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More on Crucifixion

July 22, 2010

In the earlier comments about recent news stories highlighting a recent study on the terminology for “crucifixion”, I negelected to mention a recent important study:  David W. Chapman, Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008).  There’s a review just appeared in Review of Biblical Literature: http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/7367_8028.pdf

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4 Comments
  1. Sean permalink

    Professor Hurtado: I had the same impression when I read the description of his thesis on his website. So a philological study has confirmed what we already knew: No one knows for sure what shape the STAUROS was upon which Jesus was impaled. I can appreciate the humor in acknowledging that our ignorance can be confirmed from a variety of disciplines;-)

    Jeremy: Thank you so much for pointing out that Chapman’s book is available at a more reasonable price!

  2. Sean permalink

    In light of your interest in the subject, were you one of those who obtained/received a copy of Gunnar Samuelsson’s thesis? He has developed a website to address the many questions his thesis has generated:

    http://www.exegetics.org/

    If you’re familiar with it, what is your impression of his work? The media has apparently given a false impression of his thesis (surprise, surprise), and so in the Q&A section Samuelsson makes clear that he is a Christian who believes that Jesus died for our sins.

    • Samuelsson’s thesis came up earlier in some comments on my “Staurogram” posting. I haven’t read it myself, but from reviews it appears much more modestly significant than the press reports make it. Essentially, I take it, a philological study of some key words, in which he contends that a variety of instruments could be referred to as a “cross” (Greek: stauros). We already knew that, so it’s not clear what he’s discovered. It’s also not clear whether he takes account of other data, such as the 2nd century Christian references to Jesus’ cross as T-shaped (e.g., Epistle of Barnabas).

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