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  #16  
Old Feb 8, '13, 1:25 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porknpie View Post
Christine,

If Jesus had died on a stake, only one nail would have been used, driven through both hands. Instead, the Gospel of John records...(KJV)



Nails, plural show that he was crucified, one nail in each hand.
I don't think this is really a strong argument; just because there were 'nails' does not automatically imply a cross.
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  #17  
Old Feb 8, '13, 1:53 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

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Originally Posted by patrick457 View Post
Who said that there was only one nail through both feet?
Not the point the point is that one for the hands and none for the feet doesn't suffice. It could have been 2 for the feet yet it's still a plural
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  #18  
Old Feb 8, '13, 1:56 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

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Originally Posted by cornbread_r2 View Post
I've looked online and can't find any verification for this statement. Even the cross figure referenced by another poster dating to 79 AD at Pompeii is disputed.
That was in Herculaneum, actually.

This cross was found in 1938 during the excatvations of the Bicentenary House (Casa del Bicentenario; the stems from the fact that the house was excavated 200 years after Herculaneum was discovered), which proved to be the largest house in the Forum district of the city. The room where the cross was discovered was found in a second storey room (a second storey was added or readapted into this house as living quarters for two separate families around AD 50, perhaps under the impulse of the growing commercial life of the Forum).

The family who lived in this apartment would have belonged to the plebs, the lowest class of freeborn, urban citizens. While in antiquity the plebs enjoyed a social advantage over slaves, freedmen and foreigners, they were often at a disadvantage in economic matters. As second-class citizens they lacked capital to compete with foreign traders. As for their religion, it is often argued that the plebs could recognize the benefits of the higher social and economic status which they could rarely attain, which resulted in alienation from the existing social order and, in certain cases, an openness to new religious movements. In Rome we know that the lower classes were attracted to foreign cults. The possibility that the occupier(s) of the upper-floor rooms in the Casa del Bicentenario would be open to such a new religious movement as Christianity cannot be ruled out.

On the wall of one of the smaller upper rooms (3.00 x 2.70 meters), a cross marking was found engraved, at head height, in the recess of a stucco surface (65 x 82 cm). The stucco is opposite a doorway which lighted the room from a window in the outside corridor. Nail markings could be seen in and around this cross. Under the stucco surface a piece of furniture was found resembling a small cabinet, with a flat top surface and containing two rough clay lamps, a dice box and a die. Leaning against this cabinet was a small wooden stool. It is altogether likely that this was the original position of the cross marking, as Herculaneum was engulfed by an immense muddy torrent in AD 79, which submerged the whole town. The houses, with their upper storeys, remained unchanged in form inside a sheath of hardened mud, unlike those in Pompeii, which were flattened by a rain of lapilli and airborne hot cinders. The measurements of the horizontal arms of this cross are slightly unequal, and the top piece is not quite aligned to the base, which suggests that it was not an accurately made liturgical object of some kind. The nail marks however suggest that the cross was originally made of wood and that it had been removed before the eruption of AD 79. These marks may also indicate that a moveable panel had once covered the cross.


While it was interpreted as a Christian cross by the excavator who found it (Amedeo Maiuri), the idea was expressed is that this was not so much a cross but a miscellaneous wall marking, perhaps caused by the imprint of a bracket once fitted to the wall. However, if it were a wall bracket it would be odd for it to have a vertical extension above the crossbar and for the “shelf” of the bracket to be smaller than the support underneath.

The case against this Cross being Christian was originally conducted from a consideration of the place of the cross in the Christian cult. It is true that this cross is not a liturgical object and is unlikely to have been used as the focus of a liturgical cult. We would hardly expect this if the apartment was rented to a humble, lower class artisan. Moreover, the dice box found in the cabinet suggests that this furniture was not an altar and so not an early Christian sanctuary or oratory, unless the dice were placed there by a later occupant. However, these observations do not prove that the cross is not Christian.

It would be a mistake to read conditions of later centuries back into the period before 79. Christians in the 1st century kept to themselves and met at each other’s houses. There were apparently no specific Christian monuments or no Church buildings or any fixed liturgical cult until the 3rd century. Is it not possible then that the cross was placed by a Christian as a sacred symbol and as a witness to his/her faith in a room used then (or later) for non-religious purposes? Christianity during Vespasian (AD 69-79) was largely tolerated by the Romans – most likely Christians were (still) regarded as adherents to Judaism and so shared the privileges of the Jews. It is unlikely that a cross on a wall of a modest upstairs room would attract attention.
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  #19  
Old Feb 8, '13, 2:09 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

There are meanwhile a possibility that this cross wasn’t Christian, but Jewish. The cross-shape (+) seems to have been known in Judaism, where in its standing or reclining form it represented the sign of the last Hebrew letter, tav (which in the paleo-Hebrew alphabet was indeed shaped like an X or a +). It was used to indicate that a person was God’s property was also used as an eschatological protective sign (cf. Ezekiel 9:4-6).

The position that the Jews had during Vespasian is relevant to this connection. Vespasian celebrated Titus’ capture of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 with a triumphal procession through Rome, which was later immortalized on the Arch of Titus. However, Jerusalem’s destruction did not mean that the privileges which the Jews enjoyed in Rome and throughout the Empire (something originally granted by Julius Caesar), were not diminished: the diaspora Jews had no quarrel with Rome and did not wish to jeopardize their favorable position – indeed we have no indication that the Temple’s demise affected their position materially. The only significant change was the transfer of the Temple tax into a poll tax (the fiscus Iudaicus).

By the end of the Jewish War, however, the Jewish population in Rome and other Italian cities probably increased. Puteoli (Pozzuoli) had a Jewish colony, and there seems to be evidence of Jews in Pompeii. There is no certain hard evidence however that there were any Jews in Herculaneum (the name “David” was supposedly found on a graffito in a nearby house in the Insula V region, however). But even if there were Jews in Herculaneum, the argument that this cross is Jewish cannot be sustained. The Jewish cross-marks from the 1st century are only found on tombs and on ossuaries (bone-boxes), never on the walls of rooms. The standing or reclining crosses found on Jewish tombs and slabstones invariably have equilateral arms, unlike the Cross of Herculaneum, which does not fit into the category of Jewish cross markings.
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"God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players*, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."

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  #20  
Old Feb 8, '13, 2:47 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

I will say here that the Jehovah's Witnesses do get one thing right: the crux/stauros on which a victim could be hung had no definite shape. The T and the † are just two of the forms that a crux could take; the gibbet could be a tree, it could be a simple upright pole, it could be a T, it could be a †, it could be an X.

The Greek equivalent of crux, stauros, comes from the verb ἵστημι (histēmi 'straighten up, stand'), which in turn comes from the Indo-European root *stā- 'to stand, place; upright pole' (cognate with Icelandic staur 'a stake, pole', English stour 'stake, pole'; cf. staff). It originally meant an upright stake or a piece of paling in earlier Greek (Homeric and classical Greek). However, in Koine Greek, stauros also became synonymous with crux, which refers to the gibbet where a criminal is hanged, anything from a simple stake (a tree) to pieces of timber joined together at an angle. One idea has it (could be wrong though) that the word crux properly refers only to an upright stake, but is used as a metonymy for the gibbet as a whole (kind of like how the horizontal beam - patibulum, literally a 'spreader', from patere 'to be (spread) open' - was also at times used to refer to the whole device).

One can't simply argue that stauros/crux only meant 'upright stake' any more than one can argue that it only meant 'T or †-shaped gibbet', because we do have references where T/†-shaped cruxes are implied.
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 honour 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 which extended across his breast and shoulders as far as his wrists, followed him, tearing his naked body with whips.

- Dionysius of Halicarnassus (ca. 60 BC-after 7 BC), Roman Antiquities, VII, 69:1-2

Such are his verbal offences against man; his offences in deed remain. Men weep, and bewail their lot, and curse Cadmus with many curses for introducing Tau (Τ) into the family of letters; they say it was his body that tyrants took for a model, his shape that they imitated, when they set up the erections on which men are crucified. Σταυρός (stauros) the vile engine is called, and it derives its vile name from him. Now, with all these crimes upon him, does he not deserve death, nay, many deaths? For my part I know none bad enough but that supplied by his own shape--that shape which he gave to the gibbet named σταυρός after him by men.

- Pseudo-Lucian (ca. 125-after 180), Trial in the Court of Vowels

Since he is a criminal, he will be crucified in his height and in the extension of his hands.

- Artemidorus (2nd century), Oneirocritica 1:76
Also note the doodle below. This graffito (from around the late 1st-early 2nd century) was found in a taberna located at the vicinity of the Flavian Amphitheater in Pozzuoli (ancient Puteoli). This graffito seems to have been either another representation of the crucified Christ or (more likely) a caricature of a person who was crucified in the nearby ampitheater as part of the brutal entertainment that occurred within its walls.


The sketch shows the victim hanging, arms widespread, on a T-shaped cross. The victim's legs are wide open, with the feet seemingly separate and straddling the vertical beam. Note also the ledge (a sedile?) below the figure's left leg (viewer's right). There is some uncertainty as to whether the drawing portrays the figure as being clothed in a rough tunic or naked, or even whether the figure is that of a man or a woman. (The figure is apparently accompanied by an inscription giving the feminine name "Alcimilla.")


This meanwhile is another graffito, this time found in a house in Pompeii (Insula 13, Regio I). It shows the letters VIV, alongside the drawing of a †-shaped crux, and what looks like a V intersecting with the †. The cross figure could be taken as a rebus for crux. There is some uncertainty as to whether the sketch is a Christian work or not (it could be read as either as the acclamation vivat crux vivat "Long live the cross" or as the insult viva(s in) cruce "may you live on the cross"), or whether the V intersecting with the cross is really a letter or a representation of the sedile.
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  #21  
Old Feb 8, '13, 2:50 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

Now, the problem with the Witnesses' thinking is, the idea that Jesus died on a T or a †-shaped crux has more firm support in early Christianity.
Learn fully then, children of love, concerning all things, for Abraham, who first circumcised, did so looking forward in the spirit to Jesus, and had received the doctrines of three letters. For it says, "And Abraham circumcised from his household eighteen men and three hundred." What then was the knowledge that was given to him? Notice that he first mentions the eighteen, and after a pause the three hundred. The eighteen is Ι (=10) and Η (=8) - you have Jesus (ΙΗϹΟΥϹ) - and because the cross was destined to have grace in the Τ (=300) he says "and three hundred." So he indicates Jesus in the two letters and the cross in the other.

===

Similarly, again, he describes the cross in another Prophet, who says, "And when shall all these things be accomplished? saith the Lord. When the tree shall fall and rise, and when blood shall flow from the tree." Here again you have a reference to the cross, and to him who should he crucified. And he says again to Moses, when Israel was warred upon by strangers, and in order to remind those who were warred upon that they were delivered unto death by reason of their sins - the Spirit speaks to the heart of Moses to make a representation of the cross, and of him who should suffer, because, he says, unless they put their trust in him, they shall suffer war for ever. Moses therefore placed one shield upon another in the midst of the fight, and standing there raised above them all kept stretching out his hands, and so Israel again began to be victorious: then, whenever he let them drop they began to perish. Why? That they may know that they cannot be saved if they do not hope on him. And again he says in another Prophet, "I stretched out my hands the whole day to a disobedient people and one that refuses my righteous way."

- Epistle of Barnabas (late 1st-early 2nd century), 9:7-8; 12:1-4

 I extended my hands and hallowed my Lord,
For the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross.
Hallelujah.

- Odes of Solomon (1st-3rd century), 27

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 legs of the lamb.

===

"Listen, therefore," say I, "to what follows; for Moses first exhibited this seeming curse of Christ's by the signs which he made."
"Of what [signs] do you speak?" said he.
"When the people," replied I, "waged war with Amalek, and the son of Nave (Nun) by name Jesus (Joshua), led the fight, Moses himself prayed to God, stretching out both hands, and Hur with Aaron supported them during the whole day, so that they might not hang down when he got wearied. For if he gave up any part of this sign, which was an imitation of the cross, the people were beaten, as is recorded in the writings of Moses; but if he remained in this form, Amalek was proportionally defeated, and he who prevailed prevailed by the cross. For it was not because Moses so prayed that the people were stronger, but because, while one who bore the name of Jesus (Joshua) was in the forefront of the battle, he himself made the sign of the cross. For who of you knows not that the prayer of one who accompanies it with lamentation and tears, with the body prostrate, or with bended knees, propitiates God most of all? But in such a manner neither he nor any other one, while sitting on a stone, prayed. Nor even the stone symbolized Christ, as I have shown."

- St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 50; 90:4

 The sea is not traversed except that trophy which is called a sail abide safe in the ship … And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having the hands extended, and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called the nose, through which there is respiration for the living creature; and this shows no other form than that of the cross (σταυρός).

But in no instance, not even in any of those called sons of Jupiter, did they imitate the being crucified; for it was not understood by them, all the things said of it having been put symbolically. And this, as the prophet foretold, is the greatest symbol of His power and role; as is also proved by the things which fall under our observation. For consider all the things in the world, whether without this form they could be administered or have any community. For the sea is not traversed except that trophy which is called a sail abide safe in the ship; and the earth is not ploughed without it: diggers and mechanics do not their work, except with tools which have this shape. And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having the hands extended, and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called the nose, through which there is respiration for the living creature; and this shows no other form than that of the cross. And so it was said by the prophet, "The breath before our face is the Lord Christ." And the power of this form is shown by your own symbols on what are called “vexilla” [banners] and trophies, with which all your state possessions are made, using these as the insignia of your power and government, even though you do so unwittingly.

- St. Justin Martyr, First Apology 55
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  #22  
Old Feb 8, '13, 2:52 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

(continued)
But that this point is true, that that number which is called five, which agrees in no respect with their argument, and does not harmonize with their system, nor is suitable for a typical manifestation of the things in the Pleroma, [yet has a wide prevalence,] will be proved as follows from the Scriptures. Soter (Savior) is a name of five letters; Pater (Father), too, contains five letters; Agape (love), too, consists of five letters; and our Lord, after blessing the five loaves, fed with them five thousand men. Five virgins were called wise by the Lord; and, in like manner, five were styled foolish. Again, five men are said to have been with the Lord when He obtained testimony from the Father—namely, Peter, and James, and John, and Moses, and Elias. The Lord also, as the fifth person, entered into the apartment of the dead maiden, and raised her up again; for, says [the Scripture], He suffered no man to go in, save Peter and James, and the father and mother of the maiden. The rich man in hell declared that he had five brothers, to whom he desired that one rising from the dead should go. The pool from which the Lord commanded the paralytic man to go into his house, had five porches. The very form of the cross, too, has five extremities, two in length, two in breadth, and one in the middle, on which [last] the person rests who is fixed by the nails.

-St. Irenaeus of Lugdunum (Lyons) (d. ca. 202), Adversus Haereses 2.24.4

The skins which were put upon his arms are the sins of both peoples, which Christ, when His hands were stretched forth on the cross, fastened to it along with Himself.

-Hippolytus of Rome (ca. 170-ca. 236), as quoted in St. Jerome's Epist. 36, Ad Damasum, 28

Crosses, moreover, we neither worship nor wish for. You, indeed, who consecrate gods of wood, adore wooden crosses perhaps as parts of your gods. For your very standards, as well as your banners; and flags of your camp, what else are they but crosses gilded and adorned? Your victorious trophies not only imitate the appearance of a simple cross, but also that of a man affixed to it. 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. Thus the sign of the cross either is sustained by a natural reason, or your own religion is formed with respect to it.

-Marcus Minucius Felix (active ca. 150-270), Octavius 29

As to the actual images, I regard them as simply pieces of matter akin to the vessels and utensils in common use among us, or even undergoing in their consecration a hapless change from these useful articles at the hands of reckless art, which in the transforming process treats them with utter contempt, nay, in the very act commits sacrilege; so that it might be no slight solace to us in all our punishments, suffering as we do because of these same gods, that in their making they suffer as we do themselves. You put Christians on crosses (crucibus) and stakes (stipitibus): what image is not formed from the clay in the first instance, set on cross and stake? The body of your god is first consecrated on the gibbet ...

-Tertullian (ca. 160-ca. 220), Apologia 12

Premising, therefore, and likewise subjoining the fact that Christ suffered, He foretold that His just ones should suffer equally with Him— both the apostles and all the faithful in succession; and He signed them with that very seal of which Ezekiel spoke: "The Lord said unto me, 'Go through the gate, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set the mark Tau upon the foreheads of the men.'" Now the Greek letter Tau and our own letter T is the very form of the cross, which He predicted would be the sign on our foreheads in the true Catholic Jerusalem, in which, according to the twenty-first Psalm, the brethren of Christ or children of God would ascribe glory to God the Father, in the person of Christ Himself addressing His Father; "I will declare Your name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I sing praise to You." For that which had to come to pass in our day in His name, and by His Spirit, He rightly foretold would be of Him.

-Tertullian, Against Marcion, 3.22

Under the armour of prayer let us guard the standard of our commander, let us in prayer await the angel's trump. All the angels likewise pray, and every creature, beasts of the field and wild beasts pray and bend the knee, and as they leave the stable or the cave, look up to heaven with no vain utterance, stirring their breath after their own manner. Even the birds as they rise in the morning, wing their way up to heaven, and make an outstretched cross with their wings in place of hands, and utter something that seems a prayer. What more, then, is there to say on the duty of prayer? Even the Lord Himself prayed, to whom be honour and power for ever and ever.

- Tertullian, On Prayer, 29

As then in astronomy we have Abraham as an instance, so also in arithmetic we have the same Abraham. "For, hearing that Lot was taken captive, and having numbered his own servants, born in his house, 318 (ΤΙΗ)," he defeats a very great number of the enemy. They say, then, that the character representing 300 (Τ) is, as to shape, the type of the Lord's sign, and that the Iota (Ι) and the Eta (Η) indicate the Saviour's name; that it was indicated, accordingly, that Abraham's domestics were in salvation, who having fled to the Sign and the Name became lords of the captives, and of the very many unbelieving nations that followed them.

- Clement of Alexandria (ca.150-ca. 215), Stromata Book 6, 11
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*ie., everybody.

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  #23  
Old Feb 8, '13, 2:56 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

Here is a particularly favorite picture of mine.


A building called the domus Gelotiana was unearthed on the Palatine Hill in 1857, which the emperor Caligula had acquired for the imperial palace. After Caligula died, this building became used as a paedagogium or boarding-school for the imperial page boys. Later the street on which the house sat was walled off to give support to extensions to the buildings above, and it thus remained sealed for centuries. In one of the walls was a crude sketch carved in plaster dating from the late 1st to the late 3rd century AD, portraying a crucified humanoid figure with the head of a donkey. To the left of the image is a young man, raising one hand in a gesture possibly suggesting worship. Beneath the cross there is a caption written in crude Greek: Αλεξαμενος σεβετε Θεον. Translated, "Alexamenos, worship God." However, it has been suggested that σεβετε should be understood as a variant spelling (possibly a phonetic misspelling) of σεβεται, 'worships'. As a result, the full inscription would then be translated as "Alexamenos worships [his] God". In the next chamber meanwhile, another inscription (in Latin) written by a different hand reads Alexamenos fidelis, "Alexamenos [the] faithful." This has been suggested as a riposte to the mockery of Alexamenos in the sketch.

The inscription, believed to be one of, if not the, earliest pictorial representations of the crucified Jesus, is usually thought to be a mocking depiction of a Christian in the act of worship. The accusation that Christians practiced onolatry (donkey-worship) seems to have been common at the time. Tertullian, writing in the late second or early third century, reports that Christians, along with Jews, were accused of worshipping a donkey. He also mentions an apostate Jew who carried around Carthage a caricature which had donkey ears and hooves, labeled Deus Christianorum Onocoetes, "the God of the Christians born of a donkey."
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"God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players*, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."

*ie., everybody.

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

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  #24  
Old Feb 8, '13, 3:10 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

(Last one, I promise ) There are also other portrayals of the crucified Christ or symbols of the cross.


Crucifixion (Gaza), Paris, Pereire Collection: jasper. Late 2nd to 3rd century AD.


Memorial of Rufina and Irene, Catacomb of Callistus, Rome. early 3rd century.


Anchor and Fish, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome. 3rd century.




Two fish flanking an anchor, ca. 3rd century.


Crucifixion, British Museum: carnelian. Mid 4th century AD.


Rome, Nott Collection: gem. 4th century AD.
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Old Feb 8, '13, 3:15 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

Thankyou for all the posts. I will go through them tomorrow when I'm more awake
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Old Feb 8, '13, 3:51 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

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Originally Posted by Christine85 View Post
The person who said this would likely argue it's plural because it was one through feet too..

But meanwhile I found this- http://www.gotquestions.org/cross-pole-stake.html
I wrote this in the middle of the night. Should have highlighted the verse differently.

Quote:
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Hands....nails....plural. Has nothing to do with the feet..

Fr. Mitch Pacwa used this verse as a defense to the death being on a cross (EWTN open radio show)
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Old Feb 8, '13, 4:15 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

What some people try to do is point out a place in Sacred Scripture where the Church has got it "wrong." "If the Church got that part wrong then what else did the get wrong?" That is what I hear mostly. It is simply a tactic to bring in doubt for the believer. I had someone, probably a JW, state that all Jewish Christians were not believers in the Holy Trinity. I asked why and she said that if they were Jewish, believing in the Trinity would be against their Jewish faith... Any well educated Christian can put down that argument, but for the Christian who is not so well educated with Church history and theology will be stumped.

Like I mentioned, they try to cause doubt and when doubt is there, they can plant their theology in your brain.

It does not matter if Christ died on a cross or stake. The key point to the argument is that HE DIED. lol

I was blessed to be at a Patrick Madrid talk last night. He stated a similar debate he had with an athiest.
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Old Feb 8, '13, 4:23 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

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Originally Posted by Porknpie View Post
I wrote this in the middle of the night. Should have highlighted the verse differently.

Hands....nails....plural. Has nothing to do with the feet..

Fr. Mitch Pacwa used this verse as a defense to the death being on a cross (EWTN open radio show)
Here is an 16th century image of a crucifixion on a pole....one nail shown. Again, I would use all arguments on this post with your JW friend. I'm just trying to highlight a biblical answer that is also in their New World Translation bible too.
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Old Feb 8, '13, 4:47 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

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Originally Posted by Porknpie View Post
Here is an 16th century image of a crucifixion on a pole....one nail shown. Again, I would use all arguments on this post with your JW friend. I'm just trying to highlight a biblical answer that is also in their New World Translation bible too.
But they could answer: "But that's just an artist's conception. Jesus could very well have been nailed to the stake with two nails." (Of course, you could question why their artists almost always choose to show only one nail. ) As I mentioned, I feel that arguments based on the number of the nails or the inscription being above Jesus' head are not too very strong. Of course it may be good to gather as much artillery as one can, but IMHO we shouldn't be making this our primary argument.

I should note that the Witnesses did not always believe in the stake thing (for instance, this, this and this; in fact, try searching Charles Taze Russell's The New Creation for the words cross, crucified or crucifixion): they just cribbed it. Before the Watchtower Society even came on the scene there were already a number of people who contested the traditional idea that Jesus died on a T- or †-shaped cross, but instead died on a crux simplex ('simple cross'; i.e. a vertical stake), like Henry Dana Ward (Episcopal; The History of the Cross, 1871), W. E. Vine (Plymouth Brethren; Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, 1940) and E. W. Bullinger (Anglican; The Companion Bible, 1922). Most of them use as evidence the fact that stauros originally meant simply an upright pale or stake in earlier Greek: all three authors notably purport that the cross as we know it today was originally a pagan import, you know, the old story about how paganism supposedly infiltrated and corrupted Christianity. (Hmm...)
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Old Feb 8, '13, 10:23 am
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Default Re: I heard someone say Christ was not crucified on a cross but an upright stake

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Originally Posted by patrick457 View Post
But they could answer: "But that's just an artist's conception. Jesus could very well have been nailed to the stake with two nails." (Of course, you could question why their artists almost always choose to show only one nail. ) As I mentioned, I feel that arguments based on the number of the nails or the inscription being above Jesus' head are not too very strong. Of course it may be good to gather as much artillery as one can, but IMHO we shouldn't be making this our primary argument.

I should note that the Witnesses did not always believe in the stake thing (for instance, this, this and this; in fact, try searching Charles Taze Russell's The New Creation for the words cross, crucified or crucifixion): they just cribbed it. Before the Watchtower Society even came on the scene there were already a number of people who contested the traditional idea that Jesus died on a T- or †-shaped cross, but instead died on a crux simplex ('simple cross'; i.e. a vertical stake), like Henry Dana Ward (Episcopal; The History of the Cross, 1871), W. E. Vine (Plymouth Brethren; Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, 1940) and E. W. Bullinger (Anglican; The Companion Bible, 1922). Most of them use as evidence the fact that stauros originally meant simply an upright pale or stake in earlier Greek: all three authors notably purport that the cross as we know it today was originally a pagan import, you know, the old story about how paganism supposedly infiltrated and corrupted Christianity. (Hmm...)
Hi Patrick -

I agree with you all the way around. I would use all sources available. I was only highlighting how scripture appears to be clear...that there were two nails...certainly implying crucifixion on the cross. Scripture is consistent with Tradition.

When did anyone, anywhere first suggest that Christ may have died on a stake? I don't know the answer. I assume with the JW but I'd love to know the answer.

Tx,

Pork
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