What Was the Shape of Jesus’ Cross?
An interesting topic regarding the form of the Crucifixion cross of Jesus came to my attention recently after I delivered a keynote address at an international conference. In an attempt to dispute the customary form of the cross, he had been approached by Jehovah’s Witnesses. As they pointed out, “cross” (stauros) is merely a Greek word that may signify any of three things: a “upright pole,” a “upright stake,” or a “torture stake.” His Jehovah’s Witness guests reported that Jesus was indeed nailed to a straight stake with a single spike through his hands and another through his feet, as described by the visitors from the organization.
There are a number of evidence indicators provided in the scripture to assist us in understanding the real form of Jesus’ crucifixion, despite the fact that the Greek terms used for the cross in the New Testament are not precise about its shape (“stauros” = stake / pole and “xulon” = timber / tree).
“(The Jews caught outside the walls of Jerusalem) were first whipped, and then tormented with all kinds of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city.”, Josephus wrote about the siege of Jerusalem in 70AD.
The first-century Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger described crucifixion in a variety of ways, saying, “I find in front of me crosses not all alike, but made differently by different people: some hang a man head downwards, some force a stick upwards through his groin, some stretch out his arms on a forked gibbet” (Seneca the Younger, “To Marcia on Consolation,” in Moral Essays, 6.20).
- It is possible to bind or fasten the victim’s hands with a single piece of rope or a single nail if the wood is cut into this shape, as many Jehovah’s Witnesses believe.
- There are other names for this cross, including “St.
- This building was built from a horizontal beam that was joined at the top of a vertical stake, resulting in a “T” shape when assembled.
- It was either fastened jointly or individually to the bottom of the vertical pillar where their feet rested.
- Using a vertical stake, a horizontal cross beam (referred to as a “patibulum”) was put across the upper section of the stake, leaving a “tip” that extended above the patibulum to complete the construction.
- On either side of the patibulum, victims were nailed to the structure with their arms spread in front of them.
- Crux Decussata is the letter X.
Andrew’s Cross”) takes its name from the Roman numeral ten (“decussis”), which means “decus” in Latin.
Their feet were either fastened to the bottom ends of the X or tied to the bottom ends of the X separately.
Despite the fact that the data is restricted, I believe that the conventional form (the “Crux Immissa”) is the most reasonable inference from the facts because of the following reasons.
The original meaning of the terms “stauros” and “xulon,” like the meaning of other words in other languages, has evolved with time.
For him, the name “stauros” literally translated into the Greek word for “pole.” However, during the time of Christ, the Romans were still employing the Greek language, albeit with certain modifications to give the terms a larger meaning.
When the Romans utilized this kind of punishment, they had to alter the existing Greek language to make it more appropriate for their needs.
David Black explains that “(the original meaning of a word) employed alone cannot effectively account for the meaning of a word since meaning is constantly susceptible to change.
Therefore, it is essential for the New Testament student to understand if the original meaning of a term has survived to a later period.
As a result, according to Kittel’s Theological Dictionary, “stauros” is defined as follows: “There are three main types in terms of shape.
Alternatively, it was made consisting of an upright with a cross-beam above it.
Descriptions of ancient non-biblical sources include the following: An extensive collection of ancient, nonbiblical materials eliminates or at least complicates one form of the cross (“Crux Simplex”) and makes the possibility of another shape (“Crux Decussata”) highly improbable.
Having stretched out both of his arms and bound them to a piece of wood that spanned over his breast and shoulders as far as his wrists, the men who were assigned to escort the slave to his punishment trailed after him, shredding his nude body with whips.” VII, 69:1-2.) (Roman Antiquities, VII, 69:1-2) The word “xulon” was employed by Dionysius to refer to the horizontal “patibulum.” The Epistle of Barnabas is a letter written by Barnabas (90-135AD) In this pseudepigraphic letter, which was employed by many Christians in the early Church to depict the form of the cross as it was understood at that time in history, we may read: And Abraham circumcised eighteen males and three hundred females from among his family, according to the Torah.” So, what exactly was the wisdom that was imparted to him?
Understand that He says the eighteen first, and then after an interval of three hundred years, He says the three hundred years.
Here is where you will find JESUS (IHSOYS).
As a result, He reveals Jesus in the first two letters, and the crucifixion in the last letter.” (See also Barnabas 9:7) The author, in reference to the tale of Abraham in the Old Testament, made the analogy between the cross of Jesus and the letter “T.” (which had the numeric value of 300).
They were murdered with the sword whenever he brought them down from their height.” (12:2) (Barnabas 12:2) (Barnabas 12:2) In this section, the author compares the cross of Jesus to a passage from the Old Testament (this time from the story of Moses), interpreting the shape of Jesus’ cross as compelling him to “reach out his hands,” as required by the shape of the cross.
- Solomon’s Odes are a collection of eulogies (1 stto 3 rdCenturies) These odes, which are generally regarded as having Christian origins, were written by a number of authors over the course of the first three centuries.
- “For the expansion of my hands is His sign, and my extension is the straight cross,” the author wrote.
- Justin Martyr (100–165 AD) was a Christian martyr who lived between 100 and 165 AD.
- For one, a spit is transfixed entirely through the lamb’s body from the lower regions to the head, and another is transfixed across the back, to which the lamb’s legs are linked.” The dialogue with Trypho in Chapter XL is an example of this.
- Other texts by Justin Martyr describe the cross of Jesus in a similar manner, drawing analogies between it like a sail mast and staysail, or portraying the posture of Jesus on the cross with outstretched hands.
Oneirocritica (“The Interpretation of Dreams”), a five-volume Greek book, in which he portrayed prisoners being crucified: “Because he is a criminal, his height and the extension of his hands will be used to crucify him” (Oneirocritica 1:76) In this period of time, according to Artemidorus, criminals were executed by the Romans on a cross that was twice the width of it and twice the height of it.
- Lucian(125-180AD) This early Greek rhetorician produced a multitude of aesthetic, sarcastic, and cynical works that have survived to the present day.
- The trial in the Court of Vowels took place on 12.4-13.
- In addition, the “Crux Decussata” is usually omitted because of the allusions to certain “T” forms in the literature.
- It is past time to investigate the most reliable source of knowledge we have concerning Jesus’ death on the cross: the historical record.
Here are several hints from the New Testament; arguably the most clear is Jesus’ portrayal of crucifixion in the Gospel of John, when he informs Peter how he would die in a way comparable to Jesus’ death: John 21:18-19 (KJV) As a child you used to gird yourself and go anywhere you pleased; as an adult, however, you will extend out your hands and someone else will gird you and transport you to a location you do not like to visit.” This, he explained, was a reference to the manner in which he would honor God via death.
- Peter was told by Jesus that he would die with his hands stretched out in front of him.
- If Peter died on the cross in the manner of Jesus, his cross would have to be one of three types: a “Crux Commissa,” a “Crux Immissa,” or a “Crux Decussata” in order for his hands to be stretched out in prayer.
- If the “Crux Simplex” had been used to crucify Jesus, it is likely that his hands were fastened in place with a single nail, according to tradition.
- For the second time, this implies that Jesus’ crucifixion would have had to be either a “Crux Commissa,” a “Crux Immissa,” or a “Crux Decussata” in order for more than one nail to be used to secure Jesus’ hands together.
- The location of the sign identifying Jesus at the site of crucifixion was recorded by the Gospel authors as follows: Matthew 27:37 (KJV) It was written above His head, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS,” and the allegation against Him was leveled against Him.
- This may be deduced using the conventional “Crux Immissa” formula.
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- The shape of the cross is not important to our Christian faith, but it does provide us with an interesting opportunity to practice our investigative Case Making skills.
- This book teaches readers the ten principles of cold-case investigations and then applies these principles to the claims of the gospel authors in order to investigate them.
The book is complemented by an eight-sessionCold-Case Christianity DVD Set (as well as a Participant’s Guide) that may be used to assist individuals or small groups analyze the evidence and make their case for Christianity.
What kind of cross was Jesus crucified on? (three Roman cross types)
An interesting topic regarding the form of the Crucifixion cross of Jesus came to my attention recently after I spoke at a huge conference. In an attempt to dispute the customary form of the cross, he was approached by Jehovah’s Witnesses. As they pointed out, “cross” (stauros) is simply a Greek word that can mean any of three things: a “upright pole”, a “upright stake,” or a “torture stake.” His Jehovah’s Witness visitors claimed that Jesus was actually nailed to a straight stake with a single spike through his hands and another through his feet, as claimed by the visitors from the religious organization.
There are a number of evidential clues provided in the scripture to assist us in understanding the true shape of Jesus’ cross, despite the fact that the Greek words used for the cross in the New Testament aren’t specific about its shape (“stauros” = stake / pole and “xulon” = timber / tree.” To understand the evidence for the cross, we must first consider the many different ways in which Romans have executed criminals on wooden structures of various kinds throughout history.
When writing about the siege of Jerusalem in 70AD, Josephus acknowledged that Roman soldiers used a variety of methods and stake shapes to execute their prisoners: “(The Jews caught outside the walls of Jerusalem) were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city.
In addition, the first-century Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger described crucifixions in a variety of ways: “I see before me crosses not all alike, but differently made by different people: some hang a man head downwards, some force a stick upwards through his groin, some stretch out his arms on a forked gibbet” (Seneca the Younger, “To Marcia on Consolation,” in Moral Essays, 6.20).
- Crux Simplicissimus They sometimes used a single upright stake or post and either nailed or tied their victim to the stake or post, depending on the circumstances (in some cases this may have simply been to the trunk of a tree).
- Crucifixion is the crux of the matter.
- There are several names for this cross, including “St.
- Using a horizontal beam that was connected at the top of a vertical stake, this structure was created in the shape of a “T.” With their arms outstretched on either side of a horizontal beam, the victims were nailed to the T structure.
- Crux Immissa is a Latin phrase that means “crux of the matter.” This third shape, which is similar to the Crux Commissa, is the traditional form of the cross that Christians observe (“Immissa” is Latin for “inserted”).
- Some of these tips were nothing more than a minor extension, resulting in a structure that was closer to the shape of a “T” than a “+.” With their arms outstretched on either side of the patibulum, victims were nailed to the structure.
- Crux Decussata is the X in the alphabet.
Andrew’s Cross”) comes from the Latin word for ten (“decussis”).
It was either nailed or tied to the bottom ends of the X with their feet attached separately.
I believe that the traditional shape (the “Crux Immissa”) is the best inference from evidence, despite the limited amount of data available.
Language Evidence Has Its Limits: What Does It Mean?
The original meaning of the terms “stauros” and “xulon,” like the meaning of other words in other languages, has evolved over time as well.
For him, the term “stauros” literally translated into the English language as “pole.” However, by the time of Christ, the Romans were still employing the Greek language, albeit with some modifications to give the words a broader sense of purpose.
In order for the Romans to employ this method of punishment, they had to adapt the existing Greek terminology to suit their needs.
David Black explains that “(the original meaning of a word) used alone cannot adequately account for the meaning of a word because meaning is constantly subject to change.
The claim that the “original” meaning of a word is the “true” meaning of a word is therefore illegitimate (David Alan BlackLinguistics for Students of New Testament Greek Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 1988, 1995, p.122).
otherwise, it would have been a vertical beam suspended from above by a cross-beam.
572) (Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Volume 7, 1971, p.
Descriptive Accounts of Prehistoric Non-Biblical Sources A number of ancient non-biblical sources rule out at least one form of the cross (“Crux Simplex”) and rule out another form (“Crux Decussata”) as being possible, according to the Bible.
And Abraham circumcised eighteen males and three hundred females from his household, according to the scripture.
It is important for you to understand that He speaks of the eighteen first, and then the three hundred after an interval of time The letter ‘I’ represents ten, and the letter ‘H’ represents eight in the number eighteen.
His word also says three hundred, which indicates that the cross in the letter T would be graced.
According to this author, the cross of Jesus was supported by a cross beam similar to the “Crux Commissa” or “Crux Immissa.” In addition, the author of the Epistle of Barnabas cited Exodus 17:11-12 and wrote: “And He saith again in Moses, when war was waged against Israel by men of another nation, and that He might remind them when war was waged against them that for their sins they were delivered unto death; the Spirit saith to the heart of Moses, *that he should make a type of the cross and of Him that was to suffer, that unless, saith He As a result, in the midst of the battle, Moses piles his arms on top of one another and, standing on higher ground than anyone else, he extends his hands, and Israel is once more victorious.
- They were slain with the sword whenever he brought them down from their perch.
- In this passage, the author compares the cross of Jesus to a passage from the Old Testament (this time from the life of Moses), interpreting the shape of Jesus’ cross as requiring him to “stretch out his hands” as required by the shape of the cross.
- Solomon’s Odes are a collection of poems written in praise of the king (1 stto 3 rdCenturies) These odes, which are generally regarded as having Christian origins, were written by a number of authors over the course of the first three centuries of the Christian era.
- “For the expansion of my hands is His sign, and my extension is the upright cross,” he continued.
- From 100 to 165 AD, Justin Martyr was a Christian martyr who lived in the Roman Empire.
- The legs of the lamb are attached to one spit that runs all the way through it, from its lower parts all the way up to its head, and another that runs across its back.
- Other passages by Justin Martyr describe the cross of Jesus in a similar manner, drawing analogies between it and a sail mast and staysail, or describing the position of Jesus on the cross with outstretched hands, among other things.
He wrote a five-volume Greek work titled Oneirocritica (which translates as “The Interpretation of Dreams”) in which he described crucifixions of criminals: “Since he is a criminal, he will be crucified in his height and the extension of his hands” (Oneirocritica 1:76) In this period, criminals were executed by Romans on a cross that was twice as wide as it was tall, according to the historian Artemidorus.
Again, this could be a reference to the “Crux Commissa,” “Crux Immissa,” or “Crux Decussata,” depending on who is speaking.
In one of them, titled Trial in the Court of Vowels, he wrote the following: “Such are his verbal offenses against man; his offenses against man in deed continue.” Men weep and lament their lot, and curse Cadmus with a slew of curses for introducing Tau into the family of letters; they claim that it was his body that tyrants took as a model, and his shape that they imitated, when they set up the erections on which men are crucified.” The trial in the Court of Vowels took place between 12.4 and 12.5.
- The cross is analogized to the letter “T” once more by an ancient author, as it would be if the structure were referred to as a “Crux Commissa” or “Crux Immissa.” The “Crux Simplex” is repeatedly eliminated by way of description in light of these ancient non-Biblical sources of information.
- However, if the terms “Crux Commissa” or “Crux Immissa” are still on the table, which of the two is the more reasonable inference to draw from them?
- Indications about the strength of biblical textual evidence include: According to the New Testament, there are several clues that support the “Crux Immissa” as the most reasonable inference about the shape of Jesus’ cross.
- Perhaps the most obvious is the description of crucifixion provided in the Gospel of John, when Jesus tells Peter how he will die in a manner similar to Jesus: John 21:18-19 is a passage from the Bible.
- ” During his last moments on earth, Jesus told Peter that he would die with his arms stretched out.
As a result, in order for Peter’s hands to be outstretched on his cross, his cross would have to be one of three types: a “Crux Commissa,” a “Immissa,” or a “Crus Decussata.” As an additional point of clarification, Thomas, who had expressed his skepticism about the Resurrection, told the other disciples that he needed to see something to believe it: Twenty-fifth chapter, verse 25 In response, the other disciples exclaimed to him, “We have seen the Lord!” “I will not believe until I see the impression of the nails in His hands, and until I insert my finger in the location of the nails, and until I place my hand into His side,” he told them.
- Even if the “Crux Simplex” was used to execute Jesus, his hands would very certainly have been fastened in place with one single nail.
- For the second time, this implies that Jesus’ crucifixion would have had to be either a “Crux Commissa,” a “Crux Immissa,” or a “Crux Decussata” in order to have required more than one nail for Jesus’ hands to be used.
- In their accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion, the Gospel writers specified the location of the sign identifying him: The Bible verse is Matthew 27:37.
- (See Luke 23:38 for further information).
- According to John’s Gospel, only one of the three possible crosses would be suitably designed to accommodate the installation of this sign over Jesus’ head.
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- The design of the cross is not important to our theology as Christians; but, it does offer us with an intriguing chance to practice our investigative Case Making abilities.
- Cold-case investigation techniques are taught in this book, and the methodologies taught are applied to the claims of the gospel authors in order to investigate their claims.
There’s also an eight-sessionCold Case Christianity DVD Set (with participant’s guide) that goes along with the book to help individuals or small groups evaluate the facts and make their case.
- What is the meaning of crucifixion? How did Jesus die? Why do all four Gospels provide distinct interpretations of the inscription on the Cross? Answer: Jesus Christ humbled himself to a considerable extent for us. What is the method and why is it used? Questions and Answers concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Frequently Asked Questions When you consider that Jesus is God, how could he die? If Jesus died on the cross, how is it possible that he is still alive today? Answer: Archaeology – Have any burial sites for the persons who were engaged in Christ’s life and death been discovered so far? Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the answer. JESUS CHRIST—Answers to frequently asked questions about him
Author: The specialists in Bible archaeology from the Association for Biblical Research have provided this information. Gene Fackler of the Associates for Biblical Research created the illustration at the top of this page. Copyright 1995, Associates for Biblical Research, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on the attached”Usage and Copyright”page, which grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches, and schools. Copyright 1995, Associates for Biblical Research, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on the attached”Usage and Copyright”page, which grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting
During Holy Week in Guatemala, worshippers participate in the Jesus of Nazareth Merced procession, in which they carry a figure of Jesus Christ. Photo by Johann Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images. ) ) Christians throughout the world are commemorating Jesus’ death on Good Friday, followed by a celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday, as part of their religious traditions. However, despite the fact that the cross appears often in Christian artwork and Western culture as a whole, misconceptions and myths about its history, origins, and appearance continue to circulate.
- Myth number one: The cross on which Jesus died was a stake divided by a horizontal beam.
- In addition to emoji (which include both the two-beamLatin cross and theOrthodox cross, also known as the Suppedaneum cross, which has an additional bar towards the bottom), this variant of the cross may be found on anything from roadside monuments to church steeples.
- It is important to note that the Greek and Latin terms for “cross” (stauros” and “crux”) do not necessarily refer to the cross that most people are familiar with.
- In most historians’ estimations, Jesus’ cross was T-shaped, with the vertical section notched to allow the executioners to bind the victim to the crossbeam before raising it and setting it securely into the top of the cross.
- It is said to bore a better resemblance to the item on which Jesus died than the crosses that are more usually shown in Christian art.
- 2Jesus was nailed on the cross with nails driven through his hands and feet, which is incorrect.
- This includes classics such as Sandro Botticelli’s ” Mystic Crucifixion ” and Diego Velázquez’s ” Christ Crucified “, as well as lesser known works.
- In reality, the only time such nails are mentioned in the Gospels is in the book of John, in the tale of the doubting Thomas, who wants to see the marks of the nails on Jesus’ hands to ensure that he is indeed experiencing the risen Jesus (John 20:25).
However, while archaeologists have discovered physical evidence of nails being used to fasten the feet of crucifixion victims, it would have been impossible to nail the condemned to a cross using only nails because the bones in the hands and wrists would not have been able to support the weight of the body.
- Suffocation, rather than blood loss, would be the cause of death in this scenario.
- 3Jesus (or a bystander) was the one who carried the crucifixion to the cross of Calvary.
- Either man is seen bearing a big, wooden cross with both a vertical and a horizontal beam in Christian art (including renderings by Michelangelo, El Greco, and Titian), which is a common motif.
- According to historians of ancient execution procedures, such LaGrange College professor John Granger Cook, to the degree that the condemned carried their own crosses, they would have been handed only the horizontal component.
For nearly 1,000 years, the Christian church emphasized paradise rather than the Crucifixion, according to two authors writing in the UU World magazine; in Slate, scholar Larry Hurtado argued that “there was, in short, little to be gained in proclaiming a crucified savior in a setting in which crucifixion was a grisly reality,” noting that “some early Christians attempted to avoid reference to Jesus’ crucifixion.” Although it is true that crosses were relatively uncommon symbols for Christians to employ before to the middle of the fourth century, More than that, the earliest depictions of crosses depict them as delicate, gem-studded staffs rather than as robust implements of execution.
It wasn’t until the 6th century that depictions of Jesus’ crucifixion became increasingly common, with no regular occurrences before then.
“When they crucified Him, driving in the nails, they pierced His hands and feet; and those who crucified Him parted His garments among themselves,” wrote Christian thinker Justin Martyr in a long dialogue with a non-Christian interlocutor in the 2nd century, emphasizing the humiliation and suffering of Jesus’ execution and emphasizing the humiliation and suffering of Jesus’ execution.
- The disappearance of the cross or crucifix from visual art may be difficult to explain; nevertheless, timed with the increase of pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the locations of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, its reemergence may give useful hints.
- Some people were even given the opportunity to receive a sliver of the sacred wood.
- Myth No.
- Some people are completely sold on this concept.
- Many ancient faiths utilized symbols comparable to the cross (and Egyptian Christians even adopted the ankh, which is an Egyptian hieroglyph for “life”), but two intersecting lines are a straightforward and extremely common figure.
- While it is easy to recognize parallels between religious artwork from different traditions, it is also rather simple to identify differences between them as well.
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10 Powerful Facts About the Cross of Christ & His Crucifixion
An interesting book with the title: What Was God Doing on the Cross? appeared in print not too long ago. It looks that there are two questions being asked, rather than one single question. “What was God accomplishing on the cross?” you might wonder. What was the purpose of impaling the God-man on a Roman gibbet? Isn’t it strange that God would be nailed on the cross? Second, “What was God doing when he was hanging on the cross?” The question that arises once we have acknowledged that Jesus Christ was crucified is, “what was he doing there?” In crucifixing Jesus, what exactly was he attempting to accomplish?
The problem is that there is an increasing number of Christians who are having a difficult time answering that question, which is a concern.
While I believe in the importance of having a positive self-image, I am concerned that many people are becoming so self-absorbed that they are beginning to question why Jesus had to suffer for them in the first place.
Thinkstock provided the image used in this post.
What’s ‘true’ about Jesus’ cross?
- Could bits of a tree survive millennia? The genuine cross phenomenon began with Ruler Constantine, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Is it possible that these are shards of fraud that speak to our want to believe
Science and archaeology provide new insights into ancient objects that may be related to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. “Finding Jesus: Fact, Faith, and Forgery” airs on CNN US on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT and is available on demand. (CNN) In July of 2013, Turkish researchers unearthed a stone box in a 1,350-year-old church that looked to contain a piece of Jesus’ crucifixion, bringing the oldest of Jesus relics legends back to life. “We have discovered something sacred in a chest. It’s a fragment of a cross, actually “Gülgün Körolu, an art historian and archaeologist who is in charge of the excavation crew, shared his thoughts.
- And suddenly there was quiet.
- The newest story of the “real cross,” which serves as a strong symbol of faith for more than two billion people throughout the world, is representative of the difficulties encountered in the search for Jesus’ relics.
- Is it possible that remnants of the genuine cross of Jesus are still among us today?
- Maybe they’re forgeries in their own right, but they speak to our desire for belief.
- He entrusted his mother, Saint Helena (c.
- When Helena arrived to Jerusalem in 326 CE, the city was still reeling from the devastation wrought by the final Jewish War, which took place between 132 and 335 CE.
- Helena ordered the deconstruction of this heathen temple and immediately began digging beneath it in search of relics associated with Jesus.
According to the historian Rufinus (c.
Nothing occurred as the unwell woman pressed her hand on two crosses.
The actual cross of Jesus has now been shown to the world.
Despite this, the Gospels attest to the fact that a single man was capable of carrying it.” Was Calvin, however, exaggerating in order to bolster his own changes inside Catholicism?
This is where science comes in.
In his investigation, he discovered that the Jesus cross weighed 165 pounds, was three or four meters tall, and had a cross beam that was two meters broad.
De Fleury came to the conclusion that the actual cross was built of pine wood based on the bits he was permitted to inspect under a microscope.
These fragments originated from some of Europe’s most important churches, including Santa Croce in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, and the Cathedrals of Pisa and Florence.
Consequently, the debate arose as to whether the cross of Jesus was crafted from olive wood or pine.
While researchers unearthed the heel bone of a crucified man with the nail still attached in 1968, they were unaware that the Romans had executed tens of thousands of people by crucifixion, including as many as 500 people per day during the siege of Jerusalem from 66 to 70 CE.
The guy, whose ossuary, or burial box, identified him as Yehohanan, was in his mid-twenties when he died on the cross, according to the inscription on the box.
Given the fact that other people buried in the same tomb as Yehohanan had ties to the Temple, it’s probable that he was slain by the Romans for some political infraction.
In Hershkovitz’s opinion, the fact that the length of the nail is relatively small indicates a great deal about Roman crucifixion techniques.
The reason, Hershkovitz believes, that crosses were not fashioned from olive trees is that people relied on the olive tree for sustenance and would not hack them down to create crosses if they did.
There are many gaps in the wood of the olive tree, making it impossible to sustain the nails against the weight of the victim.
We have a variety of different types of local oaks that are better suited for the job.” Today, there are even more “true cross” fragments on display around the world, including on Mount Athos, in Rome, in Brussels, in Venice, in Ghent, in Paris, in Spain, and in Serbia – and even in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, where a fragment of the true cross was brought over as part of the family chapel that Theodore Boal had built for his French bride after she was married there.
eBay has numerous options if you wish to possess a piece of the cross on which Jesus died – some of which have original wax seals to preserve its “purity,” while others come with certificates attesting to the pieces’ genuineness and authenticity.
The continuous emphasis on the authenticity of real cross fragments, argues Mark Goodacre, a professor in the Department of Religion at Duke University, has been detrimental to understanding the meaning of the cross, he claims. “The thing about the cross is that you always have to remember that it’s about the person who is nailed to it; the wood itself is only a tool of torment at the end of the day,” says the author. Michael McKinley and David Gibson are the co-authors of “Finding Jesus: Faith.
How Jesus Died: Rare Evidence of Roman Crucifixion Found
This cross was raised within the Roman Colosseum as a memorial to the suffering of early Christians in the city of Rome. It is the world’s largest cross. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, according to the Christian Bible, took place in Jerusalem during the reign of the Roman Empire at the beginning of the Christian period. (Photo courtesy of Jared I. Lenz Photography/Getty Images.) An ancient man’s body discovered in northern Italy 2,000 years ago reveals symptoms of having died after being nailed to a wooden cross, which was the mode of punishment described in the Christian Bible.
A fresh investigation of the man’s skeletal remains, which were discovered near Venice in 2007, reveals a lesion and an unhealed fracture on one of his heel bones, which implies that his feet were nailed to a cross at some point during his life.
In addition, they have uncovered no indication that the body was nailed up by the wrists, which was a frequent form of Roman crucifixion documented in the Bible and believed to have been utilized in the killing of Jesus.
In their study, which was published online on April 12 in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, the researchers stated that the skeletal remains were discovered at Gavello, which is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Venice, during archaeological excavations in preparation for the laying of a pipeline. Experts discovered that the body had been buried directly in the ground rather than in a tomb, and that it did not have any burial items, which was unusual for a Roman-era burial, according to the researchers.
According to the researchers, the lack of burial goods and the dead man’s diminutive build showed that he may have been an underfed slave who was buried without the traditional Roman funeral procedures, which were regularly performed as part of the punishment for condemned captives at the time.
Lead study author Emanuela Gualdi, a medical anthropologist at Ferrara’s University of Ferrara, told Live Science in an email that the researchers discovered “a specific lesion on the right calcaneus that ran through the whole bone.”
Gualdi and her colleagues stated in their study article that the Romans had learnt about crucifixion from the Carthaginians and had employed it as a form of capital punishment for over a thousand years, until Emperor Constantine abolished it in the fourth century A.D. According to the researchers, Roman crucifixions were intended to cause maximum pain for a prolonged period of time. Victims’ feet and wrists were typically nailed to a wooden cross, which would hold them upright while they suffered a slow and agonizing death, which could take several days, according to the researchers.
Bodies were generally left on the cross to decay or to be eaten by animals, although in other instances, they were taken and buried.
Crucifixions are frequently recounted in historical sources from ancient Roman periods, notably the execution of 6,000 abducted slaves by Roman soldiers during a revolt led by the gladiator Spartacus in the first century B.C.
The execution ofJesus of Nazareth, portrayed in the Christian Bible as taking place in Jerusalem during Roman control at the beginning of the Christian period, is unquestionably the most famous crucifixion (between A.D. 30 and 36). There has been no definite archaeological evidence of that incident discovered to date. The biblical narratives of Jesus’ crucifixion, on the other hand, are central to Christian religion, and the cross has served as a symbol of Christian faith throughout history. Other than this discovery in 1968, while workers were excavating graves from the period of the Crucified Christ in Jerusalem, no other crucifixion victim has ever been discovered.
The nail was discovered in its original position within the bone, linked to a little piece of olive wood that had been a component of the wooden cross on which the guy had been hung to die, according to the findings.
Gualdi said to Live Science that bones with these sorts of abnormalities were more prone to fracture, were more difficult to maintain, and were more difficult to identify.
The irregular interment of human remains in Gavello continues to raise a number of questions: Despite the fact that we do not know whether or not he was a prisoner, Gualdi believes that he was most likely a somebody who was thought dangerous or defamed in Roman society because of his burial marginalization.
Tom Metcalfe is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to Live Science who is located in London, England, who writes about science and technology.
Tom’s primary areas of interest include science, astronomy, archaeology, the Earth, and the oceans, among other things. He has also written for a variety of publications, including the BBC, NBC News, National Geographic, Scientific American, and AirSpace, among others.
Jesus Wasn’t the Only Man to Be Crucified. Here’s the History Behind This Brutal Practice.
(Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.) According to the New Testament, the crucifixion of Jesus took place when the Romans executed him. It is the most famous crucifixion in global history. However, Jesus was by no means the first person to die on the cross of Calvary. Thousands upon thousands of individuals were crucified throughout antiquity, which was at the time believed to be one of the most cruel and disgraceful ways to die, according to the beliefs of the time. During the Roman Empire, the crucifixion procedure was a lengthy one that included scourging (more on that later) before the victim was nailed to the cross and hanged from it.
- In addition, what kinds of persons were often crucified?
- According to a 2003 article published in the South African Medical Journal, crucifixion was most likely first performed by the Assyrians and Babylonians in the sixth century B.C., and it was also practiced systematically by the Persians in the sixth century B.C.
- It was at this period that the victims were often hung to a tree or post with their feet dangling; crosses were not utilized until the Roman era, according to the article.
- After that, the practice spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
According to co-authors Francois Retief and Louise Cilliers, professors in the Department of English and Classical Culture at the University of the Free State in South Africa, for the next 500 years, the Romans ” perfected crucifixion ” until Constantine I abolished it in the fourth century A.D., according to the SAMJ report.
Instead, slaves, disgraced soldiers, Christians, foreigners, and — in especially — political activists were among those who perished as a result of this practice, according to Retief and Cilliers.
It is recorded that the Roman commander Varus hanged 2,000 Jews in 4 B.C., and there were mass executions in the first century after Christ, according to the Jewish writer Josephus, who was born in Rome.
“Christ was crucified on the pretext that he provoked rebellion against Rome,” the authors wrote in the paper.
According to the account, the triumphant Germanic commander Arminius killed many of the vanquished troops who had fought with Varus in 9 A.D., and Germanic tribesmen crucified Roman tax collectors in 28 A.D., among other examples.
What did crucifixion entail?
People sentenced to death by crucifixion in Rome were scourged beforehand, with the exception of women, Roman senators, and military personnel (unless they had deserted), Retief and Cilliers collaborated on the writing. The Roman practice of scourging involved a victim being stripped nude and bound to a post, after which they were flogged over the back, buttocks, and legs by soldiers. The victim would become weak as a result of the excessive whipping, which would result in deep wounds, extreme agony, and blood.
- “The victim was then often insulted before being made to carry the patibulumtied across his shoulders to the location of the execution,” says the author.
- Occasionally, the Roman troops would inflict more harm on the victim by chopping off a bodily component, such as the tongue, or blinding him.
- The following step differed depending on the region.
- Once this was done, the victim would either be tied to the patibulum or benailed to it.
- Soldiers would typically split up the victim’s clothing among themselves as the victim awaited execution in this situation.
- Some Roman troops accelerated the process by inflicting additional physical punishment on the prisoners.
- Otherwise, the corpse would have been placed on the cross, where it would have been devoured by carnivorous animals and birds.
- After only 6 minutes, the participants were having difficulty breathing and their pulse rates had doubled, while their blood pressure had plunged, according to a 1963 research published in the journal Berlin Medicine (Berliner Medizin).
- However, according to Retief and Cilliers, individuals might have died from a variety of causes, including multiple organ failure and respiratory failure, among others.
It’s no surprise that the crucifixion gave rise to the word “excruciating,” which literally means “out of the cross,” because of the anguish and suffering it involved.
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The original version of this article appeared on Live Science. Laura works as an editor for the Live Science website. She is the editor of Life’s Little Mysteries and writes on general science, including archaeology and wildlife, for the magazine. Her work has featured in publications such as The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science, and Spectrum, a website dedicated to the study of autism. Since joining a weekly newspaper in Seattle, she has been recognized with several prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting.
Louis with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and psychology, and then went on to get a master’s degree in science writing from NYU.
Was Jesus crucified on a cross, pole, or stake?
QuestionAnswer The cross is, without a doubt, the most well-known and adored symbol in all of Christianity. It may be found on the walls of our churches and cathedrals, in our jewelry, in our literature and in our music, as well as in various commercial logos. The empty cross represents the labor done there by our Savior, who voluntarily went to his death in order to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross. “It is completed,” among Jesus’ final words before His death, were “it is finished” (John 19:30).
It is no surprise that the cross has come to represent all that is central to the greatest tale ever told—the story of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.
The Greek term for “cross” is isstauros, which literally translates as “a pole or a cross used as an instrument of deadly punishment.” In the Greek language, the wordtauroo, which is translated as “crucify,” literally means “to be fastened to a pole or a cross.” The same verb was also employed outside of the Bible in the context of building up a fence with stakes, which is a common practice today.
- In spite of the fact that the Greek word stauroscan may mean either “pole” or “stake,” many academics believe that Jesus died on a cross in which the upright beam protruded over the shorter crosspiece.
- The Romans were not particular about how they executed their victims on the cross.
- Jesus might have been crucified on any of these items, and the perfection and fullness of His sacrifice would not have been diminished in any way.
- Certain religious groups, most notably the Catholic Church, disagree.
- In their New World Translation, however, they state that Jesus died on a “torture stake” rather than on a crucifixion, which is incorrect.
- Some indirect evidence in the New Testament are used to argue against the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ belief that Jesus died on a “torture stake,” according to the Witnesses.
- The way of Jesus’ death is revealed to Peter: “‘When you are old, stretch out your hands, and someone else will clothe you and carry you to a place you do not want to go,'” Jesus says.
By displaying outspread arms on a crosspiece, Peter (who history has it was crucified) exemplifies how the Roman practice of crucifixion was typically carried wide.
As Thomas famously stated, “Unless I see the nail imprints on his hands and place my finger where the nails were, and plunge my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Thomas was referring to his famous moment of doubt (verse 25).
If Jesus had been nailed to a stake or a pole instead of a cross, just one nail would have been required.
What is often overlooked in debates about the cross’s form is the significance of the cross to us.
According to Matthew 16:24–25, “anyone seeks to save his life will forfeit it, but whoever forfeits his life for my sake will find it.” The cross, stake, or pole used as a means of execution.
It is only by denying ourselves and giving up our life for the cause of Christ that we may call ourselves “Christians.” The extreme form of losing one’s self in order to follow Christ may be being martyred for one’s faith, but even in the most peaceful of political environments, we must be willing to lose one’s self in order to be His followers, which may entail crucifying one’s own self-righteousness, one’s own self-promotion, and one’s own selfish ambitions.
Those who are unwilling to do so are deemed “unworthy” of His presence (Matthew 10:38).
We have reason to think He did.
If we overlook Thomas’s remarks in John 20:25, we could be on to something.
Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) Is it possible that Jesus was crucified on a cross, pole, or stake?
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