Incarcerated Women Reflect On Jesus’ Seven Last Words On The Cross

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by HuffPost Religion Editors | The Huffington Post | April 3, 2015
On Good Friday, many Christians reflect on what are known as the seven last words — the final statements Jesus Christ said while on the cross, as recorded by the canonical gospels. For some people in prison, these words can be particularly affecting.
David Carr, a professor at Union Theological Seminary, teaches a course called “Trauma and the Bible” to female inmates at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York state’s only maximum security prison for women. Half of the students in the course are prisoners finishing degrees in sociology in the Marymount Manhattan College Bedford Hills College program, while the other half of the students in the class are enrolled at Union Seminary.
Although Carr has spent years studying, teaching and writing about the Bible and trauma, he said teaching the course at Bedford Hills has been illuminating for him.
“Each week these students, many of whom have experienced traumas of their own and been incarcerated for years, have taught me,” he said.
Some of Carr’s students — six prisoners and one Union Seminary student — wrote reflections on Jesus’ seven last words, offering a glimpse at how life experience and circumstances can influence the impact Jesus’ words can have on people.
Read the students’ reflections:
“Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
As a practicing Jew, with very little knowledge of the New Testament, I am surprised by how often I use this phrase “Lord, forgive them, for they know

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