I'm just responding to this by request. If any of the following has already been mentioned, my apologies. I haven't read the entire thread.
Originally posted by MatrixProphet
1. Jesus is said to actually have died (in the ancient writings) on a stake, pale or pile according to the original Greek word. The writers of the NT
or Greek Scriptures wrote in the common loine' Greek, and used the word stauros' to mean the same thing as in the classical Greek, namely, a simple
stake, or pale, without a crossbeam of any kind at any angle. The Greek word xy'lon was also used and had the same meaning as stauros'.
2. Where does it speak of a cross bar or beam in the scriptures? The cross beam had a different word attached to it: patibulum'. No where does it say
that Jesus died on a stauros' with a patibulum' attached!
Although I see where you are coming from, it must be asked: Why would the shape of Jesus' cross really, really
matter? The Romans used four
different methods for crucifixion: A 'T' shaped cross, an 'X' shaped cross, a stake, and sometimes the victim was marched right up to a tree and
nailed at eye level.
The fact remains, He was crucified. Being that the T shaped cross was indeed used by the Romans in antiquity, it is very possible this was used. If it
was an X shape or stake, then it really doesn't matter IMO.
But what about the references in the original Greek? Here you go:
(See pretty much all the scriptural passages in the
Looking at the actual Greek, it appears to either refer to a stake or cross. But again, the shape is not that important in the scheme of things. But a
few things should be mentioned:
If it was a stake, it would not change things. He was crucified (more on this in a moment). Second, there are 1st century engravings of crosses on
Christian sarcophagi. It would stand to reason 1st century Christians would be more aware of the shape of the cross than us who can only speculate
2,000 years later. Third, we know the Romans did indeed use T shaped instruments. Lastly, when Jesus was prophesying Peter's death, we are told He
stretched out His arms to demonstrate a crucifixion.
3. “Vines Expository dictionary of Old and New Testament Words” – Mentions the Chaldean origin of the 2 piece cross and how Christendom
adopted it from the pagans in the 3rd century C.E. as a symbol of Christ’s impalement. “In order to increase the prestige of the apostate
ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the churches…and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or
T, in its most frequent form, with the crosspiece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ.” The lexicons then altered the word
stauros’ to mean a cross to the ire of many scholars! (“The Non-Christian Cross” by J.D. Parsons 1896.)
If the first century 't' carvings are authentic (no reason to believe they are not at this time), then we can see the cross was known prior to the
4th century. Also, See: HERE
. The cross as a pagan symbol is refuted in a section of this
4. We all know that the Jews were reported to have instigated the death of Jesus and used the Romans to facilitate it. It is actually a strong
possibility that the Sadducees with Ca'iaphas being the High Priest that year, was involved in the plot against Jesus with the Pharisees being the
lackeys("I'll sit in the car while you rob the store"). It went against Jewish law to pass a death sentence of crucifixion. The Jewish Encyclopedia
states under “Crucifixion” - “Among the modes of Capital Punishment known to the Jewish penal law, crucifixion is not found; the “hanging”
of criminals “on a tree” mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:22, was resorted to in New testament times only after lapidating (stoning)."
This is true. First of all, 'hanging from a tree' was shameful according to OT Jewish Law. This shame Jesus suffered is mentioned in the New
Testament about being 'cursed' for hanging on a tree. As for the Jewish appeal to the Romans: This was done for very specific reasons. Under the
rule of Rome, the Jews lost their ability to perform capitol punishment. In order to have a criminal executed, they had to appeal to Roman authority.
This is even part of a fascinating Messianic prophecy. A prophecy was given that the Messiah would come before the Jews (particularly the 'scepter of
Judah') lost their judicial power. Their lament is even mentioned in their Talmud when they say 'Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Judah
[an idiom for the loss of Jewish judicial power] but the Messiah has not yet come!' Oops. Little did they realize, their Messiah was there and His
name was Jesus.
5. It was the Roman policy to break the limbs of the criminals after hours or days of being on the cross to expedite the asphyxiation process.
But according to prophesy the "Lamb of God" was to fulfill the Jewish Passover requirement of; no bones were to be broken in order to fulfill the
anti-typical Passover sacrifice - a like for a like. He needed to die quickly and the cross wouldn’t have sufficed.
True. And this is the way it occurred according to our sources.
6. Medical evidence showing the likelihood that Christ did not die on the cross: Joseph Zias who was the Curator of Archaeology/Anthropology
for the Israel Antiquities from 1972-1997 wrote under "Crucifixion in Antiquity:-
Not sure about this study but similar studies have actually affirmed such things so I'm not sure how this curator would be heeded over the others. In
fact, not much he says disproves anything. The asphyxiation, support, etc., actually helps verify our stance. Also don't forget He was flogged as
well as just coming off a fast and His body was in an extremely weakened state. It is not surprising at all He expired quickly.
7. The idea of Christ dying on a cross did not really enter the religious picture until the time of Constantine in the 4th century. He was said
to have had dreams involving crosses and is said to have seen crosses in the sky. He took this as an omen and added this philosophy to the Church
beliefs (apparently not knowing the pagan history behind it). His mother Helena could have contributed to the sanctifying of this emblem by
incorporating this into Christianity.
The Constantine thing might be true (concerning his visions) but there are a few problems. First of all, we have 5,000-25,000 first century Greek
Texts and fragments that thoroughly record Jesus' death on the cross. Therefore, prior to Constantine.
8. There were not any historians recording the death of Christ. Historian Josephus was not around yet. He did speak of ones surviving a
sentence of death on a cross and actually living (with medical help). Other historians such as Livy defined crux as a stake.
Yes there were, including Josephus, but here are two Roman examples:
"Christus, the founder of the [Christian] name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius. But the
pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, by through the city of Rome
Tacitus, Roman Historian
"The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day- the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that
account... It was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers from the moment they are converted and deny the gods of
Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws..."
Lucian of Samosata