1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The Crucifix

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by EnhancedSpirit, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. may

    may Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    3,665
    Ratings:
    +110
    What​
    does the original Greek reveal as to the shape of the instrument on which Jesus was put to death?









    Most Bible translations say Christ was "crucified" rather than "impaled." This is because of the common belief that the torture instrument upon which he was hung was a "cross" made of two pieces of wood instead of a single pale, or stake. Tradition, not the Scriptures, also says that the condemned man carried only the crossbeam of the cross, called the patibulum, or antenna, instead of both parts. In this way some try to avoid the predicament of having too much weight for one man to drag or carry to Golgotha.​

    Yet, what did the Bible writers themselves say about these matters? They used the Greek noun stau·ros´ 27 times and the verbs stau·ro´o 46 times, syn·stau·ro´o (the prefix syn, meaning "with") 5 times, and a·na·stau·ro´o (a·na´, meaning "again") once. They also used the Greek word xy´lon, meaning "wood," 5 times to refer to the torture instrument upon which Jesus was nailed.​





    Stau·ros´​
    in both the classical Greek and Koine carries no thought of a "cross" made of two timbers. It means only an upright stake, pale, pile, or pole, as might be used for a fence, stockade, or palisade. Says Douglas’ New Bible Dictionary of 1985 under "Cross," page 253: "The Gk. word for ‘cross’ (stauros; verb stauroo . . . ) means primarily an upright stake or beam, and secondarily a stake used as an instrument for punishment and execution."








    The fact that Luke, Peter, and Paul also used xy´lon as a synonym for stau·ros´ gives added evidence that Jesus was impaled on an upright stake without a crossbeam, for that is what xy´lon in this special sense means. (Ac 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24) Xy´lon also occurs in the Greek Septuagint at Ezra 6:11, where it speaks of a single beam or timber on which a lawbreaker was to be impaled.​

    The New World Translation, therefore, faithfully conveys to the reader this basic idea of the Greek text by rendering stau·ros´ as "torture stake," and the verb stau·ro´o as "impale," that is, to fasten on a stake, or pole. In this way there is no confusion of stau·ros´ with the traditional ecclesiastical crosses. ​

    Note what W. E. Vine says on this subject: "STAUROS (σταυρ​
    ός) denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb stauroo, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross." Greek scholar Vine then mentions the Chaldean origin of the two-piece cross and how it was adopted from the pagans by Christendom in the third century C.E. as a symbol of Christ’s impalement.—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1981, Vol. 1, p. 256.


    Significant is this comment in the book The Cross in Ritual, Architecture, and Art: "It is strange, yet unquestionably a fact, that in ages long before the birth of Christ, and since then in lands untouched by the teaching of the Church, the Cross has been used as a sacred symbol. . . . The Greek Bacchus, the Tyrian Tammuz, the Chaldean Bel, and the Norse Odin, were all symbolised to their votaries by a cruciform device."—By G. S. Tyack, London, 1900, p. 1.​

    The book The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons (London, 1896), adds: "There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross. . . . It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as ‘cross’ when rendering the Greek documents of the Church into our native tongue, and to support that action by putting ‘cross’ in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles, did not become its primary signification till long afterwards, and became so then, if at all, only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which Jesus was executed had that particular shape."—Pp. 23, 24; see also The Companion Bible, 1974, Appendix No. 162.

     
  2. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    5,917
    Ratings:
    +471
    May. Stauros does mean "cross" in Hellenestic Greek. I suggest you read the works of Justin Martyr and explain how stauros is intended for "stake" when he makes references to the cross being signified in nature by cross roads, sailing masts (including the part that hodls sails), and other such things. Further, the Old Latin has crux for stauros and Jerome translated it that way and spoke ancient Greek and Latin, so he knew what he was talking about.

    You should really stop referring to that source for Greek. It's virtually always unreliable :(
     
  3. oracle

    oracle Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    502
    Ratings:
    +45
    I don't know why you are claiming that Jesus was impaled on a pole, when it is historically evident that it was a cross. There has even been finds of a man who was crucified with his body contorted to a cross. I suggest you research the history of crucifixion, which superceded the impalement on a pole as the Romans had revolutionized this torture device. It's really one of the most horrible ways to die.
     
  4. may

    may Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    3,665
    Ratings:
    +110

    But do not writers early in the Common Era claim that Jesus died on a cross? For example, Justin Martyr (114-167 C.E.) described in this way what he believed to be the type of stake upon which Jesus died: "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." This indicates that Justin himself believed that Jesus died on a cross.​

    However, Justin was not inspired by God, as were the Bible writers. He was born more than eighty years after Jesus’ death, and was not an eyewitness of that event. It is believed that in describing the "cross" Justin followed an earlier writing known as the "Letter of Barnabas." This non-Biblical letter claims that the Bible describes Abraham as having circumcised three hundred and eighteen men of his household. Then it derives special significance from a Greek-letter cipher for 318, namely, IHT. The writer of this apocryphal work claims that IH represents the first two letters of "Jesus" in Greek. The T is viewed as the shape of Jesus’ death stake.​

    Concerning this passage, M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia states: "The writer evidently was unacquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures, and has [also] committed the blunder of supposing that Abraham was familiar with the Greek alphabet some centuries before it existed." A translator into English of this "Letter of Barnabas" points out that it contains "numerous inaccuracies," "absurd and trifling interpretations of Scripture," and "many silly vaunts of superior knowledge in which its writer indulges." Would you depend on such a writer, or persons who followed him, to provide accurate information about the stake on which Jesus died?

     
  5. may

    may Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    3,665
    Ratings:
    +110

    Jesus did not die on a cross. He died on a pole, or a stake. The Greek word translated "cross" in many Bibles meant just one piece of timber. The symbol of the cross comes from ancient false religions. The cross was not used or worshiped by the early Christians. Therefore, do you think it would be right to use a cross in worship?—Deuteronomy 7:26; 1 Corinthians 10:14

     
  6. angellous_evangellous

    Ratings:
    +0
    Chalk me up w No*s as well. For Christians, the cross is a sign of victory and the role of the Messiah. By Christ's atoning work on the cross and through His ressurection, the salvation of those who believe is made possible. The cross is a powerful symbol of the foolish things in the world accomplishing incredible feats.
     
  7. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    5,917
    Ratings:
    +471
    So this basically comes down to you believe you know what a Greek word means better than those who spoke the same language as the Greek the NT was written in? Furthermore, they were acquainted with crucifixions. They had seen them firsthand, so I think they would know better than either of us. If you seriously believe that you know Greek better than the people that spoke it and understand crucifixion better than those who witnessed it, then I really can't add any more. The casual reader will view that in the exact same manner that I do (exceedingly presumptuous at the best), and I can't persuade you on the matter because of this belief. If you do not claim to know Greek better than those who spoke spoke Hellenistic Greek and witnessed crucifixions, then you wouldn't have made this statement.

    I do have to point out before I close your point on the authors not knowing Hebrew fails, because they weren't making their case on that or because they believed Abraham knew Greek. Rather, they believed the LXX was a translation inspired by God. Arguing that they were ignorant that it didn't look like that in the Hebrew is making a scarecrow. They didn't care; the LXX was their Bible.
     
  8. The Black Whirlwind

    The Black Whirlwind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,348
    Ratings:
    +139
    [(quote by May)just to enlighten you , jehovahs witness do not use the cross in there worship , and do not preach hellfire. hell is just mankinds common grave, there is no such thing as hellfire .Jehovahs witness worship with spirit and truth.]

    i really dont care if they use the cross or not, the point is that I associate the cross with christianity, all of christianity. And i never mentioned anything about hellfire, only hell. The christians told me i would go to their fabled hell if i did not accept Christ as my almighty savior, and that my soul would be eternally damned. That is why i associate the cross with evil.
     
  9. may

    may Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    3,665
    Ratings:
    +110
    the reason why , is because Gods word the inspired word of God does not say Cross ,that is not to say that others have not died on crosses . but i am only referringto what the bible says about the instrument jesus was killed on.at the end of the day ,jesus was put to death, we all know that , but the cross is a pagan symbol and i for one do not want to have anything to do with it and do not need any visual object to apreciate what jesus did for mankind.but of course if others need visual things that is up to them who am i to judge.
    The Greek word rendered "cross" in many modern Bible versions ("torture stake" in NW) is stau·ros´. In classical Greek, this word meant merely an upright stake, or pale. Later it also came to be used for an execution stake having a crosspiece. The Imperial Bible-Dictionary acknowledges this, saying: "The Greek word for cross, [stau·ros´], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground. . . . Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole."—Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376.

     
  10. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    5,917
    Ratings:
    +471
    Yes it is :). It's amazing what a shameful death on a couple of pieces of timber can do. I love that victory, where the unseemly things triumphed over the mighty things :).
     
  11. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Messages:
    237
    Ratings:
    +16
    Where the preaching of the cross is the power of God the sign of the cross is the crusades and the such like of men working in darkness. While it may be asign speaks to you to others such as a billion muslims it could be a stumblingblock. A stumbling block because of the crusades, the greatest sin mankind has ever been involved in collectively. Yes Jesus died on the cross and by that cross we have eternal life a force which dwelt in the believer that no signs were need. My contention is that if Christ dwell in you then you have your cross, it is to live in this present evil world holding forth the words of this life that Jesus gave us.

    Incredible that men would take from the gospel and go directly against the will of God and then call it the gospel.
     
  12. EnhancedSpirit

    EnhancedSpirit High Priestess

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,852
    Ratings:
    +490
    I saw the body of Christ today hanging on the cross. I have to ask you passerby, do you love Jesus so much that you would parade his dead body around like a trophy.

    I find I do better to celebrate the life of Christ.
     
Loading...