Friday, April 23, 2004

More Crossan

The media can't get enough of John Dominic Crossan at the moment. This one, alerted in Bible and Interpretation, is from the Daily News:

Crossan examination: Jesus scholar looks at 'Passion' and politics of Christ
By Alexander Stevens / CNC Staff Writer
Thursday, April 22, 2004
"I've written about 20 books and I've gone on book tours, but I don't think I've ever had this kind of media attention," he says, on the phone from his home in Florida. "It's all because of this movie." . . . . .

. . . . . "I think he gored-up the movie," says Crossan. "No scholar has any evidence that the soldiers that scourged Jesus were sadistic brutes who thoroughly enjoyed their work, as opposed to soldiers just doing their job, and wanting to get it over and have a beer." . . . .

. . . . . . "By simply taking the last 12 hours of Jesus' life, he's made it seem as if the entire crowd of Jerusalem is against Jesus," says Crossan. "So here's what you've got (in the movie): You've got non-Christian Jews, and they're all bad, and you've got Christian Jews (such as Mary Magdelene and the Virgin Mary), and they're all good.

"Everywhere else I look, Jews are bad," he adds. "They're jeering Jesus all the way to the crucifixion. I don't see why Jews who, even if they dislike Jesus, would like what the Romans are doing to him.
I think that the problem with this is that it is inaccurate -- it does not accurately describe the way that the film depicts the journey to the cross. On the comment that "No scholar has any evidence that the soldiers that scourged Jesus were sadistic brutes", I would want to point out the evidence from Josephus, War 5.11 which suggests just this, that soldiers could be brutal and sadistic ("wrath and hatred . . . . by way of jest") in the act of crucifixion. It is not a far cry from that to imagining they could be the same way in scourging a victim.

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