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Cross-as-Political

"The threat to punish by death is the bottom line of the power of the state; fear of this threat keeps the dominant order intact. By resisting this fear and pursuing kingdom practice even at the cost of death, the disciple contributes to shattering the powers' reign of death in history. To concede the state's sovereignty in death is to refuse its authority in life."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Jesus has revealed that his messiahship means political confrontation with, not rehabilitation of, the imperial state. Those who wish to 'come after him' will have to identify themselves with his subversive program. The stated risk is that the disciple will face the test of loyalty under interrogation by state authorities."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Precisely because of this singularly political connotation, some have argued that Mark may have been borrowing a recruiting phrase [take up your cross] from the Jewish insurgents, who were regularly crucified for their guerilla activities. Whether or not this is the case, the turn of phrase could have no other meaning except as an invitation to share the consequences facing those who dared challenge the ultimate hegemony of imperial Rome."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Crucifixion was and remains a political and military punishment . . . Among the Romans it was inflicted above all on the lower classes, i.e., slaves, violent criminals, and the unruly elements in rebellious provinces, not least Judea . . . These were primarily people who on the whole had no rights, in other words, groups whose development had to be suppressed by all possible means to safeguard law and order in the state."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"In first-century Christianity, the cross had a twofold meaning. On the one hand, it represented execution by the empire; only the empire crucified, and then for only one crime: denial of imperial authority. The cross had not yet become a generalized symbol for suffering as it sometimes is today, when one’s illness or other hardship can be spoken of as “the cross I’ve been given to bear.” Rather, it meant risking imperial retribution."    - Borg, Marcus J.; Crossan, John Dominic ; The Last Week


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