Instead, only the crossbar was carried, while the upright was set in a permanent place where it was used for subsequent executions. The second of these also has four large crosses drawn. He does not want to attract people to Christianity by giving them material or intellectual hopes, but he desires to reach those who realize the degree of sin in the world and who would appreciate Jesus' having died for their sins.As the first-century Jewish historian Josephus noted, wood was so scarce in Jerusalem during the first century A. that the Romans were forced to travel ten miles from Jerusalem to secure timber for their siege machinery. 21) Similar are the details mentioned under "Cross" in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology: It is certain only that the Romans practised this form of execution. If this interpretation is correct, and the excavators are strongly in favor of the Christian significance of symbol and furnishings, then here we have the example of an early house church. Sukenik of the Museum of Jewish Antiquities of the Hebrew University. Sukenik is the world's leading authority on Jewish ossuaries. This has been the message of the church throughout the centuries--that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that he is alive and lives through us (1 Cor. This message only appeals to certain people; most often the lowly and simple (1 Cor. Paul also uses the cross as a symbol for the cause of Christianity, as well as the death of the old nature. He tells us that some have become "enemies of the cross" (Phil. He talks about the old nature and the Law as being "nailed to the cross" (Col. He picks up on the theme of Jesus regarding the cross (Matt.As the years went by, "proof" was supplied by the WT to substantiate its position on the cross.In 1950 with the release of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, the appendix (pages 768-771) first argues that the Greek words stauros (Matt.To determine what appearance the stauros took in Jesus' death, we need to consider what the Greek language tells us, what history tells us, and most importantly, what the Bible tells us. 1, page 391) The Greek word xylon can mean "wood, a piece of wood, or anything made of wood," and can refer to a cross as well, as pointed out in Vine's Expository Dictionary, Vol. The skeleton was of a man named Yehohanan son of Chaggol, who had been crucified between the age of 24 and 28. C., the Romans adopted crucifixion as an official punishment for non-Romans for certain limited transgressions. 13.) One cannot help but notice the series of events as recorded in Matthew , 31-37, Mark -26, Luke -38, and John 19:1-22 (regarding the death of Jesus) and their harmony with the method of crucifixion as described by the articles in BAR and other sources.Furthermore, we must consider the significance of the stauros to the Christian, and whether it is a subject of shame or of great joy. Initially, it was employed not as a method of execution, but only as a punishment. It appears that Jesus carried the crossbeam, or patibulum to Golgotha.
Sometimes the victim was attached to the cross only with ropes. While the Jews may have considered the cross a shameful thing, the apostle Paul boasted of the cross of Christ.The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology says this about the Greek stauros: Corresponding to the vb. stauros could also be an instrument of torture, perhaps in the sense of the Lat. Finally it could be an instrument of execution in the form of a vertical stake and a crossbeam of the same length forming a cross in the narrower sense of the term. Moreover, only slaves convicted of certain crimes were punished by crucifixion. There, the patibulum was affixed to an upright stake, perhaps having a seat or footpiece, and Jesus was nailed onto the whole structure.(stauroo) which was more common, stauros can mean a stake which was sometimes pointed on which an executed criminal was publicly displayed in shame as a further punishment. During this early period, a wooden beam, known as a furca or patibulum was placed on the slave's neck and bound to his arms. When the procession arrived at the execution site, a vertical stake was fixed into the ground. Above him was placed the title, JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.Alternatively, it was probably usual to have the stake implanted in the ground before the execution. For instance, cherubs (angels) were embroidered on the curtains of the tabernacle in Moses' time (Ex. The Watchtower even uses a tower as their own special symbol.The victim was tied to the crosspiece, and was hoisted up with the horizontal beam and made fast to the vertical stake. It would be unlikely that Christian Jews would have been buried in that area after 135 A. since the Romans forbade Jews to enter Aelia Capitolina . Up until the late 30's the WT pictured Christ as dying on the traditional cross. Rutherford attacked the traditional story of the cross as wrong because "The cross was worshipped by the Pagan Celts long before the [birth] and death of Christ." (pages 188-189) With no accompanying historical or archaeological evidence, Rutherford stated his new doctrine as fact.