JESUS DIED ON A ‘CROSS’ OR A ‘TORTURE STAKE’?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been engaged in conversation with a particular Jehovah’s Witness here in my local area. Our conversations usually revolve around the Triunity of Yahweh. But, today in a brief conversation, we spoke a bit about the “cross.” Was Jesus nailed to the “cross” as orthodox Christians claim (and I believe the Bible), or, a “torture stake” as the WTB&TS claims? Well, I believe that the answer is clear from the info below which contains the BDAG lexigraphical information on “cross” and “crucify.” Enjoy…

σταυρός, οῦ, ὁ(Hom. et al. in the sense ‘upright, pointed stake’ or ‘pale’; s. Iren. 1, 2, 4 cj. [Harv. I, 18, 4]; as name of an aeon Hippol., Ref. 6, 31, 6)

a pole to be placed in the ground and used for capital punishment,cross(Diod S 2, 18, 1; Plut. et al.; Epict. 2, 2, 20; Diog. L. 6, 45; ApcEsdr 7:1 p. 32, 8 Tdf.; AscIs 3:18; Philo, In Flacc. 84; Jos., Ant. 11, 261; 266f.; Just.; s. also CSchneider, TW III 414, 4and JCollins, The Archeology of the Crucifixion, CBQ 1, ’39, 154–59; JBlinzler, Der Prozess Jesu3, ’60, 278–81; EDinkler, Signum Crucis ’67; JFitzmyer, CBQ40, ’78, 493–513), a stake sunk into the earth in an upright position; a cross-piece was oft. attached to its upper part (Artem. 2, 53), so that it was shaped like a Tor thus: †—MHengel, Crucifixion ’77. Lit., w. other means of execution (Diogenes, Ep. 28, 3) IRo 5:3; Hv 3, 2, 1. Used in the case of Jesus Mt 27:40,42; Mk 15:30,32; J 19:25,31; Phil 2:8(Just., D. 134, 5); GPt 4:11; 10:39, 42. ὑπομένειν σταυρόνsubmit to the crossHb 12:2.The condemned carried their crosses to the place of execution (Plut., Mor. 554a ἕκαστος κακούργων ἐκφέρει τὸν αὐτοῦ σταυρόν; Chariton 4, 2, 7 ἕκαστος τ. σταυρὸν ἔφερε; Artem. 2, 56.—Pauly-W. IV 1731) J 19:17; in the synoptics Simon of Cyrene was made to carry the cross for Jesus (Σίμων4) Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26.An inscription on the cross indicated the reason for the execution J 19:19(s. τίτλος).—WMichaelis, Zeichen, Siegel, Kreuz, TZ 12, ’56, 505–25. B seeks to show in several passages that acc. to the scriptures it was necessary for the Messiah to die on the cross: 8:1 (the ξύλονthat plays a part in connection w. the red heifer, Num 19:6,is ὁ τύπος ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ); 9:8(in the case of the 318 servants of Abraham Gen 14:14the number 300 [=Τ ´] points to the cross; cp. Lucian, Jud. Voc. 12: the letter tau has the form of the σταυρός); 11:1, 8a (the ξύλονof Ps 1:3); 12:1(scripture quot. of uncertain origin), 2.

the cross, with focus on the fate of Jesus Christ,the cross.The cross of Christ is one of the most important elements in Christian cult and proclamation: w. death and resurrection IPhld 8:2and other details of his life PtK 4 p. 15, 33. For Judeans a σκάνδαλονGal 5:11(cp.Dt 21:23); cp.IEph18:1. Hence an occasion for persecution Gal 6:12(τῷ σταυρῷbecause of the cross;dat.of cause, s. ἀπιστία1). But it was for Paul his only reason for boasting vs. 14.ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦthe message of the cross1 Cor 1:18,w. its mysterious, paradoxical character, is necessarily foolishness to unbelievers. For this reason any attempt to present this message in the form of worldly wisdom would rob the σταυρὸς τοῦ Χριστοῦof its true content vs. 17.τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ σταυροῦis the testimony rendered by the Passion to the fact of Christ’s bodily existence Pol 7:1(cp.Just., D. 40, 3 πάθος τοῦ σταυροῦ).—Christ’s death on the cross brings salvation Eph 2:16; Col 2:14.εἰρηνοποιεῖν διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦmake peace through the shedding of his blood on the cross1:20(s. W-S. §30, 12c; Rob. 226). Hence we may ἐπὶ τὸν σταυρὸν ἐλπίζεινB11:8b. Paul knows of baptized Christians whom he feels constrained to call ἐχθροὶ τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῦ Χριστοῦbecause of their manner of life Phil 3:18.On the other hand Ign. speaks of blameless Christians ὥσπερ καθηλωμένους ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χρ. σαρκί τε καὶ πνεύματιas if nailed to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ both in the flesh and in the spiritISm1:1(cp.MartAndr Prius 1, 14 [Aa II/1, 54–55]). In the imagery of Ign.the cross is called ἡ μηχανὴ Ἰησοῦ Χρ. IEph9:1(s. HSchlier, Relgesch. Untersuchungen zu d. Ign.-briefen 1929, 110–24), and the orthodox believers are the κλάδοι τοῦ σταυροῦbranches of the crossITr11:2. Such passages provide a link with the transf. sense

the suffering/death which believers endure in following the crucified Lord,crossλαμβάνειν τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦMt 10:38.ἆραι τὸν στ. αὐτοῦ16:24; Mk 8:34; 10:21 t.r.; Lk 9:23.βαστάζειν τὸν στ. ἑαυτοῦ14:27(s. on these parallel passages AFridrichsen, Festskrift for Lyder Brun 1922, 17–34.—EDinkler, Jesu Wort v. Kreuztragen: Bultmann Festschr.54, 110–29).—DELG. M-M. EDNT. TW. Sv.

Hom Hom, VIII b.c.List 5

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. “Based on Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Wr̲terbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der frhchristlichen [sic] Literatur, sixth edition, ed. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, with Viktor Reichmann and on previous English editions by W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker.” (3rd ed.) (941). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

σταυρόω(σταυρός; in the sense ‘fence w. stakes’ Thu. et al.) fut.σταυρώσω; 1 aor.ἐσταύρωσα. Pass.: 1 aor.ἐσταυρώθην; pf.ἐσταύρωμαι

to fasten to a cross,crucify(Polyb. 1, 86, 4; Diod S 16, 61, 2; Epict. 2, 2, 20; Artem. 2, 53; 4, 49; Esth 7:9; 8:12r; Jos., Ant. 2, 77; 17, 295). τινάsomeonew. ref. to Jesus’ crucifixion (Orig., C. Cels. 4, 22, 9; s. TestSol 22:20) Mt 20:19; 23:34; 26:2; 27:22f,26,31,35,38; 28:5; Mk 15:13ff,20,24f,27; 16:6; Lk 23:21,23,33; 24:7,20; J 19:6ab(the doubling of the impv. as Anaxarchus [IV b.c.] in Diog. L. 9, 59 πτίσσε, πτίσσε=pound, pound away [in a mortar]), vs. 6c,10,15f,18,20,23,41; Ac 2:36; 4:10; 13:29 D; 1 Cor 2:8; 2 Cor 13:4; Rv 11:8; B 7:3, 9; 12:1; IEph 16:2; GPt 4:10; 12:52. Χριστὸς ἐσταυρωμένος1 Cor 1:23; cp. 2:2; Gal 3:1.Also simply ὁ ἐσταυρωμένοςMPol17:2. ὁ σταυρωθείς(Iren. 2, 32, 4 [Harv. I 375, 12]; Orig., C. Cels. 1, 31, 20) GPt13:56. ἀληθῶς ἐσταυρώθηhe was truly crucified(in contrast to the Docetic view that the Passion was unreal; Iren.3, 19, 3 [Harv.II 104, 3]) ITr 9:1. (On the crucifixion of Jesus s. Feigel, Weidel, and Finegan s.v. Ἰούδας6; also EBickermann, Utilitas Crucis: RHR 112, ’35, 169–241; on Mk 15:16–32as crucifixion narrative in the light of the Roman triumphal s. TSchmidt, NTS 41, ’95, 1–18.).—μὴ Παῦλος ἐσταυρώθη ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν;Was Paul crucifed for you?1 Cor 1:13.ἄνωθεν μέλλω σταυροῦσθαιI must once again be crucifiedAcPl Ha7, 39 (cp.MartPt6 [Aa I 88, 7; 8; 9; 12]). This last offers an interesting transition to 2, containing as it does a component expressed in 2 and also anticipation of a literal death.

destroy through connection with the crucifixion of Christ,crucify,a transcendent sense in ext. of 1, of imitation of Christ; fig. οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰ. τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσανthose who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the fleshw. its sinful desires Gal 5:24.Pass.: of the cross of Christ, διʼ οὗ ἐμοὶ κόσμος ἐσταύρωται κἀγώ κόσμῳthrough which the world has been crucified to me, and I (have been crucified) to it,the believer who is inseparably united to the Lord has died on the cross to the kind of life that belongs to this world Gal 6:14.ὁ ἐμὸς ἔρως ἐσταύρωταιmy passion(for worldly things) has been crucifiedIRo7:2.—DELG s.v.σταυρός. M-M. EDNT. TW.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. “Based on Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Wr̲terbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der frhchristlichen [sic] Literatur, sixth edition, ed. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, with Viktor Reichmann and on previous English editions by W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker.” (3rd ed.) (941). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

σταυρόω in the New Testament

http://www.laparola.net/greco/parola.php?p=σταυρόω

Definitions

Thayer

1) to stake, drive down stakes
2) to fortify with driven stakes, to palisade
3) to crucify
3a) to crucify one
3b) metaphorically to crucify the flesh, destroy its power utterly (the nature of the figure implying that the destruction is attended with intense pain)
Part of Speech: verb
Citing in TDNT: 7:581, 1071

Strong

G4717
From G4716; to impale on the cross; figuratively to extinguish (subdue) passion or selfishness: – crucify.

Louw-Nida

Gloss Section
crucify 20.76

Perseus Digital Library

Greek Word Study Tool, with links to other lexicons and word frequency statistics

Ulrik Petersen

Strong’s dictionary

Crosswalk

Thayer’s dictionary plus other information.

LaParola

From this site’s dictionary (in Italian)

In the New Testament

NA/UBS (also Westcott and Hort; Tischendorf; Byzantine)

ἐσταυρώθη verb: 3rd person aorist passive indicative singular

5

ἐσταυρωμένον verb: perfect passive participle accusative singular masculine

4

ἐσταυρωμένος verb: perfect passive participle nominative singular masculine

1

ἐσταύρωσαν verb: 3rd person aorist active indicative plural

7

ἐσταυρώσατε verb: 2nd person aorist active indicative plural

2

ἐσταύρωται verb: 3rd person perfect passive indicative singular

1

σταύρου verb: 2nd person present active imperative singular

2

σταυροῦνται verb: 3rd person present passive indicative plural

1

σταυροῦσιν verb: 3rd person present active indicative plural

2

σταυρωθῇ verb: 3rd person aorist passive subjunctive singular

3

σταυρωθῆναι verb: aorist passive infinitive

3

σταυρωθήτω verb: 3rd person aorist passive imperative singular

2

σταυρῶσαι verb: aorist active infinitive

2

σταυρῶσαί verb: aorist active infinitive

1

σταυρώσαντες verb: aorist active participle nominative plural masculine

1

σταυρώσατε verb: 2nd person aorist active imperative plural

1

σταυρώσετε verb: 2nd person future active indicative plural

1

σταύρωσον verb: 2nd person aorist active imperative singular

5

σταυρώσω verb: 1st person aorist active subjunctive singular

1

σταυρώσωσιν verb: 3rd person aorist active subjunctive plural

1

Total

46

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