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Did Jesus Christ Die on a Cross or Stake?

Submitted by Jaymes on June 25, 2010 - 9:55 am 23 Comments

Historians prove that Jesus Christ died on a stake and not a crossThis has been one of the greatest debate topics of all time (Jehovah’s Witness time I mean). I remember being out on the ministry with my mother and younger sister within the Greek-Cypriot speaking community in London, England. The Greek Orthodox Church made sure its followers always brought up the “Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t Christians because they believe Jesus Christ died on a stake, instead of a cross” line.

To be honest with you, my mother, a pioneer at the time (now serving in the London Bethel), was fantastic at showing all the ‘evidence’ to prove Jehovah’s Witnesses were right in their understanding that Jesus Christ did in fact die on a stake and not a cross like the mainstream Christian religions would have you believe. I, like an African Grey, would parrot every word that came out of my mothers mouth, and on some occasions, would be as convincing with my arguments.

When I was about 13, we were invited round to my mother’s friends’ home for Easter. This was obviously going against Jehovah’s Witness protocol, but mother took us along as her friend had started to study the bible. That wasn’t the only reason mother went against the rules. You see, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Easter, let alone a Greek Orthodox Easter, which if the host can help it, comes with as many bells and whistles that you can think of. The main reason for my mothers presence was that her friends cousin, a Greek Orthodox priest, was going to be present, which meant a debateathon was on the cards. As far as I can remember, the husband of my mothers bible studying friend asked the priest along because he thought he could show my mother up. How wrong was he!

Mother took the priest to the cleaners. As it was Easter, the main topic was brought up – did Jesus Christ die on a cross or a stake? Mother was, and still is, a human Wikipede of Jehovah’s Witness literature. She used references from historians to prove that Jesus Christ actually died on a stake and not a cross. That showed the priest. My mothers friend was baptised soon after that debate and her daughter also came to “The Truth” (patent pending).

I will never forget that debate. In fact, I used my mothers tactics on some work mates when I was just 16. I was working at Lombard Bank in Enfield, London at the time.

Try to picture this scenario: I was at work and some of my non-believing colleagues opened up a discussion about Jesus Christ. Finally, the conversation turned to me.

Colleague(s): “You Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe that Jesus died on a cross, do you?”

Devout Jehovah’s Witness: “Jesus died on a stake and even historians agree with us (the Organisation) on that point.”

Colleagues(s): “You’re joking, right? What historians agree with you?

Even more devout Jehovah’s Witness: “Here, let me show you.”

At this point, I pulled out my Reasoning from the Scriptures book and turned to page 89 which discusses the Cross and I showed my colleagues that even historians agree with Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus Christ did not die on a cross, but on a stake.

Directions on Proving Jesus Christ Died on a Stake

Here’s what you need to do if this situation arises with you.

1. Turn to page 89 in your Reasoning from the Scriptures book. Published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Did Jesus Christ die on a cross?

Page 89 in the Reasoning from the Scriptures - Click to Enlarge

To help you out, here is what the Reasoning from the Scriptures book has to say about the Cross (page 89).

I’ve highlighted the main interesting points for you in yellow.

The Imperial Bible-Dictionary acknowledges this, saying: “The Greek word for cross, [stau-ros’], 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….Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole” – Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376.

So there you go. Even the Imperial Bible Dictionary (IBD) shows us the facts. Therefore, in the future, if anyone tries to tell you that the Organisation is just brainwashing us, tell them about the above quote, or even better yet, show them the quote directly from the Imperial Bible Dictionary yourself!

The Imperial Bible Dictionary is quoted in the Reasoning from the Scriptures book

Imperial Bible Dictionary excerpt - Click to Enlarge

The highlighted sections that are in yellow, are the comments that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society (WTS) have used and added in the Reasoning from the Scriptures book in relation to the Cross (page 89).

Oh, but wait! It looks as though there’s been some sort of mistake. Read the sections that are highlighted in purple (I couldn’t find a scarlet-coloured highlighter). Let’s take a closer look at this passage.

WTS: The Greek word for cross, σταυρός, 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.

IBD: But a modification was introduced as the dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves through Greek-speaking countries.

WTS: Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole,

IBD: and this always remained the more prominent part. But from the time that it began to be used as an instrument of punishment, a transverse piece of wood was commonly added: not however, always, even then.

IBD Con’t: others extending their arms on a patibulum [crucifixion, hanging on a cross cross, widely used symbol].” 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.

Oh dear, what do we have here? It looks as though the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is up to its old tricks of Quote-Mining [The practice of quoting out of context, sometimes referred to as “contextomy” or “quote mining”, is a logical fallacy and type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning].

I’m at a loss for words; I really am. You see, I thought this was a righteous and loving Organisation; not one that attempted to change the facts so as to suit its own agenda. I thought this was God’s Organisation? Surely the most supreme being in the universe wouldn’t allow his own Organisation here on earth to lie in their own publications? I mean, this is the god that killed all those men, women, babies, animals and plant life in the great flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and Tyre (and plans to do it all again soon). Surely he could have fixed the Imperial Bible Dictionary so that it showed once and for all that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were right to say that Jesus Christ died on a stake and not a cross?

If you have your Bibles open, take a look at the words of 2 Peter Chapter 2, Verses 1 through to 3. Could the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society be a false prophet?

I don’t know about you, but I will be investigating more quotes that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society has listed in its publications. I promise you that I will post anything I find. If you have found any other lies, please let us know. I am told the Creation book is full of them.

  • Steve McRoberts

    Yes, but the crux typically had a cross-piece attached at that time according to the expert they quote [though they skip over this part of what he wrote.]

    I for one don’t care if it was a cross or a stake. What I care about here is the dishonesty on display by the Watchtower regarding the topic. It proves they are neither faithful nor discreet. If they misrepresent what this author had to say, why should I trust them not to misrepresent what the authors of the Bible had to say?

  • Sonny Jurgans

    a crux is no more a cross then an upright stake is a crutch.

  • DSA

    If you’re not a religious person, why on earth would you pick (with a k) any of them?! No swear words, no aggression, just a question…

  • Bernard Finucane

    The problem is that nobody suggests what Greek word should have been used instead. There is no Greek word for cross (except stauros). The whole story is indicative of the low quality of the NT texts, and doesn’t really tell us anything.

  • Frank

    Here is a wonderful and interesting YouTube video that also discusses this particular and even sheds some light on the type of Greek language that was used to write the scriptures of the New Testament, or as the JW’s call them, the Christian Greek Scriptures:

  • Erock

    And how the hell are they twisting the words around yo dawg you came here looking for answers right you got your awnsers and I guess you don’t like it or you just wanna start an argument (hypocrite) but the definition is there they broke it down so stop being a fucking troll

  • Erock

    You bro how about you shut the fuck up ok first of all they are not going to argue something just to argue everything they argue they back it up with the bible Facts not bullshit they come out there head like these preachers that all they do is take your money and make shit up and dear the challenge them so you can see how quick they yo guy I’m not a religious person by any means but if I have to pic a religion it will have to be this and only because they show me facts from the book they don’t make shit up why they don’t celebrate holy day why they don’t vote for president (politicians are all corrupted) so before you go on talking non sense how about you talk to one and have a convo Mano a Mano and have a open mind

  • dlow

    if the nail went through both hands wouldnt he have had one on each hand???

  • John

    Do those involved with this cult even realize that their fever to debate and always be right is hiding a mental flaw of them to begin with? Low self esteem etc etc. And at any cost to human life and severed family relationships. They only see what they want to see and ignore the rest of any factual evidence. And when they are backed into the corner they say ” we will have to get back to you on that after we do some further research” After all we are just pre-programed messengers and as they say don’t shoot the messenger. You really need to speak to the head honchos as their the ones who write this stuff and to be honest we really don’t understand it because their the annointed ones. ok sorry i got off track here lol. But seriously what difference does it really make anyway if it was a straight poll or cross anyway? Well you can see they love to try and sweat the small details but miss the big picture. Actually what their really trying to do is single themselves out in relation to any other religion by twisting and turning scriptures to make them appear right and exclusive or unique.

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  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Teeny

    Thanks for your comment. Now do the right thing and let me know where I have copied the Watchtower’s strategy.

  • Quote miner

    The irony is how you quote mine in your blogs. Oh dear! Hypocrite.

  • Omar Hiseinberg

    Jesus died on whatever we want him to have died on, since he is strictly a figment of the collective human imagination.

  • Karen Milton

    John 20:25 states that Thomas doubted it was Jesus and said: “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

    The cross rather than JW stake better emulates this statement as Thomas says “NAIL MARKS”(plural) not “NAIL MARK” (singular). WTBTS documents Jesus on the stake with one (1) nail. But the said bible JWs follow shows in this scripture verse that it was more than one nail mark……You should mention this to your mom.

  • Richard Schiller

    I dont think quote-mining should be labeled as wholly bad nor wholly good. Out of context means out from surrounding text, or out of intended thought? If Adam was created at the end of the 6th day, the context around it is of 6 days, of creation, or levels in purpose as it is laid in succession. BUT to merely quote the Adam 6th day words is not an error. Ever hear of over-quoting so you dont see the point being made. Those words alone cqan be used many ways and still be true. It could be to teach people 5 days existed before Adam. It could be used to teach Adam was the end of that day not the start or middle of it. It could be used to say Adam was created not the Neanderthal. All are true, because though out of the middle of context, they do fit the whole text scenerio. Now just because all this fits true to the text scenerio, doesnt mean Moses wrote it to tell you there was no evolution or Neanderthal. Just because it all fits as one story doesnt mean the intent of Moses is to demand these spans as 24 hours. Jesus is an example when he says the Son of Man (he) will be the first to heaven. If you know all religions you will know that is what a christ is, (And I mean origins, not modern beleive what you want encyclopedias.) in all religions the christ is their person they claim was first to heaven, including Mohammed, in which Moslems say Jesus was not in heaven the year he died.
    So what you do not cover in this claim to quote-mine is this. There is no error, it is saying single stake was the origin. So the question you fail in your attack which makes you equally a quote miner of purple highlights, is this, when did the cross-stake begin. It says as the Romans took Greek lands, but that does not clearly prove it, that is vague. Now listen up, I am a witness of my God Jehovah and that is by true definition, not by world definition, nor Organisation definition. Next i will say truly Jesus was conceived on the cross or crossing, and he was born on the cross, and he was presented 40 days later on the cross, he was anointed by 3 Magi on the cross, he was baptized on the cross, and even stated during the crossing, i am the true morning star, before he held Passover on the cross, and died on the cross, and was raised to heaven on the cross the 1st day as well as the cross on the 40th day. You can argue with other churches or anyone what your cross is, but the fact remains the most common cross in all religious existence are dates of crossing in which people presumed certain ones should be king or priest or calimed in heaven or worshipped as their Leader, etc. That is why the cross is worshipped everywhere but so blind to actual value that it refers to being able to see and predict any day and hour, as Shem Melchizidek did, told it to Abram, was called an angel of Jehovah, and was also called JEHOVAH for knowing this and being right, and then Sodom as predicted exploded at sunrise (198bc July 18). How do readers benefit from what i just said… they can all die in one boat pointing at each other, or even killing the Christ bride when Judas pokes you to do so, or they can see that the Christ bride is not at fault for how Judas (or even Peter that night of crossing) keeps stirring up mind-control or demands of obedience to the Christ bride, etc. The legal departments are Judas not the Christ bride. You will kill the Christ (bride) again because of what non-elite non-anointed have done in her name. I do not fear what either side thinks of me, the world, or fake JWs, because i see truth, and it blesses me to see it. Little Christendom is said by the WT to be a whore, as she points out that Big Mother Christendom the whore celebrates Christmas as the birth or death of Nimrod. Google it, it comes up at Xang, and at Gilead, and at Plain Truth. BUT truly it tell you that the Christmas dates Kayak 24, Mesore 24, Thoth 24, December 24 all pinpoint one death, it is the death of Noah not NImrod, and the rising Venus of that date occurs 251 years apart for the death of his son Shem (Shem-Ramis means Shem honored) as 2370bc Gregorian Dec 17 to 1868bc Dec 17 starting from its equal Julian January 6 Venus Epiphany (to January 2). Apply Shem-Ramis as Semiramis to Noah’s death, and you get Nimrod’s death in 251 years and then 502 years to king Ninus who is a 600-year Venus half-cycle from Shem’s death. Remember if you call Nimrod the father of Assyria for building Nineveh, that it is Shem who is their father (father of Asshur). Noah’s Dec 25 Venus Semiramis (G.Dec 8) is Dec 23 for Nimrod (G.Dec 8) two days before the Christmas Noah, and for NInus another 4 days as Dec 19 =G.Dec 8) . THUS XMAS IS A NOAH AND SHEM HOLIDAY NOT A NIMROD HOLIDAY which means in the heavenly court for or against Jehovah or Satan the seated witness known as Watchtowerdom is advocating Little Christendom lies that Satan himself laughs at is being published. I find this greater disgust, than the United Nations mistake because this mistake has been 100 years, and times 10 isnt going to get man to perfection.

  • Shane

    Adrian, what do you mean neither? Do you think that Jesus was not killed on a stake or a cross? Why? If not, where was he killed in your view. Personally, I don’t even know if this Jesus person existed. Just curious at your answer.

  • Shane

    OMG! They totally misquoted the information in that book! They deliberately left out important facts and only printed what would support their beliefs. Fraudsters!

  • http://razorswift.wordpress.com Razor Swift

    Yes, Jesus carried the patibulum to his grave site, not the upright stake part. I wish JW’s could use simple logic (and understand the history) on this.

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Andrew

    @Johnny – There is a section in the book “Crisis of Conscience” by Raymond Franz, former Governing Body member, that reveals that the Governing Body does indeed know that there is no evidence whatsoever for the 607 date, but they ignore it.

  • johnny

    This is what i think….the society knows that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587bce they know that Jesus died on the cross. For them to admit that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587bce and that Jesus died on the cross millions of jws will leave the organisation.
    ohh my god….that means no more nice apartments no more nice cars no more travel benefits no more Govening Body ..wow

  • Akuseru

    my mother use to be JW and i study Bible since long time, but thew some reading in found some incoherence :http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/cross-or-stake.php

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Teeny

    Agreed, but don’t tell anyone I said that…

  • Adrian Rainbow.