Item description for Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross (Facets) by Martin Hengel, Martin Hengle & John John Bowden...
Overview "One can probably find more about the crucifixion in this book than anywhere else. Teachers and ministers will not want to deal with the crucifixion of Christ again without first reading Hengel,"---Christianity Today. A formidable survey of ancient classical literature.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross (Facets)?
The Folly of the Cross says it all May 4, 2008
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.
Historical Gold Mar 26, 2008
A wonderful account of the history of crucifixion, especially in regards to the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and the stigma associated with the cross in those empires.
Depends on what you are looking for... Nov 4, 2007
As earlier posters have reported, Hengel does a great job at making one really understand how inconceivable it was to the ancient mind that Diety and crucifixion could be united. You also learn some other interesting historical facts along the way.
I was personally hoping to find information leading me to decide whether to get rid of the crosses in my home (some types of crosses are symbols of Tammuz and other pagan concepts, for example) or keep them. Was Yahushua just nailed to a single stake, or was there a bar and a cross beam forming a shape like a t, or like the standard crucifix - or what? I didn't get any clear answer for that - not just for my Savior, but about the practices in Rome in general.
Now, it's possible the answer to my question was, in fact, in the book (though I doubt it - I did read the summary) and that I did not see it. This was not a fun book to read! It was very scholarly but on such a horrific topic, that I confess I did not read every word. It was a great time to utilize any skimming/speed reading skills I have!
One minor complaint is that the author politicizes. He makes comments about past cruelty compared to current cruelty, his rejection of the current death penalty, and so on. I found those comments to be extraneous and, frankly, uninteresting.
The strongest effect the book had on me was to prompt me to say more than once was "Thank You, Yahusha!"
A short and thought provoking work Aug 11, 2007
Hengel has left us with a fairly short and yet thought provoking work on the relatioship between Christian theology and how crucifixtion was viewed in the ancient world. Hengel protrays the difference between the Christian view of Christ's sacrifice on the cross to the pagan world's view of crucifixtion as shameful to the point they generally didn't talk much about it.
Excellent Scholarly Resource May 23, 2007
This excellent reference work by Martin Hengel is referenced in "Jesus Among Other Gods" written by Ravi Zacharias. His statement was, "Millenia later, we see the symbol of the cross on necklaces and on church steeples so often that we have no concept of what it meant and accomplished. In fact, if it were truly expounded upon, we would take offense at the preacher."
After reading Mr. Hengel's very thorough work about crucifixion, I see the words of First Corinthians 1:18 in a whole new light. "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." (NIV)
This book provides an excellent in-depth study of the subject matter.