Jesus may not have died nailed to the cross because there is no evidence that the Romans crucified prisoners two thousand years ago, a scholar has claimed.
The legend of his execution is based on the traditions of the Christian church and artistic illustrations rather than antique texts, according to theologian Gunnar Samuelsson.
He claims the Bible has been misinterpreted as there are no explicit references the use of nails or to crucifixion - only that Jesus bore a "staurus" towards Calvary which is not necessarily a cross but can also mean a "pole".
Mr Samuelsson, who has written a 400-page thesis after studying the original texts, said: "The problem is descriptions of crucifixions are remarkably absent in the antique literature.
"The sources where you would expect to find support for the established understanding of the event really don't say anything."
The ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew literature from Homer to the first century AD describe an arsenal of suspension punishments but none mention "crosses" or "crucifixion."more - telegraph.co.uk