Book Notice: ROMAN CRUCIFIXION AND THE DEATH OF JESUS, by Woodrow Michael Kroll

Published on March 29, 2023 by Eugene Ho

Resource Publications, 2023 | 344 pages

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance

by Fred G. Zaspel


In its day the “cross” and “crucifixion” were not topics of polite conversation, but in our Christianized West the cross has long become a happy symbol – a piece of jewelry and an item of decoration as well as identification. That’s not necessarily wrong, but in it, we have lost the horror that the cross was. This book will remedy this misunderstanding for good. 

The odds are strong that you recognize the author’s name. For twenty-three years Woodrow Kroll has been the president and senior Bible teacher for the international radio program Back to the Bible, with a daily listening audience of 10 million people. His faithful ministry has been the source of blessing to many. 

In his latest well-researched book (with Foreword by Craig Keener) Kroll provides extensively documented insight into the ancient Roman practice of crucifixion, illuminating for us the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death. Read for better understanding of the later chapters of the four Gospels. 

A valuable resource for all Christians and especially for preachers of the cross and, like Paul, “publicly portray Jesus Christ as crucified” (Gal. 3:1) before the eyes of their hearers. 


Table of Contents

Chapter 1:  The Origins and History of Crucifixion
Chapter 2:  The Worst of All Deaths
Chapter 3:  Crucifixion and the Romans
Chapter 4:  Wood Stake or Roman Cross?
Chapter 5:  The Components of a Roman Cross
Chapter 6:  Types of Roman Crosses
Chapter 7:  How Victims Were Fastened to a Cross
Chapter 8:  Hands or Wrists?
Chapter 9:  The Horror of Scourging
Chapter 10:  Crucifixion and Archaeology: Proof from Epigraphic Evidence
Chapter 11:  Crucifixion and Archaeology: Proof from Tombs and Ossuaries
Chapter 12:  Crucifixion and Archaeology: Proof from Gems and Jewelry
Chapter 13:  How Roman Crucifixion Informs Us of Jesus’ Death
Chapter 14:  Jesus Has the Last Word



Eckhard J. Schnabel, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Woodrow Kroll has written a survey of the available literary and archaeological evidence for the capital punishment of crucifixion which he applies to Jesus’ crucifixion as reported in the Gospels. The book will help lay readers understand the horrors of crucifixion and appreciate at a deeper level Jesus’ death on the cross.

Edwin M. Yamauchi, Miami University, emeritus

Woodrow Kroll has comprehensively treated the many details of the trials, the death, and the burial of Jesus. He has extensively examined ancient sources and the scholarly treatments by scholars of many persuasions. He has clearly set forth his conclusions with many helpful tabular lists and apposite quotations. As one who has also researched and written on these topics, I have learned much from his excellent exposition.

Highly recommended. 

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Resource Publications, 2023 | 344 pages

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