“Flagellation of Christ” by Peter Paul Rubens, Church of St. Paul, Antwerp, Author GFDL (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)
Ancient Romans would scourge a condemned criminal before putting him to death. The Roman scourge was a short whip with several thongs to which small pieces of metal were knotted. Sometimes the scourge had a hook at its end, for added impact.
Scourging quickly and painfully removed the skin, producing substantial blood. Shredded flesh and exposed muscles were intended not only as a punishment for the criminal, but a warning to others.
Jewish law permitted only forty stripes less one (Deut. 25: 3). Scourging by the Romans had no legal limit to the number of blows. With the objective crucifixion, however, the Centurion would direct the scourging stopped short of death.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement for our peace was upon Him; and by…
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