Is there a more central moment in Christian theology than the death and resurrection of Jesus? Some scholars make a case for the virgin birth, and others for moments in the ministry of Jesus, like the casting out of the moneylenders. But the crucifixion and resurrection are practically inseparable from the very notion of Christianity.
In the centuries since the gospels were written, and the centuries since those writings were codified into what we know as the New Testament, the crucifixion story has taken on a life of its own. In art, literature, film, and television, this pivotal moment has been reconsidered and reinterpreted over the years. The core story has remained intact, but key details we associate with the event aren't actually in the Bible itself.
This is not unusual for a document as old and influential as the Bible. These stories have been translated and retold in dozens of forms, and it's natural that certain details would be altered or added during that time. It's fascinating to look at what is and isn't in the Bible - and what that can tell us about this story that has so dramatically impacted the lives of billions.