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Crucifixion In The Ancient World: A Response To L.L. Welborn

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with a discussion of the nature of crucifixion within the ancient world and how it was utilized by the Romans as a form of capital punishment and a means to ultimately disgrace the victim. At its height, the Roman Empire was a vast civilization which exerted its influence over a number of conquered nations. Published in 2005, Welborn's book, Paul, the Fool of Christ, attempts to view Corinthians 1-4 in light of the comic-philosophic tradition. It is the conclusion of the chapter that the optimal means of interpreting Paul's phrase "the word of the cross is foolishness" is not in terms of the ancient mime, but in relationship to the nature of the cross and its incomprehensibility as a religious symbol in light of its use within the Roman Empire and the shame and humiliation that it was designed to invoke.

Keywords:ancient world; Corinthians; crucifixion; humiliation; Paul; Roman Empire; Welborn



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