Cat-of Nine-Tails

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Roman Cat-of-Nine-Tails
(Reproduction)

Cat-of-nine-tails with nails
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New testimonies from: Richard Friday, Christopher Moeller, James Bivins and Christopher Stefanick

Dr. F. Peter Bertolero

Prof. Marquita L. James

Dr. Paul A. Endrei

Mrs. Donna Armstrong

1st Pentecostal Church of Richmond

9 strap
$99 SALE
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3 strap
$50
6 strap
$145
9 strap
$99
12 strap
$185
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WARNING #1: THIS PAGE IS NOT FOR SISSYS, COWARDS OR THOSE WHO ARE EASILY OFFENDED.

WARNING # 2: DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH GUTS TO FACE SOME POLITICALLY INCORRECT ANCIENT TRUTHS.

STILL READING? I SALUTE YOU! Now let's see how honest you can be.

Did you notice the eagle in the picture with the whip? If you thought it was a stuffed or maybe a live eagle, guess again. Appearances can be very deceiving. At least you would not be as mistaken as the two Fish and Game officers who confiscated one of my 'legal eagles' believing it was a real taxidermy bald eagle. Of course they apologetically returned it to its owner after testing it at the Smithsonian in DC.

The reason the eagle is pictured with the whip is to ask you one simple question. If my eagles are fair reproductions, do you think it is possible I might know something about making accurate reproductions? You might not. If that slight possibility exists, cut me some slack and finish reading this page before you decide.

For 26 years I have been making a living producing a variety of expensive reproductions for the interior design and gift markets. My reproductions of a Roman flagrum are not only much more affordable. They are my most accurate reproductions to date. Believe it or not, designing an accurate reproduction of a Roman scourging whip is much harder than making a remote control eagle (which appears so lifelike they have fooled audiences into believe they were watching a real eagle up on stage).

Since you don't know me from Adam, maybe I should start by telling you the reason I started trying to replicate one of these brutal ancient Roman scourging whips. Years ago I was channel surfing and caught just part of a message by a TV preacher talking about Jesus Christ being flogged by a Roman cat of nine tails. He described the whip as a nine strap, lead tipped whip embedded with nails, glass and bone. That caught my attention. I had NEVER heard that before. He stated that Jesus had lost so much blood from the scourging, he was too weak to carry his own cross. I didn't believe him. I thought he was exaggerating the truth. I had grown up in church! I had been to Sunday school! I had never seen even one picture of the kind of whip he was describing!

Maybe you are like me and have seen hundreds of paintings of Jesus nailed to a cross with a little blood trickling from his head, hands and feet. Like you, I had never seen even one Jesus movie or Passion play where his back was torn to pieces! I didn't know the first century historian FLAVIOUS JOSEPHUS noted that certain rebel Jews were torn to pieces by the scourge before being crucified. (The Jewish War 1-111 Cambridge Mass, Harvard Press, 1927 and Jewish Antiquities books IX-XI Cambridge Mass.: Harvard Press, 1937).

Being the curious, skeptical, doubting Thomas type that I am, I decided to do a little research at the local library. What I found out is not some new revelation. It is just some ancient, mostly forgotten truths that have been watered down or ignored for so long, the vast majority of Christians don't have a clue what their King Jesus enduring a Roman scourging means. Even after you read the horrific word descriptions, it just doesn.t impact contemporary folk the way seeing and touching one of these whips can.

THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT ROMAN SCOURGING WHIPS IS -- THESE WHIPS WERE USED PRIMARILY AS TORTURE INSTRUMENTS TO EXTRACT INFORMATION. I quote from the Roman historian Livy: "The Romans employed scourging as torture or punishment to extract information or testimony." (Livy x.9 from the Westminster Dictionary of the Bible pg. 538). "Romans inflicted scourging on recalcitrant slaves or prisoners for withholding information and on criminals condemned to death by crucifixion." (New Catholic Encyclopedia 2003 pg. 756)
Excerpts from a March 4, 1966 edition of Life magazine titled:
The Romans: A World Build on Slavery
-... people who, by Rome's law, had no status as human beings. These were the slaves - hundreds of thousands of them who provided the brawn and surprising amount of the brains that kept Rome going and growing.
- All ancient societies were based to some degree on slavery. But none exploited slaves more thoroughly, squandered them so wantonly or depended on them so completely as the Romans did. It is estimated that in the First Century B.C., a third of the population of the city of Rome were slaves.
- The fair-skinned, half barbaric Gauls, Britons and Teutons captured in conquest from the tribes of the north and west, were looked upon as dumb animals, only fit to work the land. Most of them performed the lowest, most degrading jobs and were abused beyond endurance.
- The more valued and valuable slaves came from the East and they usually were bought to be used in cities and town. Educated Greeks and shrewd Syrians who were accustomed to more civilized ways became household slaves who coped with an owner's every need and want.
- No matter what duties he performed, the slave in Roman law was a chattel, not legally a person. He was a possession of his owner's like a wagon or a table and could not by law earn anything or own anything.
- He was not allowed to testify in court except under torture - it was assumed that only torture could extract the truth from a slave...
- For laziness, for talking back to his master, he could be beaten with whips.
- A red-hot iron branded the forehead of a runaway slave with the letters FUG: fugitivus. And the favored methods for putting a runaway to death were by crucifixion.
- Six thousand rebels were brought to Appia where their bodies were left hanging, to rot publicly as an example to seditious slaves.
- No impassioned voices, not even the early Christian Church, were raised against it (slavery).
- But a Christian could, without any stigma, hold onto his slaves, pagan or Christian.

IF THE VICTIM DID NOT TELL THE ROMANS WHAT THEY BELIEVED TO BE TRUE -- THE SCOURGING CONTINUED. THERE SEEMS TO BE NO LIMIT TO HOW MANY LASHES THE ROMANS COULD GIVE. I quote from (Science and Law, 1970, The Legal and medical aspects of the trial and death of Christ). It is not known whether the number of lashes given Jesus was limited to 39, in accordance with Jewish law. There is no evidence that the Romans had any set limit to how many lashes they gave.

Since that was the norm, it should not surprise you to learn that "sometimes the victim died before the scourging was finished. Scourging sometimes lead to the death of the condemned person." (Harper's Bible Dictionary, pg. 914) Examine the picture of JUST ONE LASH (on tough 6 mil construction plastic) from a 9 strap flagrum, and you can see why.

IF YOU QUESTION WHETHER MODERN DAY COMMENTATORS ARE EXAGGERATING THE DAMAGE INFLICTED ON THE VICTIM . I QUOTE A 3rd CENTURY HISTORIAN - EUSABIOUS OF CEASARE, "their bodies were frightfully lacerated. Christian martyrs in Smyrna were so torn by the scourges that their veins were laid bare, and the inner muscles, sinews, even entrails, were exposed." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible page 538) In other words, if the Roman lictors (two soldiers on either side who took turns) weren't careful they could cut major veins or disembowel the victim, causing prematurely death.

I have given you just a few historical quotes so that you have some of the basic facts about Roman scourging. If the truth will set you free. -- These reproductions sure can shed some light on what the prophet Isaiah meant when he prophesied "by his STRIPES we were healed" Is.53:5 (Roman whips really do cut STRIPES). The more you find out about Roman whips, the more you will see it was no small price Jesus paid for our healing.

These whips are not intended for just looking at in some museum. The sharp glass and nails embedded in the acorn size, lead tips are meant to be felt. If seeing a picture is worth a thousand words, touching the sharp glass, nails and jagged sheep bone speaks volumes. Most people (including Christians) who have heard about Jesus being scourged are shocked when they see these whips up close. In my seven years of researching Roman whips I am apparently the only one in the world who makes a TESTABLE/DEMONSTRABLE reproduction of a Roman flagrum that can be swung by a 12 year old girl and still do all the horrific damage the ancient secular historians describe.

Over the years I have received a lot of questions regarding my particular design or how to go about doing an actual demonstration. I will try to answer all of those concerns so that anyone can see the common sense reasons for this design. I will try to keep it simple and not use technical terminology because I know most of you readers are not professional whip makers or Roman history buffs (plus I won't have to spend so much time answering the same questions over and over again). By the time you get to the end of this description, I hope you will begin to understand the reasons for this particular design and see my motivation for reproducing the baddest scourging whip of all time. I welcome any and all comments AFTER you have read the whole description. Feel free to correct me if I have overlooked any facts. I am always trying to construct a more accurate reproduction of a Roman flagrum. Before I get to that, I need to expose a few more myths about Roman scourging whips.

If you have done even a little study on Roman scourging whips you already know the Romans did NOT call their whips a cat of nine tails. The Latin word they used is flagrum. Flagellum is the English derivative. Even though most Christians refer to a Roman whip as a Cat of Nine Tails, a real British Cat O Nine Tails is like a toy in comparison. I have only referred to my reproductions as a Roman cat of nine tails in the title because that is the ONLY way most folks know to search for a Roman flagrum!

Since I have been making my living all of my adult life creating a variety of realistic reproductions, I initially thought it would be fairly easy to replicate a demonstrable Roman flagrum. I would either find a real one in a museum or see some good pictures of a real flagrum, and duplicate it. Seems simple right? Boy, was I wrong! If I had only known it would take me almost four years of constant failure before I FINALLY started making some fair demonstrable Roman whips, I probably would never have started! I started out with all the same presumptions that others have who NEVER MADE EVEN ONE ROMAN FLAGRUM (let alone tested out there theories). Whoever first said "talk is cheap" had it right! Anybody can talk -- making a whip that can do all the damage the historical accounts tell us is the hard part.


I quickly learned the biggest problem in replicating an accurate Roman whip is that archeologists have NEVER found one! Not even one! Being the skeptic that I am, I did not believe the archeologist who first explained to me why it is unlikely that a genuine Roman whip will ever be found. After years of searching, I have yet to find one and have to admit he knew what he was talking about. The primary reason seems to boil down to the fact that nothing on the whip could survive 2000 years because of the natural deterioration process (except maybe a little lead or glass).

None of the historical accounts tell us specific design secrets that any Roman soldier would have learned in "Roman Torture 101". I have been unable to find any specific measurements in regards to the exact lengths of the leather straps, how many nails, or how much glass or bone were embedded in each lead tips.

If you would take the time to sift through all the information about Roman whips, you would be left with historical facts, a few pitiful amateur reproductions and hundreds of INACCURATE artist's drawings (which many of us have seen since Sunday school). When I say inaccurate, I hope that fact does not come as a surprise to you! Artists are not usually historians! For example, look at the way artists constantly portray God's Holy angels as looking like the tooth fairy or babies and women with wings. IF YOU BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES ARE ACCURATE -- STOP FALLING FOR ALL THE SOFT, CUTESY, EFFIMINATE, ANGEL MYTHS! There is only one vague reference in the entire Bible to women with wings. It is very hypocritical to build a doctrine on one vague verse ("out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established") when there are hundreds of verses where angels are referred to in the masculine tense of both Hebrew and Greek. I guess it just goes to show you, Jesus of Nazareth certainly knew what he was talking about when he said, "the traditions of men make what God says of NO effect". (I catch a lot more flak for pointing out the sissy angel myths, than the Roman whip myths.)

After seven years of research and development in attempting to replicate an accurate, demonstrable/testable Roman scourging whip, I was forced to learn it all the hard way, by trial and error. Through the process I discovered which theories work well when put to a test and which theoretical whip ideas are complete failures. The process many sound simple, but it was very time consuming and there was nothing easy about it. I suspect those are the main reasons I am apparently the only one in the world who makes or markets an accurate demonstrable / testable Roman flagrum. I wish I didn't have to tell you it took me almost three years just to figure out the simple, elementary 1st century technique of embedding the lead tips with glass, nails and bone, (it is so primitive, I kept missing it). I do take some comfort in the fact that NONE OF THE OTHER REPRODUCTIONS OF ROMAN WHIPS I FOUND HAD ANY GLASS, NAILS OR BONE IN THEIR LEAD TIPS! (In other words the "experts" couldn't even figure that out).

I wish I did not have to tell you ALL of the Roman flagrum reproductions, drawings and movie props I researched, turned out to be pitiful failures when duplicated and put to a simple test on a cardboard box! After each failure I learned one more way NOT to build a Roman flagrum. I know hundreds of ways NOT to build a Roman flagrum. My failures eventually started paying off as I discovered a few ideas that did work and after about four years I finally started to make some fair whip reproductions.

Since that time I have been marketing these reproductions to primarily pastors and teachers, historians, theologians, archeologists, university professors, Christian authors, Catholic priests, museum curators and many lay ministers. I have learned that ALL of the "experts" generally agree on the following facts:

#1. All Roman scourging whips had either glass, nails or jagged sheep bone embedded in various size lead tips (the cutting tips need to be embedded into at least acorn size lead tips in order to do the kind of damage described in the historical record). If my reproductions lack authenticity, it is because I use only a minimum of nails, glass or sheep bone in each lead tip. The minimum is shocking enough.

#2. A Roman flagrum had from as few as 3, to as many as 12 leather straps. (Dakes Annotated Reference Bible 1963 Matt. 27:26) The Roman whips varied from time to time and place to place. It must be remembered the Roman Empire was the dominant world power for around to 600 years!

THE "EXPERTS" ONLY DISAGREE ABOUT SPECIFIC DESIGN THEORIES like the number of straps, exact length of the straps, or how much glass, bone or nails were embedded in each lead tip. SINCE NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE HOW MANY STRAPS THE WHIP THAT SCOURGED JESUS HAD, I make a 3 strap, a 9 strap and a 12 strap. Pick the one you think it was. The twelve strap is more fearsome looking, but the three strap can do just as much damage because it is a lighter whip and you end up swinging much faster and the cuts are deeper and longer. The one thing the 3 - 12 strap variations had in common was the lead tips embedded with nails, bone or glass. The size of the lead tips seems to vary as well as shapes of lead tips. In my experimenting, I have designed 12 strap whips that can rip up to 90 - 100 small holes per lash using many more small nails embedded in each lead tip. The most popular nine strap reproductions can easily rip 20-25 holes per lash on 6 ml plastic. The three strap can easily rip 10-12 holes per lash.

#3. No matter what your Sunday school teacher taught you, an ACCURATE reproduction should easily be able to do ALL the damage described in the written accounts. If it can't, it is NOT a historically accurate reproduction. The reproductions that don't have cutting tips (like the one in the shroud museum display) embedded in lead tips will not even cut through 6 ml. plastic -- let alone slice completely through human skin like the accounts (and the shroud) tell us.

#4. A good reproduction should NOT destroy its glass and bone tips in a simulated test. Only an amateur would make a laughable whip like that. It must be remembered -- THE ROMANS WERE EXPERTS AT TORTURE! THEY PERFECTED CRUCIFIXION - THE - MOST- PAINFUL - WAY - TO - DIE - THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN! I have swung my 9-strap design over 300 times in a row on a cardboard box without breaking any glass or bone.

IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND why a Roman flagrum needs to have a circular, horizontal leather-connecting strap to hold each of the 3-12 vertical straps in their proper place. Each strap must be variegated (different lengths) and held in place by the horizontal strap in the exact way you see in the picture. If not, all you will get is a tangled up mess that destroys itself with every lash. Did you know fresh blood is very slick? (If you have ever butchered wild game or livestock you already know that.) Can you imagine an expert Roman Lictor having to stop between each lash to untangle his blood soaked whip all the while trying not to cut his own fingers on the slippery, hidden glass tips? As Dr. Phil says -- GET REAL!

IT MIGHT INTEREST YOU SCEPTICS TO KNOW, THE LEATHER MUST BE THICK COW HIDE (such as harness or shoe leather). EACH STRAP CANNOT BE EVEN ONE INCH LONGER THAN THE WHIPS IN THE PICTURES OR THE TIPS WILL BEGIN TO COLLIDE IN SIMULATED TESTS thus ending up with another pathetic, amateur attempt. The jagged sheep bone must come from a ram's forehead to be strong enough to work properly. All of my reproductions are 32-34 inches in length (the length of the wooden handle may vary slightly). My reproductions are so primitive, that any Roman solider who had some lead, some cow hide, and a stick could easily make a killer whip in a matter of hours.

#5. Details of the most well-known scourgings come from the very accurate Biblical accounts of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul. They provide a number of very specific details confirming the accuracy of the ancient secular accounts. Let me give you just a few examples. If you have any real understanding of the horrific damage a Roman flagellum did to its victim, you can see why IT DOES NOT TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO SEE WHY THE SCRIPTURES TELL US JESUS OF NAZARETH COULD NOT CARRY HIS CROSS. The distance from Pilate's judgment hall to where they believe Jesus was crucified is only about 1/3 of a mile!

The more facts one learns about Roman scourging, the more easily it is to see that Jesus was not exaggerating when he predicted his blood would be POURED out! Deep stripe like lacerations were usually associated with considerable blood loss. (Dr. Edwards 1986 JAMA, Vol. 225, pg. 1457.) A Roman scourging was considered a long and slow death penalty from which only the gods could save the victim from. The victim usually died in 2-3 days from blood loss and infection. The Romans were known (at times) to dip their whips into fresh goats' blood to insure and hasten the infection process.

Look closely at the picture of the 6 ml construction plastic with just one lash on it. Sometimes a picture is NOT worth 1000 words but I hope it helps you get a better grasp of why the scourged victims would quickly tell the Romans anything they wanted to hear. A Roman flagrum has been mistakenly referred to as a Cat o Nine Tails for so long, it is a surprise to most Pastors that a British cat o nine tails will NOT cut through 6 ml plastic no matter how many times you hit it! If you doubt me, buy one and try it!

Did you know that historians described a scourged victim's skin being so lacerated that their rib bones were visible through the rips in their skin? Scourging would so weaken the condemned that his time on the cross would be shortened, possibly an unintentional mercy. (Readers Digest - Jesus and His Times 1973 pg. 256-257).

A short whip made it possible to be very accurate and direct the cutting tips to only the rib cage. (Mikuliez -Radecki FV: The chest wound in the crucified Christ. Med News 1966). If you doubt that a Roman flagrum was a short whip, read (Davis CT: The crucifixion of Jesus: The passion of Christ from a medical point of view. Ariz. Med 1965). The historical records indicate that scourging was USUALLY done by two lictors (two Romans soldiers - one on each side of the victim). They would alternate lashes and direct each lash to the specific part of the back, buttocks or thigh they chose. A Shorter flagrum helped to prevent premature death from accidentally cutting a neck vein, major arteries, or disemboweling the condemned.

PLEASE CONSIDER: If you have ever seen a movie of someone being flogged by a short handled (cat O nine tails type whip) they always use ONE hand (usually their right because most people are right handed). You notice they swing the whip about as hard as they can right? Now imagine a typical right handed lictor on the other side trying to swing the same kind of whip with his left hand! That is ridiculous! It will not work! (ever try to throw a baseball with your left hand if you are right handed?) The Romans would have to have a left handed guy on duty all the time in order to do a scourging the way they usually did it! This problem is easily solved if you make the whip handle longer so it can be swung like a baseball bat. My reproductions are held with both hands, they can be swung right handed or left handed.
Left Right

Any 12 year old girl could swing one hard enough to do ALL the damage the historical accounts tell us. I am not exaggerating.

I hope you can believe it when I tell you the holes in the plastic look more like a swipe from a grizzly bear than a domestic cat. I said that because most contemporary Christians don.t realize a British cat o nine tails WAS SO NAMED BECAUSE the scratches they made on human skin looked much like a DOMESTIC cat scratch. British Navy cat o nine tails have NO metal or bone cutting tips. British accounts tell us that some criminals took over 100 lashes all over their bodies from a Cat O Nine Tails and still survived (perhaps the usual bucket of salt water they threw on them after the flogging helped to disinfect the wounds).

If you are skeptical about what I just told you, why not check out a real Cat O nine tails at a British Navy museum? British whips were used for punishment and were not considered a death penalty. A cat o nine tails was made of leather or rope. It usually had one to three knots tied at the tips of the nine straps. Law breaking pirates were the only ones known to add SMALL bits of metal or bone to their cat o nine tails. I challenge any of you skeptics who have mistakenly referred to a Roman Flagrum as a British Cat of nine tails to buy a real cat of nine tails and add the acorn size lead tips (embedded with glass, nails and bone). Try your theories out before you disregard my designs that really work. When all you end up with is a pitiful, tangled up mess that pulverizes the glass and bone with every lash -- I hope you will at least stop passing on myths, false information, half-truths.

Roman scourging whips were designed to extract information and confessions. If the accused quickly told the Romans what they wanted to hear, they MIGHT survive. If the Romans were not convinced that they were getting the truth, the victim would surely die a slow, painful, horrific death. If you study all four of the gospel accounts you will find that AFTER Pilate asked Jesus "what is truth" he had Jesus scourged. As I stated earlier, scourging was a common way of finding out the whole truth.

Most historians/theologians believe Jesus took at least 39 lashes because his torturers didn't believe his story about being a King ("The Jewish Messiah" to free the Jews from their hated Roman oppressors). The well-known mocking, punching, the beating with rods and then scourging were ordinary torture techniques the Roman soldiers used to try to get Jesus to change his story to something they might believe. The soldiers probably were extra brutal with Jesus (and thus the robe and crown of thorns) because he would not change his story to something they might believe. The scriptures clearly state that AFTER Jesus was scourged, Pilate was even more convinced of Jesus' innocence. Why? Jesus never backed down on ANY of his claims, not even under the worst tortures Roman "expert" could inflict. In fact AFTER his scourging, he surprised Pilate again by letting him know "You would have no authority over me if it had not been given to you by my Father in heaven"! (Jesus had already told the entire Jewish Sanhedran they would see him sitting at the right hand of God his Father in heaven, that is why the High Priest stopped the trial, cried blasphemy, rent his garment, and all but a few Priest's demanded Jesus' death)

After Pilate had Jesus scourged he knew for sure Jesus was not guilty of any crime, so he tried once again to out maneuver the Jewish leaders who wanted him to kill Jesus by making an appeal to the crowd. Appealing to the crowd was a common practice at the weekly Roman gladiator games. Pilate was well aware of crowd justice. "Thumbs up" - give him mercy, "thumbs down" - finish him off. Pilate decided to show the popular Jewish Jesus to a Jewish crowd AFTER Jesus had just endured the worst tortures their HATED Roman oppressors could do to him (the triumphal entry had been just a few days prior this and Pilate knew the masses of Jews had celebrated Jesus as the "Son of David" -- the Messiah)! Who wouldn't be surprised when even the sight of Jesus' tortured, blood soaked body would not satisfy the mob?

DOING A SIMPLE DEMONSTRATION:

Even though some of my reproductions are displayed in museums, that is not the intended purpose. Most of the whips I have sold go to pastors, teachers and lay ministers who use them to help others get a better grasp of the great price "the King of the Jews" was willing to pay for our sins, mistakes, weaknesses, sicknesses, and diseases (read Matthew 8:14-17, Isaiah 53:3-12).

It is amazing to watch lukewarm Christians, know-it-all teenagers, and even hardened sinners reevaluate Jesus Christ's scourging after they see these whips. They are shocked to put it mildly - and begin to inquire about the facts! Other pastors and teachers find them useful to help believers rightly discern the Lord's body before taking communion and prayer for the sick (I Corinthians 11:20-32). After seeing the positive impact these reproductions make, some pastors will even do a simple demonstration.

#1. It is vitally important to start the demonstration by reminding women that Jesus told the crowds of women who actually saw him after he was scourged NOT to weep for him! Jesus did not want their tears then and he doesn't want their tears or pity now! Remind them that Jesus asked his followers to remember his body broken for them! His blood poured out for them! He did the hard part; all he asked us to do was understand what he did!!! There are great benefits available to those who understand the death of Christ. God has demonstrated to all of us how much Jesus and His Father God SO loved the world. If you really want to catch glimpses of .the length, and the breadth, and the height, and the depth of the love of Christ, we MUST really look at the high price "The King of Kings" was willing to pay for us.

If most women and teenagers can watch Mel Gibson (oops, William Wallis) die bravely in the movie Braveheart, why should they object to watching what a few lashes from a Roman whip can do to a cardboard box? The hours of torture Jesus went through make Braveheart look like a sissy in comparison! Think about it! IF WILLAIM WALLIS HAD THE OPTION OF CALLING TWELVE LEGIONS, (60,000 armed warriors ready to rescue him at his word), you know he would have done it in a New York minute! William Wallis only suffered torture for a matter of minutes before his death -- Jesus suffered the world's worst tortures for 6 -9 hours before he died!

Step #2. Put a 35-50 pound weight inside a cardboard box so it won't move when you hit it. Fill the box with beans, rice, wheat or whatever you have on hand. Set the box on a table about three feet high. Demonstrate what one lash can do to a piece of 6 ml plastic (tape the plastic to the box with clear, wide packing tape). These short whips are very accurate and if you carry your swing through you will get longer "stripes" Pass the plastic around. Let observers examine the size and number of holes these whips can make.

Step #3. Invite EVERYONE to imagine, just for a moment, that THEY are Jesus tied to a whipping post.

Step #4. Ask the audience to answer just one simple question. Do you think MAYBE Jesus MIGHT have your best interests in his heart? This is a good place to remind them JESUS HAD SAID HE HAD OPTIONS WHICH NO OTHER SCOURGED MAN HAS EVER HAD. Jesus said "No man takes my life from me. I lay it down myself. I have the power to lay it down and the power to take it up again!" (John 10:18) Do you think He was lying? After Peter cut off a temple guard's ear trying to resist Jesus' arrest, Jesus commanded him to "put away your sword" and then explained with just one simple question, "don't you know I could call twelve legions of angels?" as he puts the guys ear back on! Do you think Jesus was exaggerating or lying about his legions of angels? Matt. 26:52-53 (Jesus did many incredible things like that all the time -- walk on water, curse trees and have them dry up, raise the dead three times, etc.) Even Jesus' enemies did not debate about whether Jesus could do miraculous things. They saw him put the guard's ear back on as well as give sight to a man they knew had been blind from birth! Peter had been real bold until Jesus told him to put away his sword -- big deal! -- WHO WOULDN'T BE BOLD IF YOU HAD JUST WITNESSED ALL OF THE GAURDS WHO CAME TO ARREST JESUS FALL OVER BACKWARDS TO THE GROUND WHEN JESUS SAID "I AM"? (God's name first revealed to Moses) Read it yourself in John 18:3-8. These seldom mentioned details show us some of the options "The King of the Jews" had as he "lay down his life like a lamb".

Step #5. Hit the box HARD in the same spot and repeat the questions. Do you think MAYBE Jesus MIGHT love you? (There is no need for more plastic).

Step #6. Simply repeat step 5 several more times depending upon which whip you purchase until the beans just start pouring out.

As the cardboard rips, the shocking reality of what Jesus did for them begins to sink in. Everybody knows cardboard is pretty tough. IF THEY BELIEVE (trust) THAT JESUS WAS NOT LYING, the answer becomes more and more obvious with every lash. THE VERY LEAST WE CAN DO, is learn to trust and obey someone who loves us that much! After seeing this demonstration, many men and boys who have been blinded by the "sissy" Jesus myth finally start catching glimpses of the real Jesus. Some of us skeptical, doubting Thomas types just need to see and touch these whips to help us grasp what "The King of the Jews" meant when he predicted his greatness (glory) would be revealed in his death. (John 12:23-25).

If Jesus Christ wasn't lying, it is not just who he is and what he taught that made him great. It is the WAY he died! Why is that you rarely hear Christians bragging about Jesus' great strength, great courage, iron will, and incredible self-control and GREAT love revealed throughout His arrest, trial, torture and death? Is not enduring the world's MOST EXCRUCIATING TORTURE AND DEATH - when he could have stopped it -- worthy of honor and praise? (Matt 26:53, John 18:6, John 10:18)

Is it any wonder that most men and boys misinterpret Jesus' kindness as weakness when these details are always left out of passion plays, movies, and most sermons? Imagine for just one minute that you are the sinless Son of God and you know the ONLY way to save sinful people is to take their punishment for them. How many lashes could you take before you can't take any more pain and you call your Holy angels? How many seconds could you bare all of your weight on 3 or 4 nails? Could you suffocate to death for six hours refusing to call your legions of angels in order to pay for the sins of the people you love?

If comparing yourself to the Messiah makes you look wimpy -- at least you CAN be honest! If you are not as tough as Jesus, maybe you are not as smart as him either? Maybe you need a friend like him? Why not take him up on his invitation to help you carry the heavy loads you carry? Read his invitation! Matthew 11:28-30.

The next time you see another Jesus movie or passion play, remember these seldom mentioned facts and see if you aren't awestruck at the greatness of Jesus -- instead of the most common reaction -- regretting this time of year, not wanting to be reminded of what Jesus did -- and wishing they didn't have to watch some poor, pitiful, helpless, weak Jesus (who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag) getting murdered by a bunch of meanies.

Did you know that Jesus Christ said your future is determined by whether you trust his words or not? (Mark 16;15,16). Are you aware that he said "If you are ashamed of me OR MY WORDS, I will be ashamed of you? Do you really trust ALL of Jesus' words or do you think he was just another religious con man? Was he a lunatic, or is he the only begotten, sinless, Son of God like he said he was? He has to be one of those three! (You cannot be a good teacher and claim to be God if you are not God) No one can be neutral about Jesus of Nazareth. We all have to choose whether we believe his words or not. Did you know Jesus said NO ONE can even really know God without Jesus revealing Him to you? (Luke 10:19) NO ONE knows who the Son of God is but the Father, and NO ONE knows who the Father is but the Son and those the Son reveals Him to..

If you do trust Jesus' words, I hope this information adds to your grasp of the apostle Paul's words many of us have sung in the hymn, When I Survey The Wondrous Cross, "Forbid it Lord that I should boast, save in the DEATH of Christ my God". Why are the details of Christ's death so often watered down like we are ashamed of telling it like it really was? So what if the preaching of the cross offends some Jews, some Greeks (and the politically correct) . It is the power of GOD!!! I Corinthians 1:17-29

The bottom line is -- We MUST look at the death of Christ to know the bottomless depths of God's love (Ephesians 3:17-19). Physical pain is something ALL human beings CAN understand and one of the primary ways God has chosen to demonstrate to all of us HOW MUCH God SO loved all of us! If you don't trust my words, at least read John 3:16 in its context. John 3-14-16, in case you are not convinced, why not read Romans 5:7-8 or Romans 8:23 before you decide if I have misunderstood the death of Christ.

For those of you who have grown weary in well doing -- I pray the next time you find yourself feeling a little like the apostle Paul, perplexed, hard pressed, abused, or discouraged. (II Corinthians 1:8, 4:8-9, 1:23-30) this information will help you to "fix your eyes on JESUS, who endured such horrible treatment from evil men, so that YOU will not give up, surrender, retreat, wimp out or lose heart" (Hebrews 12:2-3).

These whips make great gifts for pastors, priests, and teachers (not for USE on pastors or priests). That was just a little joke okay! LIGHTEN UP A LITTLE! I know this information is heavy, but it is not meant to get you down. It is intended to help you grasp a little bit more of how much "God so loved the world" (even if you are the worst of sinners). If you have never understood what the big deal about Jesus is, maybe now you have a better idea of why so many people like me (who used to be one of his enemies) are learning to trust and obey him.

I have given you the basic facts about Roman scourging whips so that now you understand why my demonstrable reproductions look different than the drawing we have all seen. This description is just the condensed version. If you have any questions or are still skeptical about anything, the least you could do is copy this and send it to a pastor/priest/professor/or an archeologist you trust? They have probably never seen a testable Roman flagrum before. They will probably appreciate seeing the pictures of something they had only read about (most of the information will not be new to them).

I salute all of you "Bravehearts" who read this far and are not afraid to reconsider some ancient truths. Maybe now you can see why those of us who trust Jesus' words can't shut up about Him. I hope this information helps you catch a few more glimpses of the real Jesus of Nazareth. Before you decide if Jesus is trustworthy or not, why not read His words? How smart is it to make a decision based on ignorance of what he actually said?

If it turns out someday that Jesus was a liar and you were the wise one not to trust his words -- maybe someday everybody in the world will be writing down how many days, months and years it has been since you were born! (Like we do with Jesus every time we write the date).

Selah, (pause, reflect, consider it)

Joel Mark Donahoe
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COPYWRITE NOTE: EACH OF MY WHIPS ARE PROTECTED BY COPYWRITE LAWS SO THAT OTHER WHIP MANUFACTURERS CANNOT COPY MY ORIGINAL DESIGNS AND PRETEND THEY CAME UP WITH THEM. I do not mind if an individual copies this design for their own personal use, but it is illegal for any manufacturer to copy my 3, 9, or 12 strap flagrum designs. The main reason I have to copywrite all of my reproductions is to keep the copycats from stealing my designs, and then try to stop me from marketing my own design!

3/1/06 Update:
I have been selling these Roman flagrum reproductions own eBay and my own web site a full four years before Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" came out. Since that movie came out, I have had hundreds of questions regarding the accuracy of a Mel Gibson's interpretation of a Roman scourging. I cannot answer all of your questions here, but I will say -- Gibson's portrayal of the kind of damage a Roman scourging could do to a human body was very accurate. I applaud him for not watering down Christ's scourging. Does that mean I think everything in the movie is accurate? I doubt it -- BUT SO WHAT!!! As far as I know Jesus Christ is the only one who has done anything perfectly, right? Aren't you glad God chose to use "the foolish things of this world to confound those who think themselves so wise"? (I know that is why he chose me! How about you?)

Did you notice in Mr. Gibson's film both scourging whips were short whips that look very much like mine? If you look closely at them you can even see one of the whips has a horizontal circular strap (the whip that one of the two Roman lictors smashed into the table and ripped out a chunk of wood). Since I appear to be the only one in the world who makes a testable/demonstrable Roman flagrum (and my reproductions are the only ones I have ever seen with a horizontal strap), I suspect Gibson's movie research/prop guys did their homework, - read my site (it's been on Google's first page for 6 years) and were smart enough to employ some of my common sense designs in their movie props (yet different enough not to infringe on copy write laws). I salute Mel Gibson and all his crew for doing the best job I have ever seen of recreating a realistic Roman scourging.

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Crucufixion Nails 5" for hand and 7" for feet
Additional Information on:
Roman Nails


Double Thorn 1" long
Additional Information on:
Crown of Thorns
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Selah,
Joel M. Donahoe

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