Scourging at the Pillar?



This thought has been rattling around in my head for some time – unfortunately, I must warn you that this may sound terrible.

The thought is this: the pillar that Jesus was really scourged at was the pillar of false Judaism. I mean, the passages about him being scourged at the actual pillar are very short, but the passages describing his mistreatment at the Sanhedrin and at Herod’s are very long. So I got to thinking: what if the real pillar is false Judaism? The other key here is that, if I recall correctly, sacred “pillars” to other gods were a big problem in pre-Christ Judaism.

Not sure what exactly I mean by “false Judaism” – I guess I mean the problems in Jewish spirituality that Jesus called out during his earthly ministry. Any merit to this insight?



The pillar that Jesus was really scourged at was really a real physical stone pillar.


Right, I know that – but in a metaphorical sense, couldn’t He have been scourged at the pillar of false religion?


It may have been wood for all we know, as it is no longer there as far as I know; but it was definitely a solid column.



Well, there are two or three columns, all of which claim to be the one Jesus was scourged in: one in Santa Prassede in Rome, one in St. Mark’s in Venice, the third is in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


It sounds like what you have written was part of Jesus’ agony in the garden.


This could be right. It was my understanding that His scourging at the pillar carried the symbol of His atonement for sins of the flesh.


I agree with what you said as well.


There is no metaphorical sense to that event.

It’s nowhere even hinted at in the New Testament or the ECF.



Metaphorical might be the wrong word to use, but the Passion isn’t without symbol. Just as the crowning of thorns has been long regarded as additionally carrying a symbol of atonement for pride (additionally being the word, not that the crowning of thorns was purely symbolic).

As Dorothy says, it would probably would apply more to the agony in the garden. It’s a good shot, though.


The rosary stands in opposition to your post.



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit