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"Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds." - John 19:39b

"If the aloe and myrrh were in dried or powdered formed, a whole row of sacks would probably be necessary to make up this weight, and Nicodemus must have had assistance to be able to transport the load. The transport would have been even more difficult if the substances were dissolved in wine, vinegar or oil. The theologian Paul Billerbeck makes the event appear as if an embalming was to take place with the aromatic substances added to oil. But the Rabbinical texts refer only to an oiling of the bodies of the departed. The addition of spices is nowhere mentioned, let alone in these quantities, and was never part of Jewish custom; nor was embalming.

"Myrrh was used as an ingredient for embalming by the Egyptians, but not for the burial rites of the Jews. Instead the Jewish custom prescribed that the body of the departed be washed and oiled, the hair cut and tidied, the corpse dressed again and the face covered with a cloth. The washing of the body was of...

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