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Murder at Golgotha: A Scientific Investigation into the Last Days of Jesus' Life, His Death, and His Resurrection

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"Intriguing and thought-provoking, Murder at Golgotha amounts to a latter-day Cold Case episode on a centuries-old event that has changed the lives of millions throughout the world." ---Booklist "The most definitive recent study of the historical relic." ---The Dallas Morning News on The Shroud of Turin "Wilson's outstanding study must surely be the most complete yet undertak "Intriguing and thought-provoking, Murder at Golgotha amounts to a latter-day Cold Case episode on a centuries-old event that has changed the lives of millions throughout the world." ---Booklist "The most definitive recent study of the historical relic." ---The Dallas Morning News on The Shroud of Turin "Wilson's outstanding study must surely be the most complete yet undertaken of the subject." ---Washington Post on The Shroud of Turin "If you want a beautifully illustrated account of the sort of evidence that can be got from papyri, textual criticism, archaeology, and grammar concerning the founder of Christianity, you will find it in Wilson." ---The Spectator on Jesus: The Evidence Murder at Golgotha approaches Jesus' crucifixion from the perspective of a crime scene investigator: What do we know is fact? What can be historically documented? What can we deduce may have happened? Taking the popular CSI television dramas as inspiration, Murder at Golgotha is a direct reaction to Mel Gibson's much talked about movie The Passion of the Christ. Ian Wilson carefully assesses what can be known about Jesus' trial and crucifixion, as well as where art and the movies have gone astray in depicting them. He systemically deploys eyewitness testimony (that embodied in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), archaeology, history, and medical and forensic findings to unravel the truth surrounding the most famous murder in history. Ian Wilson is a historian and writer whose many books include The Shroud of Turin, Jesus: The Evidence, Shakespeare: The Evidence, and The Blood and the Shroud. He lives with his wife, Judith Wilson, in Queensland, Australia.


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"Intriguing and thought-provoking, Murder at Golgotha amounts to a latter-day Cold Case episode on a centuries-old event that has changed the lives of millions throughout the world." ---Booklist "The most definitive recent study of the historical relic." ---The Dallas Morning News on The Shroud of Turin "Wilson's outstanding study must surely be the most complete yet undertak "Intriguing and thought-provoking, Murder at Golgotha amounts to a latter-day Cold Case episode on a centuries-old event that has changed the lives of millions throughout the world." ---Booklist "The most definitive recent study of the historical relic." ---The Dallas Morning News on The Shroud of Turin "Wilson's outstanding study must surely be the most complete yet undertaken of the subject." ---Washington Post on The Shroud of Turin "If you want a beautifully illustrated account of the sort of evidence that can be got from papyri, textual criticism, archaeology, and grammar concerning the founder of Christianity, you will find it in Wilson." ---The Spectator on Jesus: The Evidence Murder at Golgotha approaches Jesus' crucifixion from the perspective of a crime scene investigator: What do we know is fact? What can be historically documented? What can we deduce may have happened? Taking the popular CSI television dramas as inspiration, Murder at Golgotha is a direct reaction to Mel Gibson's much talked about movie The Passion of the Christ. Ian Wilson carefully assesses what can be known about Jesus' trial and crucifixion, as well as where art and the movies have gone astray in depicting them. He systemically deploys eyewitness testimony (that embodied in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), archaeology, history, and medical and forensic findings to unravel the truth surrounding the most famous murder in history. Ian Wilson is a historian and writer whose many books include The Shroud of Turin, Jesus: The Evidence, Shakespeare: The Evidence, and The Blood and the Shroud. He lives with his wife, Judith Wilson, in Queensland, Australia.

30 review for Murder at Golgotha: A Scientific Investigation into the Last Days of Jesus' Life, His Death, and His Resurrection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Very interesting from the historical perspective. It didnt live up to my expectation so far as a "murder investigation" The writing was awful. Very interesting from the historical perspective. It didnt live up to my expectation so far as a "murder investigation" The writing was awful.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    A sincere enough, I guess, effort to look at the Passion story as if it were a contemporary crime of murder. What facts of the event do we know, what can we assume about things we are not sure of, and how do we interpret the evidence, and correct any misconceptions. The author uses the premises of a forensic investigation of a crime to look at what the victim (ol' J.C.) did just before the shit hit the fan, where he ate (was it a seder or not?), where he went after dinner, how he got sandbagged A sincere enough, I guess, effort to look at the Passion story as if it were a contemporary crime of murder. What facts of the event do we know, what can we assume about things we are not sure of, and how do we interpret the evidence, and correct any misconceptions. The author uses the premises of a forensic investigation of a crime to look at what the victim (ol' J.C.) did just before the shit hit the fan, where he ate (was it a seder or not?), where he went after dinner, how he got sandbagged by Judas, how the "trial" went, the differing interests of the Jewish high priests and the Roman authorities, what we know from other sources about crucifixions (not all that much, but it is clear that nailing through the palms would not support the weight of a body. Also, the uprights were permanent, often the trunks of actual trees, and so J.C. would have carried just the crosspiece). Interesting enough diagrams of the tomb, how the stone would have been rolled to and fro, and what might have been seen in the tomb. The author seems to give more credence than seems wise to the historical reality of the relics St. Helena found on her investigation of the Golgotha sites 300+ years after the fact. He seems to suggest that the nails she claimed she found, along with the sign that supposedly was over J.C.'s head were the actual things, rather than what local sharpies understood she wanted to find, and gave it to her, which makes much more sense. (Helena was likely in her 80s at the time). Also, the author seems to take the Shroud of Turin for what it is purported to be, and devotes a lot of time trying to connect the ambiguous stains on the cloth with the supposed wounds reportedly on J.C.'s body. I will remember the context of the book, which was fairly interesting, and the fact that he looks closely at the Gospels – all written well after the fact - to squeeze out what realistic comments there might be. He gives more credence to John, though it is the last Gospel and furthest from the events. The author sees the tone and structure of the Johannine narrative to be more likely than the others to have been written by someone who was close to or present at many of the events described. The author also considers the post-resurrection appearances, and makes no judgment on the way that those appearances show a much more cleaned up and put together figure than that which was nailed up on the cross, and supposedly wrapped in the shroud.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    The author uses archeology, the gospels and the Shroud of Turin as a guide for what happened in the last days of the life of Jesus. I had read many of the viewpoints before but some were new to me. The description of how a man can "sweat blood" was very interesting to me. He had a section on how the Romans scourged people and crucified people. I had forgotten some of the information about how a crucifixion is done. I will be keeping this book for future reference. The author uses archeology, the gospels and the Shroud of Turin as a guide for what happened in the last days of the life of Jesus. I had read many of the viewpoints before but some were new to me. The description of how a man can "sweat blood" was very interesting to me. He had a section on how the Romans scourged people and crucified people. I had forgotten some of the information about how a crucifixion is done. I will be keeping this book for future reference.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Donald

    Interesting little book. At first glance, it seems to be an attempt by author Wilson to capitalize on the popularity of "The Passion of the Christ" by showing the differences between the movie and what the Bible says happened, but then turns into a casebook of sorts for the murder of Christ. Interesting little book. At first glance, it seems to be an attempt by author Wilson to capitalize on the popularity of "The Passion of the Christ" by showing the differences between the movie and what the Bible says happened, but then turns into a casebook of sorts for the murder of Christ.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    Interesting attempt at a scientific look at the crucifixion. Obviously there are many issues that can never have a resolution. However, it is an easy read and rather fun for armchair CSI's. Interesting attempt at a scientific look at the crucifixion. Obviously there are many issues that can never have a resolution. However, it is an easy read and rather fun for armchair CSI's.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cate

    Revisiting the most famous crime scene in history ... this is a strange little book. Ian Wilson really did not take kindly to Mel Gibson's movies, "The Passion of the Christ" & its reliance on the Gospel of Matthew along with the visions of a German, mystic nun: Anne Catherine Emmerich. So in some senses it is written as a response to the artistic license (as Wilson sees it) in the film. A lot of his scientific questions and analysis is really only as good as its underlying assumptions ie prefer Revisiting the most famous crime scene in history ... this is a strange little book. Ian Wilson really did not take kindly to Mel Gibson's movies, "The Passion of the Christ" & its reliance on the Gospel of Matthew along with the visions of a German, mystic nun: Anne Catherine Emmerich. So in some senses it is written as a response to the artistic license (as Wilson sees it) in the film. A lot of his scientific questions and analysis is really only as good as its underlying assumptions ie preferably the Gospel of John & a belief in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. That said, his description of the cruxifiction is a moving account. And a fresh reminder read on Good Friday (as I did) of the supreme sacrifice in the torture and death of Christ. Which brings us back to the one thing that films, books etc will never get around - belief in the Christ crucified & the message of Easter is an act of faith - it must be in the absence of concrete, scientific proof. Ian Wilson nor Mel Gibson is never going to scientifically nor empirically prove what exists as a matter of faith & faith alone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Ward

    Murder at Golgotha: a Scientific Investigation Into the Last Day of Jesus' Life, His Death, and His Resurrection by Ian Wilson (St. Martin's Press 2006)(232.96). The author treats this as a cold-case crime scene, and he uncovers many interesting and possibly significant facts about the historical Jesus. My rating: 7/10, finished 2007. Murder at Golgotha: a Scientific Investigation Into the Last Day of Jesus' Life, His Death, and His Resurrection by Ian Wilson (St. Martin's Press 2006)(232.96). The author treats this as a cold-case crime scene, and he uncovers many interesting and possibly significant facts about the historical Jesus. My rating: 7/10, finished 2007.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alford Wayman

    A text given to me by my buddy who was studying criminal justice. Ian Watson makes some interesting observations concerning the crucifixion. An enjoyable read!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shari

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hilliary

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary Archer-Smith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gilbert

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leftychick

  22. 5 out of 5

    The_Tod

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Ziegelbauer

  24. 5 out of 5

    Loelle Forrester

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brandie Kelly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tony B

  28. 5 out of 5

    S Song leong

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marlo Madison

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vinod Gopalakrishnan

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