The Swedish theologian Gunnar Samuelsson draws in his thesis, based on examination of historical sources that Jesus Christ died on the cross.
For us it is clear that in the Bible is written that Jesus died on a stake (a pole) or piece of wood; and what has historically done in that time by the Romans in order to sentence a murderer to death. But through the centuries, the image became fused with the wrong Renaissance image.
The image of the cross is based on traditions and expressions in art, and not on actual facts. There is an extensive collection of Greek, Latin and Hebrew literature on the methods used by the Romans for criminals. Nowhere is mentioned a cross or crucifixion.
The New Testament says nothing about a crucifixion says Samuelsson. The Greek word 'stauros' that often is used, is translated to cross, but in those days meant 'pole'. Jesus died not on the cross but to a pole.
Samuelsson knows he's denial of the cross may break many people's heart. The theologian is himself a believer and sees Jesus as the Son of God. "I do not doubt the faith, but we must believe what it says". And that last point is missed by a lot of people. Usually they want to stick to entrenched images that have nothing to do with reality.
Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Zweeds theoloog vindt in historische geschriften dat Jezus niet aan een kruis stierf