Since the advent of formal biblical criticism, many have come to see the crucifixion as merely one event in the process of religious development. Yet for the New Testament writers it was so much more, representing a radical break that forever affected their perception of God and the world. In this book Roy Harrisville examines the thought worlds of the New Testament writers, showing how the cross fractured their previously held ideas, causing a profound reorientation centered on the story of the cross. Focusing chronologically on Paul, the Synoptic writers, John, and the authors of Hebrews and 1 Peter, Harrisville demonstrates changes in the writers' understanding of sacrifice, law, Hellenism, apocalyptic, and other areas - changes that created the new values of the radically different Christian community. An insightful work of careful critical scholarship, Harrisville's Fracture will appeal to anyone interested in reviewing the New Testament's witness to that which lies at the heart of earliest Christian confession and which has provoked such bitter conflict in history.