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Historic Jesus


Palestine abounds in thorny, prickly plants and shrubs. No one knows which plant was used for plaiting a crown of thorns for Jesus when the Roman troops mocked him (Matt. 27:29). Many older biblical commentators had concluded that the crown of thorns was placed on Jesus' head to inflict pain. Some recent commentators suggest that the crown was woven from a readily available variety of palm leaf. The end of each single leaf of a palm frond is tipped with a sharp point. The crown could have been woven so these points or "thorns" radiated outwards, imitating the royal and divine crowns commonly in use at the time.

If so, this crown was made not so much to injure Jesus as to mock his claim to be the divine king of the Jews. Such a mock royal crown would be consistent with the mock royal purple robe and scepter that the soldiers forced Jesus to bear when they ridiculed him.