Top 10 Ways that Mel's Passion Isn't As It Was, Number 10...

I know, I know, the movie hasn't been released. I haven't even seen it yet, so how can I judge the merits of this film?

Enough information is out already to tell that Mel Gibson's account of the death of Jesus is nowhere close to historically accurate. In fact, there's so much wrong that I can give you a top ten list. I'll try to do one a night from here on out. Then after all ten are out, I'll publish them all together in one post, okay? Okay.

Please don't misunderstand me. As a movie and as a spiritual exercise for Christians, The Passion of the Christ is shaping up to be a stunner. But Mr. Gibson is specifically marketing this movie as a historical account. He's claiming that the Holy Ghost moved him in the making of this film - an incredible grasp for the mantle of infallibility. Many people will be attending this film thinking that they are seeing the facts of that day in Judea almost two thousand years ago.

They won't be, and here's the first of the top ten reasons why currently available to us:

10. Nails in the wrist, not in the hands.

Crucifixion is a grisly way to die. The final cause of death is asphyxiation. After being mounted on the cross, victims would sag forward. This kept the diaphragm from its full capacity. The victim was forced to pull himself up with his feet and arms to get in a position to breathe properly. The incredible pain from this position would soon force the victim to sag down again, cutting off the breath.

This cycle could last as long as three days. The hands weren't always nailed - many crucified victims had their wrists tied with rope to the cross, and the method of death was the same. But if a victim was nailed in the hands, it couldn't have been in the palms. Under the constant pull and drop of the victim, the nails would have soon pulled free from a nailing there. Therefore, the wrists were used.

Feel along the back of one of your wrists with the middle finger of the other hand. You will find a hollow spot that fits your finger quite nicely. Keeping your middle finger in that hollow, use your thumb to feel the front of the wrist. You'll find another hollow, right in the middle below the palm. Now apply a little pressure to the wrist from both finger and thumb.

That's where the nail would have been driven. This slight space in the wrist joint provided a firm anchoring in the middle of a complex tangle of bone and sinew. While holding the wrist in this manner, you can wag the hand back and forth to see how firm the connection would have been.

Yet Mr. Gibson films the nails being driven into the palms - influenced by centuries of Christian art and the manifestations of stigmata. This isn't historically accurate.