Watchtower teaches that Jesus dying on the stake is no longer certain
berrygerry - "...This is the key to most of the practices introduced by Rutherford and Knorr. To be completely different from nominal Christianity..."
"We're doing it this way, because f**k you, that's why!"
"The ellipses trick"... that's priceless.
I gotta remember that one.
From the 1870s to the early 1920s, a cross adorned the top banner of the Watchtower magazine - that's at least 50-plus years.
Rutherford made a clean sweep of the organization's teachings, developing a mad "thing" against anything "pagan".
There is a well documented story told in the organization's own literature that, at one stage in the mid 1920s, some "brothers" at "Bethel" advocated that the faithful should not utter the pagan days of the week and months of the year - suggesting instead the organization develop non-pagan alternatives for the faithful.
Even Rutherford had enough cowsense to reject that suggestion as nonsense. Unfortunately, in every other regard, he spearheaded in earnest a quest to state "B" to almost every single "A" taught by the Catholic Church and other 'churches of Christendom'. This led to some writers referring to JWs' teachings as having 'doctrines of denial' (e.g., Edmund Cruss).
The earlier cited link on the topic of stake versus cross is well worth reading for those interested in where the "weight' of historical evidence lies.
SBF said - "I think they previously conceded it might be a cross shape but said ultimately it doesn't matter."
Yes I seem to remember this too SBF.
*** w87 8/15 p. 29 Where Were His Legs? ***
What About Jesus?
So, what does this indicate about how Jesus was executed? Really, not much at all! For instance, as we discussed on page 23, Jesus most likely was executed on an upright stake without any crossbeam. No man today can know with certainty even how many nails were used in Jesus’ case. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1979, Volume 1, page 826) comments: “The exact number of nails used . . . has been the subject of considerable speculation. In the earliest depictions of the crucifixion Jesus’ feet are shown separately nailed, but in later ones they are crossed and affixed to the upright with one nail.”
We do know that his hands or arms were not simply bound, for Thomas later said: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails.” (John 20:25) That could have meant a nail through each hand, or the plural “nails” might have reference to nail prints in ‘his hands and his feet.’ (See Luke 24:39.) We cannot know precisely where the nails pierced him, though it obviously was in the area of his hands. The Scriptural account simply does not provide exact details, nor does it need to. And if scholars who have directly examined the bones found near Jerusalem in 1968 cannot even be sure how that corpse was positioned, it certainly does not prove how Jesus was positioned.
We thus recognize that depictions of Jesus’ death in our publications, such as you see on page 24, are merely reasonable artistic renderings of the scene, not statements of anatomic absolutes. Such depictions need not reflect the changing and conflicting opinions of scholars, and the drawings definitely avoid religious symbols that stem from ancient paganism.
The cross vs stake argument has always been a big deal for my husband. It is one of the points he clings to as "proof" the jws are the one and only true religion. The funny thing is that when he is asked to explain what the "proof" is, the only thing he cites is that it couldn't have been a cross since there weren't many trees back then and they wouldn't waste the wood by using a crossbeam. Is that something the org has cited as "proof" - the lack of trees? It seemed like a very weak argument but I kept quiet (as I usually do regarding all things jw related).
Yes it is an argument they use, and I guess it makes some sense. They point to Roman executions that involved hundreds of people and say it wouldn't have been practical to make crossbeams for all those people. Mmm, now that I restate it I'm not sure it does make much sense. If I have remembered it correctly.
It's worth noting that one of the revisions of the 2013 NWT was dropping the wacky "impale" rendering whose sole function was to avoid the word crucify. Which was slightly amusing considering the lengths some apologists had gone to defend "impale" and the WT left them high and dry.
slimboyfat, yes I have heard that argument as well....not enough trees. Well that makes perfect sense then. If you have a single pole or poles stuck in the ground at some place and have the one being executed carry only a smaller piece (as indicated in the Bible), you would use less trees. Instead of a whole tree per person, you could get a two for one deal out of each tree.
I saw a documentary on the Science channel that researched the physics of the Roman torture device. They performed all these experiments with different patterns that would hold the victim used a dummy with pressure sensing devices. A computer would monitor all the sensors and they would figure out sudden death or prolonged pain on each device. They tried a steak (I), and two types of crosses (+) and (X). The one that seemed to fit the biblical account was the (X) wood cross-beam pattern.
It appears that Game of Thrones creators figured out the real the torture device used by the Romans That X symbol represents House Bolton in the HBO TV series.