QOTD: Paul Meier on Jesus

meier_johnAny person declared a criminal by the highest authority of his or her society and accordingly put to death in a most shameful and brutal way at a public execution has obviously been pushed to the margins of that society. The ultimate impoverishment, the ultimate margin, is death, especially death by torture as a punishment meted out by the state for gross criminality. In Roman eyes, Jesus died the ghastly death of slaves and rebels; in Jewish eyes, he fell under the stricture of Deut 21:23: “The one hanged [on a tree] is accursed by God.” To both groups Jesus’ trial and execution made him marginal in a terrifying and disgusting way. Jesus was a Jew living in a Jewish Palestine directly or indirectly controlled by Romans. In one sense, he belonged to both worlds; in the end, he was ejected from both.

A Marginal Jew, Rethinking the Historical Jesus: Volume One, The Roots of the Problem and the Person, pg. 8


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