The facts on crucifixion, stauros, and the "torture stake"

by Leolaia 175 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Rod P
    Rod P

    Wow Leolaia! I'm impressed.

    I did a certain amount of research on this subject a number of years ago, but nothing to the extent that you did. Your article should prove a valuable contribution to this forum.

    I agree that it is not that important how Jesus was exactly crucified, but it is still of historical interest.

    What is important, is the case the WBTS has made out of this issue, which they use as one of many indicators that they alone teach the "truth", while the rest of Christendom is wrong.

    As you have now demonstrated, the opposite is true.

    Thank you.

    Rod P.

  • Narkissos

    I'm pretty sure this article will quickly make its way to the Writing dept. of the WTS.

  • peacefulpete

    A whole lot of work. thanks. Youv'e done a great job demonstarting that not only is it possible but likey that the NT writers and editors intended to describe the death of the savior character as on a cross.

    A couple of side comments. The 2nd cent. graffiti is far more likely depicting Dionysus than Jesus. Dionysus was, as you know, associated with the donkey. The donkey symbolized fleshly desries. A donkey figure was part of the reenactments of the crucifixion of Dionysus. His death was hailed as a victory over vice and sin.

    Also the Simon of Cyrene element seems to have been a response to the early tradition that someone (Simon in some lost tradition?)replaced Jesus, sparing him the crucifixion. IOW it was written in that Simon ONLY CARRIED the cross, Jesus was hung on it. Alternately, the name Simon of Cyrene may have been a someone that figured large in the community of the author of the legend.

  • Preston

    Leo just blew Hans Kung out of the water with her post and has reduced the governing body to Bob the Builder level....

    - Preston

  • zagor

    Forgive me, I've read only half of it last night I'll finish it sometimes today..
    So I hope I'm not writing about something you've already said...

    Anyho, I never really believed that Jesus died on stake, since it was well known that Romans used cross as the capital punishment. You you wouldn't need great stretch of imagination to conclude the same about what happened to Jesus. Problem was I never had enough info to deal with stauros thing until few months ago; there was this programme on Discovery channel. While talking about punishment they rather casually said something that completely shutters everything WT teaches about stouros.
    And what is it?

    well since there wasn't enough of wood in Palestine, i.e. being a scarce commodity (as economists would put it), Roman executioners would adopt OLIVE TREES AS EXECUTION POST AND USED IT IN MULTIPLE EXECUTIONS WHILE TOP BEAM WHICH WAS ALSO USE AS CUFFS AT THE TIME WOULD BE FASTENED ON THE TREE. Hence, the use of word TREE was correct in the bible but it didn't necessarily mean that there was no beam across it.

    Interesting isn't it?

  • Kenneson

    Very well written. Thanks. Now, if only the Watchtower Society were as honest and comprehensive.

    The Franciscans use the Tau (taw?) emblem for the cross. They base it on Ezekiel 9:4, 6 Do you see any significance between the letter of an alphabet and the cross?

  • Leolaia

    Voyager....The material certainly can be much more condensed, maybe focusing on Lucian and several other things, but since JWs appear to place much less emphasis on this teaching than other more central tenets of Watchtower doctrine, I think a booklet would be far more effective focusing on F&DS/607/UN/etc. type issues.

    AnnOMaly...Yes! Hislop deserves a thorough debunking as well. I have posted on this subject on the past, and I know there is a book out there as well exposing his errors, but someday it might be worthwhile to post a thread on Hislop.

    Narkissos....But I won't be holding my breath to see if they do a better job in presenting their case, much less dispensing with the doctrine.

    zagor...I haven't heard the olive-tree theory, but it does not seem improbable. There did not seem to be a rigid format or standard to crucifixion, so local needs obviously dictated in specific situations.

    Kenneson....The mark in Ezekiel was indeed a taw, but in paleo-Hebrew characters the letter would have resembled a Greek chi (e.g. X) than a tau. Which is the symbol that the Franciscans use?

    PP....However there is a great deal of evidence pertaining to Christianity and the accusation of ass-worship. I mentioned the quote from Tertullian (cf. also Ad Nationes 1.14), but there is also Minucius Felix (Octavius, 9), and earlier writers made the same accusation against Judaism (cf. Tacitus, Historiae 1.5.3-4; Plutarch, Quæstiones Conviviales 4.5; Josephus, Contra Apion 2.7-9). This pagan accusation against Christiantiy however may rest on confusing Jewish and Christian practices and beliefs with those of the Seth or Dionysius cults, and while the graffito could technically represent one of those sects (tho was Dionysius depicted in a similar manner as in the graffito? My impression is that Dionysius was depicted as with an ass, but not as an ass, and was Dionysius crucified?), it seems more likely - considering the rhetoric of the apologists against the ass-worship accusation - that it is a mocking of Christian believer....

  • ezekiel3

    I vote for induction of this topic into "Best Of..."

    Great work!

  • ithinkisee

    In the new book released this summer at the District Convention called "What Does The Bible REALLY Teach?" they still regurgitate the same cross crap in an appendix at the back of the book. (In addition to 607/1914, Michael the Archangel, Trinity, etc.)


  • Kenneson


    The Franciscans use the Tau.

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