Show Notes: Crucifixion

Tracy Wilson


Within days of our joining the podcast, listeners started asking Holly and me to do a Shroud of Turin episode sometime around Easter. That first spring, it just wasn't possible - we started in March, and we would have had to pull together a very complex episode in just a few days. So this year, I started way in advance ... but I realized almost immediately that just separating the wheat from the chaff in the world of Shroud of Turin research was going to be a monumental undertaking. I finally figured out that it's a subject that requires much more time and care than we can really devote to just one episode of the podcast (or even a two-parter).

I didn't want to bypass Easter entirely, though, and I eventually wound up reading about the historical context of crucifixion. In ancient Greece and Rome, crucifixion was simultaneously a common form of capital punishment and a subject so taboo that contemporary historians were reluctant to write about it in detail. This episode looks at how the historical record on crucifixion compares to common knowledge about it, and about what attitudes about crucifixion meant for early Christians in the first few centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.

Our listener mail is from Teri, who writes to us about our Rosa Parks episodes (part one and part two) and Jo Ann Robinson's role in the Montgomery bus boycott.

If you're of an age not to remember mimeographed papers in school, here is a history of mimeograph machines. And here is a YouTube video of one of these machines in use, complete with a rotary phone on the floor.

For more knowledge: How does death by hanging work?

Episode download link: Crucifixion in the Greco-Roman World

My research:

  • Cook, John Granger. "Crucifixion as Spectacle in Roman Campania." Novum Testamentum 54 (2012) 68-100.
  • Cook, John Granger. "Crucifixion in the West: From Constantine to Recceswinth."Journal of Ancient Christianity. Vol. 16, 2012.
  • Cook, John Granger. "Envisioning Crucifixion: Light from Several Inscriptions and the Palatine Graffito." Novum Testamentum 50 (2008) 262-285
  • Cook, John Granger. "Roman Crucifixions: From the Second Punic War to Constantine." Journal of Ancient Christianity. 2013.
  • "crucifixion." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. Finney, Mark T. "Servile Supplicium: Shame and the Deuteronomic Curse-Crucifixion in Its Cultural Context." Biblical Theology Bulletin Volume 43 Number 3 Pages 124-134.
  • Hengel, Martin. "Crucifixion." Fortress Press. Philadelphia. 1977.
  • Samuelsson, Gunnar R. "Crucifixion in Antiquity An Inquiry into the Background and Significance of the New Testament Terminology of Crucifixion." Mohr Siebeck. 2011.
  • Samuelsson, Gunnar R. "Crucifixion in Early Christianity." Society of Biblical Literature 2012.
  • Samuelsson, Gunnar R. "Crucifixion Reconsidered." Society of Biblical Literature 2011.
  • Samuelsson, Gunnar R. "The Historical Background of Crucifixion Reconsidered." University of Gothenburg.

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