I have heard some people say that the nails went into Jesus's hands and I have also read that in a crucifixion, the nails went into the wrist.

What really happened on the cross?

  • 6
    What really happened on the cross? He died. Then he was buried. Then he rose again. That's what really happened. Oct 7, 2013 at 15:00
  • The details we have in scripture are all we have. Anything more is speculation. Fun, to be sure, but really only important to artists. Not to people of faith. Oct 7, 2013 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


The word used in the Bible can mean any part of the hand or arm. People who study crucifixion in general found that the nails most often went through the wrist and that the weight of the body would cause the nail to tear through the flesh of the hand as is most commonly depicted in Christian art. Thus, a fairly common view is that the nails actually went through the wrist.



Nails were not as we know them today being thick. Going through the wrist with a nail like that would require great skill if hitting an artery and bleeding out was to be avoided. No evidence has yet been found but based on the large tradition of the nails going through the hands and the practicalities involved we can assume that the arms were tied on with rope and the nails were there to prevent the crucified from freeing an arm.

  • As to your question about what really happened on the cross, it is a long answer that can readily be found, even in books like Readers Digest's, Mysteries of the Bible. Oct 7, 2013 at 15:58

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