And God did intervene—that is how we are to understand the coming of Jesus into this world and His death on the cross. That Christ did not die on the traditionally shaped cross is also indicated by the testimony of the catacombs. The debt had been paid; the way back to the Father was open. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is … Historians and researchers have found no evidence to validate the use of the cross among the early Christians. Besides, the use of the cross in worship is no different from the use of images in worship, a practice condemned in the Bible. The gospel writers were not overly interested in precision in this matter. He did not remain in the grave, but arose from the dead with a glorified body, … Did Jesus Christ really die on the cross? Why is this symbol so widespread in Christendom? Jesus Christ is the Lord, the second Person of the Godhead, who came to earth as a Man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, and was resurrected bodily from the dead (1 Cor. And soon after the ninth hour, that is, between three and four o’clock in the afternoon, he died. AWAKE! Possibly the most powerful proof is the many bloodstains on the cloth—a dead body no longer bleeds, after all. The answer is that the cross is venerated not only by churchgoers who claim to follow the Bible but also by people far removed from the Bible and whose worship far predates that of “Christian” churches. Matthew27:37 supports a cross when it says, “Above his head they had put the charge against him in writing: ‘THIS IS J… Watchtower makes the claim that Jesus died on a stake and that the cross is a pagan, idolatrous symbol. First-century Christians, however, held the sacrificial death of Christ in high esteem. School Friendships—How Close Is Too Close. To die does not mean to go out of existence. But, as I soon found out, we have fundamentally different views on whether Jesus died on a cross. Since then, crosses of many forms and shapes have come into use. Article explains the crucifixion of Jesus, why did Jesus die, why Jesus was arrested and what he was charged with, and what Jesus himself said about the purpose of his death and resurrection. rosʹ. Notice the description of Joseph of Arimathea: Mark 15:42-46 rosʹ. According to the non-Christians at the scene, Jesus was dead on the cross. In other words, God did not require Jesus to be crucified to fulfill some mystical prophecy. If he was from God, then God will definitely save him. Matthew Henry explains in his commentary, Jesus was nailed to the cross between the third and the sixth hour, that is, between nine and twelve o’clock. by Matt Slick 12/11/2008. And many of the Corinthians that heard began to believe and be baptized.” (Acts 18:5-8) Instead of introducing some religious symbol or image into their worship, Paul instructed his fellow Christians to “flee from idolatry” and from any other practice drawn from pagan worship.​—1 Corinthians 10:14. Many would point to the Bible for the answer. I knew Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses have fundamentally different views on why Jesus died on the cross. John20:25 indicates Jesus died on a cross, not a stake. The English word 'crucifixion' comes from the Latin, the language spoken by the Romans. Constantine purportedly converted to Christianity, though he was not baptized until 25 years later on his deathbed. For example, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and depictions of their gods and goddesses often show a cross in the shape of a T with a circle at the top. Certain cults, most notably the Jehovah’s Witnesses, are adamant that Jesus did not die on a cross and that the cross is in fact a pagan symbol. SMS Email Facebook Twitter Copy Link. Did Jesus really die on a cross? A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. It was a carefully planned event, as indicated by Paul when he points out that Christ’s death was “according to Scriptures”. The use of the plural term shows Jesus was crucified with two nails, one in each hand, not a single nail through the wrist as depicted in Watchtower images. His motive was questioned by some. Herod the Great was ruler over Judaea from 47 BC until his death in 4 BC. It is not the equivalent of a ‘cross.’”. Jesus Died To Pay The Penalty For Our Sins. Read the previous part first: “A critical review of Trinity, Sin, & Salvation in Christianity“ The cornerstone of Christian belief is that Jesus came to die as the substitutionary death for the sins of mankind. What the Gospel writers described was nothing like what people today call a cross, A 17th-century drawing of an execution on a staurosʹ, from Lipsius’ De Cruce, Egyptian wall painting (c. 14th century B.C.E.) The Bible shows that in the first century, many who heard Jesus became believers and accepted the redeeming value of his sacrificial death. Article also includes what God is offering us, because of Jesus death on the cross. Answer: Did God die when Jesus died on the cross? Based on the cloth, science was able to prove that Jesus did not die on the cross! It is not known exactly when the cross was adopted as a “Christian” symbol. The Jehovah's Witnesses, however, teach that Jesus died on a stake, not a cross.1 It really does not matter the shape of the piece of wood on which Jesus died. The purpose of his second coming is primarily establishment of justice on earth and killing of anti christ. Sorry, there was an error loading the video. According to the Gospel of John, after Jesus' death, one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died, then blood and water gushed from the wound. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Suggested readings and viewing. Appropriately, therefore, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures uses the expression “torture stake” at Matthew 27:40-42 and in other places where the word staurosʹ appears. While one can argue for the case of Jesus’ death on the cross based on Gospel accounts, from the […] The conventional picture of a Latin cross (crux immissa) has been challenged over the centuries as some scholars and even Christian communities have argued instead that Christ died on a T-shaped cross (crux comissa) or even upon a simple stake (crux simplex).’ "Stauros" … 25% of Christians do not believe in resurrection and Queen’s former chaplain calls them non-Christians. According to Greek scholar W. E. Vine, staurosʹ “denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. Taking all the evidence together, Jesus was crucified at some time in the morning, and He died at some time in the afternoon. Did Jesus tell his disciples that he was going to die on a cross before it happened (referring to this quote specifically)? Here’s the thing: Jesus did NOT have to die on the cross. Thus the Jew erred because they did not recognized the "Messiah", the spiritual form of Jesus. What does the Bible say In the Bible we can read (in the Bible Book Acts 5:30), that Jesus was executed “by hanging on a tree” (The New Jerusalem Bible). Share According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, “the primitive form of the cross seems to have been that of the so-called ‘gamma’ cross (crux gammata), better known to Orientalists and students of prehistoric archæology by its Sanskrit name, swastika.” This sign was widely used among Hindus in India and Buddhists throughout Asia and is still seen in decorations and ornaments in those areas. Likely you would be repulsed at the idea! May be that was the reason that Jesus was so reluctant to suffer on the cross. What Time Did Jesus Die? Many would point to the Bible for the answer. The Bible describes seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, as well as several supernatural events that occurred. Thomas is recorded as stating, “unless I see in his hands the print of the nailsand stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will certainly not believe”. But have you ever wondered why Jesus died on the cross? On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Some writers point to the claim by the sun-god worshipper Constantine that in 312 C.E., while on one of his military campaigns, he had a vision of a cross superimposed on the sun along with the motto in Latin “in hoc vince” (by this conquer). For example, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary tells us that what is called St. Anthony’s cross “was shaped like a capital T, thought by some to be derived from the symbol of the [Babylonian] god Tammuz, the letter tau.” There was also the St. Andrew’s cross, which is in the shape of the letter X, and the familiar two-beamed cross with the crossbar lowered. What year did Jesus die? Crosses even decorated Scandinavian rock engravings during the Bronze Age, centuries before Jesus was born. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.”​—John 13:34, 35.  |  It is noteworthy that some ancient drawings depicting Roman executions feature a single wooden pole or tree. Death is separation. Crucifixion was a regular punishment at the time for anyone who broke the law (after all, the myth has it that there were two other criminals on either side of him). Worship acceptable to God does not require objects or images. Would you produce replicas of the weapon in various sizes? Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states: “By the middle of the 3rd cent. Both the noun and the verb stauroō, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross.”, The Imperial Bible-Dictionary says that the word staurosʹ “properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground.” The dictionary continues: “Even amongst the Romans the crux (Latin, from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.” Thus, it is not surprising that The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Certain it is, at any rate, that the cross originally consisted of a simple vertical pole, sharpened at its upper end.”, There is another Greek word, xyʹlon, that Bible writers used to describe the instrument of Jesus’ execution. When Jesus died, the heavy veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. TERMS OF USE So, in total, Jesus hung not even six hours on the cross—an unus… In the book The Cross and Crucifixion, by Hermann Fulda, it is said: “Jesus died on a simple death-stake: In support of this there speak (a) the then customary usage of this means of execution in the Orient, (b) indirectly the history itself of Jesus’ sufferings and (c) many expressions of the early church fathers.” Fulda also points out that some of the oldest illustrations of Jesus impaled depict him on a simple pole. Thus Dean Burgon, in his Letters from Rome, wrote: “I question whether a cross occurs on any Christian monument of the first four centuries.” In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols,” including the cross. Numerous religious reference works acknowledge that the use of crosses in various shapes and forms goes back to remote periods of human civilization. After the apostle Paul preached to the Jews in Corinth, proving that Jesus is the Christ, says the Bible, “Crispus the presiding officer of the synagogue became a believer in the Lord, and so did all his household. Jesus told his followers: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. Not the cross or any other symbol, but love. (Matthew 20:28) This superlative expression of God’s love will bring untold blessings to lovers of truth, including the prospect of everlasting life.​—John 17:3; Revelation 21:3, 4. After sundown the supposedly dead body of Christ was taken down from the cross. PRIVACY POLICY, https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/ct/a281a290e9/images/cvr_placeholder.jpg. A more important issue for true Christians should be the propriety of venerating the instrument used to kill Jesus. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16) Nowhere do the Scriptures suggest that a Christian’s worship should include the use of a likeness of the instrument used to impale Jesus.​—Compare Matthew 15:3; Mark 7:13. April 2006. AWAKE! It is noteworthy that some ancient drawings depicting Roman executions feature a single wooden pole or tree. Whether it was an upright single torture stake, a cross, an arrow, a lance, or a knife, should such an instrument be used in worship? Today’s English Version says of Simon from Cyrene: “The soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.” (Mark 15:21) In these verses, the word “cross” is translated from the Greek word staurosʹ. This latter type, called the Latin cross, is erroneously “held by tradition to be the shape of the cross on which our Lord died.”. Most people have heard of the crucifixion of Jesus. BBC Documentary: Did Jesus Die On the Cross? Paul shows the cross is not only acceptable but an important part of Christianity. Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross? Accordingly, Jesus' body was really put on the cross, but his spirit did not die, but ascended to heaven. The Romans crucified thousands of people, and there is abundant evidence of this means of execution. Jehovah's Witnesses love Matthew 24:14: “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in ALL THE INHABITED EARTH, for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” The end for Jerusalem did come in 70 C.E. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. The Bible tells us that He was a man whose conduct was irreproachable in every situation. and the good news was preached in all the inhabited earth as they saw it. A less common opinion among scholars hold that the crucifixion of Jesus was just an illusion. Or would you have these reproductions commercially manufactured and sold to friends and relatives to be venerated? Did Jesus really die on a cross? The Bible doesn't detail when Jesus was born or when He died, but we can figure it out based on other historical facts. The crucifixion of Jesus was not a historical accident. Likewise today, although the instrument used to torture and kill Jesus is not to be worshipped, true Christians commemorate Jesus’ death as the means by which God provides salvation to imperfect humans. Is there a solid basis for such a translation? Would you try to gain possession of the murder weapon, take photographs of it, and print many copies for distribution? If there were a Jesus, and he did die on the cross there is nothing unusual about that. Their insistence on this point is curious, given the ambiguity of the Greek word. 4. featuring the ansate cross, a symbol of life, The gamma cross on the Laxmi Narayan Hindu temple, From the book The Cross in Tradition, History, and Art (1897), The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom—1987, The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom—1957, The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom—1989, The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom—2011. Some ancient drawings depict the use of a single wooden pole in Roman executions, Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations, Copyright © 2020 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. He will come back again and live normal life and then die. Publication download options His words were loving, wise, and full of truth. For example, according to the King James Version, at the time of Jesus’ execution, onlookers made fun of Jesus and challenged him to “come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27:40, 42) Many other Bible translations read similarly. Interestingly, the book History of the Cross quotes one late 17th-century writer who asked: “Can it be pleasing to the blessed Jesus to behold His disciples glorying in the image of that instrument of capital punishment on which He [supposedly] patiently and innocently suffered, despising the shame?” How would you answer? But they have worded their New World Translation to say that Jesus died on a “torture stake” rather than a cross. He would have spent somewhere between three and six hours on the cross, with a good portion of that time in total darkness. 13:1-8). Similarly, the Complete Jewish Bible uses the expression “execution stake.”. Historically and biblically, it is plain that Jesus died on a cross. It is their belief that Jesus died on an upright stake with no crossbeam. The answer depends on how we understand the meaning of the word die. Jesus’ victory over sin was also a victory over death. As we know, Jesus was crucified on the Friday before the Passover Feast at, according to the Evangelist, the sixth hour (12 pm). What is the meaning of that original word? Yet, these very things have been done with the cross! “THE cross,” says one encyclopedia, “is the most familiar symbol of Christianity.” Many religious paintings and works of art depict Jesus nailed to a cross. The issue is whether or not He shed His blood for our sins. How did the cross come to be such a popular symbol? The Latin word 'crucifixio' means 'to fix to a cross' and it is formed from the prefix 'cruci' from the Latin word 'crux' ('cross') and the verb 'figere' ('to fix or attach'). In time, this form of the cross was adopted and used extensively by the Coptic Church and others. (Exodus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 4:25, 26) The apostle John accurately reflected the teachings of true Christianity when he admonished his fellow Christians with the words: “Guard yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21) This they did even when it meant facing death in the Roman arena. Some time later, a “Christian” sign was emblazoned on the standards, shields, and armor of his army. “What agreement does God’s temple have with idols?” Paul asked. Eyewitness Connection Take a look at the description of the burial of Jesus offered in the Gospel of Mark. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. The use of the cross can be traced back to Mesopotamia, to two thousand years before Christ. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus was crucified on a stake, not a cross. He ascended into heaven and will return to earth to judge all people and angels and to establish the eternal kingdom of God. (Pictured at left.) Would you then fashion some of them into jewelry? JESUS did not die on the cross but simply fainted, giving the appearance of death, and was later resuscitated, biblical scholars have claimed. At the ninth hour (3 pm) he ‘gave up the Ghost’. “He acted rather as if he were converting Christianity into what he thought most likely to be accepted by his subjects as a catholic [universal] religion, than as if he had been converted to the teachings of Jesus the Nazarene,” says the book The Non-Christian Cross. Islam teaches that Jesus didn’t die on cross, but that he was lifted up to heaven alive. What, then, is the identifying mark of true Christians? April 2006, Share A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament defines xyʹlon as “a piece of timber, a wooden stake.” It goes on to say that like staurosʹ, xyʹlon “was simply an upright pale or stake to which the Romans nailed those who were thus said to be crucified.”, In line with this, we note that the King James Version reads at Acts 5:30: “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree [xyʹlon].” Other versions, though rendering staurosʹ as “cross,” also translate xyʹlon as “tree.” At Acts 13:29, The Jerusalem Bible says of Jesus: “When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree [xyʹlon] and buried him.”, In view of the basic meaning of the Greek words staurosʹ and xyʹlon, the Critical Lexicon and Concordance, quoted above, observes: “Both words disagree with the modern idea of a cross, with which we have become familiarised by pictures.” In other words, what the Gospel writers described using the word staurosʹ was nothing like what people today call a cross. Jesus’ Second Coming. Why Did Jesus Have to Die on the Cross? If the Bible does not really say that Jesus was executed on a cross, then why do all the churches that claim to teach and follow the Bible​—Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox—​adorn their buildings with the cross and use it as a symbol of their faith? It is called the ansate, or handle-shaped, cross and is thought to be a symbol of life. rosʹ, according to Crucifixion in Antiquity, means “a pole in the broadest sense. For example, according to the King James Version, at the time of Jesus’ execution, onlookers made fun of Jesus and challenged him to “come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27:40, 42) Many other Bible translations read similarly. Suppose a loved one of yours was brutally murdered and the weapon was submitted to the court as evidence. These claims are unfounded and this section presents some of the ample evidence that Jesus died on a cross. Physical death is when the soul-spirit separates from the physical body. 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