By Martin Hengel
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Extra resources for Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross (Facets)
69 n. 1 below. , describes another kind of torture. Cf. Suidae Lexicon (Adler I I I , p. v. Kvfavcs: a slow death at the pillory similar to crucifixion. AORAVI £d/XEV(H rod Qavarov iraaav A T / A A V dvearavpovvro rod r c ^ o u ? avTiKpv). T i t u s felt pity f o r them, b u t as their n u m b e r - given as u p to five hundred a day - w a s too great for h i m t o risk either letting them go o r putting them u n d e r guard, he allowed his soldiers to have their w a y , especially as h e hoped that t h e gruesome sight o f t h e countless crosses might m o v e t h e besieged t o s u r r e n d e r : ' S o t h e soldiers, o u t of the rage and hatred they bore the prisoners, nailed those they caught, i n different postures, to the crosses, b y w a y of jest (7rpoarjXovv .
T h i s never existed, except in the mind of some interpreters. W h a t happened in Corinth can easily be explained in terms of the Hellenistic (and Jewish) milieu of this Greek port and metropolis. 1 0 Docetism as a way of removing the 'folly' of the cross 19 face of this Paul points out to the community which he founded that his preaching of the crucified messiah is a religious 'stumbling block' for the Jews and 'madness' for his Greek hearers, we are hearing in his confession not least the twenty-year experience of the greatest Christian missionary, who had often reaped no more than mockery and bitter rejection with his message of the Lord Jesus, who had died a criminal's death on the tree of shame.
25: 'by which he met a gruesome fate*. F o r Philo his crucifixion is the ultimate punish ment for his wicked life. 1 3 Crucifixion as a 'barbaric' form of execution of utmost cruelty 25 nailed him to planks and hung him there ( [ T r p o s ] aavihas irpooTTaaoaXevoavTes dveKpi/iaaav). ' We have very few more detailed descriptions, and they come only from Roman times: the passion narratives in the gospels are in fact the most detailed of all. No ancient writer wanted to dwell too long on this cruel procedure.
Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross (Facets) by Martin Hengel