How do we know Christ died on the Cross?

Jehovah Witnesses tell me that Jesus did not die on the cross, how do I prove that our Lord did? Is there any evidance I can use such as tradition, early church fathers, or even scripture where I can prove this? Thanks God Bless

Jesus was executed by the Romans. The device they used for crucifiction was a cross. Thousands upon thousands of people were crucified on crosses. Nero torched them and lit the roads with burning corpses on crosses. It didn’t happen by accident. It was a particularly excruciating and humiliating way to die which is why they used it especially in cases of treason, which was the offical crime the Romans used in order to condemn him. People said he was the king of the Jews. The point is that crucification on a cross was a typical method used the Romans. Christ also said “pick up your cross daily and follow me.” He didn’t say pick up your tree.

They only have a problem with the cross because it is Christian. The Mormons don’t use the cross either. Neither wants to be that associated with the traditional Church. So they have to say something. Don’t fall into these traps. You should learn your faith very well, especially the divinity of Christ. There are lots of aids out there to help you. Keep the focus on Jesus’ divinity. If you can show them that he is God, their position crumbles. But don’t get side tracked with these issues which are of little if any importance.

Like the Bible?

The JW’s base their argument on the fact that the word used in the bible “stavros” meant “stake” in Greek. Therefore they assert that it was a stake, not a cross.

The difficulty with this is that we know of the widespread Roman practice of crucifixion (tell them to read a biography on Julius Caesar who wasn’t much earlier, he had some pirates who had earlier held him hostage crucified), while there is no known practice of putting people on stakes (the onus of proof is on them if they want to assert that happened).

Next we have the literature that came out of the Latin world very soon after. All references were to crucifixion and the crux.

Finally there is the Greek Church, the Church of the people who spoke the same language as scripture was written in, koine, they clearly interpreted it as a cross, as can be seen in early iconography (while they can argue when that began to be used by the church, it was undoubtedly while Koine was still the language of the empire).

Jesus was crucified to a cross beam, and then ***heaved ***up onto the stavros. The connotation is there for an ancient reader. Modern readers have to study a little Greek to get it.

I’ve heard this one before.

Firstly - seriously? Wow.

Now more to the point: we prove it the same way we prove that the Declaration of Independence has an actual connection with the 4th of July, 1776 and not December 25th, 663 B.C. The JW argument is that (analogously) the Declaration of Independence was written in French and signed on December 25th, 663 B.C, in Russia, by Alexander the Great.

Another way: we know it the same way we know Julius Caesar ruled the Roman Republic and its Imperial territories and died after being murdered in the Senate.

It’s just known.

Edit: spelling.


BVMFatima: everything Nine_Two says here. :blush:

Ask them how they got their bible?

When were the Greek Scriptures compiled and discerned?

Who compiled and discerned the 27 books of Greek Scriptures?

How was that decided?

What Church kept these books active and present before the JW’s?

Answer them, the same Church that Christ has made Himself present through, told me so, thats why I believe it was a cross.

BTW the JW’s used to have a cross on their early literature, with a crown around it. Point that out to them :wink:

To be clear, Mormons do believe that Christ was crucified. The do not deny that.

They just dont use the cross in their symbolism

All three.

JW’s are very seriously deviant from orthodox Christianity. Don’t be fooled.

My advice to you is not to get talk to Jehovah Witnesses, they are a highly trained cult who are interested only in getting you to leave your faith. And my experience with them is that they will not listen to anything you say. I always tell them I am Catholic and perfectly happy and don’t wish to talk to them about religion. :shrug:

Well there really isn’t much evidence to sustain what the Jehovah’s Witness say. In fact, only they really state that Jesus died on a stake instead of a cross.

The Christian Church has always asserted that Jesus died on a cross. And in fact the Romans gave the maximum penalty as crucifixion.

Yes, you are quite right. Why then do you suppose they do not accept it as the symbol of Christianity? My bet is that it is too Catholic.

The thread, however concern’s Jehovah’s Witnesses. They maintain that the cross is a pagan symbol, so in order to support their claim they have to distort scripture as well as secular history to deny that Jesus was even crucified on a cross.

We have no proof. We also have no proof that George Washington was the first President of the United States. We all believe that Washington was the President, however, because we have evidence. We have documents that were written about him. We have eyewitness accounts of his life and activity. We have these same evidences for Jesus Christ.

Through the science of Contextual Criticism and the analysis of more than 20,000 full and partial New Testament manuscripts, we can be confident that the eyewitness accounts contained therein are accurate and reliable. Some of these documents were written as early as 45 AD meaning that what we have could not have been corrupted over time. We also have more than 64,000 copies of early liturgies that contain scripture readings that are consistent with the manuscripts. And we have thousands of letters from the church fathers that quote the scriptures. I’ve heard it said that all of the New Testament but a few verses could be reconstructed from the letters alone. Put it all together and we end up with something like 98% confidence that the words we have are the same words as the originals. This is ridiculously high for an ancient document. No other ancient document even comes close.

There are also extra-biblical sources that corroborate the basic story line–Jesus was sentenced to death, crucified, buried, and then his disciples claimed he had risen.

There is also the fact that Roman soldiers were really, really, really good at killing people. The penalty for a soldier that failed to kill someone being crucified was death for the soldier himself. That is why they came to Jesus and stabbed him in the side as he hung on the cross. They were making sure he was dead so that they would not themselves be killed.

Christianity is based on historical events. These events are testified to by evidence that shows beyond a doubt that Jesus lived, died, and rose again.

Your right I did point that out to them and even showed it to them, they believe in " new light" and plus the Jehovah Witnesses even use to celebrate Christmas untill they found out it was not " biblical " to celebrate holidays. Sola scriptura is really bad I tell you, there are 35,000 Protestant denominations who also believe in bible alone yet don’t even know where scripture came from. I asked a Jehovah Witness who is a friend of mine, where did the bible come from? He said God. I asked how do you know its inspired by God? He could not answer me. The Jehovah Witnesses is a sneaky little cult who claims to be Christian, but we as Catholics disagree because the Church says so, they reject the true Baptism our Lord gave us, yet they say they are " bible based "… I use to be Protestant, at 13 I found the light and found out The Catholic Church is the One True Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ.

See John 20 below:

24 But (A)Thomas, one of (B)the twelve, called aDidymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “**Unless I see in (D)His hands the imprint of the nails, **and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, (E)I will not believe.”

Scripture records that there were “nails”, plural pointing to a crucifixion, one nail in each hand. If Jesus had died on a “stake”, with both hands together above the head, there would only be a “nail”, singular.

Perhaps you could point this out…:smiley:

(thank you Fr Mitch Pacwa for pointing this out one day. You can listen to his latest homily here: Have to love those Jesuits. )

I never caught this. :wink:

I’ve also been told, they don’t necessarily dislike the use of crosses and crucifixes, they just don’t focus on how he died, rather on what he died for. I think this also correlates to they believe the atonement was in the Garden and not by his actual death on the cross.

please correct me if I am wrong, it happens from time to time.

Peter died on an upside down cross. Why would he insist on it if Jesus did not die on a cross?

They do prefer to focus on that His resurrection and not to much the crucifixion. (certainly, considering it’s a 19th century religion, there is the anti-Catholic residue from that time in history…)

They dont believe that the atonement happened exclusively in the Garden but a combination of that and the Cross. But there is a strong emphasis that the suffering in the Garden was definitely part of the act of the Atonement.

If I recall correctly, the temple that is being built in Rome will have a cross on it.

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