Quote of the Day: The Scandal of the Cross

Thanks to Justin over at Loudon’s Leaf for pointing to a quote about the cross from Derek Tidball and, in turn, from Morna Hooker. Here it is in part:

Derek Tidball writes:

“The scandal of the cross continues. From Paul’s day to our own, [it] has never been anything other than a scandal, a cause of offence. People respond to its offensivness in different ways. Some ridicule it. Others try to ignore it. Chrstians, no less than others, have their techniques for reducing its shame. Long familiarity with it has lessened its absurdity and repugnance and led us to turn it into an item of beauty…. Morna Hooker comments: ‘Our problem is simply that we are too used to the Christian story; it is difficult for us to grasp the absurdity—indeed, the sheer madness—of the gospel about a crucified savior which was proclaimed by the first Christians in a world where the cross was the most barbaric form of punishment which men could devise.’ ” [Derek Tidball, The Message of the Cross (The Bible Speaks Today; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2001), 200.]

6 Responses to “Quote of the Day: The Scandal of the Cross”

  1. Justin says:

    Thanks for the plug, brother. I’ve enjoyed reading your books.

  2. MJG says:


    Best to you in your studies. I’ve enjoyed browsing your blog.

  3. elias tannous says:

    I guess that they depend on 1 co 1:23 when they use the word scandal to describe the cross. does the greek word “scandalon” has the same meaning as the english scandal has for us today?

  4. Justin says:


    Tidball (appealing to Ben Witherington) notes the the primary meaning of the word skandalon in 1 Cor 1:23 is “offense” rather than “stumbling-block” as it is sometimes translated. Not sure if that helps? See his book, cited above, p. 200 n. 2.

  5. elias tannous says:

    thanks Justin

  6. MJG says:

    “Skandalon” can mean a trap, esp. for an enemy, or something that causes one to stumble, but also, metaphorically, that which causes trouble or shame/offense. The context in 1 Cor helps to flesh out the latter implication. Liddell and Scott (I don’t have LSJ or BDAG handy) list “scandal” as a possible translation.

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