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

by Leolaia 175 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Klaus Vollmer
    Klaus Vollmer

    thanks Leo for that article. I appreciate your time and perfomrance you spent to give us information. also thanks to narcissos who does support us in many ways.

    For us researchers of the bible is it a help to come to the roots of reality so that we can discern between Marketing ( the way the Judge separated his disciples from other bible students) and really stuff that has hands and feet.

    Here I have some works for German researchers about the crucification adn I am now absolute convinced that jesus was nailed to the patibulum which was fixed on an stake.

    So he had not to carry a very heavy cross what would be impossible after the tortures in Pilates palace becaue of his weight of about 200 kgs.

    have a nice day and give us to and from some further insights.

    perhaps you could define Sacharja 7:1,5 - I guess in English Zecharaja the prophet. - in all its circumstances. So we would have great reasons aginst 607.



  • jgnat

    There is only one reference to the stake in the "Organized to Do Jehovah's Will" (c) 2004 publication, and no background or explanation is provided. Most often, they refer to it as Jesus' "sacrificial death". It seems this is one of the doctrines that headquarters is fading out.

    On page 186, in the Appendix, the baptismal question,
    "What is Jesus' position in relation to Jehovah God, and what authority has Jehovah given him?
    ...More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake."... (bolding mine)

  • Narkissos


    Zechariah 1:12 and 7:5 have been extensively discussed on (especially from p. 14 onward).

  • Leolaia

    jgnat....I have wondered too if this doctrine is being faded out. In the 2001 WT Library CD, there is only one full discussion of this topic from 1991-2001 or so. In contrast, there were five or so in the '80s. However, this is a very difficult teaching to fade out, since "torture stake" is found all throughout the NWT, and the Art Department keeps reminding everyone of it every time Jesus' death is illustrated in the mags and books.

  • Alleymom

    Hi, Leo ---

    As per your request:

    1993 "How Can Blood Save Your Life?" -- page 7

    Heart2Heart (Mrs. Kwin) told me the painting was done in 1883 by an artist named Gerome.

    As I said in my PM, Leo, excellent work! I'm about to post a link to your essay on another board.


  • Leolaia
    So he had not to carry a very heavy cross what would be impossible after the tortures in Pilates palace becaue of his weight of about 200 kgs.

    Klaus....There was a National Geographic Special this year where they experimented with an able-bodied man (who had not experienced tortures) carrying various kinds of crosses. They found that a pole plus patibulum was indeed too heavy for even him to bear, while the patibulum itself was carryable.

    Marjorie....Thanks for the pic! Very interesting that they didn't use their own artists for that image. If the Blood booklet is intended for out-group use (e.g. by non-JW doctors, etc.), could this explain why they chose this as to not confront unbelievers with additional sectarian beliefs?

  • Shakita
    The Witnesses however still believed that Jesus was executed on a traditional cross. No doubt Rutherford was uncomfortable about this, because this fact seemed to still legitimize the cross as a Christian symbol, and thus he saw the need to revise his assumptions about the Passion. Therefore, without much fanfare, he presented his new view in the book Riches. On page 27, he wrote: "Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood, such as exhibited in many images and pictures, and which images are made and exhibited by men; Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree". It seems that Rutherford saw nothing wrong (as does the Society today) with using the word "crucify" to denote impalement. Therefore, according to the Society's own account, scholarship really had nothing to do with its adoption of the "torture stake" theory. It was entirely motivated by theological reasons long ago, yet it remains in vogue today because it offers a means of setting the JWs apart from other Christians as different and because the image of Jesus "impaled" on a single timber, expressed frequently through the Art Department, is so ingrained in the minds of most JWs. It is also possible that the Society has not a clue how weak and unsupported their position is on the matter.


    You are awesome! Thanks for your hard work in putting that article together. I too believe that the exact instrument that was used to put Jesus to death is meaningless. What matters is that he gave his life for mankind. Rutherford wanted his religion to be unique. So why not make an issue of Jesus's instrument of torture. Playing the word game is not the only way to prove one way or another that Christ was executed on an upright stake or an upright stake intersected by a crossbeam. You ably showed that such a cross began as an instrument of torture or execution with the Persians and was then adopted by other nations. The wealth of sources that you cited shows that the stake and crossbeam method of torture and execution was in use centuries before the time of Christ and continued during his time and for centuries after his time.

    I think that the WT is more concerned that the cross is used as an idol. In countless articles the WT has claimed that to give veneration to such an object is tantamount to idol worship and is disapproved by God. I say that the mere wearing of the cross around one's neck does not constitute idolatry. If wearers of the cross give active veneration and devotion to the cross and viewed such as a way to talk with God or they were to bow down and worship that image, I might agree that those wearers were committing idolatry.

    I can no longer get bent out of shape because someone that believes in Christ wears a cross. Perhaps wearing of the cross is a reminder to them of the great sacrifice that Jesus made in their behalf. Maybe it serves as a comfort to them that someone loves them and is watching out for them. If such people that wear the cross are good and decent people that try to imitate Christ's example, how could God disapprove of them just because they wear a cross around their neck?

    I can just imagine God in heaven saying to Jesus: "I want you to execute all those nasty cross believers. Ick. Can you believe such audacity? But I just loooove those peeps that believe in the upright stake dogma. They are just da bomb. Save all of those dogmatically correct persons. Jesus replies: But God, some of those upright stake believers are vile, why should I save them? God's answer: Because they don't believe in the cross silly. (God smacks himself in the head) Oy, Jesus, for the Son of God you are a wee bit slow on the uptake."

    Ooh, I am feeling so evil that I am going to start wearing a cross and singing Amazing Grace at the same time. Is there any hope for me?

    Mr. Shakita

  • I quit!
    I quit!

    Excellent post Leo. I have already saved it to disc for future reference. I really think this information should as part of a book or in the form of a brochure. One of the things I remember being told when I was a JW was that God wouldn't have allow Jesus to die on a cross because it was a pagan image. Where as an upright pole would have no other connotations to it whatsoever, right?

  • Narkissos

    Welcome I quit!

    Where as an upright pole would have no other connotations to it whatsoever, right?

    Good point... think of the "Asherah poles" in the Bible and the host of phallic symbols everywhere.

  • AnnOMaly

    Hi Leolaia

    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.

    Yeah well you'd be the gal to do it! I got the information from here about a proponent of Hislop - who had written another popular book supporting him - who more recently published a book exposing Hislop's painfully shoddy scholarship. I can't remember the website. An eye-opener. And the tragedy is, that only last week a real sweet JW lady said in front of everyone that she was reading 'The Two Babylons' (it sounded like it was for the first time) and with conviction in her voice told us a couple of highlights. I didn't have the heart ... maybe one day ...

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