Crucifixion: In the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the CrossMartin Hengel, John Bowden
This learned study may claim to be the most comprehensive and detailed survey ever to have been published of the evidence of the use of crucifixion in the Graeco-Roman world and the way in which it was regarded by the people of the time. Beginning from the use of crucifixion as a form of execution practised among barbarian peoples, Dr Hengel shows how it was employed in the Roman empire, in the Greek-speaking world and among the Jews. He also investigates how far 'crucifixion' was a term used metaphorically or in philosophical discussion. His conclusions bring out more starkly than ever the scandal presented by the Christian message of the crucified Son of God and show that Jesus was seen to have died, not just a cruel death, but one of the worst forms of death devised by man for man. Martin Hengel was Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism in the University of Tubingen.