Hanged to tree or crucified??

In new testament book of Act 10:39 says -
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Acts 10:39

39 And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;

My question is - was jesus hanged to tree or crucified? If crucified then why here it is mentioned TREE ??

My understanding, and I hope I can explain this properly is -

Jesus was crucified.

We tend to think of ‘hanged’ as in by a noose round the neck - from a tree, and crucified as he is depicted on crucifixes - nailed through hands and feet - to a tree.

There is another understanding of those words e.g. hang a picture on a wall - usually the wire on the back of the frame is what ‘hangs’ on the nail or hook. So it can also be used in a similar way that Jesus was hanged to a tree ie put upon the face of the tree.

My other thoughts are that even though in movies etc we see and are familiar to seeing the cross as two rectangles of wood - sawn and shaped neatly etc. Back then the tools they had I don’t think would have been capable of the same result. Perhaps a rough shapened tree for the vertical ‘branch’ and the horizontal ‘branch’ was a smaller tree or branch. The wood of the tree which formed the cross upon which He was crucified and which we venerate each Good Friday.

It doesn’t mean Our Lord was nailed to a living tree.

I’m also thinking here of the Apostle Peter who was crucified upside down, and I think the Apostle Andrew was crucified on an X - so a living tree would not be possible, so trunks of trees etc would fit here.

I think these were all trees or logs or trunks of trees cut down upon which to crucify people on. Tree is what they were on, crucified is what was done to them, the form of punishment dealt out.

Not sure if I’ve helped or only muddied the water for you. Hopefully someone else will be along soon who can better explain it to you.

God bless.

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In some cases crucifixion was known as “being hung in a tree” because some crosses were literally just beams attached to trees that stood along well-traveled roads so they could be seen by passers-by. So being hung on a tree means hung with nails as in crucifixion like one would hang a picture on a wall. The tree may reference the literal trees people were likely crucified on in some areas.

Like the different ways to say someone was executed by electric chair:

“John was executed by electrocution.” and
“John rode the lightning.” and
“John met ol’ sparky.”

They all mean the same thing, but colloquialisms and nuance in language that doesn’t always translate well across cultures can make the three all seem very, very different.


It is difficult to explain to non catholic faith like islam or hindu.

It’s all to do with the Koine Greek word “xulon” which can mean “tree”, “timber” or a large beam of wood. In the Gospels, the expression translated as “hanging from a tree” refers to the horizontal beam of the cross.


Thanks for replying. But still my question except this ( Act 10:39) everywhere the word Cross is used.

I believe it is almost like a slang term used for executed; like here in the United States, even if a prisoner is executed by lethal injection, some may say that he “got the chair,” implying the electric chair, even though that instrument is no longer really used.

Also, when St. Peter used the term “hanged to a tree,” he was probably referring to other Old Testament passages which mentioned the treatment of those executed, such as Deuteronomy 21: 22-23: “22 And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is accursed by God; you shall not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance.”

Also see: Joshua 8:29 and 10:26.

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Along with the above mentioned references in the OT to the use of a tree there’s also the symbolism the tree which runs through OT and NT - the tree in the Garden of Eden, the burning bush, the stump of Jesse, the trees fed by abundant waters, production of good and bad fruit, etc. Interestingly many Marian apparitions recount Our Lady appearing in the branches of a tree.


It’s the same thing.


Good question. :+1:

Ya’ll are kinda missing the point – @Tolle_Lege touches upon it, though. Take a look at Galatians 3:13 – it makes the connection between this phrase and the reference back to Deuteronomy that Tolle and Bartholomew have mentioned: the point is that Jesus has become a sin offering (that is, His sacrifice removes the curse we were under, due to sin) by virtue of being “hung on a tree”).

Crucifixion is hanging a man on a tree until dead. Why emphasize the tree? Because the Torah says, “God’s curse is on the one who hangs upon a tree.” Those wicked men intended for the Lord to be counted accursed, but it was our iniquities He bore, and thus did the tree set apart to be a curse become the Tree of Life. Its fruit, Christ’s Flesh and Blood, is the food and drink that one may eat and drink and never die.

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I like the theory that the cross was actually forked in shape, so looked like a tree. In the Middle Ages the forked cross was sometimes used.

Dear thank for very nice reply.

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