Jesus on the Cross or Tree?  

jesus cross

Christians love and respect the Cross

The Cross is believed to represent the Crucifixion of Jesus, but the history is not so straightforward.

1. The Cross
In contemporary Christianity, the cross is a symbol of the atonement and reminds Christians of God's love in sacrificing his own son for humanity.

It represents Jesus' victory over sin and death, since it is believed that through his death and resurrection he conquered death itself.
2. Tree or Cross?
The Greek word for "Cross" is stauros. This translates as an upright pale or stake.

Bible writers use another word for the instrument of Jesus' death. It is the Greek word xy╩╣lon which means "timber, a stick, club or tree".

Linguistically, in the Greek text, Jesus was crucified on an upright Tree-like pole or stick, not a Cross. Many English Bible versions read Jesus' crucifixion was on a Tree.
3. Bible reads Tree
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
4. Crux Simplex
The Bible points to hanging on a Tree-like post. The Crux Simplex (also known as a stipe, pole, post, stake and phallic symbol) was used to crucify criminals.

  • The Crux Simplex evolved from a tree dedicated to the Gods of the nether world
  • Type of tree: Infelix lignum/Arbor infelix
  • Non-fruit bearing
  • Unproductive with no value
  • Cheap to mass produce
  • Ideal for crucifying criminals
Trees were not often available at the locations chosen for public execution. A simple beam was sunk into the ground. On to this, the outlaws with their hands raised up and their feet were bound or nailed.

A simple beam was sunk into the ground. The criminals hands were raised upward and were bound and nailed Das Kreuz und die Kreuzigung (The Cross and the Crucifixion)
Hermann Fuldaa
5. Emperor Constantine
Constantine Chose The Cross
In 312 AD, Emperor Constantine's famous vision of the Cross superimposed on the Sun is cited as the key life-changing event.

The vision persuaded Constantine that choosing the Cross as the official Christian religious symbol was best. From thereon, historical evidence proves that Constantine merged various pagan Sun-God worship practises into Christianity.
From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man's civilization.

Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world. India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples, while numerous instances, dating from the later Stone Age to Christian times, have been found in nearly every part of Europe.

The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times, and among non-Christian peoples, may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship [i.e. pagan Sun God?]. The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1910, Vol. 7, pg. 506
6. Cross Emerges Triumphant
After 300 years, the Cross was introduced
For 300 years following Jesus' death, the Christians did not use the Cross in their worship.

The Early Jewish-Christians believed the Cross symbol was a reminder of the torture used to crucify Jesus. The concepts of torture, suffering and death were viewed in a positive light by the pagans.

After 300 years, attitudes changed. The suffering of Jesus became central to Christianity. The Cross now became the perfect symbol to identify with Jesus' pain and suffering.
4th Century, Emperor Constantine, a pagan converted to Christianiity (disputed) and established Christianity across the Roman Empire. He promoted the Cross as the official religious symbol.

6th Century onwards, the Crucifix (a cross with the image of Jesus) gained widespread acceptance.
7. Types of Cross
Constantine had a wide selection of Crosses from which to choose. Each Cross was unique in design, styling and competing with another Cross for religious followers. A few Cross variations include:
8. Tau Cross
The Tau Cross (T-shaped) was adopted to encourage Pagans to convert to Christianity.

The Tau Cross was brought into the Christian church by Constantine. It has since been adored with all the homage due only to God.

The Tau Cross
  • An emblem of immortality and life
  • A phallic symbol
  • A pagan symbol of the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans
  • A pagan symbol of the Egyptians
  • A pagan symbol of Mithras, the Roman God
  • A pagan symbol of Attis, the Greek God
  • A pagan symbol of Tammuz, the Sumerian solar god, consort of the goddess Ishtar
  • Located the place where pagans worshipped crucified saviors hanging on a cross (Tertullian)
The cross symbol pre-dates Christianity and goes back to a very remote period of human civilization. Various authorities linked the Cross with nature worship and pagan sex rites.

The cross is found in both pre-Christian and non-Christian cultures.
New Catholic Encyclopedia
9. Tau Cross with 4 Corners
The Tau Cross (T-shaped) was chosen for its 4 Corners.

After 300 years, the Cross was chosen as the preferred Christian religious symbol as it was a shape with 4 corners.

  • The Cross has 4 corners
  • The observance of the "Crossing" and resurrection of the Sun (Sun-God) at the Vernal Equinox (Easter) uses the 4 seasons
  • Irenaeus, a 2nd century bishop of Lyon in Roman Gaul believed the number 4 to be important
  • Irenaeus declared the 4 gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke, John). He reasoned their were 4 directions, 4 winds and so their should be 4 gospels
  • The Tree (Crux Simplex) has two corners, and so was not a suitable symbol
10. Uses of Tau Cross
1. Sunday Sabbath
In 321 AD, Sunday was designated as the "venerable day of the Sun", as the edict read, is proof of Constantine's continued allegiance to Sol Invictus the Sun-God.
2. Monetary Currency
The Sun-God worship by Constantine can be evidenced through the use of images of the Sun-deity on coins that were issued by him up to the year 323 AD.
3. Baptism
During baptism ceremonies, the cross was marked on the foreheads by the pagan priest.
4. Conversion
Even after converting to Christianity, Constantine continued to worship the Sun-God and its symbol, the cross. Many scholars doubted Constantine's "conversion to Christianity" as he continued his wicked deeds and requested to be baptized on his death-bed years later in 337 AD.
5. Bible
The "Sun-God and Cross" vision which Constantine had is not mentioned in the Bible.
Even after 314 AD. the coins of Constantine show an even-armed cross as a symbol for the Sun-God
Johannes Geffcken, The Last Days of Greco-Roman Paganism, p.319
11. 19th Century Writings
Writers during the 19th century acknowledged the pagan origin of the Cross. Consequently, authors and writers reflected on the 'paganism' that had crept into Christianity in their texts:

Of medieval images of monsters: "The disembodied phallus is also formed into a cross, which, before it became for Christianity the symbol of salvation, was a pagan symbol of fertility " David Williams
Crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian Sun-God. It should be stated that Constantine was a Sun-God worshipper. The evidence is thus complete, that the Lord was put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two pieces of timber placed at any angle. Dr Bullinger, in the Companion Bible, appx. 162
The cross was used by worshipers of Tammuz, an Ancient Near East deity of Babylonian origin who had the cross-shaped taw (tau) as his symbol. W.E. Vine
This Pagan symbol. The Tau, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah, the mystic Tau of the Cladeans (Babylonians) and Egyptians - the true original form of the letter T the initial of the name of Tammuz. the Babylonian cross was the recognised emblem of Tammuz. Rev Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 197-205
The Teutonic (Germanic) tribes had their idol Thor, symbolised by a hammer. The Roman Christians had their crux (cross). It was thus somewhat easier for the Teutons to accept the Roman Cross.Jacob Grimm, in his Deutsche Mythologie
12. Idolatory
Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me
So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Accursed is every man hung upon a stake [a tree]
If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God's curse
This verse clearly refers to a stake, not a Cross. Since such a means of execution made the person "a curse,". It is wrong for Christians today to decorate their homes with images of Jesus on a Cross.

Devotion to any pagan symbol is clearly condemned in the Bible
13. Crucifixion
And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.
Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified. God saved him and raised him up. Instead, a man 'like' Jesus was crucified in his place.

A minority of Muslims believe, Jesus may have been put on the Cross, but he did not die as a result of the crucifixion. Islamic texts allows for this interpretation.


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