“Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?” Awake 4/06

by lostlantern 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • just2sheep

    i have never ceased to be amazed that people would argue over this...i remember a comedian doing a stand up routine in which he made the point that if jesus had been run over by a truck some people would wear a little truck instead of a cross. i think this is one of those times when paul said mind your own business. i believe everyone is entitled to their choice. if you don't shove it in my face i won't harass you about a choice that is absolutly yours to make. another thing people disagree on, and i have never understood this, is which drawing of jesus is correct...there aren't any photos...they are all incorrect.

    like others have said, do what makes you comfortable and do it in a loving way. it will be ok.

    ....edited to add the same thing goes for stakes

  • Terry

    Watchtower reasoning is the reasoning of Pharisees who parse and parse until every hair is split.

    The names of the days of the week and months of the year are pagan gods but it doesn't stop any JW from using them all the time.

    JW's use currency $$ which is covered in mystic symbols. Doesn't bother em one bit. .

    The purpose of WT reasoning is merely control. It is the same with their policy on men having a beard. IF you argue about their trivial

    policy you demonstrate you are THINKING FOR YOURSELF. It is a way of smoking out the individual. There is no room for an individual in the WT Society

    Think of it this way. Legalese makes the law incomprehensible to non-lawyers. Consequently you need a lawyer to interpret law.

    Cults create policies which require explication. It makes you NEED the explication.

    The nonsense about whether Jesus died on a cross beam has its origin in the control policies which were set in place to call attention to the name brand Rutherford was developing. The more contrarian he could make his slaves the more he could create controversies to garner publicity. The conflicts created by contrarian views caused the Rutherford-clone to feel they were being righteously persecuted for CORRECT understanding of scripture.

    It was a self-reinforcing methodology.

    1.Get the rank and file to say something so abrasive (Jesus didn't die on a cross) that members of Christian churches will regard them with enough contempt to cause pressure.

    2.Feeling the pressure from church members proves you are doing the will of god because it defines persecution.

    3.By separating your beliefs from the mainstream you carve out a niche for your own illusory religious fantasy.

    4.Being separate proves your righteousness because you are "no part of the world".

    And so it goes.........


  • jojochan

    Eactly,and when you read the bible in "living english" which was sanctioned by the society take note of the account of jesus' ministry. There you'll find that even the living english translator himself left nothing out of the account of jesus being crucified!

    I showed that to my pop, and what was so funny...is that he glanced over it and said, well it's new light now, and it was obviously an error in the translation.



  • Amazing Grace
    Amazing Grace

    I started wearing a cross about 3 years ago. It just reminds me of his sacrifice. I feel good when I have it on because it identifies what I believe in. My mom used that stupid Dub analogy of the murder weapon on me and I just laughed at her. How did I EVER preach that garbage?

  • Jesus Christ
    Jesus Christ

    No, I didn't. It was actually more of a rectangle. Funny, eh? Nobody's gotten that one quite right.

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    The most difficult problem I have had with the WT explanation for the "torture stake" teaching, is their use of the word "impale" or "impalement" Evidently they are giving to these words meanings that just are'nt there.

    For instance, Nuttals Standard Dictionary gives this meaning for impale, impalement: "a putting to death by thrusting a stake into the BODY" [not a putting to death by thrusting nails into the HANDS and FEET" In order to fulfill the WT use of "impalement" Jesus would need to have been pinned to the "stake" by another stake thrust into his stomach, or chest. Hands and feet dont count as "impalement" - at least not in any conventional dictionary that I know of.

    There is one authority that the WTS tirelessly uses to try and uphold their position. This is WE Vine. In his Expository Dictionary Of NT Words, he does allow for the word "stake" to translate the NT Greek word "Stauros" - but even he categorically emphasizes that Christ was "crucified" not impaled.

    Incidently, the latest edition of Expository words, "The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words" edited by Prof Steven Renn, Dean of Language Studies at Innaburra Bible College, Sydney, NSW, stipulates that "Stauros" means -'' cross throughout the nearly thirty occurrences of the term" Pg 223, Pub by Hendricksons of Peabody, Massachusetts in 2005.

    By inventing meanings to words, I submit that the WTS can indeed prove anything. That God's name is Izmee even.


  • Midget-Sasquatch

    Here you are Leolaia,

    Until I get a hosting site that could care less about copyrighted material, here's the text of the whole article and a separate small scan of the only picture that matters:


    Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?

    THE cross is one of the most recognizable religious symbols known to man. Millions revere it, considering it to be the sacred instrument on which Jesus was put to death. Roman Catholic writer and archaeologist Adolphe-Napoleon Didron stated: "The cross has received a worship similar, ifnot equal, to that of Christ; this sacred wood is adored almost equally with God Himself."

    Some say that the cross makes them feel closer to God when they pray. Others use it as an amulet, thinking that it protects them from evil. But should Christians use the cross as an object of veneration? Did Jesus really die on a cross? What does the Bible teach on this subject?

    What Does the Cross Symbolize?

    Long before the Christian era, crosses were used by the ancient Babylonians as symbols in their worship of the fertility god Tammuz. The use of the cross spread into Egypt, India, Syria, find China. Then, centuries later, the Israelites adulterated their worship of Jehovah with acts of veneration to the false god Tammuz. The Bible refers to this form of worship as a 'detestable thing.'-Ezekiel 8:13,14.

    The Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John use the Greek word stauros' when referring to the instrument of execution on which Jesus died. (Matthew 27:40; Mark 15:30; Luke 23:26) The word stauros' refers to an upright pole, stake, or post. The book The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons, explains: "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."

    As recorded at Acts 5:30, the apostle Peter used the word xy'lion, meaning "tree," as a synonym for stauros', denoting, not a two-beamed cross, but an ordinary piece of upright timber or tree. It was not until about 300 years after Jesus' death that some professed Christians promoted the idea that Jesus was put to death on a two-beamed cross. However, this view was based on tradition and a misuse of the Greek word stauros'. It is noteworthy that some ancient drawings depicting Roman executions feature a single wooden pole or tree.

    "Guard Yourselves From Idols"

    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?

    Suppose a loved one of yours was brutally murdered and the weapon was submitted to the court as evidence. Would you try to gain possession of the murder weapon, take photographs of it, and print many copies for distribution? Would you produce replicas of the weapon in various sizes? Would you then fashion some of them into jewelry? Or would you have these reproductions commercially manufactured and sold to friends and relatives to be venerated?

    Likely you would be repulsed at the idea! Yet, these very things have been done with the cross! Besides, the use of the cross in worship is no different from the use of imqges in worship, a practice condemned in the Bible.(Exodus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 4:25, 26) The apostle John accurately reflected the teachings of true Christianity when he admonished his fellow Christians with the words: "Guard yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21) This they did even when it meant facing death in the Roman arena. First-century Christians, however, held the sacrificial death of Christ in high esteem. Likewise today, although the instrument used to torture and kill Jesus is not to be worshipped, true Christians commemorate Jesus' death as the means by which God provides salvation to imperfect humans.(Matthew 20:28) This superlative expression of God's love will bring untold blessings to lovers of truth, including the prospect of everlasting life.-John 17:3; Revelation 21:3,4.

  • Hellrider

    Wow. Well-written article. My brain feels numbed down after reading it, as if I have popped a couple of valiums and sleeping pills, and watched three episodes of Oprah in a row. Almost got me going, if it hadn`t been for the fact that parts of it are lies. They write:

    As recorded at Acts 5:30, the apostle Peter used the word xy'lion, meaning "tree," as a synonym for stauros', denoting, not a two-beamed cross, but an ordinary piece of upright timber or tree. It was not until about 300 years after Jesus' death that some professed Christians promoted the idea that Jesus was put to death on a two-beamed cross.

    First of all, "xy`lion" refers to all objects made out of tree/wood. Chairs, tables, stakes, crosses, etc...Second of all, it was not 300 years after Jesus` death that "some professed christians promoted the idea that Jesus was put to death on a two-beamed cross". This is an outright lie, and if the retards in the writing department had any knowledge about the early church fathers, they would know this. The first references to either a two-beamed cross or a T goes back to around 80 AD:

    LETTER OF BARNABAS For [the Scripture] says, "And Abraham circumcised ten, and eight, and three hundred men of his household." What, then, was the knowledge given to him in this? Learn the eighteen first, and then the three hundred. The ten and eight are thus denoted—Ten by I [the letter iota], and Eight by H [the lettereta]. You have [the initials of the name of] Jesus. And because the cross was to express the grace [of our redemption] by the letter T [tau], he says also, "Three hundred." He signifies, therefore, Jesus by two letters, and the cross by one . (Chapter 9; brackets in original [A.D. 80]).

    And that he might remind them, when assailed, that it was on account of their sins they were delivered to death, the Spirit speaks to the heart of Moses, that he should make a figure of the cross, and of him about to suffer thereon ; for unless they place their trust in him, they shall be overcome for ever. Moses therefore placed one weapon above another in the midst of the hill, and standing upon it, so as to be higher than all the people, he stretched forth his hands, and thus again Israel acquired the mastery. (Chapter 12 [A.D. 80])



    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. (First Apology, chapter 55 [A.D. 151])

    When the people . . . 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 proportionately defeated, and he who prevailed did so by the cross . (Dialogue With Trypho, chapter 90 [A.D. 150–155 ])

    Now, no one could say or prove that the horns of a unicorn represent any other fact or figure than the type that portrays the cross. For the one beam is placed upright, from which the highest extremity is raised up into a horn, when the other beam is fitted on to it, and the ends appear on both sides as horns joined on to the one horn. (Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 91 [A.D. 150–155])



    when a man adores God with a pure mind, with hands outstretched . (Octavius, chapter 29 [c. A.D. 185–190])


    Every piece of timber which is fixed in the ground in an erect position is a part of a cross, and indeed the greater portion of its mass. But an entire cross is attributed to us, with its transverse beam, of course, and its projecting seat...Well, then, this modeler, before he did anything else, hit upon the form of a wooden cross, because even our own body assumes as its natural position the latent and concealed outline of a cross. Since the head rises upwards, and the back takes a straight direction, and the shoulders project laterally, if you simply place a man with his arms and hands outstretched, you will make the general outline of a cross. (Ad Nationes, chapter 12 [c. A.D. 197])

    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. (Against Marcion, book 3, chapter 22 [A.D. 207])



    The Gentiles, that is to say, are built upon Christ, the spiritual rock, which is become the head of the corner. "The spider, that supports itself upon its hands, and is easily caught, dwells in the strongholds of kings." That is, the thief with his hands extended (on the cross), rests on the cross of Christ and dwells in paradise, the stronghold of the three Kings—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Fragments from Commentaries on Various Books on Proverbs [c. A.D. 170–235])

    The robe or raiment of Esau denotes the faith and Scripture of the Hebrews with which the people of the Gentiles were endowed. 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. (Fragments from Commentaries on Various Books of Scripture, On Genesis [c. A.D. 170–235])



    There, Moses, when he was assailed, stretched forth his hands and fought against Amalek; and here, the Lord Jesus, when we were assailed and were perishing by the violence of that erring spirit who works now in the just, stretched forth his hands upon the cross, and gave us salvation. (The Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarach Manes, chapter 44 [c. A.D. 277])



    Hence it is that our kings, perceiving that the figure of the cross is used for the dissipating of every evil, have made vexillas, as they are called in the Latin language. Hence the sea, yielding to this figure, makes itself navigable to men. For every creature, so to speak, has, for the sake of liberty, been marked with this sign; for the birds which fly aloft form the figure of the cross by the expansion of their wings; and man himself, also, with his hands outstretched, represents the same. (Three Fragments from the Homily on the Cross and Passion of Christ [c. A.D. 300]) And about "idol-worship", the WTS writes:

    Likely you would be repulsed at the idea! Yet, these very things have been done with the cross! Besides, the use of the cross in worship is no different from the use of imqges in worship, a practice condemned in the Bible.(Exodus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 4:25, 26) The apostle John accurately reflected the teachings of true Christianity when he admonished his fellow Christians with the words: "Guard yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21) This they did even when it meant facing death in the Roman arena.
    The WTS has obviously no knowledge (at all) about early christianity. First of all, the cross is not "worshipped" by modern-day christians. Second of all, the use of religious symbols has been part of christianity since the very beginning. The fish, the lamb and the cross were used by christians since the very beginning. Were these images/symbols worshipped? Maybe they were. And maybe they shouldn`t have been, that all depends on your interpretation of the Bible. But the fact is that the WTS is dishonest when they claim that this was the reason why the early christians faced death in the arenas in Rome. Yes, they died because they refused to bow down to any other God but Christ. But that doesn`t mean that they didn`t have their own christian symbols, or maybe even that they worshipped these symbols (depending on whatver you mean by "worship").
  • BlessedStar

    And the fact that he died as a sacrifice for our sins, because he wanted to, is completely different than someone being murdered.

    This is true.


  • Sunspot

    I had just had a major disagreement with our parish priest about the cost of my four children's First Communion and I was told that if I didn't have them "done" they (and I) would die in Hell. Hubby came home during this arguement on the phone and grabbed it---telling him a few choice things (I was seven months pregnant at the time and very emotional). The entire incident had made me very sad. And frightened.

    The reason I'm saying this is to set the groundwork for the JW ladies who came to my door a few months later, and who offered me a free home "bible" study....because I really wanted to learn what was IN my bible . I asked if I agreed to this weekly visit---would I ever be required to join or attend their church because I was DONE with organized religion.

    The answer was no, I would never be asked to attend a church....so I went ahead with my "study" and indoctrination into Watchtowerland for the next 30 years. I still cry when I think of the beautiful carved wooden crucifix over our bed and the gold cross with my birthstone that my Gram had given me on my 12th birthday (among MANY other treasured things)....that I tossed into the garbage (at the WTS lady-representitives' request) during my totally stupid and braindead era.

    The WTS succeeds in destroying everything that every other Christian holds dear, while convincing their followers that the Cross is an idol and is to be looked down on as such. All that is fine, and decent in a religious manner, and that is accepted and typical of all other religions except theirs---is systematically trashed and torn down as something disdainful. I am convinced that they are not only a cult but an totally antichristian form of religion at that.

    My second act of rebellion upon leaving that cult, was to (boldly) wear a pair of tiny Cross earrings that weren't nearly as bold as I felt they were but I just felt SOOOOOO liberated! I was at a family after-the-funeral gathering for a nonJW and there were a few JW family members in attendance. I think only former JWs could understand the feelings of my "declaration" in wearing my new earrings!

    In the past six 1/2 years, I HAVE come a long way (baby ) but it takes time to sort things out and to re-evaluate not only your "faith", but where you stand in it and with it after leaving the WTS. I'm old---but still learning and growing and appreciating new things all the time.....the FIRST THING I advise is to get another bible version and read it away from any "bible aids" that tend to color your thinking. I was told this right after I left, and really didn't quite believe it---but it's true. Reading the New Testament (Greek Scriptures) after the scales have fallen off your eyes---is pure joy!

    The "truth" is and was in your own bible all along, and th friendship of those who have experienced exactly the same things as JWs-turned-former-JWs here on this forum---is priceless! You can and will gain strength from your new pals here, and from reading a new bible!



    PS....My first act of rebellion was to burn my "no-blood" card in the kitchen sink to celebrate my first "New Year's eve" three months after DAing myself in Oct 1999.

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