Was Jesus Crucified on a Cross?


Today a Jehovah’s Witness gave me a reference from a Dictionary of New and Old Testament words to prove that Jesus was killed on a stake and taht the Cross was adopted by Constantine.

An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine, says:* “Stauros . . . denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun [stau·ros´] and the verb stauro?, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross. The shape of the latter had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt.By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ.”"*


The Romans had all sorts of different ways of crucifying people.

It wasn’t always a cross in the shape of a plus sign.

Tradition tells us that Jesus was crucified on the traditional “plus” cross. There really has never been any reason to think otherwise and it wouldn’t matter either way.

The challenge here, is that Jehovah’s Witnesses like to use this point as sorta of a “hey gotcha!” type line to convert people to being JW.

At the end of the day it’s a really REALLY arbitrary arguement, that doesn’t have much of anything to do with anything really.


My understanding is that there were also the type where the post was kept permanently in the ground and the person being crucified was attached to the crossbeam which was then raised up and placed on the post.

Keep in mind that the Jehovah Witnesses don’t believe Jesus was God incarnate. They believe Jesus was the first thing God created. This is serious. Don’t get caught up in their teachings.


Actually there were what are called “stipes” that were already in place at the crucifixion sites. These stood stright up from the ground. The condemned carried the cross beam on their shoulders to this site, which in our Lord’s case was Calvary, on which now sits the Church of the Holy Seplechre (of which my pastor is a knight of).

They could have either been “stipes”, a “scaffold” or a simple tree on which the cross beam was hoisted up to with the condemned attached.

It was extremely brutal- nails were driven through the wrists, hitting the media nerve causing excruciating pain- and also through the ankle bones.

They are “right” sort of, to allude to the fact that Jesus was not on a “cross”- so far if it only means He did not carry the total cross as is traditionally depicted in the Stations of the Cross in Churches. But that makes no difference.

As a previous post said, the Romans crucified people in many different ways. Take for example St. Peter who asked them not to crucify him as they did Jesus for he was not worthy to die that way- they placed the cross beam on the stipe to form an X with his head at the bottom.



Saint Peter was head down, but I think it was his brother Saint Andrew who had the X cross.




Keep away from this dangerous group. They are carefully trained how to lure people in with exactly this type of “conversation-starter.”

Make no mistake, this is a non-Christian group. They deny that Jesus is God. They think Jesus and the Archangel Michael are the same person. They believe that only their members will enter heaven, that all us Catholics … and Protestants and Orthodox … are doomed to be destroyed (they don’t believe in hell). You can read about their history here.



REALLY? :eek: Er … who do they think created the world and all the people prior to Jesus, do you know? (sorry, I know this isn’t a JW apologetics forum, but I’m pretty ignorant - and that concept just floors me)

Thank you!


I didn’t know anything about what they believe either…except that I’d find them at my door every once in a while. But they stopped coming around; I just told them one day I’m Catholic and had no intention of joining them. I haven’t seen them since. They are very weird and dangerous as someone else has said. They use the mail now days as well. One day I was curious to find out more about them and found Catholic Answers has some good tracts on JW’s.

Here’s just one www.catholic.com/library/Stumpers_for_Jehovah_Witnesse.asp

hope the link works…I’m not too good at this :o


Ooh, that’s GREAT! Thank you, that’s so helpful!

Oddly, I haven’t seen any around here in a LONG time … my mum probably scared the last batch off to the point where the word has got around to the rest. :stuck_out_tongue: She’s pretty fierce!

Thank you again!


This article from THIS ROCK magazine fully addresses the JW claims:



The JW’s say that since the Cross is a pagan symbol, there is no possibility God would have allowed Jesus to be on it, we catholics invented it.

Then I ask them, what was the prori reason for us to do such a thing?

Answer: You are at least consistant in incorporating pagan symbols in your worship that is an abomination to Jehovah God.

There is a great article in the library about this fallacious charge (and JWs are not the only ones who use this ridiculous pagan practices thing either)

They also say there was a shortage of wood.

Then I say, they did not get one from scratch for each victim, they were re-used again and again.

Their theology depends on being different, you have to remember that.


The Witnesses fail to note that
in the book of Ezekiel, when the man with the inkhorn
is told to go through the city and place a mark on the foreheads
of those who love God, the mark is literally a taw or tau,
that is, a T or a cross. Ohhhhhhhhhhh that paaaaaaagan Ezekiel !!!

Actually, all the frescoes in the catacombs, pre-Constantine, depict a cross, not a single beamed torture stake.
And it is established historical fact that the Romans commonly crucified people on a two-beamed cross.

Stauros would be the closest word in Greek to the Roman instrument of torture death, the cross, because the principle part of the cross is the stauros, the upright beam, to which the crossbeam was attached. The JWs are as usual making mountains out of molehills and don’t have the slightest idea what they are talking about. It’s really kind of pathetic.



Now, isn’t the JW argument a life-changing doctrine?

Doesn’t it lead the hearer to seek more deep sanctification and prayer life?

:rotfl: :rotfl: rotfl:


Good point.

Also, in the first century christian document The Epistle Of Barnabas, the greek letter Tau is said to represent the shape of the cross.

And again,a pagan writer, Lucian of Samosata, probable dates 120-180 Ad, wrote a fantasy called The Trial of the Vowels, in which
he wrote:

**...What a villain the letter T is, to
turn good into evil in this fashion. (Several other examples
follow.) And consider that evil thing, the STAUROS, instrument
of torment and shame and death. It takes its name from the
letter TAU, because it is shaped like a TAU. What an evil
device, and what an evil letter it is named for!"**



Essential Information on the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Paintings and art on the Saints sarcophagus’ show crosses.

Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Passion of Christ (probably from the Catacomb of Domitilla),
mid-4th century A.D.


Donato Montorfano’s Crucifixion 1495ad


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