and curses his people, the children of Israel,  you shall hang him also on a [living] tree and he shall die.  But his body shall not stay overnight on the tree. Indeed you shall bury him on the same day. For he who is hanged on the tree is accursed of God and men"
"The Temple Scroll," Col. LXIV; G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, p. 156.


"If a man has informed against his people and has delivered his people up to a foreign nation and has done evil to his people, you shall hang him on a tree and he shall die. On the evidence of two witnesses and on the evidence of three witnesses, he shall be put to death [a reversal in wording here] and they shall hang him on the tree. If a man committed a crime punishable by death and has run away unto the midst of the Gentiles [i.e. a mesith], and has cursed his people and the children of Israel, you shall hang him on a tree, and he shall die."
Nahum Pesher, Col. 1, Lines 1-11.


"Stoning was the pelting of stones by a mob at a person who had merited their ill-will (Exo. 8: 26; 17:4; II Chron.24:20ff; cf. Heb. l1:37; Acts 5:26) or the infliction of the death penalty by stoning (Lev. 20:2; Deut. 13: 10). The method which an enraged crowd took of executing vengeance with the weapons lying readiest to their hand came to be employed afterwards as a regular and legal method of inflicting the death sentence on a criminal. Stoning is the only form of capital punishment recognized in the Mosaic Law"

Hasting's Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, vol.II, pp. 52 8,529.


"Now as Alexander fled to the mountains, six thousand of the Jews hereupon came together [from Demetrius] to him out of pity at the change of his fortune; upon which Demetrius was afraid, and retired out of the country; after which the Jews fought against Alexander, and being beaten were slain in great numbers in the several battles which they had, and when he had shut up the most powerful of them in the city of Bethome, he besieged them therein, and when he had taken the city, and gotten the men into his power, he brought them to Jerusalem, and did one of the most barbarous actions in the world to them; for as he was feasting with his concubines, in the sight of all the city, he ordered about eight hundred of them to be crucified; and while they whey were living, he ordered the throats of their children and wives to be cut before their eyes"
Josephus, Antiquities 13. 14. 2.


In Leviticus 24:15-18 Moses commanded that all Israelites and aliens in sight of a blasphemer should take up stones and stone the profane and ungodly person to death. The Hebrew actually means that Israel was to overwhelm the criminal with countless volleys of stones being thrown at his naked body

Rashi, Commentary, vol.II, p.111.

The criminal was naked to add to the humiliation.


"From Luke we know that "there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him" (23:27), and they would of a surety have followed him all the way to Golgotha. Combining both traditions [Luke 23:27 and Mark 15:23], it may, I think, be permissible to infer that it was the women accompanying Jesus on his way to execution, and attending him in his last hours on the cross, who brought the wine and begged him to drink: it was an ancient Jewish custom that a condemned man, when led to the place of execution, had to be given a draft of wine with incense in it, 'in order that he may lose his mind,' that is, become unconscious; and it was 'the dear women of Jerusalem who volunteered and brought the wine' and offered it to him [B Sanhedrin 43a]. This custom is told in the Talmud in connection with convicts about to be stoned...'the dear women of Jerusalem' saw to it that...a man about to die by stoning should be anesthetized against excess of pain..."
The Trial and Death of Jesus, KTAV Publishing House, N.Y. 1977, pp. 217-218


After Mark Antony’s suppression of the revolutionary activity by Aristobulus’ two sons Alexander and Antigonus in the next generation, who like John the Baptist after them were beheaded; the priests officiating at the Temple all owed their positions to Roman and Herodian power.

Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, page 121.