Worshipping a Crucified Man: Christians, Graeco-Romans and Scripture in the Second Century

By Jeremy Hudson

A landmark evaluation of the use of the Jewish scriptures by early Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Tatian and Theophilus of Antioch.

ISBN: 9780227177341


By the mid-second century Christian writers were engaging in debates with educated audiences from non-Jewish Graeco-Roman cultural backgrounds. A remarkable feature of some of the texts from this period is how extensively they refer to the Jewish scriptures, even though those scriptures were unfamiliar to non-Jewish Graeco-Romans. In Worshipping a Crucified Man, Jeremy Hudson explores for the first time why this should have been so by examining three works by Christian converts originally educated in Graeco-Roman traditions: Justin Martyr’s First Apology, Tatian’s Oratio and Theophilus of Antioch’s Ad Autolycum. Hudson considers their literary strategies, their use of quotations and allusions and how they present the Jewish scriptures; all against the background of the Graeco-Roman literary culture familiar to both authors and audiences. The scriptures are presented as a critically defining feature of Christianity, instrumental in shaping the way the new religion presented itself, as it strove to engage with, and challenge, the cultural traditions of the Graeco-Roman world.

Additional information

Dimensions234 × 156 mm

Hardback, Paperback

Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Dr Jeremy Hudson studied History at Christ’s College, Cambridge. After working for some years in personnel and finance he took an MA (with Distinction) in Biblical Studies at King’s College, London and then a PhD at Wolfson College, Cambridge.



1. Introduction
2. The ‘Proof from Prophecy’ in Justin Martyr’s First Apology
3. Tatian’s Oratio and the ‘Barbarian Writings’
4. The Ad Autolycum of Theophilus of Antioch: History and Commentary
5. Conclusion