Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Cross

Expand Messages
  • public_message
    Should the Cross be venerated? Venerate the Instrument of Death? 12 Even if we ignore the evidence and assume that Jesus was killed on a cross, should it be
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 9, 2008
      Should the Cross be venerated?

       

      Venerate the Instrument of Death?

      12

      Even if we ignore the evidence and assume that Jesus was killed on a cross, should it be venerated? No, for Jesus was executed as a criminal, like the men impaled alongside him, and his manner of death misrepresented him in the worst way. First-century Christians would not have viewed the instrument of his execution as sacred. Venerating it would have meant glorifying the wrong deed committed on it, the murder of Jesus.

      13

      If your dearest friend were executed on false charges, would you make an image of the instrument of execution (say a hangman's noose or an electric chair or the rifle of a firing squad) and then kiss that replica, burn candles before it, or wear it around your neck as a sacred ornament? That would be unthinkable. So, too, with the adoration of the cross. The fact that the cross is of pagan origin only makes the matter worse.

      14

      The veneration of the cross is not Christian. It does not show love for God or Christ but mocks what they stand for. It violates God's commandments against idolatry. It reveres a pagan symbol masquerading as Christian. (Exodus 20:4, 5; Psalm 115:4-8; 1 Corinthians 10:14) To consider a pagan symbol as sacred violates God's command: "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? . . . `Quit touching the unclean thing.'"—2 Corinthians 6:14, 17.

      -5/1/89 Watchtower, "What the love of God means."

    • public_message
      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
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 9, 2008
        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. (See TORTURE STAKE.) The matter of one man like Simon of Cyrene bearing a torture stake, as the Scriptures say, is perfectly reasonable, for if it was 15 cm (6 in.) in diameter and 3.5 m (11 ft) long, it probably weighed little more than 45 kg (100 lb).—Mr 15:21.

        "Note what W. E. Vine says on this subject: "STAUROS (σταυρός) 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. -Insight, Vol. 1, "Impalement"

      • public_message
        What is more important, the shape of the instrument used on Jesus or worshipping it? Crosses were used by the ancient Babylonians as symbols in their worship
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 9, 2008

          What is more important, the shape of the instrument used on Jesus or worshipping it?

          Crosses were used by the ancient Babylonians as symbols in their worship of the fertility god Tammuz.

           
             The "more important" issue here that we have been urged to remember is for us to not use the instrument that Jesus died on as an idol for worship. Look at how the Awake 4-06 phrased it:
           
             "A more important  issue for true Christians should be the propriety of venerating the instrument used to kill Jesus. Whether it was an upright single torture stake, a cross, an arrow, a lance, or a knife, should such an instrument be used in worship?" 
           
          For more of this article, click here.
        • public_message
          Cross (click on one to view) Did Jesus really die on a Cross? JW Official Web Site responds to this
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 10, 2008
            Cross (click on one to view)
             
            Did Jesus really die on a Cross?
            JW Official Web Site responds to this question via 4/06 Awake

            Does it really make any difference if a person cherishes a cross, as long as he does not worship it?
            Response to this question.

            Should the Cross be venerated?
            Response to this question.

            What does the Cross symbolize?
            JW Official Web Site responds to this question via 4/06 Awake

            What does the original Greek reveal as to the shape of the instrument on which Jesus was put to death?
            Response to this question.

            What is more important, the shape of the instrument used on Jesus or worshipping it?
            Response to this question.

            What is some of the history of the cross?
            Response to this question.

          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.