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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


MALAN, Japie P.. The metaphor 'being crucified with Christ' in sociohistorical context. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2009, vol.65, n.1. ISSN 2072-8050.

Crucifixion is a concept that is far removed from the experience and understanding of the 21st-century post-modern man. To understand the power of the message of the cross, one first has to determine what the meaning of crucifixion was to the person in antiquity. The relevant facts about the cross and crucifixion were intertwined with social and political realities of the time. This article endeavours to construct a valid and probable sociohistorical context for the metaphor χριστŵ συνεσταύρωµαι ('I am being crucified with Christ'). The relevant terminology as well as the practice of crucifixion in ancient nations also receive attention. Possible differences in the shape of the cross and crucifixion procedures are being debated. The article also tries to conceive of the shame and rejection the condemned had to endure. The sociohistorical implications of the preposition 'with' will be discussed to indicate its meaning to the person from ancient times. What would such a person have understood and experienced when told that he had to be crucified with Christ? To any individual from that social and historical context such a statement would have immediately conjured up a clear picture of the price that was to be paid. It would have meant the renunciation of everything that was dear and essential in the life of that person; rejection of family and friends; inhuman pain, both physically and emotionally, as well as the knowledge that the decision was irrevocable.

Keywords : God; kruisiging; kruisingspraktyk; kruisdood; kruis.

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