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Is the Cross Just Another Lie? (Revised)

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posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 06:27 PM
reply to post by darkelf

Hence the problem with organized religion which corrupts the very message it pretends to proclaim. I am sure that most people will understand that the crusades, etc. . . . were based on greed and perhaps some fear. It saddens me that this was done in the name of my Savior, who would have had nothing to do with it. I am positive that He was not consulted on this, or if He were, His council was not taken.

Perhaps this applies to the cross too?

posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 06:32 PM
reply to post by newday

I get two messages from your posts. 1. You sound very religious. 2. Or you get your terminology from a former religion, for it's not spiritual speech. Perhaps you should do a post on who you feel God is and I would be glad to add my 25c to it.

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 09:58 AM
Hello. I've been discussing this topic on another board, was searching for information and found this thread. I tried to find a page with the rules for the forum but didn't find anything. Please let me know if we can post images, if there is a limit to links per post and any other relevant information.

Originally posted by MatrixProphetOne of the major reasons that I feel it is so important to bring this subject back up is; because I feel it is one of the greatest hoaxes associated with Christendom.

I think we'll agree that the fact that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead is more important but if the cross is a hoax then it is important. If it's not a hoax what does that say about religions that believe that Jesus died on a stake?

Originally posted by MatrixProphet1. Jesus is said to actually have died (in the ancient writings) on a stake, pale or pile according to the original Greek word.

That is based on the belief that stauros only means stake when it refers to the instrument of Jesus' execution.

Originally posted by MatrixProphetThe 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.

In classical Greek the word never meant a two-beamed cross but there's a problem with this argument which I will point out later.

Originally posted by MatrixProphetThe Greek word xy'lon was also used and had the same meaning as stauros'.

If it can be proven that Jesus died on a two beamed cross then it has to be accepted then that argument has to be considered.

Originally posted by MatrixProphet2. 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!

It never speaks of a cross bar or beam in the scriptures. The problem for those who believe that Jesus died on a stake is this is an argument from silence yet it's one of the strongest arguments for the belief that Jesus died on a stake. When all of the evidence is examined it is shown to be weak. I will comment more on this later.

Originally posted by MatrixProphet3. “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.)

Vine's also said "As for the Chi, or X, which Constantine declared he had seen in a vision leading him to champion the Christian faith, that letter was the initial of the word "Christ" and had nothing to do with "the Cross."" There are scholars who believe it does have to do with the cross. There's another quote from Parsons which is often cited but Parsons was wrong.

Originally posted by MatrixProphet6. Medical evidence showing the likelihood that Christ did not die on the cross:

The medical evidence shows that Jesus did not die on a torture stake. I see that the maximum characters per post is 4,000 so it will take a lot of posts for me to take my case.

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 10:02 AM

Originally posted by MatrixProphet8. 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.

Livy did not give enough description of the crucifixion to infer that he thought that crux meant only a stake. Even if he had there were several types of crucifixes so it would be expected that the crux simplex would be described by an author at some point in Roman history along with other types of crucifixes. The word Livy used for a stake was palum or palus:
“Bound to a stake [deligati ad palum] they were scouraged and beheaded.” (Livy 28,29,11; translated by Foster.)

“So that I may breathe my last in prison, or else, bound to a stake [ad palum deligatus].” (Livy 26,13,15)

Originally posted by MatrixProphet9. Paganism enters the picture: “Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics” – “With the 4th century magical belief began to take a firmer hold within the church…The surest defense against demons, and the remedy for all diseases – using the cross.”

"In the reign of Theodosius "the Great" (378-395), Christianity was made the official state religion. Christians in official posts quickly used their new found influence to outlaw pagan practices, such as ritual sacrifice; pagan temples, idols, and altars were destroyed as well. Some degree of Eastern mysticism and aristocratic philosophy remained for several decades, but Christianity had, in fact, triumphed."

Please give the quote in context. I searched both parts of it and at first only found it in a book called 'The Game Between the Gods' at but that page's viewing content is restricted. I searched "Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics" and the latter part of the quote is on page 472. The part about the "..magical belief began to take a firmer hold.." seems to be on page 414 but the viewing content is restricted.

Originally posted by MatrixProphetChi-Rho are the Greek letters that make up the cross. None of these words are connected with Christ and his execution according to all the research I have done reading the scholars.

I've done some research on that as well and hopefully will post it in the next day or two.

Originally posted by miriam0566

Originally posted by doctorex
You need to understand how crucifiction took place. Unlike the movies where you see a cross being errected, the main beam was stationed permanently. The hands were nailed to the cross beam, which was lifted up by ropes, then the feet were nailed on. This made for more efficent placing and removal of a person from the cross. Jesus was hung on a pole, or stake, while also being hung on a cross, there is no contradiction, just with the images in our head due to watching too many movies. Also tests have been done that prove nails in the hands do hold the weight of a human.

ok, do you have ANY references to this? or is it pure theory? because right now historical evidence is saying something different. even greek translations of the bible are saying something different

"Though the procedure was subject to wide variation according to the whim and sadism of the executioner, by the Roman period several features were fairly standard. With a placard proclaiming the crime hung around the neck, the condemned prisoner carried the crossbar, not the whole cross, to the place of execution where the upright stake was already in place."
(Harper's Bible Dictionary, 1985 edition, p. 194; see also the Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 1, 1992 edition, pp. 1208-1209)

The historical evidence shows that slaves and criminals usually carried the patibulum to the place where they were crucified. I will post evidence that Jesus died on a cross soon.

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 12:27 PM
Believe it or not...there are many different types of individuals on ATS with many different beliefs. Not all are Christian!

You can believe in anything you choose to believe in, ie, the easter bunny, Santa Claus or the truth fairy, any of the Hallmark holidays. It does not matter one whit to me.

My approach as I have said countless times is; to uncover those who are also searching for truth outside of religion. I along with others are leaving the middle man out (religion) and are wanting an HD (High Definition) relationship with Jah without the middleman's influence.

There is just nothing new in what all of you Christians say and teach, and it is not enough. There are no new arguments as you all have displayed so conscientiously. It becomes a lot of arguing and debating with information that has been argued and debated for many more years than you have been alive.

In all of my threads I have not heard even one post that has displayed any new intelligence from any religious person, it is all the same ritualistic dogma. My threads actually are created to help one to think! Whether one agrees or not!

Note: so I don't have to continually repeat this, I am going to cut and paste this to my other threads.

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 02:44 PM
I've made a couple of points which you haven't addressed. Please show me where Livy described a crux as a stake. Bullinger said that Homer uses the word stauros of an ordinary pole or stake, or a single piece of timber and that is the meaning and usage of stauros throughout the Greek classics. Homer lived in the seventh century B.C. which was before the first recorded crucifixion; at least in Europe. That was in 519 B.C. by Darius in Babylon. Stauros never meant a two-beamed cross in classical Greek because the Romans adopted crucifixion from the Greeks and added different forms of crucifixion. Here are some historical references from sources, most of who were Romans or church fathers.

Roman playwright Plautus lived from 254–184 B.C. and made these statements about crucifixion:

"'I admit it, I hold up my hands!' 'And later you will hold them up on a furca. Do go along to the crux'" (Persa, 295)

"Credo ego istoc extemplo tibi esse eundum actutum extra portam, dispessis manibus, patibulum quom habebis."
"I suspect you're doomed to die outside the gate, in that position: Hands spread out and nailed to the patibulum" (Miles Gloriosus, 359-360).

"Oh, I bet the hangmen will have you looking like a human sieve, the way they'll prod you full of holes as they run you down the streets with your arms on a patibulum, once the old man gets back" (Mostellaria, 55-57).

Ego dabo ei talentum, primus qui in crucem excucurrerit; sed ea lege, ut offigantur bis pedes, bis brachia.
"I'll give two hundred pounds to the first man to charge my crux and take it -- on condition his legs and arms are double-nailed, that is" (Mostellaria, 359-360).

"Patibulum ferat per urbum, deinde adfigatur cruci."
"Let him bear the patibulum through the city; then let him be nailed to the crux" (Carbonaria, fr. 2)

So the custom of carrying the patibulum to the crux existed at the latest in the early second century B.C. In the first century B.C. Greek Historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus described the practice of tying the patibulum across the victims back:

"A Roman citizen of no obscure station, having ordered one of his slaves to be put to death, delivered him to his fellow-slaves to be led away, and in order that his punishment might be witnessed by all, directed them to drag him through the Forum and every other conspicuous part of the city as they whipped him, and that he should go ahead of the procession which the Romans were at that time conducting in honor of the god. The men ordered to lead the slave to his punishment, having stretched out both his arms and fastened them to a piece of wood (tas kheiras apoteinantes amphoteras kai xuló prosdésantes) which extended across his breast and shoulders as far as his wrists, followed him, tearing his naked body with whips."
(Roman Antiquities, 7.69.1-2)

The word xuló, or xulon, is often translated as tree and is translated as stake in the NWT in Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29, Gal. 3:13 and 1 Peter 2:24. Dionysius' statement shows that criminals were often nailed to the xulon before being led to their crucifixion so xulon was used for patibulum at one time. The word patibulum literally means stretcher.

Roman Historian Seneca lived from 4 B.C. to 65 A.D. and wrote the following:

"Though they strive to release themselves from their crosses---those crosses to which each one of you nails himself with his own hand--yet they, when brought to punishment hang each one on a single stipes; but these others who bring upon themselves their own punishment are stretched upon as many crosses as they had desires. Yet they are slanderous and witty in heaping insult on others. I might believe that they were free to do so, did not some of them spit upon spectators from their own patibulum!" (De Vita Beata, 19.3).

"another to have his limbs stretched upon the crux (alium in cruce membra distendere)." (De Ira, 1.2.2).

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 02:49 PM
More from Seneca:

"Yonder I see crosses, not indeed of a single kind, but differently contrived by different peoples; some hang their victims with head toward the ground, some impale their private parts, others stretch out their arms on a patibulum" (De Consolatione, 20.3).

I should deem him most despicable had he wished to live up to the very time of crucifixion....Is it worth while to weigh down upon one's own wound, and hang impaled upon a patibulum?....Can any man be found willing to be fastened to the accursed tree, long sickly, already deformed, swelling with ugly tumors on chest and shoulders, and draw the breath of life amid long drawn-out agony? I think he would have many excuses for dying even before mounting the crux!" (Epistle, 101.10-14).

"Picture to yourself under this head the prison, the crux, the rack, the hook, and the stake which they drive straight through a man until it protrudes from his throat" (Epistle, 14.5).

"....or his hands to be extended on a patibulum (sive extendendae per patibulum manus)" (Fragmenta, 124; cf. Lactantius, Divinis Institutionibus, 6.17).

Roman Historian Tacitus lived from 56– 117 A.D. and wrote the following:
The Tarracines, however, found comfort in the fact that the slave of Verginius Capito, who had betrayed them, was crucified (patibulo adfixus) wearing the very rings that he had received from Vitellius" (Historia, 4.3).

Patibulo adfixus literally means fastened, attached or pierced to a patibulum.

Rapti qui tributo aderant milites et patibulo adfixi. "The soldiers stationed to supervise the tribute were seized and nailed to the patibulum" (Annals, 4.72).

Justin Martyr lived from approximately 100 to 165 A.D.

"Now, no one could say or prove that the horns of an unicorn represent any other fact or figure than the type which portrays the cross. For the one beam is placed upright, from which the highest extremity is raised up into a horn, when the other beam is fitted on to it, and the ends appear on both sides as horns joined on to the one horn. And the part which is fixed in the centre, on which are suspended those who are crucified, also stands out like a horn; and it also looks like a horn conjoined and fixed with the other horns." (Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 91)

"Consider our world and whether there would be any effective administration or community if it were not for this form of the cross. You can only cross the sea when you make use of a sail in the ship. The earth is not plowed without it. This same shape of the cross is in the tools that diggers and mechanics use to do their work. And the human form differs from the animals in being erect with hands extended and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called a nose through which there is respiration for a living creature. This too shows the form of cross."
(Justin Martyr's First Apology, Chapter LV.-Symbols of the Cross)

"...and that lamb which was commanded to be wholly roasted was a symbol of the suffering of the cross which Christ would undergo. For the lamb, which is roasted, is roasted and dressed up in the form of the cross. For one spit is transfixed right through from the lower parts up to the head, and one across the back, to which are attached the (fore) legs of the lamb." (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter XL)

“And because the cross in the T was to have grace, He saith also three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in the remaining one the cross.” (The Epistle of Barnabas, 9:8)

“The Spirit saith to the heart of Moses, that he should make a type of the cross and of Him that was to suffer, that unless, saith he, they shall set their hope on Him, war shall be waged against them for ever. Moses therefore pileth arms one upon another in the midst of the encounter, and standing on higher ground than than any he stretched out his hands, and so Israel was again victorious.” (Ibid, 12:2)

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 02:54 PM
The Greek writer Lucian lived from 120-180 AD. He wrote that the letter T had received its "evil meaning" because of the "evil instrument tyrants put up to hang people upon them. (Lucian in "Iudicium Vocalium 12", in Crucifixion by Martin Hengel, Fortress Press, 1982, pp. 8-9)

"Suppose we crucify him half way up somewhere hereabouts over the ravine, with his hands out-stretched from crag to crag....Do you suppose there is not room on the Caucasus to peg out a couple of us? Come, your right hand! Clamp it down, Hephaestus, and in with the nails; bring down the hammer with a will. Now the left; make sure work of that too." (Lucian, Prometheus, 1-2)

"I extended my hands and hallowed my Lord. For the expansion of my hands is His sign. And my extension is the upright cross. (The Odes of Solomon , Ode 27, late first century-early second century A.D.)

"For it is right to mount upon the cross of Christ, who is the word stretched out, the one and only, of whom the spirit saith: For what else is Christ, but the word, the sound of God? So that the word is the upright beam whereon I am crucified. And the sound is that which crosseth it, the nature of man. And the nail which holdeth the cross-tree unto the upright in the midst thereof is the conversion and repentance of man." (Acts of Peter, 38 - second half of the second century).

Clement of Alexandria lived from approximately 150-215 A.D.
"The very man who erred through pleasure and was bound by corruption, was shown to be free again, through His outstretched hands. (Exhortation to the Greeks, 11)

Artemidorus lived in the 2nd century AD during the reigns of Hadrian and the Antonines.
“For the σταυρος is like death and the man who is to be nailed carries it beforehand.” Oneirocritica, 2,56

In his five-volume work Oneirocritica (The Interpretation of Dreams) he also compares the stauros to a ship:
"Being crucified is auspicious for all seafarers. For the stauros, like a ship, is made of wood and nails, and the ship's mast resembles a stauros." (Oneirocritica, 2:53)

Irenaeus wrote in Against Heresies in 180 A.D.

"The very form of the cross, too, has five extremities, two in length, two in bredth, and one in the middle, on which [last] the person rests who is fixed by the nails." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2:24:4)

"...and that He should be forsaken by His friends and those nearest to Him; and that He should stretch forth His hands the whole day long;" (Irenaus Against Heresies, Book 4, Chapter 33)

In 197 AD Tertullian wrote:

"Every piece of timber which is fixed in the ground in an erect position is a part of a cross, and indeed the greater portion of its mass. But an entire cross is attributed to us, with its transverse beam, of course, and its projecting seat.....Well, then, this modeller, before he did anything else, hit upon the form of a wooden cross, because even our own body assumes as its natural position the latent and concealed outline of a cross. Since the head rises upwards, and the back takes a straight direction, and the shoulders project laterally, if you simply place a man with his arms and hands outstretched, you will make the general outline of a cross." (Tertullian in "Ad Nationes" Chap XI in ANF, Vol III, p. 122)

These writers lived in a period when crucifixions were still carried out, and could see these executions firsthand. Both Justin and Tertullian referred to cases where Christians were crucified (See ANF, Vol I, p. 254; Vol III, p. 28).

Minucius Felix wrote around 200 A.D.

"We assuredly see the sign of a cross, naturally, in the ship when it is carried along with swelling sails, when it glides forward with expanded oars; and when the military yoke is lifted up, it is the sign of a cross; and when a man adores God with a pure mind, with hands outstretched." (Octavius, 29, 6)

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 02:59 PM
We have evidence from the early Bible manuscripts themselves. The manuscripts P66 and P75 are traditionally dated around AD 200, but may be from as early as the last part of the first century. In Biblica, Vol. 69:2, 1988 the much related P46 is dated this early. PW Comfort and DP Barrett date P66 from 98-138 A.D. (source Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ By Robert M. Bowman, Jr., p. 337). In a personal letter, George Howard, professor of Hebrew grammar and religion at the University of Georgia said "A close look at P75 and P66 shows that they are not far behind in date to P46." A poster on has seen a photocopy of that letter and quotes professor Howard.

In P75 the word stauros is changed so the T and R are combined to depict a cross with a person on it in three places and in P66 a cross is put into the word "stauros." Larry Hurtado is a professor of New Testament Language at the University of Edinburgh. In his book 'The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins' he gives evidence that the cross is found in letters of early N.T. manuscripts and refers to them as the staurogram:

Among the several monograms used by early Christians to refer to Jesus, the so-called “staurogram” or “cross-monogram”, which is comprised of the Greek majuscule forms of the letters tau and rho, the vertical line of the rho superimposed on the vertical stroke of the tau, is of particular historical significance. The specific proposal that I shall support in the present essay is that the Christian use of this device in certain early manuscripts represents the earliest extant visual reference to the crucified Jesus, indeed, considerably prior to what is commonly thought to be the time (fourth or fifth century ce) when Christians began to portray the crucifixion of Jesus visually.
/2r6mgm (pdf file).

There are illustrations of those letters on page 3 of that paper. If anyone is interested in early Christian iconography or manuscripts that is an excellent article.

In 1857 an ancient inscription was found in a building called the domus Gelotiana on Palatine Hill in Rome. The Alexamenos graffito shows a picture of a man with the head of a donkey on a crucifix with a man standing in front of him and the words "Alexamenos worships God." It is believed to have come from a Roman soldier mocking a fellow soldier or from a fellow schoolmate. The grafitto has been dated between 85 A.D and the first half of the third century.

In 1873 French scholar Charles Clermont-Ganneau reported the discovery of a burial chamber on the Mount of Olives near Bethany. Inside were dozens of ossuaries with skeletal remains and crosses etched on the outside. In the 1950's Italian scholar and archaeologist Bellarmino Bagatti excavated the site of Dominus Flevit ("The Lord Wept") on the Mount of Olives and found more than 40 inscribed ossuaries. One of the ossuaries had the sign of the cross with this inscription: "[Here are the] bones of the younger Judah, a proselyte [to Christianity] from Tyre."

In 1939 ruins were excavated at Ercolona, Italy which was called Herculaneum in first century Rome. It was the sister city of Pompeii and was destroyed in 79 A.D. by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. During the excavation a house was found which had the imprint of a cross in a wall. In the publication 'Buried History' it said of that find "Below this (cross) was a cupboard with a step in front. This has considered to be in the shape of an ara or shrine, but could well have been used as a place of prayer. . . . If this interpretation is correct, and the excavators are strongly in favor of the Christian significance of symbol and furnishings, then here we have the example of an early house church."
(Buried History, Vol. 10, No. 1, March, 1974, p. 15)

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:01 PM
Other archaeologists who have studied it believe the cross shape was from a cupboard and if that is the case it didn't have sides, top, back or a base, was placed into the wall while it was still somewhat soft or a cross was protruding at least a few inches from the back of the cupboard. One thing that doesn't favor the interpretation of this as an example of a Christian symbol is that, before Constantine, Christians were often persecuted for their beliefs and a cross would identify people as Christians.

In 1945 Professor E.L. Sukenik of the Museum of Jewish Antiquities of the Hebrew University excavated a family tomb in Jerusalem which contained eleven ossuaries. Two of the ossuaries bear the name Jesus in Greek and one had a coin minted for King Herod Agrippa I. According to the 1950 'Official Guide to Israel' published by Israel's Dept. of Tourism the coins and inscriptions prove that the burial in the tomb took place between 41 and 42 A.D.

"As the tomb is dated by pottery, lamps and the character of the letters used in the inscriptions--from the first century B.C. to not later than the middle of the first century A.D. this means that the inscriptions fall within two decades of the Crucifixion at the latest." (Ancient Times, Vol. 3, No. 1, July 1958, p. 35. See also Vol. 5, No. 3, March 1961, p. 13.)

"The plus- and X-shaped crosses have been interpreted as the Hebrew letter taw, the sign of Yahweh in Ezekiel 9:4ff., and thus perhaps of apotropaic significance to protect the bones of the deceased against demonic malevolence or a general expression of faith in deliverance through the use the sign of God's protection in Ezekiel's vision (cf. Rev. 7:3). The mark occurs in Jewish funerary settings (including a Jewish catacomb in Rome) with some frequency."
(Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Everett Ferguson, p. 591)

Ferguson goes on to say the marks on the Jerusalem ossuaries "may have had the utilitarian purpose of marking correspondence of lid and body of the ossuary." If that is the case then why didn't the Jews use numbers or letters, either full or abbreviated indicating who was buried in each particular ossuary? Usually only one family member dies at a time so this would seem unnecessary and to use plus and X-shaped crosses on more than one ossuary may have caused confusion instead of preventing it. The cross is the instrument on which Jesus died and X is the first letter of Christos in Greek. Ironically "tau" is in the word stauros.

In 1968 construction workers uncovered the grave of Johanan Ben Ha'galgol, aged 24-28, in burial caves at Giv’at ha-Mivtar in Jerusalem. His remains show that he had been crucified and died during the first century. Nicu Haas of the Department of Anatomy at Hebrew University published his findings in the Israel Exploration Journal:

"The whole of our interpretation concerning the position of the body on the cross may be described briefly as follows: The feet were joined almost parallel, both transfixed by the same nail at the heels, with the legs adjacent; the knees were doubled, the right one overlapping the left; the trunk was contorted; the upper limbs were stretched out, each stabbed by a nail in the forearm."
('Anthropological Observations on the Skeletal Remains from Giv’at ha-Mivtar', Israel Exploration Journal, 1970, # 20, pp. 38-39)

Researchers after Haas, including Joseph Zias, disagreed with his interpretation of the evidence concerning the limbs. But Zias, who is one of the leading authorities on the Giv’at ha-Mivtar discovery, believes that the man had been crucified on a cross though not in the exact position which Jesus is usually portrayed.

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:04 PM
There's an article on the PBS website about the discovery in which they say "He was crucified probably between A.D. 7, the time of the census revolt, and 66, the beginning of the war against Rome." In a follow-up article on this archeological find in the Nov/Dec. 1985 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review it says.....

According to the (Roman) literary sources, those condemned to crucifixion never carried the complete cross... Instead, only the crossbar was carried, while the upright was set in permanent place where it was used for subsequent executions. As the first century Jewish historian Josephus noted, wood was so scarce in Jerusalem during the first century A.D. that the Romans were forced to travel ten miles from Jerusalem to secure timber for their siege machinery."(Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec. 1985, p.21)

Anchor Cross

Some experts doubt whether the cross became a Christian symbol so early, but the recent discoveries of the cross, the fish, the star, and the plough, all well known from the second century, on ossuaries of the Judaeo-Christian community in Judaea put the possibility beyond all reasonable cavil.(Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church, pp. 214-215)

Another symbol that was used by early Christians is the anchor. Because of persecution early Christians would disguise the cross in art or symbolic images:

"During the period of persecutions before Constantine I, we generally don't find the cross on monuments and catacomb sepulchres. It is nearly always disguised -- as an anchor, later a trident, or the mainmast of a ship. Other disguised forms of the cross include monograms such as what is called the St. Andrew's cross, in the shape of the Greek letter chi."

If you click on 'anchor' on that page it links to a webpage with a picture of an anchor cross with a fish on each side found in the catacombs. In the Catacombs of St. Callistus there is an inscription with a lamb lying at the foot of the anchor. The anchor cross is dated to 90 A.D. and is found in the cemeteries of St. Priscilla, Domitilla and Calaxtus and Coemeterium majus. It is believed that the anchor cross was inspired by Hebrews 6:19 - "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain," (NIV). The mariners cross is also called St. Clements cross because Clement of Rome was martyred by being tied to a heavy rock and drowned in the sea.
Clement of Alexandria referred to the cross, ship and anchor in his Exhortation to the Heathen:
"Sail past the song; it works death. Exert your will only, and you have overcome ruin; bound to the wood of the cross, thou shalt be freed from destruction: the word of God will be thy pilot, and the Holy Spirit will bring thee to anchor in the haven of heaven."
(Exhortation to the Heathen: Chapter XII)

Besides the fact that Christians would endanger their lives and the lives of their families by displaying a cross there are a couple of other things to consider regarding archaeological evidence. Many artifacts and personal possessions were destroyed in wars and when Christians were imprisoned and killed. Also, before the Edict of Toleration and Edict of Milan crucifixion was still a method of execution used by Rome and the most horrible one. Today we see it as a symbol of the price our Savior paid for us but Christians in the first three centuries of the church would also see this symbol as none of us can today. They had first hand knowledge of crucifixion, had seen what a horrible punishment it was and to them it was also a symbol of the brutality and tyranny of Rome.

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:07 PM
Medical Evidence

In the 1940's Dr. Hermann Moedder of Cologne, Germany did scientific tests to determine the cause of Christ's death. The results were recorded in the Bible as History by Werner Keller:

In the case of a person suspended by his two hands the blood sinks very quickly into the lower half of the body. After six to twelve minutes blood pressure has dropped by 50% and the pulse rate has doubled. Too little blood reaches the heart, and fainting ensues. This leads to a speedy orthostatic collapse through insufficient blood circulating to the brain and the heart. Death by crucifixion is therefore [also] due to heart failure. It is a well authenticated fact that victims of crucifixion did not usually die for two days or even longer. On the vertical beam there was often a small support attached called a "sedile" (seat) or a "cornu" (horn). If the victim hanging there eased his misery from time to time by supporting himself on this, the blood returned to the upper half of his body and the faintness passed. When the torture of the crucified man was finally to be brought to an end, the "crurifragium" was proceeded with: his legs were broken below the knee with blows from a club. That meant that he could no longer ease his weight on the footrests and heart failure quickly followed. (The Bible as History by Werner Keller, pp. 348-349)

In 1986, The Journal of the American Medical Association carried an article entitled "A Medical Report On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ" written by William D. Edwards, Wesley J. Gabel and Floyd E. Hosmer. In that report they say "The length of survival generally ranged from three or four hours to three or four days and appears to have been inversely related to the severity of the scourging." They describe the original method of crucifixion used by the Persians in which the victim was tied to a tree or to an upright post. But the first recorded crucifixion was in 519 B.C. long before the Romans adopted it as a method of execution from the Carthaginians. As has been shown the Romans were using a patibulum at least as early as the second century B.C. The aritcle is online at

The JAMA article also describes how the Romans carried out the sentence of crucifixion:

"It was customary for the condemned man to carry his own cross from the flogging post to the site of crucifixion outside the city walls. He was usually naked, unless this was prohibited by local customs. Since the weight of the entire cross was probably well over 300 pounds, only the crossbar was carried. The patibulum, weighing 75 to 125 pounds, was placed across the nape of the victim's neck and balanced along both shoulders. Usually the outstretched arms then were tied to the crossbar. Outside the city walls were permanently located the heavy upright wooden stipes, on which the patibulum would be secured........The major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion, beyond the excruciating pain, was a marked interference with normal respiration, particularly exhalation. The weight of the body, pulling down on the out stretched arms and shoulders, would tend to fix the intercostal muscles in an inhalation state and thereby hinder passive exhalation. Accordingly, exhalation was primarily diaphragmatic, and breathing was shallow. It is likely that that this form of respiration would not suffice and that hypercarbia would soon result... The onset of muscle cramps or tetanic contractions, due to fatigue and hypercarbia, would hinder respiration even further. Adequate exhalation required lifting the body by pushing up on the feet and by flexing the elbows and adducting the shoulders."

('On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ', JAMA Vol. 255 No. 11, March 21, 1986, p. 1461)

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by Crispus

Welcome to ATS. We're glad you found us. Your participation is welcome.

The first rule here is to BE CIVIL in all of our posting to each other. You seem not to have a problem with that one, judging by what I have read so far. That's a good thing.

And to help you with rules, here's a link to links:

This should help you in doing a lot of different things here on ATS. Please read the T&C carefully, as we try to stick to it closely.

Have fun, and keep joining in. It's a big board with a lot of subjects.

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:10 PM
Frederick Zugibe is an associate professor of pathology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has done a study on the death of Jesus and believes he did not die of asphyxiation but from shock and trauma. Dr. Zugibe suspended student volunteers with supports for their feet and hands from a conventional T-shaped cross and monitored their physiological response. If the arms were outstretched, there is no evidence whatsoever of breathing difficulty despite their suspension, which ranged from five to forty-five minutes. According to Dr. Zugibe the issue involved is the angle of the victim's arms which would have been 60-70 degrees on a cross. Someone executed on a torture stake could not have been able to flex their elbows and have adequate exhalation.

In 1963 Dr. Pierre Barbet did a study of crucifixion and although Zugibe disagrees with him on the cause of Jesus' death they both concluded that someone executed on a torture stake couldn't have survived a long period of time. The experiments of Moedder, Barbet and Zugibe show that someone executed on a torture stake would have suffocated in minutes but a crucified man would have remained much longer. There's more information on these studies at

Often those who were crucified were on the cross for more than a day and possibly several days. Since Jesus was crucified on the day before the Sabbath the Jews asked Pilate to break the legs of the crucified men to hasten their deaths (John 19:31-33). When Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus' body Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. He summoned the centurion to ask him if Jesus had already died. (Mark 15:44, NIV) If Jesus had been executed on a stake he would not have lasted for hours or days and Pilate would not have been surprised at his death. The bible says that Jesus was on the cross for six hours (Mark 15:25, Matt. 27:45).

Death on a torture stake is not consistent with Jesus' crucifixion or the description by his contemporary Seneca who wrote of victims drawing the breath of life amid long drawn-out agony. In 'Etymologia', an encyclopedia written in the seventh century, Isidore of Seville said "But hanging is a lesser penalty than the cross. For the gallows kills the victim immediately, whereas the cross tortures for a long time those who are fixed to it."
(Isidore of Sevile, Etymologia 5.27.34)

Biblical Evidence

Moses was a deliverer sent by God (Acts 7:35) and Jehovah said he would redeem Israel with an outstretched arm.

“Therefore say to the sons of Israel, ‘I am Jehovah, and I shall certainly bring YOU out from under the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver YOU from their slavery, and I shall indeed reclaim YOU with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (Exodus 6:6, NWT)

In the O.T. Jehovah swore with uplifted hand (Exo. 6:8) but redeemed with an outstretched arm (Exo. 6:6).

In Exodus 14 he told Moses to stretch out his hand over the water to divide the Red Sea. After the Israelites had crossed over to the other side Jehovah told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea again and when he did the water flowed back and the Egyptians perished. I believe there's a parallel to Exodus 14 in 1 Cor. 1:18 which says "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Jesus' crucifixion is foreshadowed in Exodus 12. Yahweh commanded the Israelites to put some of the blood from a sacrificial lamb, a male without defect, on the top and both sides of the doorframes (Exo 12:7, 23). The lamb was to be slaughtered at twilight (Exo. 12:6) which was between the ninth and eleventh hour and Jesus died at about the ninth hour. Messianic Jews believe the killing and roasting of the Passover lamb pointed to the way in which the Messiah was to be hung:

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:17 PM
Thanks NGC2736. I have a lot of info so I'll post a little more then take a break. Thanks for the ROC page; I was looking for it.

Continued from last post:

"God said that the blood of the lamb was to be spilled, and it was to be placed on the door posts and on the lintels of the home. Thus it formed the figure of the cross. The shed blood of the lamb formed a cross. But remember, the Jewish people did not know what a cross was at that time. It would become apparent only later."
(Let Us Celebrate the Feast, by Rivi and Danny Litvin, Hope of Israel Ministries, p. 23)

As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. (Exodus 17:11-12, NIV)

This could be understood that he held them above his head and support the belief that Jesus was killed on a torture stake. But the epistle of Barnabas says Moses made a type of the cross and stretched out his hands (12:2). Irenaeus also saw this as foreshadowing Christ's crucifixion:

"the one, indeed, in which He became a man subject to stripes, and knowing what it is to bear infirmity, and sat upon the foal of an ass, and was a stone rejected by the builders, and was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and by the stretching forth of His hands destroyed Amalek; while He gathered from the ends of the earth into His Father’s fold the children who were scattered abroad, and remembered His own dead ones who had formerly fallen asleep, and came down to them that He might deliver them:"
(Irenaeus, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 36)

After that Jehovah said to Moses "“Write this as a memorial in the book and propound it in Joshua’s ears, ‘I shall completely wipe out the remembrance of Am´a·lek from under the heavens.’” (Exodus 17:14, NWT) The NIV says "blot out the memory." David prayed that God would blot out his transgressions according to his unfailing love (Psalm 51:1; cf. Isa. 43:25, Micah 7:18-19) and said that Jehovah removed the transgressions of those who revered him as from as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Though the world is round, maps and globes show east and west from right to left. In American football a running back runs north to south when he runs inside and east to west when he runs laterally.

I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts; (Isaiah 65:2, NKJV). Some translations say "held out my hands" and the NWT says "spread out my hands." Barnabas cited this verse and said 'I stretched out my hands (Epistle, 12:4-5).

And again, concerning His Cross, Isaiah says as follows: I have stretched forth my hands all the day to a stubborn and contrary people; for this is a figure of the Cross.
(Irenaeus, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 79)

Jerome believed that Hebrew letter tau was previously written like a cross and many see a connection to the 144,000 in Revelation 7. Former Jehovah's Witness David Aspinall began questioning the WT's teaching about the cross when he read a commentary on Ezekiel 9:4 by Jack Finegan; a name he knew from WT publications.

"In [Ezekiel] 9:4 the man clothed in linen is instructed to go through the city of Jerusalem and put a mark (taw) upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over the abominations that are committed in the city ... In Hebrew, the word Taw both signified a "mark" and was also the name of the last letter of the alphabet, a letter which, in the old Hebrew script, was still written in the elemental form of a cross down at least to the eve of the NT period, or even into that period.(The Archeology of the New Testament by Jack Finegan, pp. 223-224)

More on Ezek 9:4 on next post.

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:44 PM
Commentators often see a parallel between Eze. 9:4 and Rev. 7:3 and I see one in Exodus 13:8-16 as did Cyprian:

"What previously preceded by a figure in the slain lamb is fulfilled in Christ, the truth which followed afterwards. As, then, when Egypt was smitten, the Jewish people could not escape except by the blood and the sign of the lamb; so also, when the world shall begin to be desolated and smitten, whoever is found in the blood and the sign of Christ alone shall escape." (Cyprian, Treatise V, An Address to Demetrius, 18; c. 250 CE)

The crucifixion is also foreshadowed in Ezekiel 43:18-20 and Ezekiel 45:19-20. The altar which were used to sacrifice animals in the Old Testament had four corners and the blood was sprinkled on each of the corners. On the cross there was blood on all four corners with the crown of thorns providing blood on the top. On a stake there would have been blood on only the top and bottom. When former JW Jay Hess saw the parallel in Ezekiel it gave him a new appreciation for the crown of thorns.

New Testament

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30, NIV)

Some scholars and theologians believe that the sign is the Son of Man himself. If it is a sign or symbol associated with Jesus it will be the cross. If people were to witness a long cylinder in the sky they would not know what it is but the cross is universally known and associated with Jesus Christ.

Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE EWS. (Matthew 27:37, NIV)

If Jesus had been crucified on a stake the natural way to say this would have been "Above his hands they placed the written charge..." This narrows his crucifixion down to a tree, tau cross or latin cross and a patibulum was involved.

It's possible that two nail could have been used on someone killed on a torture stake but pictures of Jesus on a stake in WT publications show only one nail through Jesus' hands or wrists. There is a picture of Jesus and the two thieves on page 10 of the February 2008 Awake! In the picture the hands of one of the thieves are not shown but Jesus and the other thief have only one nail going through both wrists. That brings something else to mind:

"They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head..." (Matthew 27:28-29, NIV).

I've seen several of these and don't remember any of them showing Jesus with a crown of thorns. If Jesus had been killed on a torture stake his arms would have been lifted straight above his head making it difficult for the Romans to bring his hands close together because of the crown of thorns.

And with him they crucify two robbers, one on the right hand, and one on his left, (Mark 15:27, Young's Literal Translation)

Some translations say "...right hand and one on his left hand" and others say " on his right and one on his left." I couldn't find a quotation from anti-nicean church fathers on this verse. But the Vulgate does say "et cum eo crucifigunt duos latrones unum a dextris et alium a sinistris eius." Dextris means the right hand or right side. The word 'ambidextrous' is from Latin and literally means having two right hands or right-handed on both sides. It can be used in a sense of power and protection such as Psalm 110:1 - The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord: `Sit at My right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.' (Young's Literal Translation; Vulgate "sede a dextris meis). But it is also is used for the position of one to another. The Greek is word in Matt. 27:38, Mark 15:27 and Luke 23:38 is dexios and is translated as both 'right' and 'right hand' in the NWT (e.g. Matt. 20:21-3, Heb. 1:3, 13 - Heb. 1:13 is a quotation of Psalm 110:1)

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 03:50 PM
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. (Mark 15:21, NIV)

In Matthew 27 and Mark 15 it says the Romans forced Simon to carry the stauros. It does not say they forced him to assist Jesus in carrying the stauros. A torture stake is believed to have been ten feet in length and weighed about 200 pounds. It is more plausible to believe that Jesus, in his weakened condition, could not carry the torture stake or both pieces of a cross but only the patibulum. The medical report also shows that crucifixion on a stake would interfere with respiration making it impossible for the victim to remain alive for very long.

Greek historian Plutarch lived from 46 to 120 A.D. and wrote “Every wrongdoer who goes to execution carries out his own cross." (Moralia 554A-B: “Concerning Things Avenged Slowly by the Deity” §9).Εκαστος κακουργων εκϕερει τον αυτου σταυρον (stauros). Very few people could carry a stake weighing 200 pounds or more and walk a long distance.

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:14-15, NIV)

The parallel with Numbers 21 is that every Israelite that was bitten and looked to the snake was healed. Likewise everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life (John 6:40; cf. 2 Cor. 5:17, Isa 53:5). A snake doesn't have limbs so a transverse beam wouldn't have been necessary. Even if Jesus meant that he must be lifted up in the same exact manner this wouldn't mean he would be crucified on the exact same object on which the snake had been fastened. Only the act of lifting up would be the same and not the exact same instrument or manner of execution. But that was not what Jesus was saying. Justin the Martyr saw a parallel in these verses but described a crucifix as one beam fitted on another.

It should be noted that there are no details in any of the four accounts of the gospel that tell of Jesus actually being nailed to the stauros: "When they had crucified him..." (Matt. 27:35), "It was the third hour when they crucified him" (Mark 15:27), "....there they crucified him..." (Luke 23:33), "When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes"... (John 19:23). The authors may have wanted to spare the reader the grim details but the fact that all of them simply said they crucified Jesus may indicate that there was a usual method of crucifixion which the Romans used in Judea.

John 19:17 says "Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha)." The crux simplex was about ten to twelve feet in length weighing more than three-hundred pounds. Jesus had been flogged by the Romans with a cat of nine-tails; a whip with pieces of metal, bone and glass that tore his skin. He lost a lot of blood and was suffering from dehydration and sleep deprivation. In this state he could not have been able to drag a torture stake let alone carry it.

"As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus." (Luke 23:26, NIV)

There are a few problems with this as far as the torture stake is concerned. First it does not say that Simon dragged the stauros which, weighing about pounds and at least ten feet long, would have been the normal thing to do. Secondly those sentenced to crucifixion carried only the crossbeam to the site of crucifixion and not the entire cross. Last of all the Romans put the stauros on Simon which, if it was the crux simplex, would have probably made it impossible for him to carry to the place of Jesus' crucifixion. This would make sense if it was a patibulum.

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 04:00 PM
None of the synoptic gospels say that Simon and Jesus carried the cross together. If that was what Luke wanted to say he could have said it in a different way such as "...put the cross on him and, walking behind Jesus, made him carry it with him." This would have been consistent with what Luke's style (cf. Luke 7:11, 8:51, 9:10, 9:28, 9:32, 14:15, 23:32, 24:15).

There are two words that Luke could have used if Jesus dragged the stauros; helkō (cf. John 21:6, 21:11, Acts 16:19, 21:30, James 2:6) and syrō (cf. John 21:8, Acts 8:3, 14:9, 17:6). But the gospel says that Jesus carried the stauros for part of the way then the Romans forced Simon to carry it the rest of the way. The distance from the Gabbatha, the stone pavement, to the traditional sight of Calvary is 650 meters or more than 2,100 feet. When examined with the historical and medical evidence Luke 23:26 and John 19:17 show that Jesus carried the patibulum part of the way and Simon of Cyrene carried it the rest of the way. Why would Roman soldiers take the time to dig out the main stake and bring it back to a place near where people were tried? This wouldn't be necessary if the slave or criminal carried the patibulum which historical records show to be the case and a Centurion could find better things for his soldiers to do.

Consequently the other disciples would say to him: “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will certainly not believe.” (John 20:25, NWT)

I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" (John 21:18-19, NIV)

Some theologians believe that Jesus was only speaking of Peter dying a martyr's death. But the language used is similar to that of John 12:32-33 - But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:32-33, NIV) The Greek words translated as "to signify what sort of death" (NWT) are poios thanatos doxazo; the same words that describe Jesus' statement to Peter in John 21. In John 12:32 Jesus did not merely say he would die a martyr's death but foretold the manner in which he would die and telling Peter he'd stretch out his hands was a reference to being tied to a patibulum.

"At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising faith. Then is Peter girt by another, when he is made fast to the cross." (Tertullian, Scorpiace, 211 A.D. Chapter 15)

J.D. Parsons and E.W. Bullinger said there's nothing that bears indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used by Jesus was anything but a stake but that is wrong. The evidence in the N.T. shows that Jesus died on a cross; either the Tau cross or the Latin cross.

Originally posted by MatrixProphetAny time you change the structure or meaning of a word it will change the word. Stauros', crux, xy'lon, all mean the same thing! A straight pole or pile or stake.

Xylon has different meeanings including clubs (Matt. 26:47, 55), stocks (Acts 16:24) and wood (1 Cor. 3:12) but it also refers to a tree in a figurative sense (Luke 23:31). Xylon, is used for a living tree in Luke 23:31, Rev. 2:7, Rev. 22:2 and Rev. 22:14. There are some examples in the first three chapters of Genesis where xulon and xulou are translated in the LXX as 'tree' and 'trees' (xylon - 1:11, 12, 2:9 and 3:6. xulou - 2:16, 2:17, 3:1, 3:3, 3:8, 3:11, 3:12, 3:17, 3:22 and 3:24).

The most exhaustive article on the JW's and the cross is at and the part aboout xylon is excellent.

[edit on 9-4-2008 by Crispus]

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 04:07 PM
In her paper she says...

In pre-Republican times, the Romans sometimes punished disobedient slaves by fastening them to barren trees and scourging them to death. Occasionally the victims were forced to bear the patibulum before they were hung. This form of punishment was called arbor infelix or infelix lignum, and several later Latin writers confused it with crucifixion. As a result, the two-beamed cross became known as an arbor or lignum (both Latin words mean “tree”).

She has researched the Latin much more than I have and this agrees with Martin Hengel who said from the third or second century BC arbor infelix was evidently interpreted as crucifixion (Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross, p. 39). But isn't it possible that arbor infelix and infelix lignum took on a new meaning over time? In Rome crucifixion originally was used for slaves (servile supplicium - slaves punishment) and the slave was scourged on a tree. Either way the words in Latin that meant tree were used to describe a two beam cross. Surprisingly the Vulgate translates 'ets as 'patibulo' in Deut. 21:22 instead of arbor or lignum and is translated as 'ligno' in verse 23. This may have been because of the similarity to Roman crucifixion to that passage. Ligno, in various forms, corresponds to xylon in Revelation and 'ets is a Hebrew word for tree but the word in Ezra 6:11 is 'a (beam).

The whole discussion about the usage of xylon in reference to Jesus' crucifixion should be based on Deuteronomy 21:22-23. There are a few things that are noteworthy. First, xulon is only used for Jesus' crucifixion five times in the N.T. - Acts 5:30, 10:39, Acts 13:29, Galatians 3:13 and 1 Peter 2:24. The manner on which Jesus was killed on the xylon is described in only three of them. The word stauroo (crucify) isn't used to describe how Jesus was killed on the ξυλον. The word used is kremannymi which means hang, hanged or hanging. Deuteronomy 21:22-23 is plainly spelled out in two of the five verses - Gal. 3:13 and 1 Pet. 2:24.

What occurred to me recently is each of the five verses occur after the crucifixion and none are in the gospel accounts. They were all written looking back at Jesus' death and resurrection and Peter and Paul saw how Deut. 21:22-23 foreshadowed Jesus' death even though it was a command from Jehovah for someone who had been killed for committing a capital offense. When the Romans took control of Judea and brought with them crucifixion they would usually leave bodies on crosses and stakes after the condemned person died. Add to that the fact the condemned had been killed on a tall wooden object Deut. 21:22-23 naturally would have come to the mind of Jewish people. The differences between Christ and those to whom that command applied is Jesus was innocent of his charges and he was alive when nailed to the cross. Its original application was for the guilty but was applied to an innocent man who had to become a curse for us; the righteous for the unrighteous (1 Pet. 3:18).

Kremannymi is in another verse about the crucifixion in the book of Luke. He didn’t mention stauros or xylon but it is still significant:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Luke 23:39-41

The guilt of the two thieves is contrasted with Jesus’ innocence similarly to Gal 3:13 and 1 Pet. 2:24. In Luke 23:39 and the five verses that speak of Jesus dying on a xylon one of two things comes out: Christ was innocent and didn’t deserve capital punishment like those who were hung on a tree in the O.T. and Jesus became a curse for use when he was crucified.

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 04:38 PM
reply to post by Crispus

I appreciate all the work you did, but I do not find it to be substantial enough to argue my points.

"Though the procedure was subject to wide variation according to the whim and sadism of the executioner, by the Roman period several features were fairly standard. With a placard proclaiming the crime hung around the neck, the condemned prisoner carried the crossbar, not the whole cross, to the place of execution where the upright stake was already in place."
(Harper's Bible Dictionary, 1985 edition, p. 194; see also the Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 1, 1992 edition, pp. 1208-1209)

The problem with this is: are the writer's of this theory regarding Jesus biased? Are the writers of the above Bible Dictionary's biased and would they have reason to be? Other scholars as I have indicated before have expressed their anger and distaste regarding how the cross was added to lexicons etc. to support Christian bias. It is easy to write something in a religious article or book that is biased. I tried to make a diligent effort to use information where the authors had no reason to lie.

The point that is irrefutable is; there is no proof that Jesus died on a cross, nor is there proof that he didn't. So then when making a case a person needs to look at all the angles. How did it fit into the Jewish law? His bones could not be broken to fulfill all the prophesies that Jesus needed to complete, which are about, 327! He needed to die quickly and the cross could take days, weeks etc. and they could still even live.

I will not rehash all the information that has already been dispensed by myself and others. Just go back and read all the posts. Many others are questioning it, or like myself - believe it to be a lie. You have not changed my thinking.

If Jesus himself came down to earth and gave a detailed account of his death and it did not entail the cross, what would you do? Before you counter with; "Well, what would you do if he said he did?" It is an unpopular stance that I am taking and one that has been the quietest one in history. Mankind has always believed and taught the Cross. It is going against the tide to say otherwise. What's new? But if it is a hoax created by the church, then, I would rather be on the side of truth, than the other way around.

Unfortunately, you all are addressing just the one aspect of his death and are leaving out the rest. This does not make for a legitimate case. Everyone is welcome to start their own thread on the validity of the cross. It won't hurt my feelings. LOL! But, I have expressed enough, it is now becoming redundant!

But before I close - here is the question of all questions: "If Jesus came to earth and denounced the cross, would he be considered a false prophet? If he did not conform to your beliefs, and doctrine, and maybe even rebuked you? "Would Christianity of today label and call Jesus, the REAL Anti-Christ?"

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