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Did Jesus Christ Die on a Cross or Stake?Submitted by Jaymes on June 25, 2010 - 9:55 am 19 Comments
This 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.
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 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.