Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Question #32

If Jesus was executed on a torture stake, with both hands together over his head, as only the WTS teaches, why does Jn 20:25 say "... unless I see in his hands the print of the nailS...", indicating that there was more than one nail used for his hands? Two nails would have been used if he was crucified on a cross.

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The original Greek words that are translated as cross in popular versions are xylon and starous, which mean tree and stake, respectively. So, that is a pretty good indication that Jesus was not put to death on a cross. It turns out that the cross was in use as a religious symbol long before Jesus came to earth. When original Christianity became corrupted and hijacked by the Roman empire eventually the cross was instituted as the very symbol of Christianity - thus Satan inserted his pagan symbol in that which claimed to belong to Christ. As far as two nails, that could be understood to mean the two nail prints, one in each hand. Given the foregoing, it certainly should not be the determining factor. 

1 comment:

  1. Poor answer. Your answer reveals a poor research of the topic. Rutherford failed in doing a good research of the word stauros. Although the greek word stauros meant pole or stake originally, around 500 BCE, it doesn't mean that it word did not take a broader meaning in the first century.

    The following excerpt from the Imperial Bible-Dictionary, edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376.explains it quite well:

    "The Greek word for cross, [stauros], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground. But a modification was introduced as the dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves through Greek-speaking countries. Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole, and this always remained the more prominent part. But from the time that it began to be recognized as an instrument of punishment, a transverse piece of wood was commonly added...In another place (Consol ad Marciam, xx.), Seneca mentions three different forms: 'I see,' says he, 'three crosses, not indeed of one sort, but fashioned in different ways: one sort suspending by the head persons bent toward the earth, others transfixing them through their secret parts, others extending their arms on a patibulum.' There can be no doubt, however, that the latter sort was the more common, and that about the period of the gospel age crucifixion was usually accomplished by suspending the criminal on a cross piece of wood."

    Luke 23:26: Jesus carried his own "cross" to the place of execution, with the assistance of Simon of Cyrene. Cross-referencing the biblical accounts with available historical records, such as the writings of Josephus leads to the conclusion that what Jesus most likely carried was the transverse piece mentioned in the Imperial Bible-Dictionary (called the patibulum). According to historical documents, convicted criminals NEVER carried the 300+ lb upright stake, but rather the lighter transverse beam.

    John Denham Parsons, quoted as an authority by the Watch Tower Society from Rutherford, was a skeptic who also wrote "Our Sun-God: Or Christianity before Christ" attempting to prove a connection between Jesus and the Egyptian God Horus. Incidentally, he also wrote to try and prove that Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare, and he was a member of the Society for Psychical Research to promote information on psychics and the paranormal. (The Watchtower Society seems to have a thing for quoting as authority people who dabble in spiritism). The research provided by Parsons regarding crux is quite flawed. For instance, he quotes Livy as using crux to mean stake (Livy, xxviii. 29) but was mistaken. Livy used the word palus not crux in this passage - "Bound to a stake (deligati adpalum) they were scouraged and beheaded" (28.29.11). Parsons also quotes Lucian saying Jesus was "fastened to a skolops;" (De Morte Peregrini) and claims Lucian used skolops to mean a single piece of wood. Yet this too is wrong, as Lucian uses the same verb anaskolopizoó in Lis Consonantium, 12 to refer to crucifixion on a two-beamed stauros. Parson's book is available to download online, and it doesn't take much skimming to get a feel for the tone of the book. BTW, he also suggests that the "apple," or the fruit from the Garden of Eden was a phallic symbol.

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