Quranic Errors – Crucifixion in Egypt?



Various passages tell the story that Pharaoh’s sorcerers believe in the signs and message of Moses, and then Pharaoh tries to threaten them with these words (Shakir’s translation):

I will certainly cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, then will I crucify you all together. [Surah 7:124]

Said he: You believe in him before I give you permission; most surely he is the chief of you who taught you the magic, so you shall know: certainly I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and certainly I will crucify you all. [Surah 26:49]

In the story of Joseph, about 400 years earlier we also read of another crucifixion in this passage:

O my two mates of the prison! as for one of you, he shall give his lord to drink wine; and as for the other, he shall be crucified, so that the birds shall eat from his head, the matter is decreed concerning which you inquired. [Surah 12:41]

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.

One authoritative reference is:

“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” (Encylopaedia Britannica, 1993, Vol. 3, page 762, WWW EB).

Crucifixion, execution of a criminal by nailing or binding to a cross. It was a common form of capital punishment from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, especially among the Persians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, and Romans. (Source : Encarta Encyclopedia)

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