Religion & Spirituality question: Is the cross a Christian or Egyptian symbol? What is the meaning & origin?
- L JLv 44 years agoFavorite Answer
Long before the Christian era, crosses were used by the ancient Babylonians as symbols in their worship of the fertility god Tammuz. The use of the cross spread into Egypt, India, Syria, and China. Then, centuries later, the Israelites adulterated their worship of Jehovah with acts of veneration to the false god Tammuz. The Bible refers to this form of worship as a ‘detestable thing.’—Ezekiel 8:13, 14.
The Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John use the Greek word stau·rosʹ when referring to the instrument of execution on which Jesus died. (Matthew 27:40; Mark 15:30; Luke 23:26) The word stau·rosʹ refers to an upright pole, stake, or post. The book The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons, explains: “There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross.”
As recorded at Acts 5:30, the apostle Peter used the word xyʹlon, meaning “tree,” as a synonym for stau·rosʹ, denoting, not a two-beamed cross, but an ordinary piece of upright timber or tree. 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·rosʹ. It is noteworthy that some ancient drawings depicting Roman executions feature a single wooden pole or tree.
- GabrielLv 64 years ago
It's scripturally a lie, that Christ died on a cross.
Prophecies are perfect, they don't tell a lie.
- UserLv 74 years ago
A cross is a simple geometric figure.
Like almost all simple geometric figures - squares, circles, triangles, etc. ad nauseum - the cross's original use by humanity as a symbol dates to prehistoric times.
Like almost all simple geometric designs used as symbols, what the cross symbolizes varies from culture to culture (for those cultures that have employed it). That is to say: the meaning of the cross (when used as a symbol) varies from culture to culture that has employed it.
Christianity employs the cross as a symbol of Christianity. Christians most definitely are not the first culture to employ that simple geometric design as a symbol. The Christian cross definitely was intended by the Christians who adopted it to represent the shape of the platform used to crucify Jesus.
Ancient Egyptian religion employed a cross-like geometric design, the ankh. It is noticeably dissimilar to the various Christian crosses...and slightly more complex. (Note that its use was adopted by some Egyptian Christians!) However, many other pre-Christian cultures did employ a cross design essentially identical to the simplest forms of the Christian cross.
I point out that the Christian cross - as far as can be determined - definitely was **originally** intended by Christians to represent the platform on which Jesus was crucified. That is: it was not adopted by Christians and then LATER identified as a symbol of that platform. It was adopted by Christians BECAUSE it was perceived by the Christians who first adopted it as a symbol of that platform.
- DeAnneLv 74 years ago
It was a torture device, used to crucify anyone the Romans didn't like, including Jesus. Catholics have a cross with Jesus hanging on it. Born again Christians (Protestants, Nazarenes, Pentecostals, Baptists, etc), use a bare cross because Jesus is not hanging there, he has RISEN. He is alive!
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- Anonymous4 years ago
The cross represents to me the difference between good and evil. Evil being a corrupt, hypocritical, barbaric, slave keeping murdering regime of terror called "religion", and good being a good man who turned over their money tables and called them thieves, liars and hypocrites, knowing what they would do.
- Anonymous4 years ago
The cross is a gruesome torture device.
The better question is, why is that a symbol of our faith?
Ask God if you don't get it. He's the only one who can give you understanding.
- markLv 44 years ago
The cross was the way that the Romans killed criminals and dissidents. It was a Roman method of execution. Nothing more. These people that try and say it was symbolic in some sort of way and borrowed from past cultures is ridiculous