- Dispute about Jesus' execution method
Part of a series on the
Death and resurrection of Jesus Passion Hypotheses Holy Week Miscellaneous Other Views
Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus died on an upright pole: "The Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John use the Greek word stau·ros′ when referring to the instrument of execution on which Jesus died. (Matthew 27:40; Mark 15:30; Luke 23:26) The word stau·ros′ refers to an upright pole, stake, or post." In their own translation of the Bible, they use the phrase "torture stake" to translate the Greek word σταυρός (stauros) in the three passages cited: Matthew 27:40, Mark 15:30 and Luke 23:26.
They also say: "It was not until about 300 years after Jesus’ death that some professed Christians promoted the idea that Jesus was put to death on a two-beamed cross. However, this view was based on tradition and a misuse of the Greek word stau·ros′.
Both these claims are disputed by other scholars, who say that at the time they were written, the words by which the Gospels referred to the gibbet on which Jesus died did not necessarily mean a stake, and Christian writers are cited who long before AD 300 specifically spoke of that gibbet as cross-shaped.
- 1 New Testament terminology
- 2 Terminology in ancient writers
- 3 Early Christian descriptions of the specific gibbet on which Jesus died
- 4 Archaeology
- 5 References
- 6 External links
New Testament terminology
The Koine Greek terms used in the New Testament of the gibbet on which Jesus died are stauros (σταυρός) and xylon (ξύλον). These words, which can refer to many different things, do not indicate the precise shape of the gibbet.
"Stauros" interpreted as stake only
Henry Dana Ward accepted as the only meaning for the gibbet on which Jesus died "a pale, a strong stake, a wooden post" Similarly D.R.W. Wood and I.H. Marshall say: "The Gk. word for 'cross' (stauros; verb stauroō; Lat. crux, crucifigo, 'I fasten to a cross') means primarily an upright stake or beam, and secondarily a stake used as an instrument for punishment and execution. It is used in this latter sense in the NT."
E.W. Bullinger, in The Companion Bible, Appendix 162:
"It [the word stauros] never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always of one piece alone. [...] There is nothing [of the word stauros] in the Greek of the N.T. even to imply two pieces of timber. [...] The Catacombs in Rome bear the same testimony: "Christ" is never represented there as "hanging on a cross". [...] In the Egyptian Churches the cross was a pagan symbol of life, borrowed by the Christians, and interpreted in the pagan manner. In his Letter from Rome Dean Burgon says : "I question whether a cross occurs on any Christian monument of the first four centuries". [...] "The Invention of the Cross" by Helena the mother of Constantine (in 326), though it means her finding of the cross, may or may not be true; but the "invention" of it in pre-Christian times, and the "invention" of its use in later times, are truths of which we need to be reminded in the present day. The evidence is thus complete, that the Lord was put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two pieces of timber placed in any manner." 
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (vol. 1, p. 256) states under the heading "Cross, Crucify":
"stauros denotes, primarily, "an upright pale or stake." On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb stauroo, "to fasten to a stake or pale," are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed "cross." The shape of the latter had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd century AD. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. 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. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the "cross" of Christ."
"Stauros" interpreted as ambivalent in meaning
The Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott reports that the meaning of the word "σταυρός" in the early Homeric form of Greek, possibly of the 8th to 6th century BC, and also in the writings of the 5th-century BC writers Herodotus and Thucydides and the early-4th century BC Xenophon is "an upright pale or stake" used to build a palisade or "a pile driven in to serve as a foundation" It reports that in the writings of the 1st-century BC Diodorus Siculus, 1st-century AD Plutarch and early 2nd-century Lucian - as well as in Matthew 27:40, Luke 9:23, 14:27 - the word "σταυρός" is used to refer to a cross, either as the instrument of crucifixion or metaphorically of voluntary suffering; "its form was indicated by the Greek letter T". It also reports that Plutarch used the word with regard to a pale for impaling a corpse. Of the writers whom Liddell and Scott gives as using "σταυρός" to mean a cross, the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology holds that in Diodorus Siculus the word probably means a stake for hanging.
Joel B. Green writes in The Cambridge Companion to Jesus (Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 90.
If we can accept the certainty of Jesus’ crucifixion as an historical datum, what can we say about the manner of his death? On this, the evidence is far more ambiguous than is generally realised. Literary sensibilities in Roman antiquity did not promote graphic descriptions of the act of crucifixion, and even the gospels are singularly reserved at this point. They report simply, ‘They crucified him’ (Mark 15.24; Luke 23.33; John 19.18). The accounts themselves are devoid of the sort of detail that apparently belonged to the shared cultural encyclopaedia of the Evangelists and their first readers. Literary evidence outside of the gospels makes it clear that, when it came to the act of crucifixion, the Romans were slaves to no standard technique. In describing the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman army, for example, Josephus reports that ‘the soldiers out of rage and hatred amused themselves by nailing their prisoners in different positions’ (J.W. 5.449–51). Elsewhere we learn that victims of crucifixion might be fixed to the stake in order to die, or impaled after death as a public display. They might be fixed to the cross with nails or with ropes. That Jesus was nailed to the cross is intimated in several texts (John 20.25; Acts 2.23; Col 2.14; Gos. Pet. 6.21; Justin Dial. 97). Nor can we turn to archaeological evidence for assistance.
In his doctoral dissertation devoted precisely to the subject, Gunnar Samuelsson also declares that the New Testament terminology is not conclusive one way or another: "(The Gospels) do not describe the event in length. This is my only point. The non-detailed accounts of the Gospels do not, however, contradict the traditional understanding. So the traditional understanding of the death of Jesus is correct, but we could acknowledge that it is more based on the eyewitness accounts than the actual passion narratives."
The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, dealing specifically with the crucifixion of Jesus, says:
It is most likely that the stauros had a transverse in the form of a crossbeam. Secular sources do not permit any conclusion to be drawn as to the precise form of the cross, as to whether it was the crux immissa (+) or crux commissa (T). As it was not very common to affix a titlos (superscription, loanword from the Lat. titulus), it does not necessarily follow that the cross had the form of a crux immissa.
There were two possible ways of erecting the stauros. The condemned man could be fastened to the cross lying on the ground at the place of execution, and so lifted up on the cross. Alternatively, it was probably usual to have the stake implanted in the ground before the execution. The victim was tied to the crosspiece, and was hoisted up with the horizontal beam and made fast to the vertical stake. As this was the simpler form of erection, and the carrying of the crossbeam (patibulum) was probably connected with the punishment for slaves, the crux commissa may be taken as the normal practice. The cross would probably have been not much higher than the height of a man.
The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament of Kittel, Friedrich and Bromiley writes, in its article staurós:
The Cross of Jesus ... The cross is a post with cross-beam, and Jesus is nailed to it.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia of Geoffrey W. Bromiley says:
The form usually seen in pictures, the crux immissa (Latin cross †), is that in which the upright beam projects above the shorter crosspiece. From the mention of an inscription placed above the head of Jesus it may safely be inferred that this was the cross on which He died.
The Gospel of Mark by John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington states:
The shape of Jesus' cross was most likely the crux immissa (the traditional † depiction) or the crux commissa (a T-shaped cross). The victim was first affixed to the crossbeam (patibulum) with ropes and/or nails through the wrists or forearms. Then the crossbeam was fitted on the vertical beam and the victim was lifted up and set on a peg or "seat" on the vertical beam and perhaps also on a footrest. The idea was to prolong the agony, not to make the victim more comfortable.
"Xylon" interpreted as a single stake
In an article dealing with the manner of Jesus' execution, Jehovah's Witnesses state: "As recorded at Acts 5:30, the apostle Peter used the word xy′lon, meaning 'tree', as a synonym for stau·ros′, denoting, not a two-beamed cross, but an ordinary piece of upright timber or tree."
"Xylon" interpreted as ambivalent
In Liddell and Scott, the meanings of the word "ξύλον" are classified under five headings:
- I. wood cut and ready for use, firewood, timber (in these senses the word is usually in the plural);
- II. piece of wood, log, beam, post or an object made of wood, such as a spoon, the Trojan horse, a cudgel or club, an instrument of punishment (a collar for someone's neck, stocks to confine his feet or to confine his neck, arms and legs, a gallows to hang him, or a stake to impale him), a table, a bench as in the theatre;
- III. a tree
- IV. a blockhead or a stubborn person;
- V. a measure of length.
Terminology in ancient writers
Apart from meaning a stake, the word stauros was also used by writers of the early Christian period to refer to a construction with transom.
Using the Greek word σταυρός in its verbal form, the Jewish historian Josephus too, writing of the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70, recounted that the Jews caught outside the city walls "were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city … the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest."
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who lived at the time of the birth of Jesus, described how those condemned to crucifixion were led to the place of execution: "A Roman citizen of no obscure station, having ordered one of his slaves to be put to death, delivered him to his fellow-slaves to be led away, and in order that his punishment might be witnessed by all, directed them to drag him through the Forum and every other conspicuous part of the city as they whipped him, and that he should go ahead of the procession which the Romans were at that time conducting in honour of the god. The men ordered to lead the slave to his punishment, having stretched out both his arms and fastened them to a piece of wood which extended across his breast and shoulders as far as his wrists, followed him, tearing his naked body with whips."
Dionysius here uses the word ξύλον for the horizontal crossbeam (the "patibulum") used in Roman crucifixions; he describes how the hands of the condemned man were tied to it (χεῖρας ἀποτείναντες ἀμφοτέρας [...] προσδήσαντες) for him to be whipped while being led to the place of execution.
The mid-2nd-century diviner Artemidorus spoke of crucifixion as something that occurred on a cross that had breadth as well as height: "Since he is a criminal, he will be crucified in his height and in the extension of his hands."
Lucian of Samosata (121-180) describes the crucifixion of the mythical Prometheus by nailing him to a precipice on the Caucasus "with his hands outstretched (ἐκπετασθεὶς τὼ χεῖρε) from crag to crag."
Early Christian descriptions of the specific gibbet on which Jesus died
The descriptions that Christians of the first centuries gave of the shape of the gibbet on which Jesus died all depict it as having a transom, never as consisting of a simple upright.
The Epistle of Barnabas, which scholars ascribe to some date that may even have been before the end of the 1st century and was certainly earlier than 135, witnesses, whether the writer was an orthodox Christian or not, to the shape people of that time attributed to what Jesus died on: the comparisons it draws with Old Testament figures would have had no validity for its readers if they pictured Jesus as dying on a simple stake.
Referring to what he saw as Old Testament intimations of Jesus and his cross, he likened the cross to the letter T (the Greek letter tau, which had the numeric value of 300), thus describing it as having a crossbeam.
He also wrote, with regard to Exodus 17:11-12: "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, they shall set their hope on Him, war shall be waged against them for ever. Moses therefore pileth arms one upon another in the midst of the encounter, and standing on higher ground than any he stretched out his hands, and so Israel was again victorious."
Celsus (as quoted by Origen)  and Origen himself use the verb "ἀνασκολοπίζω", which originally meant "to impale", of the crucifixion of Jesus. It was considered synonymous with "σταυρῶ", which also seems to have originally meant "to impale", and was applied also to the gibbet of Jesus' execution; but the shape of the gibbet is compared by Origen to that of the letter Τ. The final words of the Trial in the Court of Vowels, found among the works of Lucian, also identify the shape of the σταυρός with that of the letter Τ. And, as already mentioned, in Prometheus on Caucasus Lucian describes Prometheus as crucified "with his hands outstretched".
The 2nd-century Odes of Solomon, probably by a heterodox Christian, includes the following: "I extended my hands and hallowed my Lord, /For the expansion of my hands is His sign. /And my extension is the upright cross (σταυρός)."
Justin Martyr (100–165) explicitly says the cross of Christ was of two-beam shape: "That lamb which was commanded to be wholly roasted was a symbol of the suffering of the cross which Christ would undergo. For the lamb, which is roasted, is roasted and dressed up in the form of the cross. For one spit is transfixed right through from the lower parts up to the head, and one across the back, to which are attached the legs of the lamb."
Like the Epistle of Barnabas, Justin saw the stretched-out hands of Moses in the battle against Amalek as foreshadowing the cross of Jesus: "If he gave up any part of this sign, which was an imitation of the cross (σταυρός}}), the people were beaten, as is recorded in the writings of Moses; but if he remained in this form, Amalek was proportionally defeated, and he who prevailed prevailed by the cross (σταυρός). For it was not because Moses so prayed that the people were stronger, but because, while one who bore the name of Jesus (Joshua) was in the forefront of the battle, he himself made the sign of the cross (σταυρός)."
In his First Apology, 55 Justin refers to various objects as shaped like the cross of Christ: "The sea is not traversed except that trophy which is called a sail abide safe in the ship … And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having the hands extended, and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called the nose, through which there is respiration for the living creature; and this shows no other form than that of the cross (σταυρός)."
The apocryphal Acts of Peter, of the second half of the 2nd century, attaches symbolic significance to the upright and the crossbeam of the cross of Jesus: "What else is Christ, but the word, the sound of God? So that the word is the upright beam whereon I am crucified. And the sound is that which crosseth it, the nature of man. And the nail which holdeth the cross-tree unto the upright in the midst thereof is the conversion and repentance of man."
Irenaeus, who died around the end of the 2nd century, speaks of the cross as having "five extremities, two in length, two in breadth, and one in the middle, on which [last] the person rests who is fixed by the nails."
Hippolytus of Rome, writing about the blessing Jacob obtained from his father Isaac (Genesis 27:1-29), said: "The skins which were put upon his arms are the sins of both peoples, which Christ, when His hands were stretched forth on the cross, fastened to it along with Himself."
In his Octavius, Marcus Minucius Felix, responding to the pagan jibe that Christians worship wooden crosses – an indication of how the cross symbol was already associated with Christians – denies the charge and then retorts that the cross shape (a crossbeam placed on an upright) is honoured even by pagans in the form of their standards and trophies and is in any case found in nature: "Crosses, moreover, we neither worship nor wish for. You, indeed, who consecrate gods of wood, adore wooden crosses perhaps as parts of your gods. For your very standards, as well as your banners; and flags of your camp, what else are they but crosses gilded and adorned? Your victorious trophies not only imitate the appearance of a simple cross, but also that of a man affixed to it. We assuredly see the sign of a cross, naturally, in the ship when it is carried along with swelling sails, when it glides forward with expanded oars; and when the military yoke is lifted up, it is the sign of a cross; and when a man adores God with a pure mind, with hands outstretched. Thus the sign of the cross either is sustained by a natural reason, or your own religion is formed with respect to it."
In language very similar to that of Minucius Felix, Tertullian, too, who distinguished between stipes (stake) and crux (cross), noted that it was the cross that people associated with Christianity. And he indicated that the shape of the cross is that of the letter T: "The Greek letter Tau and our own letter T is the very form of the cross, which (God) predicted would be the sign on our foreheads", and compared it to the shape of a bird with outstretched wings.
The anti-Christian arguments thus cited in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, chapters IX and XXIX, and Tertullian's Apology, 16 show that the cross symbol was already associated with Christians in the 2nd century. Tertullian could designate the body of Christian believers as crucis religiosi, i.e. "devotees of the Cross". In his book De Corona, written in 204, Tertullian tells how it was already a tradition for Christians to trace repeatedly on their foreheads the sign of the cross.
So closely associated with Christ was the cross that Clement of Alexandria, who died between 211 and 216, could without fear of ambiguity use the phrase τὸ κυριακὸν σημεῖον (the Lord's sign) to mean the cross, when he repeated the idea, current as early as the Epistle of Barnabas, that the number 318 (in Greek numerals, ΤΙΗ) in Genesis 14:14 was a foreshadowing (a "type") of the cross (T, an upright with crossbar, standing for 300) and of Jesus (ΙΗ, the first two letter of his name ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, standing for 18).
For other 2nd-century instances of the use of the cross, in its familiar form, as a Christian symbol, see the references in the Jewish Encyclopedia article on the cross:
- The cross as a Christian symbol or "seal" came into use at least as early as the 2nd century (see "Apost. Const." iii. 17; Epistle of Barnabas, xi.-xii.; Justin, "Apologia," i. 55-60; "Dial. cum Tryph." 85-97); and the marking of a cross upon the forehead and the chest was regarded as a talisman against the powers of demons (Tertullian, "De Corona," iii.; Cyprian, "Testimonies," xi. 21-22; Lactantius, "Divinæ Institutiones," iv. 27, and elsewhere). Accordingly the Christian Fathers had to defend themselves, as early as the 2nd century, against the charge of being worshipers of the cross, as may be learned from Tertullian, "Apologia," xii., xvii., and Minucius Felix, "Octavius," xxix. Christians used to swear by the power of the cross (see Apocalypse of Mary, viii., in James, "Texts and Studies," iii. 118).
The significance of the remains of a man crucified in Palestine in the 1st century has been interpreted in different ways, and in any case does not prove that Jesus was executed in the same way.
The Alexamenos graffito, which is the earliest surviving pictorial representation of a crucifixion and has been interpreted as mockery of a Christian, shows a cross as an instrument of execution. Its date is uncertain: some have posited for it a date as early as 85, but it may be as late as the 3rd century, and even thus prior to AD 300.
- ^ a b c Jehovah's Witnesses Official Website, "Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?"
- ^ Henry Dana Ward, The History of the Cross, The Book Tree publ., 1871/1999, p. 52.
- ^ Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H, "Cross, Crucifiction," New Bible Dictionary, InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove 1996, c1982, c1962, p. 245
- ^ E.W. Bullinger The Companion Bible Appendix 162
- ^ Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
- ^ Odyssey 14:11 (translation), Iliad 24: 453 (translation), Peloponnesian War 4:90:2 translation), Anabasis, 5:2:21 (translation)
- ^ Herodotus 5:16 (translation), Peloponnesian War 7:25 (translation).
- ^ Liddell and Scott: sta????
- ^ Colin Brown, "Stauros," New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, The Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids Michigan, 2001. Electronic version 2.8.
- ^ Gunnar Samuelson, Crucifixion in Antiquity
- ^ Questions and Answers
- ^ The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, p. 392 (quoted here)
- ^ Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological dictionary of the New Testament (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1985 ISBN 0-8028-2404-8, 9780802824042) p. 1071
- ^ Geoffrey W. Bromiley, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D (ISBN 978-0-8028-3781-3), p. 826
- ^ [http://books.google.ie/books?lr=&id=xZAIsUZOwSQC&dq=cross+Jesus+shape&q=crux+immissa#v=snippet&q=vertical%20beam&f=false John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark (ISBN 978-0-8146-5804-8), p. 442]
- ^ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%23 71752 Liddell and Scott: ξύλον]
- ^ προβασανιζόμενοι τοῦ θανάτου πᾶσαν αἰκίαν ἀνεσταυρούντο του τείχους αντικρύ [...] προσήλουν δὲ οἱ στρατιῶται δι' ὀργήν καὶ μίσος τοὺς ἁλόντας ἄλλον ἄλλῳ σχήματι πρὸς χλεύην (The War of the Jews, 5:11 [449-451)
- ^ Ρωμαῖος οὐκ ἀφανής θεράποντα ἴδιον ἐπὶ τιμωρίᾳ θανάτου παραδοὺς τοῖς ὁμοδούλοις ἄγειν, ἵνα δὴ περιφανὴς ἡ τιμωρία τοῦ ἀνθρώπου γένηται, δι' ἀγορᾶς αὐτὸν ἐκέλευσε μαστιγούμενον ἕλκειν καὶ εἴ τις ἄλλος ἦν τῆς πόλεως τόπος ἐπιφανής ἡγούμενον τῆς πομπῆς, ἣν ἔστελλε τῷ θεῷ κατ' ἐκεῖνον τὸν καιρὸν ἡ πόλις. Οἱ δ' ἄγοντες τὸν θεράποντα ἐπὶ τὴν τιμωρίαν τὰς χεῖρας ἀποτείναντες ἀμφοτέρας καὶ ξύλῳ προσδήσαντες παρὰ τὰ στέρνα τε καὶ τοὺς ὤμους καὶ μέχρι τῶν καρπῶν διήκοντι παρηκολούθουν ξαίνοντες μάστιξι γυμνὸν ὄντα. (Roman Antiquities, VII, 69:1-2). Cf. David L. Turner, Matthew (Baker Publishing 2008 ISBN 9780801026843), pp. 654-655; Helen K. Bond, Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation (Cambridge University Press 2004 ISBN 9780521616201), p. 116; William L. Lane, The Gospel according to Mark (Eerdmans 1974 ISBN 9780802823403p. 560; Raymond E. Brown, The Death of the Messiah (Doubleday 1999 ISBN 9780385494489), p. 870
- ^ Since Greek did not have a specific word for what in Latin was called the patibulum, it seems possible that the crossbeam is what is meant by the word "σταυρός" applied in Matthew , Mark , Luke and John to what Jesus himself or Simon of Cyrene carried to his place of execution. "If we can accept the certainty of Jesus' crucifixion as an historical datum, what can we say about the manner of his death? ... In spite of the paucity and ambiguity of the evidence, Martin Hengel suggests a summary sketch of the Roman procedure of crucifixion. Crucifixion included a flogging beforehand, with victims generally made to carry their own crossbeams to the location of their execution, where they were bound or nailed to the cross with arms extended, raised up, and, perhaps seated on a small wooden peg (Hengel 1977: 22–32)" (Markus Bockmuehl, The Cambridge Companion to Jesus. Cambridge University Press, 2001, pages 90-91).
- ^ "κακούργος δὲ ὦν σταυρωθήσεται διὰ τὸ ὕψος καὶ τὴν τῶν χειρῶν ἔκτασιν" (Oneirocritica 1:76)
- ^ "ἐκπετασθεὶς τὼ χεῖρε ἀπὸ τούτου τοῦ κρημνοῦ πρὸς τὸν ἐναντίον" (Prometheus on Caucasus, 1-2)
- ^ This work is not considered to be by the 1st-century apostle Barnabas.
- ^ John Dominic Crossan, The Cross that Spoke, p. 121
- ^ For a discussion of the date of the work, see Information on Epistle of Barnabas and Andrew C. Clark, "Apostleship: Evidence from the New Testament and Early Christian Literature," Evangelical Review of Theology, 1989, Vol. 13, p. 380
- ^ a b Epistle of Barnabas, 9:7-8
- ^ Εἶτα φησὶν ὁ Κέλσος: Τί φησὶ καὶ ἀνασκολοπιζομένου τοῦ σώματος; (Contra Celsum, II:36)
- ^ a b "καὶ "Κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἀφῆκε τὸ πνεῦμα", προλαβὼν τοὺς ἐπὶ τῶν ἀνασκολοπιζομένων δήμιους, ὑποτέμνοντας τὰ σκέλη τῶν σταυρουμένων" (Contra Celsum, III, 32).
- ^ Contra Celsum, III, 32
- ^ Selecta in Ezechiel, 9:4; cf. Arche: A Collection of Patristic Studies By Jacobus Cornelis Maria van Winden
- ^ Δίκη Φωνηέντων, 12.4-13
- ^ Ode 27
- ^ Dialogue with Trypho, chapter XL
- ^ Dialogue with Tryphon, 90:4
- ^ Acts of Peter, 38
- ^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, II, xxiv, 4
- ^ Hippolytus as quoted in Jerome's, Epist. 36, Ad Damasum, Num. XVIII
- ^ "The cross as it appears on the sarcophagi has often a close likeness to the standards which were carried before the Roman armies, on which the transverse bar supported the banner bearing the images of the reigning emperors, the sacri vultus. Thus the standards had the form of the letter tau (T), which was in fact the most realistic form of the cross, as Tertullian (Apol. 16) and Justin Martyr remark" (Walter Lowrie, Art in the Early Church. Pantheon Books, 1947, p. 98).
- ^ Octavius, 29
- ^ He wrote, for instance, in Apology, chapter 12, "Crucibus et stipitibus inponitis Christianos" (You put Christians on crosses and stakes)
- ^ Apology, 16
- ^ Against Marcion, Book III, 22
- ^ On Prayer, chapter 29
- ^ Carotta, Francesco; Eickenberg, Arne (October 2009). "Orpheos Bakkikos—The Missing Cross". http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/articula/Orpheos_Bakkikos_en.pdf. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- ^ The Orpheus Amulet from the cover of The Jesus Mysteries
- ^ Hengel, Martin (1977). Crucifixion in the ancient world and the folly of the message of the cross. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. pp. 13 and 22. ISBN 080061268X. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=UDEPFqTiQhUC&oi=fnd&pg=PP13&dq=crucifixion+dionysus&ots=CaGSFj0Upg&sig=IiXrsGDe6Jkk8z9tHl27dwUciU4#v=onepage&q=crucifixion%20dionysus&f=false. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- ^ Apology., chapter xvi.
- ^ "At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign" (De Corona, chapter 3)
- ^ Stromata, book VI, chapter XI
- ^ Joe Zias, Crucifixion in Antiquity - The Evidence and Zias and Sekeles, “The Crucified Man from Giv‘at ha-Mitvar: A Reappraisal,” Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 35 (1985)
- Catholic Answers Web site: Cross or Stake?
- Expository Times, February 1973 volume IXXXIV No. 6, An Archeological Note on Crucifixion, at PBS Web site.
- Awake!, Jehovah's Witnesses' magazine, April 2006: "The Bible's Viewpoint: Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?
- Watchers of the Watch Tower World Web site: The facts on crucifixion, stauros and the "torture stake"
- Justus Lipsius, De Cruce, Antwerp 1594, showing many different forms of crucifixion, while presenting that of Jesus as being on a two-beam cross
- Justus Lipsius, De Cruce, Leiden 1695, later edition of the same book
- John Denham Parsons, The Non-Christian Cross —An Enquiry into the Origin and History of the Symbol Eventually Adopted as that of Our Religion, London, 1896, downloadable book at Project Gutenberg
- Herman Fulda, Das Kreuz und die Kreuzung, Eine antiquarische Untersuchung. Breslau, 1878.
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