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Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion Paperback – July 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This is a commendably thorough investigation of attitudes to crucifixion in Jewish texts in the Second Temple and Talmudic periods."--L. L. Grabbe, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

"Chapman's thesis concerns the impact of Jewish perceptions of crucifixion on Christian thought. His review of preceding literature demonstrates the importance of this study, since contemporary research related to crucifixion and Judaism focuses primarily on the Graeco-Roman world, thereby limiting scholarly understanding to the history and practice of crucifixion. . . . [Chapman's] project is unique, his approach is fresh, and his reading of ancient sources is sound. It is an excellent book for students of early Judaic literature, and I would recommend it as an important contribution to biblical and rabbinic studies."--Michael D. Fiorello, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Chapman is to be commended for his willingness to address all arguments and also for putting forth what he sees as the best interpretation. . . . This work will be helpful for those interested in the general study of crucifixion in the ancient world, as well as those intrigued more specifically with early Jewish reactions to crucifixion in the Hellenistic period or with rabbinic exegesis of capital punishment texts. It also provides a useful background for possible perceptions of the earliest Christians toward Jesus' crucifixion. And it offers anther angle of inquiry into the hotly contested field of Jewish-Christian relations during the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods. The appendices, bibliography, and indices of authors, subjects, and citations are quite useful."--Lynn H. Cohick, Bulletin for Biblical Research

"This work presents an investigation that is simultaneously meticulous, serious, and balanced in its objectives and its conclusions."--Christian Grappe, Revue d'Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses

"The revised version of a dissertation at the University of Cambridge under William Horbury, this will be the standard work on crucifixion for a long time to come."--Andreas J. Köstenberger, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion was originally published in Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, Second Series.

About the Author

David W. Chapman (PhD, University of Cambridge) is associate professor of New Testament and archaeology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801039053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801039058
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,986,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the first chapter, Chapman explores the linguistic problem of the varying ranges of words often simply summarized in English as `crucified.' He delves through the Latin, the Greek, the Hebrew, and the Aramaic in exploring various uses, even looking for fine distinctions and applications of the various words used in the base languages.

The second chapter is a vital document all to its own, in which the author examines various writings from antiquity, primarily Jewish. Digging through the richness, and often times, painful, documents of the 2nd Temple Period, Chapman produces sketches of history which highlights crucifixions of Jews, even by Jews. In one vital examination, the author is able to detail an account in which a cross was built and upon site of this cross, the rebels surrendered. By detailing the perceptions of the early chroniclers, Chapman builds a case that crucifixions were given according to class and offense.

Chapman's third chapter focuses on biblical texts which fall within the realm of the previous arguments, and brings in various voices to show the development of the notion of crucifixion. His strength is consistency and patience. In examining these texts, he builds upon the linguistics of the previous chapter and shows that with each generation or religious evolution, the momentary style of crucifixion helped to interpret previous thoughts and words.

In chapter four, Chapman examines the use of crucifixion and articles of crucifixion in light of ancient Jewish magical uses, and finding no real evidence of the form, closes with the acknowledgment of only the latter.
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