Did Jesus die on a stake or pole?

by sweetyj 50 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • sweetyj

    We already know how Jws will respond ( on a pole). But I found an article that talks about jws views on how Jesus died. I didn't know that there was a time when jws accepted the cross unlike now.

    It even brings up the fact that org has limited knowledge on Greek which is causing problems now. Funny the website mentioned this because I heard some bro had only high school knowledge of Greek and apparently that was good enough to translate from Greek scriptures.


  • jhine

    Yes , it is true that the WT knowledge of Greek is limited , also that the WT did teach that Jesus died on a cross in its early years . You can find ( online ) early Watchtowers with not just the cross but masonic symbols as well .

    Whatever the reason for the change in teaching l think that now it is another device to separate JWs from Christendom , that simple . It feeds their superior attitude " we are right you are wrong ". It also makes it more difficult for people who leave 'the truth ' to join another faith group , another mental barrier built in their minds .


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    They don't worship a cross?

    But do they worship a pole?

    Surely it was the death that mattered, not the implement.

    The early NWT NT had pictures from Justus Lipsius showing a stake being used. I have a 1950 edition and it's on page 770.

    They did not tell its readers that the book by Justus Lipsius has pictures of several methods (Andrews Cross, upside down, etc., etc.) and that Lipsius "preferred" the conventional cross.


  • punkofnice
    Perhaps they need to consider that Jesus didn't exist. So, cross, pole or stake is meaningless.
  • LeeT

    Here's an oldie but goodie from Leolaia, who was always brilliant, but hasn't posted in these parts for some time. This is well referenced and covers a fair amount of ground.


  • LoveUniHateExams

    This form of capital punishment is called crucifixion.

    So, the Romans put people to death on a cross, perhaps?

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Leo's answer reminded me of my regular complaint that Jesus was not "impaled". Justsus Lipsius illustrates impalement, with the pole entering the anus and exiting the mouth.

    Have they dropped the term "impale"? I guess theirs is more like pole dancing than impalement.


  • BluesBrother

    That was an excellent article linked by Sweetyj in the o/p. It explains very clearly the use of ancient language and the fact that a word's original meaning is not necessarily the correct understanding. E.g. an obvious example would be if I were to write that, I was feeling gay today, just a few years ago it would have meant that I was happy and lighthearted........... but you all know how you would understand it today....

  • Earnest

    Crosses and Crucifixions, Misunderstood and Misinterpreted as reported in the August 2019 issue of The Ancient Near East Today, points out that the only direct evidence of crucifixion in the ancient world is, in fact, a fragmentary and heavily restored calcaneum, or heel..

    As the book, Crucifixion in Antiquity, by Gunnar Samuelsson shows, the word used which is translated as "cross" or "torture stake" does not specify the physical form of the execution apparatus (other than a wooden object standing upright), but refers to a particular kind of execution involving suspension on a wooden apparatus.

    Hence, the translation of the word as "cross" is rather misleading as it suggests we do know the shape of the execution apparatus. The Latin crux refers to various shapes including an upright pole (crux simplex).

  • Diogenesister

    The Alexamenos graffito

    When a building in Rome called the domus Gelotiana was unearthed on the Palatine Hill in 1857, this graffito was discovered carved in plaster on a wall. The emperor Caligula (12-41 AD) had acquired the house for the imperial palace. After Caligula died, the house was used as a Paedagogium or boarding-school for the imperial page boys. Later the street on which the house was located was walled off to give support to extensions to the buildings above, and so it remained sealed for centuries.

    The image depicts a human-like figure who is attached to a cross and who has the head of a donkey. To the left of the image is a young man, apparently intended to represent Alexamenos, who is raising one hand in a gesture possibly suggesting worship. Beneath the cross there is a caption written in Greek: Αλεξαμενος ϲεβετε θεον, which means "Alexamenos worships (or: worshipping) God".[3]

    No clear consensus has been reached as to the date in which the image was originally made. Dates ranging from the late 1st to the late 3rd century have been suggested, although the beginning of the 3rd century is thought the most likely date.

    The Alexamenos Graffito mocking Jesus on the CrossTracing of the Alexamenos graffito carved in the plaster.


    The inscription is accepted by authoritative sources … to be a mocking depiction of a Christian in the act of worship. Both the portrayal of Jesus as having a donkey's head and the depiction of him being crucified would have been considered insulting by contemporary Roman society. Crucifixion continued to be used as an execution method for the worst criminals until its abolition by the emperor Constantine in the 4th century.

    One interpretation is that the figure in the image has an ass's head to ridicule Christian beliefs.

    Thus this cartoon is possibly the earliest drawing of the crucifixion of Christ, probably completed at the beginning of the 3rd century, ie. in the early two hundreds. It shows Christ on a cross, not a pole or a 'torture stake', with his arms out-stretched to the left and the right. The fact that it was not drawn by a Christian adds to its significance as an independent indication of the nature of crucifixion and that this was the way that Christ died.

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