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Crucifixion Or 'Crucifiction' In Ancient Egypt?

M S M Saifullah, Elias Karim & ‘Abdullah David

© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.

First Composed: 1st September 1999

Last Updated: 1st December 2006

Assalamu-‘alaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

1. Introduction

It has been claimed by the Christian missionaries that the Qur'an is in error when it
mentions crucifixion as a form of punishment in Egypt. They say:

We have, however, no record that Egyptians used crucifixion as punishment in the time of Moses
(1450 BC, conservative date; 1200 BC at the latest) or even Joseph (1880 BC, conservative
date). Crucifixion only becomes a punishment much later in history and then first in another
culture before it has been taken over by the Egyptians. Such threats by a Pharaoh at these
times are historically inaccurate.

The Qur'an talks about crucifixion as a method of punishment in Egypt during the
time of Joseph and Moses. In the story of Joseph, Joseph interprets the dream of his
companion in the prison and says:

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O my two companions of the prison! As to one of you, he will pour out the wine for his lord to
drink: and as for the other, he will be crucified, and the birds will eat from his head. Thus is the
case judged concerning which you both did enquire. [12:41]

As for the mention of crucifixion in the time of Moses, when the Pharaoh's magicians
believed in the message of Moses, the Pharaoh threatened them by saying:

Be sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on apposite sides, and I will cause you all to die
on the cross. [7:124]

(Pharaoh) said: Ye put your faith in him before I give you leave. Lo! he doubtless is your chief
who taught you magic! But verily ye shall come to know. Verily I will cut off your hands and
your feet alternately, and verily I will crucify you every one. [26:49]

(Pharaoh) said: "Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this must be your
leader, who has taught you magic! be sure I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides,
and I will have you crucified on trunks of palm-trees: so shall ye know for certain, which of us
can give the more severe and the more lasting punishment!" [20:71]

The Qur'an also supplies a very important piece of information concerning the
Pharaoh. The Pharaoh is addressed as the Lord of the Stakes.

Before them (were many who) rejected apostles,- the people of Noah, and ‘Ad, and Pharaoh, the
Lord of Stakes... [38:12]

Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the ‘Ad (people),-Of the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars,

The like of which were not produced in (all) the land? And with the Thamud (people), who cut

out (huge) rocks in the valley? And with Pharaoh, Lord of Stakes? (All) these transgressed

beyond bounds in the lands, And heaped therein mischief (on mischief). [89:6-12]

A key tool of Qur'anic exegesis is the internal relationships between material in


different parts of the Qur'an, expressed by Qur'anic scholars as: al-Qur'an yufassiru
ba‘duhu ba‘dan, i.e., different parts of the Qur'an explain each other. In other words,
what is given in a general way in one place is explained in detail in another place.
What is given briefly in one place is expanded in another.

Using this principle, we can see that the Pharaoh, who is addressed as the Lord of
Stakes, perhaps used stakes for crucifying people. Also why is the Pharaoh called the
Lord of the Stakes in the Qur'an? Was it because he was the one who had the supreme
authority over who meted out the punishment of crucifixion? Did the mutilation of a
person precede his crucifixion? This is something that we would like to investigate in
this essay.

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2. Cross, Crucifixion And Punishment In Antiquity

The terms 'Crucifixion' and 'Cross' are widely used but what do they really mean? In
the sections which follow we shall attempt to define these terms as accurately and as
concisely as possible. Although crucifixion did not originate with the Romans, many
reference works tend to discuss only the Roman method of crucifixion used in the
time of Christ. To avoid such a limited understanding, numerous references were
consulted in order establish the correct meaning and interpretation of these terms.

WHAT IS CRUCIFIXION?

Crucifixion is the act of nailing, binding or impaling a living victim or sometimes a


dead person to a cross, stake or tree whether for executing the body or for exposing
the corpse. Crucifixion was commonly practiced from the 6th century BCE until the
4th century CE, when it was finally abolished in 337 CE by Constantine I. It was
intended to serve as both a severe punishment and a frightful deterrent to others and
was unanimously considered the most horrible form of death.

The Oxford Companion to the Bible defines "Crucifixion" as:

The act of nailing or binding a person to a cross or tree, whether for executing or for exposing
the corpse.[1]

Similarly, the Anchor Bible Dictionary defines "Crucifixion" as:

The act of nailing or binding a living victim or sometimes a dead person to a cross or stake
(stauros or skolops) or a tree (xylon).[2]

This is completely opposite to the Christian missionary Vargo's definition of


crucifixion, who claimed that it is a method of "putting a living person on a cross in
order to kill him".

The New Catholic Encyclopaedia defines "Crucifixion" as:

Crucifixion developed from a method of execution by which the victim was fastened to an
upright stake either by impaling him on it or by tying him to it with thongs... From this form of
execution developed crucifixion in the strict sense, whereby the outstretched arms of the victim
were tied or nailed to a crossbeam (patibulum), which was then laid in a groove across the top
or suspended by means of a notch in the side of an upright stake that was always left in position
at the site of execution.[3]

3
And in discussing the Christian belief in the crucifixion of Christ, Nelson's
Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines "Crucifixion" as:

the method of torture and execution used by the Romans to put Christ to death. At a crucifixion
the victim usually was nailed or tied to a wooden stake and left to die...

Crucifixion involved attaching the victim with nails through the wrists or with leather thongs to a
crossbeam attached to a vertical stake...[4]

WHAT IS A CROSS?

The word cross is the translation of the Greek stauros. The cross (Greek stauros;
Latin crux) was originally a single upright stake or post upon which the victim was
either tied, nailed or impaled. Regarding the meaning of this word Nelson's
Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines the "Cross" as:

an upright wooden stake or post on which Jesus was executed... the Greek word for cross
referred primarily to a pointed stake used in rows to form the walls of a defensive stockade.[5]

Vine's Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words defines the Greek word
stauros as:

Stauros denotes, primarily, "an upright pale or stake." On such malefactors were nailed for
execution...

The method of execution was borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians. The
stauros denotes (a) "the cross, or stake itself," e.g., Matt. 27:32; (b) "the crucifixion suffered,"
e.g., 1 Cor. 1:17,18, where "the word of the cross," RV, stands for the Gospel; Gal. 5:11, where
crucifixion is metaphorically used of the renunciation of the world, that characterizes the true
Christian life; Gal. 6:12,14; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 3:18.[6]

According to A Dictionary of Bible, Dealing With Its Language, Literature And


Contents, Including The Biblical Theology, in New Testament usage the word
stauros seems only to refer the true "cross":

[Stauros] means properly a stake, and is the tr. [i.e., translation] not merely of the Latin crux
(cross), but of palus (stake) as well. As used in NT, however, it refers evidently not to the
simple stake used for impaling, of which widespread punishment crucifixion was a refinement,
but to the more elaborate cross used by the Romans in the time of Christ.[7]

The opinion is that the New Testament usage of stauros refers only to the true "cross"
is not strictly true. The term stauros actually has a much wider application, being used
to refer to both a single stake and a crossbeam. In Hastings' Dictionary Of The Bible
he states:

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The Greek term rendered 'cross' in the English NT is stauros (stauroo = 'crucify'), which has a
wider application than we ordinarily give to 'cross' being used of a single stake or upright beam
as well as of a cross composed of two beams.[8]

In New Testament usage stauros primarily refers to an upright stake or beam used as
an instrument for punishment:

The Greek word for 'cross' (stauros; verb stauroo; Latin crux, crucifigo, 'I fasten to the cross')
means primarily an upright stake or beam, and secondarily a stake used as an instrument for
punishment and execution. It is used in this latter sense in the New Testament.[9]

The word stauros had at least three different meanings in the New Testament alone.
The plank which supports the arms of the victim (patibulum in Latin) was itself called
stauros (Luke 23:26); the stake or tree trunk on which the patibulum was nailed was
also called stauros (John 19:19); and the whole complex together (patibulum and
stake) was also called stauros (John 19:25).[10]

The Catholic Encyclopaedia (under "Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix")


mentions that a primitive form of crucifixion on trees had long been in use, and that
such a tree was also known as a cross:

The penalty of the cross goes back probably to the arbor infelix, or unhappy tree, spoken of by

Cicero (Pro, Rabir., iii sqq.) and by Livy, apropos of the condemnation of Horatius after the

murder of his sister. According to Hüschke (Die Multa, 190) the magistrates known as duoviri

perduellionis pronounced this penalty (cf. Liv., I, 266), styled also infelix lignem (Senec., Ep. ci;

Plin., XVI, xxvi; XXIV, ix; Macrob., II, xvi). This primitive form of crucifixion on trees was long

in use, as Justus Lipsius notes ("De cruce", I, ii, 5; Tert., "Apol.", VIII, xvi; and "Martyrol.

Paphnut." 25 Sept.). Such a tree was known as a cross (crux). On an ancient vase we see

Prometheus bound to a beam which serves the purpose of a cross. A somewhat different form is

seen on an ancient cist at Præneste (Palestrina), upon which Andromeda is represented nude,

and bound by the feet to an instrument of punishment like a military yoke – i.e. two parallel,

perpendicular stakes, surmounted by a transverse bar. Certain it is, at any rate, that the cross
originally consisted of a simple vertical pole, sharpened at its upper end. Mæcenas (Seneca,

Epist. xvii, 1, 10) calls it acuta crux; it could also be called crux simplex. To this upright pole a

transverse bar was afterwards added to which the sufferer was fastened with nails or cords, and
thus remained until he died, whence the expression cruci figere or affigere (Tac., "Ann.", XV,

xliv; Potron., "Satyr.", iii)...

ORIGINS OF THE ENGLISH WORDS "CRUCIFIXION" & "CROSS"

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The Greek word for cross stauros (Latin crux) refers primarily to an upright stake or
pole.[11] The noun "crucifixion" does not occur in the New Testament, but the
corresponding verb "to crucify" appears frequently.[12] In Classical Greek usage the
root verb stauroo actually means "to impale" or "to fence with pales" (Liddell-Scott-
Jones Lexicon of Classical Greek). However, there appears to be no common word
for the "cross" in the Greek, as the word crux (cross) is Latin. The Concise
Dictionary Of The Bible states under "Cross":

Except the Latin crux there was no word definitively and invariably applied to this instrument of
punishment [i.e. cross].[13]

Concerning the origin of the Latin crux Merriam-Webster's Word Histories states:

..the Latin noun crux 'cross, gibbet' was taken into Old French as crois and into Spanish as
cruz...

The original sense of crux in classical Latin was an instrument of torture, whether gibbet, cross,
or stake. By extension it meant 'torture, trouble, misery'. With this in mind, English borrowed
crux in the sense of 'a puzzling or difficult problem'. From this sense developed its use for 'an
essential point requiring resolution', as in "the crux of a problem," and the sense of 'a main or
central feature', as in "the crux of an argument."[14]

Lewis & Short Latin Dictionary also mentions the same meanings:

a tree, frame, or other wooden instruments of execution on which criminals were impaled or
hanged.[15]

Furthermore, the word crux is the core of several English words including
"crucifixion":

The Latin crux is also the core of the English words crucial, crucifix, crucifixion, cruciform,
crucify, and excruciating. The English cross derives from crux through either Old Irish or Old
Norse. The English cruise also derives from crux, which became crucen 'to make a cross' in
Middle Dutch and kruisen 'to sail crossing to and fro' in Modern Dutch before being borrowed
into English in the seventeenth century.[16]

SUMMARY

Crucifixion is the act of nailing, binding or impaling a living victim or sometimes a


dead person to a cross, stake or a tree, whether for executing the body or for exposing
the corpse. Crucifixion was intended to serve as both a severe punishment and a
frightful deterrent to others. It was unanimously considered the most horrible form of
death.

6
The cross (Greek stauros; Latin crux) was originally a single upright stake or post
upon which the victim was either tied, nailed or impaled. This simple cross was later
modified when horizontal crossbeams of various types were added. Scholars are not
certain when a crossbeam was added to the simple stake, but even in the Roman
period the cross would at times only consist of a single vertical stake. In many cases,
especially during the Roman period, the execution stake became a vertical pole with a
horizontal crossbar placed at some point, and although the period of time at which this
happened is uncertain, what is known is that this simple impalement became known
as crucifixion. Whether the victim was tied, nailed or impaled to the stake, the same
Greek words were still used to describe the procedure.

Although in New Testament usage the Greek word stauros (cross) is said to refer to a
crossbeam, the term actually has a much wider application, being used to refer to both
a single stake and a crossbeam. The four most popular representations of the cross
are: (i) crux simplex |, a "single piece without transom"; (ii) crux decussata X, or St.
Andrew's cross; (iii) crux commissa T, or St. Anthony's cross; and (iv) crux immisaa
or Latin cross upon which Jesus was allegedly crucified.[17]

A primitive form of crucifixion on trees had long been in use, and such a tree was also
known as a cross (crux). Different ideas also prevailed concerning the material form
of the cross, and it seems that the word had been frequently used in a broad sense. The
Latin word crux was applied to the simple pole, and indicated directly the nature and
purpose of this instrument, being derived from the verb crucio, "to torment", "to
torture." The practice of crucifixion was finally abolished in 337 by Constantine I out
of respect for Jesus Christ, whom he believed died on the cross.

3. Crucifixion In Antiquity

Martin Hengel, Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism studies at Tübingen
University, Germany, stresses that all attempts to give a perfect description of the
crucifixion in archaeological terms are in vain as there were just too many different
possibilities. He says:

All attempts to give a perfect description of the crucifixion in archaeological terms are therefore
in vain; there were too many different possibilities for the executioner. Seneca's testimony
speaks for itself:

I see crosses there, not just of one kind but made in many different ways: some have their
victims with head down to the ground; some impale their private parts; others stretch out their
arms on the gibbet.[18]

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Although the procedure was subject to wide variation according to the whim and
sadism of the executioner, victims were often executed by being impaled on a stake.
The earliest reference to impalement is found in the Code of Hammurabi (c. 1700
BCE). It says:

153. If a seignoir's wife has brought about the death of her husband because of another man,
they shall impale that woman on stakes.[19]

Let us now consider some examples of crucifixion in antiquity which are invoked in
scholarly literature.

CRUCIFIXION IN ANCIENT ASSYRIA

Perhaps one of the best examples of the variation of crucifixion in the form of
impaling the enemies comes from the times of the Assyrian ruler Shalmaneser III
(859 BCE - 824 BCE). Figures 1 and 2 show people being impaled by a stake through
their private parts and chests, respectively.

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Figure 1: Shalmaneser III's campaign in north Syria: town of Dabigu (top), impaled
inhabitants of Syrian town (below). Also notice that the inhabitants have been
impaled by a stake through their private parts.[20]

Figure 2: Attack of the walls of a town by a seige-engine supported by bowmen protected by


shields. The bodies of the three townsmen are impaled outside the wall. Here the stake went
through the chest.[21]

The famous account for the evidence of the Assyrian crucifixion, often repeated in the
scholarly literature, is that of Assyrian king Ninus who had the Median king Pharnus
crucified.

ὁ δε ταυτης βασιλευς Φαρνος παραταξάµενος ἀξιολόγω δυνάµει και λειφθείς, τω̂ν τε
στρατιωτω̂ν τους πλείους ἀπέβαλε και αὐτος µετα τέκνων ἑπτα και γυναικος
αἰχµάλωτος ληφθεις ἀνεσταυρώθη.

ho de tautis basileus Parnos parataxamenos axiologo dunamei kai leiphtheis, tôn te stratiotôn
tous pleious apebale kai autos peta teknon epta kai gunaikos aichmalotos lêphtheis
anestaurôthi.

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And the king of this country, Pharnus, meeting him in battle with a formidable force, was
defeated, and he both lost the larger part of his soldiers, and himself, being taken captive,
along with his seven sons and wife, and crucified.[22]

The English translation uses the word "crucified" which is the translation of the Greek
word anestaurôthi from the verb anastauroô meaning "to impale". This word is now
usually translated to mean "impale" in the literature.[23] It should be noted, however,
that it is believed that the report of Diodorus has no historical value.[24] Nevertheless, it
is interesting to note that the example of crucifixion given in early Assyrian times was
nothing but impalement. In spite of the evidence of crucifixion or impalement in the
Code of Hammurabi and in Assyria, many authors wrongly refer to Herodotus' (5th
century BCE) writings as the source to claim that the earliest references of crucifixion
comes from Persia.[25]

HERODOTUS' ACCOUNTS OF CRUCIFIXION

Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus, Anatolia not long after 480 BCE and died some
time between 430-420 BCE.[26] Herodotus refers to the stake as a method of execution,
but also gives an example of a victim being nailed on a board. We will discuss a few
instances where he mentions impalement in his Histories.

1.128. [1] διαλυθέντος δε του̂ Μηδικου̂. στρατεύµατος αἰσχρω̂ς, ὡς ἐπύθετο τάχιστα ὁ
̓Αστυάγης, ἐφη ἀπειλέων τῳ̂ Κύρῳ "ἀλλ' οὐδ' ὡς Κυ̂ρός γε χαιρήσει." [2] τοσαυ̂τα
εἰπ
̂ ας πρω̂τον µεν τω̂ν Μάγων τους ὀνειροπόλους, οἱ µιν ἀνέγνωσαν µετει̂ναι τον
Κυ̂ρον, τούτους ἀνεσκολόπισε, µετα δε ὡπλισε τους ὑπολειφθέντας ἐν τῳ̂ ἀστεϊ τω̂ν
Μήδων, νέους τε και πρεσβύτας ἀνδρας. [3] ἐξαγαγων δε τούτους και συµβαλων
τοι̂σι Πέρῃσι ἑσσώθη, και αὐτός τε ̓Αστυάγης ἐζωγρήθη και τους ἐξήγαγε τω̂ν Μήδων
ἀπέβαλε.

[1.128.1] dialuthentos de tou Mêdikou. strateumatos aischrôs, hôs eputheto tachista ho


Astuagês, ephê apeileôn tôi Kurôi "all' oud' hôs Kuros ge chairêsei." [1.128.2] tosauta eipas
prôton men tôn Magôn tous oneiropolous, hoi min anegnôsan meteinai ton Kuron, toutous
aneskolopise, meta de hôplise tous hupoleiphthentas en tôi asteï tôn Mêdôn, neous te kai
presbutas andras. [1.128.3] exagagôn de toutous kai sumbalôn toisi Perêisi hessôthê, kai autos
te Astuagês ezôgrêthê kai tous exêgage tôn Mêdôn apebale.

[1.128.1] Thus the Median army was foully scattered. Astyages, hearing this, sent a threatening
message to Cyrus: "that even so he should not go unpunished"; [1.128.2] and with that he took
the Magians who interpreted dreams and had persuaded him to let Cyrus go free, and impaled
them; then he armed the Medes who were left in the city, the youths and the old men.
[1.128.3] Leading these out, and encountering the Persians, he was worsted: Astyages himself
was taken prisoner, and lost the Median army which he led.[27]

10
Note that the English translation uses the word "impaled" which is the translation of
the Greek word anaskolopise from the verb anaskolopizô meaning "to fix on a pole or
stake, to impale".

3.125 [3] ἀποκτείνας δέ µιν οὐκ ἀξίως ἀπηγήσιος ̓Οροίτης ἀνεσταύρωσε: τω̂ν δέ οἱ
ἑποµένων ὁσοι µεν ἠσ
̂ αν Σάµιοι, ἀπη̂κε, κελεύων σφέας ἑωυτῳ̂ χάριν εἰδέναι ἐόντας
ἐλευθέρους, ὁσοι δε ἠσ
̂ αν ξει̂νοί τε και δου̂λοι τω̂ν ἑποµένων, ἐν ἀνδραπόδων λόγῳ
ποιεύµενος εἰχ̂ ε. [4] Πολυκράτης δε ἀνακρεµάµενος ἐπετέλεε πα̂σαν την ὀψιν τη̂ς
θυγατρός: ἐλου̂το µεν γαρ ὑπο του̂ ∆ιος ὁκως ὑοι, ἐχρίετο δε ὑπο του̂ ἡλίου, ἀνιεις
αὐτος ἐκ του̂ σώµατος ἰκµάδα.

[3.125.3] apokteinas de min ouk axiôs apêgêsios Oroitês anestaurôse: tôn de hoi hepomenôn
hosoi men êsan Samioi, apêke, keleuôn spheas heôutôi charin eidenai eontas eleutherous, hosoi
de êsan xeinoi te kai douloi tôn hepomenôn, en andrapodôn logôi poieumenos eiche. [3.125.4]
Polukratês de anakremamenos epetelee pasan tên opsin tês thugatros: elouto men gar hupo tou
Dios hokôs huoi, echrieto de hupo tou hêliou, anieis autos ek tou sômatos ikmada.

[3.125.3] Having killed him (in some way not fit to be told), Oroetes then crucified him; as for
the Samians in his retinue he let them go, bidding them thank Oroetus for their freedom; and
those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates' followers, he kept for slaves.
[3.125.4] So Polycrates was hanged aloft, and thereby his daughter's dream came true; for he
was wahed by Zeus when it rained, and the moisture from his body was his anointment by the
sun.[28]

Note that the English translation uses the word "crucified" which is the translation of
the Greek word anestaurôse from the verb anastauroô meaning "to impale". Also
notice that the victim Polycrates had already been killed before being crucified.

3.132. [1] τότε δη ὁ ∆ηµοκήδης ἐν τοι̂σι Σούσοισι ἐξιησάµενος ∆αρει̂ον οἰκ ̂ όν τε
µέγιστον εἰχ̂ ε και ὁµοτράπεζος βασιλέι ἐγεγόνεε, πλήν τε ἑνος του̂ ἐς ̔Ελληνας ἀπιέναι
πάντα τἀλ̂ λά οἱ παρη̂ν. [2] και του̂το µεν τους Αἰγυπτίους ἰητρούς, οἱ βασιλέα
πρότερον ἰω̂ντο, µέλλοντας ἀνασκολοπιει̂σθαι ὁτι ὑπο ̔Ελληνος ἰητρου̂ ἑσσώθησαν,
τούτους βασιλέα παραιτησάµενος ἐρρύσατο: του̂το δε µάντιν ̓Ηλει̂ον Πολυκράτεϊ
ἐπισπόµενον και ἀπηµεληµένον ἐν τοι̂σι ἀνδραπόδοισι ἐρρύσατο. ἠν̂ δε µέγιστον
πρη̂γµα ∆ηµοκήδης παρα βασιλέι.

[3.132.1] tote dê ho Dêmokêdês en toisi Sousoisi exiêsamenos Dareion oikon te megiston eiche
kai homotrapezos basilei egegonee, plên te henos tou es Hellênas apienai panta talla hoi parên.
[3.132.2] kai touto men tous Aiguptious iêtrous, hoi basilea proteron iônto, mellontas
anaskolopieisthai hoti hupo Hellênos iêtrou hessôthêsan, toutous basilea paraitêsamenos
errusato: touto de mantin Êleion Polukrateï epispomenon kai apêmelêmenon en toisi
andrapodoisi errusato. ên de megiston prêgma Dêmokêdês para basilei.

11
[3.132.1] So now having healed Darius at Susa Democedes had a very grand house and ate at
the king's table; all was his, except permission to return to his Greek home. [3.132.2] When the
Egyptian chirurgeons who had till now attended on the king were about to be impaled for being
less skilful than a Greek, Democedes begged their lives of the king and saved them; and he
saved besides an Elean diviner, too, who had been of Polycrates' retinue and was left neglected
among the slaves. Mightily in favour with the king was Democedes.[29]

Again note that the English translation uses the word "impaled" which is the
translation of the Greek word anaskolopieisthai from the verb anaskolopizô meaning
"to fix on a pole or stake, to impale".

3.159. [1] Βαβυλων µέν νυν οὑτω το δεύτερον αἱρέθη. ∆αρει̂ος δε ἐπείτε ἐκράτησε
τω̂ν Βαβυλωνίων, του̂το µεν σφέων το τει̂χος περιει̂λε και τας πύλας πάσας
ἀπέσπασε: το γαρ πρότερον ἑλων Κυ̂ρος την Βαβυλω̂να ἐποίησε τούτων οὐδέτερον:
του̂το δε ὁ ∆αρει̂ος τω̂ν ἀνδρω̂ν τους κορυφαίους µάλιστα ἐς τρισχιλίους
ἀνεσκολόπισε, τοι̂σι δε λοιποι̂σι Βαβυλωνίοισι ἀπέδωκε την πόλιν οἰκέειν.

[3.159.1] Babulôn men nun houtô to deuteron hairethê. Dareios de epeite ekratêse tôn

Babulôniôn, touto men spheôn to teichos perieile kai tas pulas pasas apespase: to gar proteron

helôn Kuros tên Babulôna epoiêse toutôn oudeteron: touto de ho Dareios tôn andrôn tous

koruphaious malista es trischilious aneskolopise, toisi de loipoisi Babulônioisi apedôke tên polin

oikeein.

[3.159.1] Thus was Babylon the second time taken. Having mastered the Babylonians, Darius
destroyed their walls and reft away all their gates, neither of which things Cyrus had done at the
first taking of Babylon; moreover he impaled about three thousand men that were prominent
among them; as for the rest, he gave them back their city to dwell in. [30]

This is Herodotus' famous account of how Darius I, king of Persia, crucified 3,000
political prisoners. Note that the English translation uses the word "impaled" which is
the translation of the Greek word anaskolopise from the verb anaskolopizô meaning
"to fix on a pole or stake, to impale".

9.120 [4] ταυ̂τα ὑπισχόµενος τον στρατηγον Ξάνθιππον οὐκ ἐπειθε: οἱ γαρ ̓Ελαιούσιοι
τῳ̂ Πρωτεσίλεῳ τιµωρέοντες ἐδέοντό µιν καταχρησθη̂ναι, και αὐτου̂ του̂ στρατηγου̂
ταύτῃ νόος ἐφερε. ἀπαγαγόντες δε αὐτον ἐς την Ξέρξης ἐζευξε τον πόρον, οἱ δε
λέγουσι ἐπι τον κολωνον τον ὑπερ Μαδύτου πόλιος, προς σανίδας
προσπασσαλεύσαντες ἀνεκρέµασαν: τον δε παι̂δα ἐν ὀφθαλµοι̂σι του̂ ̓Αρταύ̈κτεω
κατέλευσαν.

[9.120.4] tauta hupischomenos ton stratêgon Xanthippon ouk epeithe: hoi gar Elaiousioi tôi

Prôtesileôi timôreontes edeonto min katachrêsthênai, kai autou tou stratêgou tautêi noos

12
ephere. apagagontes de auton es tên Xerxês ezeuxe ton poron, hoi de legousi epi ton kolônon

ton huper Madutou polios, pros sanidas prospassaleusantes anekremasan: ton de paida en

ophthalmoisi tou Artaükteô kateleusan.

[9.120.4] But Xanthippus the general was unmoved by this promise; for the people of Elaeus

entreated that Artayctes should be put to death in justice to Protesilaus, and the general himself

was so minded. So they carried Artayctes away to the headland where Xerxes had bridged the

strait (or, by another story, to the hill above the town of Madytus), and there nailed him to
boards and hanged him; and as for his son, they stoned him to death before his father's eyes.[31]

Note that neither of the two verbs anastauroô or anaskolopizô appear in the only
detailed account of crucifixion given by Herodotus in which the victim was "hanged"
by being nailed to boards or planks.

There appears to be no word for "crucifixion" as such in Greek. The Greek text of
Herodotus speaks of "impalement" which is sometimes translated as crucifixion.
Herodotus uses the verbs anaskolopizô and anastauroô both of which mean "to
impale". Generally Herodotus uses the derivatives of the verb anaskolopizô for living
persons and anastauroô for corpses. After him the verbs become synonymous, 'to
crucify', in modern literature.

As mentioned earlier, the Greek word for "cross" stauros, actually denotes an upright
stake or pole. The word crux (cross) is Latin and is also the core of several English
words including "crucifixion". In many cases, especially during the Roman period, the
execution stake became a vertical pole with a horizontal crossbar placed at some
point, and although the period of time at which this happened is uncertain, what is
known is that this simple impalement later became to be known as crucifixion.
Whether the victim was tied, nailed or impaled to the stake, the same Greek words
were still used to described the procedure.

CRUCIFIXION IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Jewish law requires that a man who has committed a sin worthy of death be impaled
on a stake in accordance with the Biblical passage in Deuteronomy 21:22-23.

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him
on a tree; his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the
same day; for he that is hanged is accursed of God; that thou defile not thy land which Jehovah
thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. [Deuteronomy 21:22-23, NIV]

13
The impression given by these translations is a person who has been lynched or who
is bound by ropes to a tree. This is perhaps incorrect. The Hebrew word talah can
have the meaning of "to hang" a corpse upon a stake after execution; according to the
context, however, it is translated more properly "to crucify" or "to impale" as we find
in the Jewish Publication Society's translation of the Tanakh, i.e., the Hebrew Bible.

If a man is guilty of a capital offense and is put to death, and you impale him on a stake, you
must not let his corpse remain on the stake overnight, but must bury him the same day. For an
impaled body is an affront to God: you shall not defile the land that the Lord your God is giving
you to possess. [Deuteronomy 21:22-23, JPS Tanakh][32]

The key words in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 are talah and ‘ets; and in this verse they
refer to a person hanging on a pole or stake as understood from the Gesenius's
Hebrew And Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament Scripture.

(a)

14
(b)

Figure 3: The meaning of (a) talah and (b) ‘ets in the Hebrew Bible.[33]

The fact that a man who has committed a sin worthy of death should be impaled on a
stake, is also stated in the Encyclopaedia Judaica:

HANGING is reported in the Bible only as either a mode of execution of non-Jews who
presumably acted in accordance with their own laws (e.g., Egyptians: Genesis 40:22; II Sam.
21:6-12: Philistines; and Persians: Esther. 7:9), or as a non-Jewish law imported to or to be
applied in Israel (Ezra 6:11), or as an extra-legal or extra-judicial measure (Joshua 8:29).
However, biblical law prescribes hanging after execution: every person found guilty of a capital
offense and put to death had to be impaled on a stake (Deuteronomy 21:22); but the body had
to be taken down the same day and buried before nightfall, "for an impaled body is an affront to
God" (ibid., 23).[34]

It appears that the talmudic and midrashic literature also had a similar understanding
of the word talah.[35] Thus, it is not a tree that the criminal is "hanged" upon, but the
‘ets (tree, wood, stake, plank) upon which the criminal is impaled or crucified. In any
case the impaling was not the means used to execute the criminal; he was first put to
death by stoning, and his corpse was then exposed as a warning to others. The first
mention of impalement in the Bible occurs in Genesis 40:19. The Jewish Publication
Society's translation of the Hebrew text of this verse reads:

15
In three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale you upon a pole; and the birds will pick
off your flesh. [Genesis 40:19][36]

This verse suggests that the Israelites first learned of impalement not from the
Assyrians but from the Egyptians. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (c. 37 – c.
100) reports many incidents of crucifixion in his Antiquities Of The Jews. Josephus
uses only (ana)stauroun (the verb stauroun occurs frequently in the New Testament),
even in his commentary on the verse Genesis 40:19.

[2.72] και ὁ µεν ὁµοίαν την πρόρρησιν ἐσεσθαι τῃ̂ του̂ οἰνοχόου προσεδόκα: ὁ δε
̓Ιώσηπος συµβαλων τῳ̂ λογισµῳ̂ το ὀναρ και προς αὐτον εἰπών, ὡς ἐβούλετ' ἀν
ἀγαθω̂ν ἑρµηνευτης αὐτῳ̂ γεγονέναι και οὐχ οἱων το ὀναρ αὐτῳ̂ δηλοι̂, λέγει δύο τας
πάσας ἐτι του̂ ζη̂ν αὐτον ἐχειν ἡµέρας: τα γαρ κανα̂ του̂το σηµαίνειν: [2.73] τῃ̂ τρίτῃ
δ' αὐτον ἀνασταυρωθέντα βοραν ἐσεσθαι πετεινοι̂ς οὐδεν ἀµύνειν αὑτῳ̂ δυνάµενον.
και δη ταυ̂τα τέλος ὁµοιον οἱς̂ ὁ ̓Ιώσηπος εἰπ
̂ εν ἀµφοτέροις ἐλαβε: τῃ̂ γαρ ἡµέρᾳ τῃ̂
προειρηµένῃ γενέθλιον τεθυκως ὁ βασιλευς τον µεν ἐπι τω̂ν σιτοποιω̂ν ἀνεσταύρωσε,
τον δε οἰνοχόον τω̂ν δεσµω̂ν ἀπολύσας ἐπι τη̂ς αὐτη̂ς ὑπηρεσίας κατέστησεν.

[2.72] kai ho men homoian tên prorrêsin esesthai têi tou oinokhoou prosedoka: ho de Iôsêpos
sumbalôn tôi logismôi to onar kai pros auton eipôn, hôs eboulet' an agathôn hermêneutês autôi
gegonenai kai ouch hoiôn to onar autôi dêloi, legei duo tas pasas eti tou zên auton echein
hêmeras: ta gar kana touto sêmainein: [2.73] têi tritêi d' auton anastaurôthenta boran esesthai
peteinois ouden amunein hautôi dunamenon. kai dê tauta telos homoion hois ho Iôsêpos eipen
amphoterois elabe: têi gar hêmerai têi proeirêmenêi genethlion tethukôs ho basileus ton men
epi tôn sitopoiôn anestaurôse, ton de oinochoon tôn desmôn apolusas epi tês autês hupêresias
katestêsen.

[2.72] And he expected a prediction like to that of the cupbearer. But Joseph, considering and

reasoning about the dream, said to him, that he would willingly be an interpreter of good events

to him, and not of such as his dream denounced to him; but he told him that he had only three

days in all to live, for that the [three] baskets signify, that on the third day he should be

crucified, and devoured by fowls, while he was not able to help himself. Now both these dreams

had the same several events that Joseph foretold they should have, and this to both the parties;
for on the third day before mentioned, when the king solemnized his birth-day, he crucified the

chief baker, but set the butler free from his bonds, and restored him to his former
ministration.[37]

Note that the English translation uses the word "crucified" which is the translation of
the words anastaurôthenta and anestaurôse from the Greek anastauroô meaning "to
impale". The Smith's Bible Dictionary also observes that the hangings reported in
Genesis 40:19 refer to crucifixion.

16
Crucifixion was in use among the Egyptians, (Genesis 40:19); the Carthaginians, the Persians,
(Esther 7:10); the Assyrians, Scythains, Indians, Germans, and from the earliest times among
the Greeks and Romans. Whether this mode of execution was known to the ancient Jews is a
matter of dispute. Probably the Jews borrowed it from the Romans. It was unanimously
considered the most horrible form of death.[38]

Similarly, the Encyclopaedia Judaica says that:

There are reports of crucifixions from Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Punic, and Roman
sources.[39]

Given these facts, it is strange that the Christian missionaries have claimed that
crucifixion was not known in Egypt during the time of either Joseph and Moses even
though the Judeo-Christian scholars have pointed to its existence in Egypt. Let us now
turn our attention to the evidence of crucifixion from ancient Egypt.

4. Crucifixion In Ancient Egypt

According to the Christian missionaries, their evidence that the Qur'an is in error
when it mentions crucifixion in Egypt is based on "archaeology and history". If one
reads their material, it is neither based on any archaeological evidence nor any
historical investigation! Another example of the missionary's unparalleled arrogance
about the historical investigation on this issue can be seen here and here. So much for
their "crucifiction" theories!

Rather ironically, the missionaries have even managed to misrepresent the evidence
used to forward their own "facts". The missionaries, referring to the famous
Encyclopaedia Britannica, proclaimed they were providing "one authoritative
reference":

Crucifixion, an important method of capital punishment, particularly among the Persians,


Seleucids, Jews, Carthaginians, and Romans [was practiced] from about the 6th century BC to
the 4th century AD. Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, abolished it in the
Roman Empire in AD 337, out of veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of
crucifixion. ... [The earliest recording of a crucifixion was] in 519 BC [when] Darius I, king of
Persia, crucified 3,000 political opponents in Babylon.

By the use of [] brackets, the missionaries hoped to convey that the first recorded
incidence of crucifixion was in 519 BCE during the reign of Darius I, King of Persia.
All they managed to convey however was their own distortion of source material. Let
us see what Encyclopedia Britannica actually says:

17
an important method of capital punishment, particularly among the Persians, Seleucids,
Carthaginians, and Romans from about the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD. Constantine
the Great, the first Christian emperor, abolished it in the Roman Empire in AD 337, out of
veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of crucifixion. ... In 519 BC Darius I, king of
Persia, crucified 3,000 political opponents in Babylon.[40]

So this "one authoritative reference" championed by the missionaries turns out to be a


reference to their own misunderstanding and distortion. Now that it is abundantly
clear that Encyclopaedia Britannica does not provide information in relation to the
first recorded instances of crucifixion in world history, let us now deal with the issue
of crucifixion in Egypt using the information obtained from Egyptology.

HIEROGLYPH FOR CRUCIFYING OR IMPALING A PERSON UPON A


STAKE

The first thing to establish is whether there exists any hieroglyph that mentions
impaling people on stakes. The best place to start is Die Sprache Der Pharaonen
Großes Handwörterbuch Ägyptisch, a concise Egyptian-German dictionary. The
hieroglyph depicting impalement on a stake is shown below.[41]

Figure 4: Hieroglyph writing for "Stake. rdj hr = To put on the stake (for punishment)"; det. =

determinative, hieroglyph for classifying Egyptian words. Here it shows an impaled man bent
upon a stake.[42]

A recent edition of Die Sprache Der Pharaonen Großes Handwörterbuch


Ägyptisch gives even more information on the hieroglyphs showing impalement as
seen below.[43]

18
Figure 5: Hieroglyph writing for Pfahl, i.e., "Stake". The interesting ones of 2, 3, 5, and 6. Also

see "Pfählen".

This is the clearest example that people in Egypt were crucified by impaling them on
stakes. What about the times in which this punishment was imposed in Egypt?

EVIDENCE OF IMPALEMENT IN ANCIENT EGYPT

In order to understand the evidence of crucifixion by impaling people on a stake in


Egypt, we present a simplified chronology of ancient Egyptian history containing
royal names associated with the period for easy reference. Unless otherwise stated,
specific dates for particular Dynasties and Kings that we quote within this paper are
taken from Nicolas Grimal's book, A History of Ancient Egypt.[44] Please note that the

19
exact Egyptian chronologies are slightly uncertain, and all dates are approximate. The
reader will find slightly different schemes used in different books.

Dynasties
Some Royal Names
Dates BCE (approx.) Period Associated with
Period

Narmer-Menes, Aha,
1&2 c. 3150 - 2700 Thinite Period Djer, Hetepsekhemwy,
Peribsen

Djoser, Snofru, Khufu


(Cheops), Khafre
3-6 c. 2700 - 2190 Old Kingdom
(Chephren),
Menkauhor, Teti, Pepy.

Neferkare, Mentuhotpe,
7 - 11 c. 2200 - 2040 First Intermediate
Inyotef

Ammenemes,
11 & 12 c. 2040 - 1674 Middle Kingdom
Sesostris, Dedumesiu

Sobekhotep II,
Chendjer, Salitis,
Yaqub-Har, Kamose,
13 - 17 c. 1674 - 1553 Second Intermediate
Seqenenre, Apophis.
Hyksos formed 15th
and 16th Dynasties
Ahmose, Amenhotep
(Amenophis),
Hatshepsut, Akhenaten
18 - 20 c. 1552 - 1069 New Kingdom (Amenophis IV),
Horemheb, Seti
(Sethos), Ramesses,
Merenptah

Table I: Chronology of Egyptians Dynasties

Keeping this in mind, let us now look at the evidence of crucifixion by impaling
people on a stake in Egypt. The evidence is arranged in chronological order.

A. Theban Account Papyrus (Papyrus Boulaq 18)

Papyrus Boulaq 18 is dated to the early Second Intermediate Period reign of Chendjer
/ Sobekhotep II; both of them kings from the 13th Dynasty. The account in Papyrus
Boulaq is given below.[45]

20
Figure 6: Mentioning of impalement in the Theban account papyrus (Papyrus Boulaq 18).

a blood bath (?) had occurred with (by?) wood (?) ... the comrade was put on the stake, land
near the island ...; waking alive at the places of life, safety and health ...

B. Stela Of Amenophis IV (Akhenaten)

Amenophis IV or Akhenaten was known as the Heretic King. He was the tenth king
of the 18th Dynasty in the New Kingdom Period. This is an interesting stela showing
the Nubian prisoners of war being impaled.

21
Figure 7: Excerpts from the Stela of Amenophis IV, showing impalement of Nubian prisoners of

war.

List (of the enemy belonging to) Ikayta: living Nehesi 80+ ?; ... | ... their (chiefs?) 12; total
number of live captives 145; those who were impaled ... | ... total 225; beasts 361.[46]

Interestingly, The New International Dictionary Of The Bible says:

Crucifixion was one of the most cruel and barbarous forms of death known to man. It was
practiced, especially in the times of war, by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Egyptians, and later
by the Romans. So dreaded was it that even in the pre-Christian era, the cares and troubles of
the life were often compared to a cross.[47]

C. Abydos Decree Of Sethos I At Nauri, Year 4.

Sethos I belonged to the 19th Dynasty in the New Kingdom Period. His rule preceded
the rule of Ramesses II. Below is his interesting decree at Nauri.

22
Figure 8: Excerpts from the Abydos Decree of Sethos I at Nauri, Year 4.

... Now as for any superintendent of cattle, any superintendent of donkeys, any herdsman
belonging to the Temple of Menmare Happy in Abydos, who shall sell of any beast belonging to
the Temple of Menmare Happy in Abydos to someone else; likewise whoever may cause it to be
offered on some other document, and it not be offered to Osiris his master in the Temple of
Menmare Happy in Abydos; the law shall be executed against him, by condemning him, impaled
on the stake, along with forfeiting(?) his wife, his children and all his property to the Temple of
Menmare Happy in Abydos, ...[48]

D. Amada Stela Of Merenptah: Libyan War (Karnak)

Merenptah, son of Ramesses II, defeated the threat posed by the Libyans. He
belonged to the 19th Dynasty in the New Kingdom Period. Here the prisoners were
impaled on the stake on the South of Memphis.

Figure 9: Excerpts from the Amada Stela of Merenptah; Libyan War (Karnak).

... Never shall they leave any people for the Libu (i.e., Libyans), any who shall bring them up in
their land! They are cast to the ground, (?) by hundred-thousands and ten thousands, the
remainder being impaled ('put to the stake') on the South of Memphis. All their property was
plundered, being brough back to Egypt...[49]

23
E. The Abbott Papyrus

This is an account of the Great Tomb Robberies of the 20th Dynasty in the New
Kingdom Period. Notice that the oath includes mutilation before the actual
impalement.

Figure 10: Excerpts from the Abbott Papyrus that deals with the oath on pain of mutilation and

impalement.

... The notables caused this coppersmith to be examined in most severe examination in the
Great Valley, but it could not be found that he knew of any place there save the two places he
had pointed out. He took an oath on pain of being beaten, of having his nose and ears cut off,
and of being impaled, saying I know of no place here among these tombs except this tomb
which is open and this house which I pointed to you...[50]

F. Papyrus BM10052

This is an account of the Great Tomb Robberies of the 20th Dynasty in the New
Kingdom Period. Notice that the oath includes mutilation before the actual
impalement.

Figure 11: Excerpts from Papyrus BM10052.

The scribe Paoemtaumt was brought. he was given the oath not to speak falsehood. He said, As
Amun lives and as the Ruler lives, if I be found to have had anything to do with any one of the
thieves may I be mutilated in nose and ears and placed on the stake. He was examined with the
stick. He was found to have been arrested on account of the measurer Paoemtaumt son of
Kaka.[51]

24
These hieroglyphs are by no means the only ones. There exist others from the New
Kingdom Period showing impalements.[52]

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN ANCIENT EGYPT

Ancient Egypt was known for some of the worst kinds of capital punishments. The
ancient Egyptians understood the necessary deterrent that these punishments
provided. It appears that punishment in ancient Egypt became more severe with the
times, especially with the advent of the New Kingdom Period. The punishments in the
New Kingdom Period were very brutal and included beatings, mutilation,
impalement, and being treated as a slave. The Lexikon Der Ägyptologie - an
encyclopaedia of Egyptology, gives a brief overview of the different forms of
punishment in Egypt under the heading "Strafen" (i.e., punishment / penalties). It
says:

Decrees and trial documents, in the latter particularly from oath formulas, have given us the
following judicial punishments. Physical punishments, as the most severe for capital crimes ...
the death penalty by impaling, burning, drowning, beheading or being eating by wild animals.
Only the King or the Vizier had the right to impose such punishment. High ranking personalities
were granted by the King to commit suicide.

Physical punishments were also mutilation punishments by cutting off hands, tongue, nose and
or ears, castration as well as beatings in the form of 100 or 200 strokes, often with 5 bleeding
wounds, occasionally with 10 burn marks. Sometimes also the part of the body, e.g. the soles of
the feet, which had to be beaten.

Frequently there were prison sentences in addition to physical punishments, such as exile to

Kusch, to the Great Oasis or to Sile, with the obligation of forced labour as mine worker or stone

mason as well as loss of assets. Women were banished to live in the outbuildings at the back of

the house. Prison sentences as we know them were unknown. There were just remand prison for

the accused and witnesses for serious crimes before and during the trial. Abuse of office was
punished by loss of office and transfer to manual work. [53]

Similarly Lurje in his Studien Zum Altägyptischen Recht (Studies In The Ancient
Egyptian Law) states:

Among others we find mutilation, mutilation and deportation to forced labour in Ethiopia, just
deportation to forced labour in Ethiopia, impaling (tp-ht), punishment in form of 100 beatings
and adding 50 wounds, punishment in form of 100 beatings and withdrawal of part or all of the
disputed assets, punishment in form of 100 beatings and payment of twice the value of the
matter in dispute, asset liability, cutting off of the tongue, loss of rank and transfer to the
working class, handing over to be eaten by the crocodile and finally living in the outbuildings of
the house.[54]

25
It is clear that one of the severest penalties in ancient Egypt included mutilation,
mutilation and then impalement especially in the New Kingdom Period. The
mutilation includes cutting off hands, tongue, nose and ears or even castration. Harsh
penalties such as crucifying by impalement would be imposed only by either the King
or the Vizier. John Wilson had discussed the authority of the King or the Vizier to
impose punishments which the interested readers might find useful.[55] Thus the
Qur'anic address of referring to Pharaoh as "Lord of Stakes" certainly fits very well
with the available evidence. It also adds irony due to the fact that even though the
Pharaoh claimed to be god, the greatest act of his lordship was confined to killing
people by putting them on the stake.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

When did Joseph and Moses enter Egypt? As far as the missionaries are concerned,
they had claimed the dating provided by them is "conservative".

We have, however, no record that Egyptians used crucifixion as punishment in the time of Moses
(1450 BC, conservative date; 1200 BC at the latest) or even Joseph (1880 BC, conservative
date).

The "conservative" dating of the missionaries correspond quite closely with the New
Chronology proposed by David Rohls in his book A Test of Time.[56] This is the
revisionist dating not the "conservative" dating. Fortunately, we have A Waste of
Time homepage on the internet that includes a collection of articles written by
scholars of Egyptology such as Professor Kenneth Kitchen as well as amateurs
refuting many of the claims of Rohl. Even the evangelical Christians do not take
Rohls' work seriously. We wonder why the missionaries insist on using such
discredited scholarship to advance their fictitious arguments.

The majority of scholars say that Joseph entered Egypt during the time of the Hyksos.
The Hyksos belonged to a group of mixed Semitic-Asiatics who infiltrated Egypt
during the Middle Kingdom and became rulers of Lower Egypt during the Second
Intermediate Period. They formed the 15th and 16th Dynasties. The generally
accepted theory appears to be that Moses lived during the reign of at least two kings,
Rameses II and his successor Merneptah in the New Kingdom Period.

Let us now gather the evidence that we have acquired so far about crucifixion in
Egypt. Table II shows the ruler of Egypt when people were crucified by impaling on
stakes as well as the time when Joseph and Moses entered Egypt.

26
Dynasties

Dates BCE Ruler When Crucifixion


Period Prophet
(approx.) Happened

c. 2700 - Old
3-6
2200 Kingdom

c. 2200 - First
7 - 11
2040 Intermediate

c. 2040 - Middle
11 & 12
1674 Kingdom

Sobekhotep II, Chendjer (13th


c. 1674 - Second Dynasty).
13 - 17 Joseph
1553 Intermediate Hyksos formed 15th and 16th
Dynasties

c. 1552 - New Akhenaten (Amenophis IV),


18 - 20 Moses
1069 Kingdom Ramesses, Merenptah

Table II: This Table provides information about the ruler of Egypt when people were crucified by
impaling on stakes and the time when Joseph and Moses entered Egypt.

What is interesting to note is that the earliest available evidence of the occurrence of
crucifixion in Egypt is seen in the Papyrus Boulaq 18 from the time of Sobekhotep II /
Chendjer of the 13th Dynasty in the Second Intermediate Period. Joseph, according to
majority of scholars, entered Egypt during the rule of the Hyksos who formed the
15th and 16th Dynasties in the Second Intermediate Period. This means that
crucifixion happened in Egypt even before Joseph entered Egypt.

Crucifixion also happened before Moses came to Egypt, during the Amenophis IV
(Akhenaten). It also happened after the event of Exodus as seen in the papyri related
to the Great Tomb Robberies of the 20th Dynasty. This completely refutes the claim
of the Christian missionaries that the mention of crucifixion in the Qur'an during the
time of Joseph and Moses is historically inaccurate.

5. Conclusions

27
Contrary to the missionaries' own imaginative definition, crucifixion, as attested in a
variety of sources, can be understood as the act of nailing, binding or impaling a
living victim or sometimes a dead person to a cross, stake or tree, whether for
executing the body or for exposing the corpse. However, all attempts to give a perfect
description of the crucifixion in archaeological terms are in vain as there were just too
many different possibilities depending upon the whim of the executioner. The "cross"
was originally a single upright stake or post upon which the victim was either tied,
nailed or impaled as seen in the ancient references to crucifixion. Accordingly, as we
have demonstrated, it would not only be inappropriate but also historically inaccurate
to restrict our understanding of the scope and application of crucifixion as it was
practiced during Roman times, especially throughout the early Christian period.

With regard to ancient Egyptian history, we can observe a progression in the 'cruelty'
of punishments with time, acutely so during the New Kingdom period (c. 1552 – c.
1069 BCE). Without delving into the intricacies of ancient Egyptian criminal law, we
can undoubtedly observe that one method of punishment was crucifying people by
impalement. The earliest extant evidence for this severe form of punishment is found
during the reign of Sobekhotep II / Chendjer in the Second Intermediate period (c.
1674 – c. 1553 BCE), as indicated by the Papyrus Boulaq 18. Moving forward to the
New Kingdom period (c. 1552 – c. 1069 BCE), we have numerous papyri, including
the Abbot Papyrus and Papyrus BM10052, as well as numerous stele including the
Stela of Amenophis IV, Abydos Decree of Sethos I at Nauri and Amada Stela of
Merenptah, indicating the punishment of crucifixion by impalement. These dates
correspond well with the dates the majority of scholars attribute to Joseph and Moses
entry into Egypt. Therefore, based on this historical appreciation of ancient Egyptian
history, crucifixion, as evidenced in a variety of hieroglyph papyri manuscripts and
stela, was practiced as impalement, and, this form of punishment was already well
established by the time Joseph entered Egypt. In sum, the story as narrated in the
Qur'an correlates very well with the available evidence.

Equipped with an academically accepted chronology of ancient Egyptian history and


an accurate historical understanding of what the words 'cross' and 'crucifixion'
actually mean, once again, we find the missionaries making unsubstantiated claims.[57]
Their "facts" are based on unproven ancient Egyptian chronologies that have received
scathing reviews from fellow academics not to mention their own theologians.
Combined with a superficial understanding regarding the concepts of "cross" and
"crucifixion", and how this form of punishment was expressed by different cultures
and civilisations (both ancient and modern), the missionaries struggle to form any
type of cogent argumentation and instead distort source material and make extensive

28
use of soundbites. In fact, the only thing in error here is the missionaries' "research
methodology", which, in this particular instance, can properly be characterised as
lightweight and schizophrenic.

Perhaps it is best to conclude with H.S. Smith's observation in his book The Fortress
Of Buhen: The Inscriptions:

... I think the sense of nty hr htw 'those who are on the stakes' cannot be mistaken; the
evidence for the Egyptians impaling their enemies is far too strong to be doubted.[58]

And Allah knows best!

References & Notes

[1] "Crucifixion", in B. M. Metzger and M. D. Coogan (eds.), Oxford Companion To


The Bible, 1993, Oxford University Press: Oxford & New York, p. 141.

[2] G. G. O'Collins, "Crucifixion" in D. N. Freedman (Editor-in-Chief), Anchor


Bible Dictionary, 1992, Volume I, Doubleday: New York, p. 1207.

[3] "Crucifixion", New Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1981, Volume IV, The Catholic
University of America: Washington, p. 485.

[4] "Crucifixion Of Christ", in H. Lockyer, Sr. (General Editor), F. F. Bruce et al.,


(Consulting Editors), Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1986, Thomas Nelson
Publishers, p. 267.

[5] "Cross", in H. Lockyer, Sr. (General Editor), F. F. Bruce et al., (Consulting


Editors), Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1986, op. cit., p. 265.

[6] "Cross, Crucify", Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Click
here.

[7] "Cross", in J. Hastings et al. (eds.), A Dictionary of Bible, Dealing With Its
Language, Literature And Contents, Including The Biblical Theology, 1898,
Volume I, T. & T. Clarke: Edinburgh, p. 528.

[8] "Crucifixion", in J. Hastings (Revised by Frederick C. Grant and H. H. Rowley),


Dictionary Of The Bible, 1963, 2nd Edition, T. & T. Clarke: Edinburgh, p. 193. For

29
a similar explanation of the Greek word stauros see J. H. Thayer, Thayer's Greek-
English Lexicon Of The New Testament Coded With Strong's Concordance
Numbers, 2005 (7th Printing), Hendrickson Publishers Inc.: Peabody (MA), p. 586.

[9] "Cross, Crucifixion", J. D. Douglas (Organizing Editor), The Illustrated Bible


Dictionary, 1980, Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester (England), p. 342.

[10] Only the cross-beam was actually carried to the site of the execution, not the
entire cross: "..after being whipped, or 'scourged,' dragged the crossbeam of his cross
to the place of punishment, where the upright shaft was already fixed in the ground."
Encyclopaedia Britannica.

[11] "Cross, Crucifixion", J. D. Douglas (Organizing Editor), The Illustrated Bible


Dictionary, 1980, op. cit., p. 342.

[12] "Crucifixion" in G. A. Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The


Bible, 1962, Volume I, Abingdon Press: Nashville (TN), p. 746.

[13] "Cross", in W. Smith (ed.), Concise Dictionary of the Bible, Its Antiquities,
Biography, Geography, and Natural History, Condensed from the Larger Work,
1880, 5th Edition, John Murray: London.

[14] "Crucifixion", The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, © 1989-


1995 Merriam-Webster, Inc., (Multipedia, CD-ROM Edition by Softkey 1995).

[15] "Crux", C. T. Lewis & C. Short, A Latin Dictionary, Click here.

[16] "Crucifixion", The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, © 1989-


1995 Merriam-Webster, Inc., (Multipedia, CD-ROM Edition by Softkey 1995).

[17] "Cross" in The Easton's Bible Dictionary. Available online.

[18] M. Hengel, The Cross Of The Son Of God, 1976 (1981 Print), SCM Press:
London, p. 117; idem., Crucifixion In The Ancient World And The Folly Of The
Message Of The Cross, 1977, SCM Press Ltd: London, p. 25.

[19] T. J. Meek, "The Code Of Hammurabi" in J. B. Pritchard (Ed.), The Ancient


Near East: An Anthology Of Texts And Pictures, 1958, Princeton University Press:
Princeton (NJ), p. 155.

30
[20] J. B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East In Pictures Relating To The Old
Testament, 1954, Princeton University Press: Princeton (NJ), No. 362, p. 126 for
picture and p. 292 for text.

[21] ibid., No. 368, p. 128 for picture and p. 293 for text..

[22] C. H. Oldfather (Trans.), Diodorus Of Sicily, 1933, Volume I, William


Heinemann Sons: London, 2.1.10, pp. 352-353. A similar translation was made G.
Booth (Trans.), The Historical Library Of Diodorus The Sicilian, In Fifteen Books.
To Which Are Added The Fragments Of Diodorus, 1814, Volume I, J. Davis:
London, 2.1.10, p. 100. It reads

Being thus strengthened, he invaded Media, whose king Pharnus coming out against him with a
mighty army, was utterly routed, and lost most of his men, and was taken prisoner with his wife
and seven children, and afterwards crucified.

[23] For example, Gosse says:

According to Diodorus (ii.1) Ninus impaled Pharnus, the king of Media.

See P. H. Gosse, Assyria; Her Manners And Customs, Arts And Arms: Her
Manners And Customs, Arts and Arms Restored From Her Monuments, 1852,
Society For Promotion Of Christian Knowledge: London, p. 349. Similar statement is
also seen in W. Palmer's Egyptian Chronicles. With A Harmony Of Sacred And
Egyptian Chronology, And An Appendix On Babylonian And Assyrian Antiquities,
2006, Volume II, Elibron Classics, p. 908. The text reads

Ninus then attacked Pharnus, king of Media, and after a great victory took him prisoner and
caused him to be impaled.

[24] M. Hengel, Crucifixion In The Ancient World And The Folly Of The Message
Of The Cross, 1977, op. cit., pp. 22-23.

[25] The earliest reference to crucifixion comes from the Code of Hammurabi as we
have seen earlier. For those who claim that the earliest evidence of crucifixion comes
from Persia see D. G. Burke, "Cross" in G. W. Bromiley (Gen. Ed.), The
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1979 (Fully Revised, Illustrated),
Volume I, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids (MI), p. 828;
"Cross, Crucifixion" in A. C. Myers (Ed.), The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, 1987,
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids (MI), p. 246; G. R.
Osborne, "Crucifixion" in W. A. Elwell (Gen. Ed.), Encyclopedia Of The Bible,

31
1988, Volume I, Marshall Pickering: London, p. 555; G. G. O'Collins, "Crucifixion"
in D. N. Freedman (Editor-in-Chief), Anchor Bible Dictionary, 1992, Volume I, op.
cit., p. 1207.

[26] "Herodotus", Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004 DVD,


© 1994 – 2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

[27] A. D. Godley (Trans.), Herodotus (In Four Volumes), 1966, Volume I (Books I
and II), William Heinemann Ltd.: London & Harvard University Press: Cambridge,
pp. 167-169.

[28] A. D. Godley (Trans.), Herodotus (In Four Volumes), 1963, Volume II (Books
III and IV), William Heinemann Ltd.: London & Harvard University Press:
Cambridge, p. 155.

[29] ibid., p. 163.

[30] ibid., pp. 193-195.

[31] A. D. Godley (Trans.), Herodotus (In Four Volumes), 1969, Volume IV (Books
VIII and IX), William Heinemann Ltd.: London & Harvard University Press:
Cambridge, p. 299.

[32] Tanakh: The New Translation Of The Holy Scriptures According To The
Traditional Hebrew Text, 1985, Jewish Publication Society of America: Philadelphia
& Jerusalem, pp. 307-308.

[33] S. P. Tregelles (Trans.), Gesenius's Hebrew And Chaldee Lexicon To The Old
Testament Scripture: Translated With Additions And Corrections From The
Author's Thesaurus And Other Works, 1881, Samuel Bagster And Sons: London, p.
dccclxv and p. dcxlvi, respectively; Also see F. Brown, S. Driver & C. Briggs, The
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew And English Lexicon Coded With Strong's
Concordance Numbers, 2005 (9th Printing), Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody (MA),
pp. 1067-1068, Strong's Concordance Number 8518 and pp. 781-782, Strong's
Concordance Number 6086, respectively; J. Strong, The New Strong's Exhaustive
Concordance Of The Bible, 1990, Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville (TN), No.
8518, p. 152 (Hebrew) and No. 6086, p. 109 (Hebrew), respectively.

[34] "Capital Punishment" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971, Volume 5,


Encyclopaedia Judaica Jerusalem, col. 142.

32
[35] M. Jastrow (Compiler), A Dictionary Of The Targumim, The Talmud Babli
And Yerushalmi, And The Midrashic Literature, 1903, Volume I, Luzac & Co.:
London and G. P. Putnam's Sons: New York, p. 1282.

[36] Tanakh: The New Translation Of The Holy Scriptures According To The
Traditional Hebrew Text, 1985, op. cit., pp. 64.

[37] F. Josephus (Trans. W. Whiston), Antiquities Of The Jews, available online.

[38] "Crucifixion", Smith's Bible Dictionary, available online.

[39] "Crucifixion" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971, Volume 5, Encyclopaedia


Judaica Jerusalem, col. 1134.

[40] "Crucifixion", Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004


DVD, © 1994 – 2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

[41] R. Hannig, Die Sprache Der Pharaonen Großes Handwörterbuch Ägyptisch -


Deutsch (2800-950 v. Chr.), 1995, Kulturgeschichte Der Antiken Welt - 64, Verlag
Philipp Von Zabern: Mainz, p. 929.

[42] It seems that this hieroglyphic determinative is quite rare. Joyce Tyldesley, while
discussing the crime and punishment in Egypt, says:

The preferred method of execution was by impaling on a stake. The rare hieroglyphic
determinative for this type of execution shows a man suspended by the centre of his torso on
the point of a pole. The man lies face down so that his arms and legs dangle towards the
ground. Death would have been quick if the spike pierced the heart or a major blood vessel. If
not, the condemned faced a long, excruciating demise.

See J. Tyldesley, "Crime And Punishment In Ancient Egypt", Ancient Egypt: The
History, People & Culture Of The Nile Valley, 2004 (June/July), Volume 4, Issue 6,
p. 31; For a similar treatment albeit in slightly more detail, please see J. Tyldesley,
Judgement Of The Pharaoh: Crime And Punishment In Ancient Egypt, 2000,
Phoenix: London, pp. 64-66.

[43] R. Hannig, Die Sprache Der Pharaonen Großes Handwörterbuch Ägyptisch -


Deutsch (2800-950 v. Chr.), 2000, Kulturgeschichte Der Antiken Welt - 86, Verlag
Philipp Von Zabern: Mainz, p. 964.

[44] N. Grimal (Trans. Ian Shaw), A History Of Ancient Egypt, 1988 (1992 print),
Blackwell Publishers: Oxford, pp. 389-395.

33
[45] The image is taken from W. Heck's Historisch-Biographische Texte Der 2.
Zwischenzeit Und Neue Texte Der 18. Dynastie, 1975, Otto Harrassowitz:
Wiesbaden, p. 10.

For a detailed study and translation of Papyrus Boulaq 18 see A. Scharff, "Ein
Rechnungsbuch des Königlichen Hofes Aus Der 13. Dynastie (Papyrus Boulaq
Nr. 18)", Zeitschrift Für Ägyptische Sprache Und Altertumskunde, 1922, Volume
57, pp. 51-68. Relevant material is on p. 62. The translation in German reads

gemacht wurde dort ein Blutbad(?) mit (durch?) Holz(?)... der Genosse tp-ht, landen bei der
Insel ...; lebend erwachen an den Stätten des Lebens, Heils und der Gesundheit ...

Scharff left the "tp-ht" untranslated. He compares it with Papyrus Abbott and says
"wo es etwa 'Marterpfahl' bedeutet", i.e., where it signifies possibly "stake", see p. 62.

[46] H. S. Smith, The Fortress Of Buhen: The Inscriptions, 1976, Forty Eighth
Excavation Memoir, Egyptian Exploration Society: London (UK), pp. 125-127 and
Plate 29.

[47] "Cross", in J. D. Douglas, M. C. Tenny, The New International Dictionary Of


The Bible: Pictorial Edition, 1987, Regency Reference Library (USA) & Marshall
Pickering (UK), p. 242; Also see "Crucifixion", New Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1981,
Volume IV, op. cit., p. 485.

[48] K. A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions: Historical And Biographical, 1975,


Volume I, B. H. Blackwell Ltd.: Oxford (UK), No. 56, 1. The image was taken from
here; K. A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions: Translated & Annotated
(Translations), 1993, Volume I (Ramesses I, Sethos I and Contemporaries),
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.: Oxford (UK), p. 48 (No. 56, 1).

[49] K. A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions: Historical And Biographical, 1982,


Volume IV, B. H. Blackwell Ltd.: Oxford (UK), No. 1, 13. The image was taken from
here; K. A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions: Translated & Annotated
(Translations), 2003, Volume IV (Merenptah & The Late Nineteenth Dynasty),
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.: Oxford (UK), p. 1.

[50] T. E. Peet, The Great Tomb Robberies Of The Twentieth Egyptian Dynasty:
Being A Critical Study, With Translations And Commentaries, of The Papyri In
Which These Are Recorded, 1930, II Plates, The Provost & Fellows Of Worcester
College At The Clarendon Press: Oxford, Plate III, Papyrus Abbott No. 5, 7; T. E.
Peet, The Great Tomb Robberies Of The Twentieth Egyptian Dynasty: Being A

34
Critical Study, With Translations And Commentaries, of The Papyri In Which
These Are Recorded, 1930, I Text, The Provost & Fellows Of Worcester College At
The Clarendon Press: Oxford, p. 40.

[51] T. E. Peet, The Great Tomb Robberies Of The Twentieth Egyptian Dynasty:
Being A Critical Study, With Translations And Commentaries, of The Papyri In
Which These Are Recorded, 1930, II Plates, op. cit., Plate XXXIV, Papyrus
BM10052 No. 14, 24; T. E. Peet, The Great Tomb Robberies Of The Twentieth
Egyptian Dynasty: Being A Critical Study, With Translations And Commentaries,
of The Papyri In Which These Are Recorded, 1930, I Text, op. cit., p. 156.

[52] See D. Lorton's "The Treatment Of Criminals In Ancient Egypt Through The
New Kingdom Period", Journal Of The Economic And Social History Of The
Orient, 1977, Volume XX, Part 1, pp. 32-35. Apart from the stela and papyri that we
have discussed, there are also other examples where crucifixion by impaling people
took place.

[53] "Strafen" in W. Heck & E. Otto, Lexikon Der Ägyptologie, 1986, Volume VI,
Otto Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden, Columns 68-69. The original in German reads:

Aus Dekreten und Prozeßakten, dort vor allem aus Eidesformeln, sind uns folgende
Rechtsstrafen überliefert: Körperstrafen, als schwerste für todeswürdige Verbrechen ... die
Todesstrafe durch Pfählen, Verbrennen, Ertränken, Köpfen oder Gefressenwerden durch wilde
Tiere. Ihre Verhängung blieb allein dem König oder dem Wesir vorbehalten. Hochgestellten
Persönlichkeiten gestattete der König den Selbstmord.

Körperstrafen waren auch die Verstümmelungsstrafen durch Abschneiden von Händen, Zunge,
Nase und oder Ohren, Kastration sowie die Prügelstrafen in Form von 100 oder 200 Schlägen,
vielfach mit 5 blutenden Wunden, gelegentlich mit 10 Brandmalen. Manchmal war auch die
Körperstelle, z. B. Fußsohlen, angegeben, auf die zu schlagen war.

Als Nebenstrafe zu einer Körperstrafe traten vielfach Freiheitsstrafen, wie die Verbannung nach
Kusch, zur Großen Oase oder nach Sile, die mit der Verpflichtung zur Zwangsarbeit als
Minenarbeiter oder Steinbrecher sowie dem Verlust des Vermögens verbunden waren. Frauen
wurden zur Unterbringung im Hinterhof des Hauses verurteilt. Gefängnisstrafen in unserem
Sinne waren unbekannt. Es gab lediglich eine Untersuchungshaft für Angeklagte und Zeugen bei
schweren Straftaten vor und während des Strafverfahrens. Amtsdelikte wurden mit Amtsverlust
und Versetzung in den Arbeiterstand bestraft.

Also see "Hinrichtung" in W. Heck & E. Otto, Lexikon Der Ägyptologie, 1977,
Volume II, Otto Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden, Columns 1218-1219.

Die alte tituelle Form des, "Erschlagens des Feindes" wird auch späterhinnoch als Strafe
durchgeführt, wobei die Leichen dann (kopfüber) aufgehängt werden. Die übliche Form des

35
"Tötens lebender Menschen", angewandt bei Verbrechern und (gefangenen) Feinden, war das
Pfählen; daneben wird Verbrennen erwähnt oder das dem Krokodil Vorwerfen. Im Harimsprozeß
z. Z. Ramses' III. wurde hochstehenden Verurteilten gestattet, Selbstmord zu tun. Das Töten
durch Verbrennen gilt in der SpZt als rituelle Vernichtung des Bösen vor dem Gott.

The translation reads:

The old titular form of "beating the enemy to death" is executed even later on as punishment
where the corpses are hanged up (upside down). The usual form of the "killing of living people"
used for criminals and (captured) enemies, was impaling, burning at the stake is also mentioned
or being thrown to the crocodile. In the Harim trial at the time of Ramses III the high ranking
convicting criminals were allowed to commit suicide. Later the killing by burning was regarded
as ritual destruction of evil before God.

[54] I. M. Lurje, Studien Zum Altägyptischen Recht Des 16. Bis 10. Jahrhunderts
v. u. Z., 1971, Hermann Böhlaus Nachfolger: Weimar, p. 146. The quote reads:

Wir finden u. a. Verstümmelung, Verstümmelung und Deportation zur Zwangsarbeit nach


Äthiopien, einfach Deportation zur Zwangsarbeit nach Äthiopien, Pfählung (tp-ht), Strafe in
Form von 100 Schlägen und Beifügung von 50 Wunden, Strafe in Form von 100 Schlägen und
Entziehung eines Teils oder des gesamten umstrittenen Vermögens, Strafe in Form von 100
Schlägen und Bezahlung des zweifachen Wertes des Streitgegenstandes, Vermögenshaftung,
Abschneiden der Zunge, Verlust des Ranges und Versetzung in den Arbeiterstand, Übergabe zum
Fraß durch ein Krokodil und schließlich Unterbringung im Hinterhofe eines Hauses.

Also see W. Booch, Strafrechtliche Aspekte Im Altägyptischen Recht, 1993,


Academia Verlag: Sankt Augustin, pp. 73-74. These pages deal exclusively with
impalement in ancient Egypt; For impalement as a punishment for perjury see J. A.
Wilson, "The Oath In Ancient Egypt", Journal Of Near Eastern Studies, 1948,
Volume VII, No. 3, pp. 129-156.

[55] J. A. Wilson, "Authority And Law In Ancient Egypt", Supplement To The


Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1954, No. 17, pp. 1-7.

[56] D. M. Rohl, A Test Of Time, 1995, Volume I: The Bible - From Myth To
History, Random House UK Ltd.: London.

[57] Robert Morey confidently claims that "crucifixion was not used in the time of
Pharaoh although the Quran says so in Sura 7:124." See R. Morey, The Islamic
Invasion: Confronting The World's Fastest Growing Religion, 1992, Harvest
House Publishers: Eugene (OR), p. 142; Also see D. Ali & R. Spencer, Inside Islam:
A Guide To Catholics, 2003, Ascension Press: West Chester (PA), p. 73. According
to Daniel Ali and Robert Spencer, "the Koran has Pharaoh threatening with

36
crucifixion, a punishment that was not devised until centuries later - and then by the
Romans, not the Egyptians"; According to Newman, the mention of crucifixion in
Moses' time "appears to be an anachronism of Muhammad, since crucifixion was
known to the Jews through the Romans, who had in turn taken it from Carthage." See
N. A. Newman, Muhammad, The Qur'an & Islam, 1996, Interdisciplinary Biblical
Research Institute: Hatfield (PA), p. 367.

The only exception that we have come across is the Christian apologist Mateen Elass.
He says circumspectly:

The question of whether the practice of crucifixion was known and applied in Pharonic Egypt
need scholarly investigation.

See M. Elass, Understanding the Koran: A Quick Christian Guide To The Muslim
Holy Book, 2004, Zondervan: Grand Rapids (MI), p. 181, Chapter 8, note 2.

[58] H. S. Smith, The Fortress Of Buhen: The Inscriptions, 1976, op. cit., p. 127.

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