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Crucifixion (Facets) Paperback – September 1, 1977

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)

From the Back Cover

Crucifixion - in the ancient world and the folly of the message of the cross.
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Product Details

  • Series: Facets
  • Paperback: 99 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; New edition edition (September 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080061268X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800612689
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A recurring theme in the book is the temptation, as real today as in the early centuries of the Church, for Christians to deprive the Cross of Christ of its crucial place in Christian preaching and believing by playing down the "scandal", the stumbling-block, "of the Cross". There are many quotations from authors writing in Latin and Greek, and these are translated. The result is a book which is learned, but not incomprehensible. The sheer offensiveness of preaching, to a hearer of the 2nd century as much as to one from the 20th, that a crucified Jewish gallows-bird is the Saviour of the world, becomes very plain. Perhaps it is worth pointing out that the author takes as his starting point not the Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion, but the proclamation of the Crucifixion found in St.Paul - particularly in 1 Corinthians 1:18 and the verses following; and in Philippians 2:5 to 8. This is not a book about crucifixion in general, as practiced in classical antiquity;nor is it about the medical aspects of crucifixion. The theological importance of the Crucifixion for the the preaching of the Christian Gospel holds the centre of the stage, and everything else is considered in relation to that. This is the sort of book which should do much to help those of us who are Christians to appreciate more fully what is meant by faith in Christ Crucified.
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Format: Paperback
When Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:18 that the message of the cross is `folly' to those who are perishing, modern readers don't fully understand what that means. Hengel's work surveys material on crucifixion from all parts of the ancient world. In doing so he reveals that for the people of the ancient world, Greeks, Romans, barbarians and Jews, crucifixion was not something you treated lightly or glossed over. It was absolutely obscene and wasn't referred to in polite company. That Christians could claim that the Son of God was crucified would have been not just outrageous, but offensive. While parts of this book are quite technical (especially in Hengel's use of ancient languages) it is helpful in restoring our sense of just what an astonishing thing God has done through Christ. In a world where the symbol of a cross has become quite commonplace, and even something we might wear as jewellery, this book helps to change your perspective.
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Format: Paperback
Although it is less than 100 pages in length, don't let the size fool you. This book is power-packed with information about the art of Roman crucifixion and how the cross is foolishness to those who perish, in former times as well as today. The book is a translation from German, and as in many translations, the flow seems very uneven, making it hard to keep pace. In addition, Hengel uses plenty of technical terms and refers constantly to other languages, especially Latin and Greek, so some laypeople may have a hard time wading their way through it all as well as the numerous footnotes at the bottom of the page (which sometimes takes up half a page or more). But, if you work hard, you will find a number of excellent items to highlight. In the end you will realize that crucifixion was anything but a bloodless punishment. From the whipping that normally took place beforehand to the way people were stapled onto the crosses, this was torture at its worst. This was the method that the Son of Man paid the ultimate price for our sins. This message is the central theme of the historic Christian faith. Amen.
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Format: Paperback
Who would've known that there was so much information about this ancient method of torture? Before happening upon this scholarly gem, I didn't think that any such work existed. Hengel does a great job of presenting much information about the crucifixion and the difficulties that it presented to the early fathers of the church. Surely it was a difficult thing to present such a gospel about a man who they claimed to be God and died the most humiliating and disgraceful death, but they did so regardless. I would absolutely recommend this work if you are looking for a book that addresses virtually all questions about crucifixion.
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Format: Paperback
Marten Hengel is a superb scholar who has devoted his life to the study of a variety of theological themes in the New Testament. In this volune, Professor Hengel researches the extant ancient literature related to the subject of crucifixion. He then defines the attitudes and reactions of leaders and the populace regarding this form of death. His meticulous and exhaustive research makes this short but powerful volume a standard in the field of crucifixion research. I highly recommend this book to scholars and lay-people alike who desire to have a a scholary, thoroughly researched work on this subject.
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Format: Paperback
Translated from German, this is outstanding look at this practice in the ancient world and the cross of Christ.
The great reversal of God's Son crucified and this is good news? is a scandal to the natural mind of humankind.
Hengel shows these two aspects well, carefully documented his sources from ancient history and Scripture.
The theology of the cross vs. that of glory is reflected in this theologian's writing, e.g. "The heart of the Christian message, which Paul described as the 'word of the cross' (logos tou staurou--transliterating the Greek), ran counter not only to Roman political thinking, but to the whole ethos of religion in ancient times and in particular to the ideas of God held by educated people."
Still true today. This is excellent reference for your shelf, also try and obtain Paul Maier's "In Fullness of Time," and Eric Kiehl's "The Passion of Our Lord."
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