6 - Crucifixion
from Part I - The Jesus of history
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 May 2006
Why did Jesus have to die? This question is capable of multiple answers. For example, a Latin historian writing at the end of the reign of Tiberius likely would never have heard of Jesus or his execution; or if he had, he would probably have had no reason to mention it. Had he woven this crucifixion into his narrative, the most credible impetus would have been to illustrate the religio-political agitation that marked Roman-Jewish relations during this period, perhaps as an anecdote displaying how Rome dealt with those who threatened the pax romana. If reports of this incident were written up differently in the second century, or if already within the first century those who penned documents that would become our New Testament had relocated it from a footnote in the annals of history to its status as an epochmaking event, this is because Jesus' death had been set within different interpretative horizons.
- The Cambridge Companion to Jesus , pp. 87 - 101Publisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2001