Jehovah`s Witness/Peter died on cross


QUESTION: Hello EddieG

It's been a while! :)

i have a question regarding the above! Was it really that PETER DIED on the cross because the verse says:

(John 21:18) New International Version (©2011)
18 "Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will STRETCH OUT YOUR HANDS, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

>>So, as they say that even JESUS CONFIRMS the CRUCIFIXION! From the word "STRETCHED OUT" meaning not being ATTACHED to the OTHER hand like the WTS DEPICTION on JESUS NAILED on a STAKE!!!

Can you answer? I'll await!

Thanks in adv

ANSWER: Hi Dave,

Nice to hear from you again. Hopefully all is well with you and may Jehovah bring you to his fold.

Anyway the short answer to your question is No.

That is, when Jesus told Peter about his manner of death, Jesus didn't prophesy that Peter will die on a  "cross".

No but Jesus simply meant that in his old days he (Peter) will be led away with hands tied or bound together - being led away or pulled forward (with stretched hands) as in a slave or prisoner. Perhaps being led to his execution.

This is made clear if you contrast with what Jesus said earlier, when Peter was a young man:

"when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted" - meaning he was free to do whatever he wanted to do.

But after becoming an apostle of Jesus, his life course will changed in that:

"..when you are old you will STRETCH OUT YOUR HANDS, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

By saying that "you will STRETCH OUT YOUR HANDS" , Jesus was telling Peter that he will die a martyr. That is, willing to die for his Lord.

It had nothing to do with him dying on a "cross".

But perhaps, your question has something to do with what the (4th Century C.E Church Father) religious historian  Eusebius wrote, where he said that Peter was "crucified upside down"?

I say this because some in Christendom likes to use this writing to bolster their contention that Jesus died on a "cross". Unfortunately there's no good way of confirming that what he said was true or not. No clear record exist other than his writing which is for the most part based on church traditions.

Hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you eddieG

But I see this comment from Rev Jim very interesting(I'll quote):

"Beginning on Oct. 15th,1931, the Watchtower Society changed their stand, and began to teach that Jesus died on an upright 'stake', rather than upon a 'cross'. They teach that the 'cross' is a pagan symbol from Babylon and make this issue one of their central controversies with the Christian Church. In support of their viewpoint, we find in the KINGDOM INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION OF THE GREEK SCRIPTURES (KIT), some rather obscure sources have been quoted, making it difficult for their members to verify these 'facts'. In the KIT article (pages 1155-1157) we find their reference to a book written by a 16th century, Catholic scholar, named Justus Lipsius. His book DE CRUCE LIBER PRIMUS, page 647, featured the picture of a man who had died on an upright stake. In their article, the Society implied that this is how Lipsius believed Jesus died with their statement, "This is the manner in which Jesus died." However, one of the pages in this book has been translated and shows that Lipsius believed that Jesus died on a cross.

Lipsius is quoted as writing on page 650 'In the Lord's cross there were four pieces of wood, the upright beam, the crossbar, a tree trunk (piece of wood) placed below, and the title (inscription) placed above.... they hand down (this account by) Irenaeus: ' The construction itself of the cross has five ends; "two on the vertical and two on the horizontal, and one in the middle where the person attached with nails rested."

In reviewing Justus Lipsius' De Cruce Liber Primus, there are several different illustrations of methods of crucifixion noted. The Watchtower takes the liberty of specifically noting one of these methods showing a man on a stake, and writes "This is the manner in which Jesus died." This would cause the reader to believe that Lipsius himself had quoted that Jesus was crucified on a stake. Lipsius never quoted the words "This is the manner in which Jesus died" with the picture of the man on the stake, clearly revealing another deceptive move by the Watchtower."  --- END QUOTE

>> How True was that eddieG?

Looking forward

Thank you once again

ANSWER: Hi Dave,

Thanks for the follow up and for the interesting quote from "Rev Jim".

But typical of most JW critics is the way they concentrate on one or few lines from a/ of a paragraph or even from an entire article and make it appear to be something that it's not.

Case in point - the words quoted by Rev Jim, specifically this:

"This is the manner in which Jesus died."

That is, that this is somehow proof that the Watchtower intended to misled the reader by "making" the author (of a book) appear to state something that he did not say. That, that was all along the goal. But upon close look, such thing doesn't exist.

In any case I'll post the source of the quote along with additional articles in order to ascertain if what Rev Jim said is factually accurate. That is, a "deceptive move by the Watchtower".

Let me quote the:

*** w50 11/1 pp. 425-427 Was Christ Hung on a Cross? ***

where it asked the question:

"Was Christ Hung on a Cross?"

It says in part:

"TO MANY millions of people the answer to this question seems as simple as the three-letter word “Yes”. To serious students of both ancient history and the Bible the answer is even simpler, as simple as the two-letter word “No!” But two answers as far apart as these open up between them a great gulf that all truth seekers must be able to bridge in order to stand on the solid ground of truth.

It is common knowledge in this enlightened age that the Bible was not first set down in English. Consequently, to settle the question as to whether Christ was hung on a cross or not it is necessary to consult the original Hebrew and Greek languages in which the Bible was written. By God’s grace manuscript copies of the original accounts, some of which copies date back to within fifty years of the originals, are available to scholars. Besides these, the original words are defined and explained in dictionaries or lexicons written in modern English, if that is the only language you read. And, in addition, there are dependable encyclopedias, histories, etc., to which reference can be made.

The Catholic Digest magazine, May, 1948, page 108, had the following to say on the subject of the cross: “Long before the birth of Christ the cross was a religious symbol. On the site of ancient Troy discs of baked clay stamped with a cross, were recently discovered. Two similar objects were found at Herculaneum. The Aztecs of ancient Mexico carved the cross on amulets, pottery, and temple walls. Many traces of use of the cross by North American Indians have been discovered. Buddhists of Tibet see in the cross a mark of the footprint of Buddha. The Mongolians draw a cross on paper and place it on the breasts of their dead. Egyptian inscriptions often have the Tau (T) cross. They considered the scarab (beetle) sacred because markings down the back and across the thorax form a T. A cross of this form was used as a support for the arms of Hindu ascetics in India who were wont to sit for days and nights in a Buddhalike attitude. The crux ansata (handled cross) has a loop serving as a handle. For the Egyptians this cross was a symbol of life and in their sign language meant ‘to live.’” See also The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, page 517; the footnote on pages 312, 313, of Gibbon’s History of Christianity, Eckler’s edition, 1891.

But how was the cross a “symbol of life” to the pagans? Well, a father, the male, is life-giver to his children by and through the mother. Hence, those sex-worshiping pagans, under the inspiration of the Devil and his demons, constructed a phallic image of the erected male genitive organ, with a crossbar toward one end to represent the testes. Carrying the symbolism a step further in the crux ansata, the loop on the top, which pious religionists choose to describe as a “handle”, represented the female genitive organ joined to the masculine symbol. That these diabolical facts are true, see the following references: Funeral Tent of an Egyptian Queen, by Villiers Stuart; Masculine Cross and Ancient Sex Worship, by Sha Rocco; Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop; Essays on the Worship of Priapus, by Richard Payne Knight.

Reference to the original languages in which the Bible was written will show beyond a question of doubt that Christ was never hung on any pagan cross. Hence, the use of the word “cross” in the English-language Bibles is a mistranslation. On this, the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, in its appendix, on pages 768-771, in commenting on Matthew 10:38, where the Greek word σταυρός (stau·ros′) first appears and which is translated “cross” in most Bibles, states:

“This is the expression used in connection with the execution of Jesus at Calvary. There is no evidence that the Greek word stau·ros′ meant here a ‘cross’ such as the pagans used as a religious symbol for many centuries before Christ to denote the sun-god. On the ancient sculptures of Egypt may be seen representations of their gods bearing the so-called crux an·sa′ta, a T-cross with a loop at the top, it being a phallic symbol of life. In Babylonian inscriptions Tammuz was signified by a heart from which sprang a single or a double cross

“India, Syria, Persia, as well as Babylon and ancient Egypt, have all yielded objects marked with crosses of various designs, including the swastika among the early Aryans. This betrays the worshiping of the cross to be pagan.

“In the classical Greek the word stau·ros′ meant merely an upright stake or pale, or a pile such as is used for a foundation. The verb stau·ro′o meant to fence with pales, to form a stockade or palisade, and this is the verb used when the mob called for Jesus to be impaled. To such a stake or pale the person to be punished was fastened, just as when the popular Greek hero Pro·me′the·us was represented as tied to a stake or stau·ros′. The Greek word which the dramatist Aes′chy·lus used to describe this means to fasten or fix on a pole or stake, to impale, and the Greek author Lucian used a·na·stau·ro′o as a synonym for that word. In the Christian Greek Scriptures a·na·stau·ro′o occurs but once, at Hebrews 6:6. The root verb stau·ro′o occurs more than 40 times, and we have rendered it ‘impale’, with the footnote: ‘Or, “fasten on a stake or pole.’”

“The inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures wrote in the common (koi·ne′) Greek and used the word stau·ros′ to mean the same thing as in the classical Greek, namely, a stake or pale, a simple one without a crossbeam of any kind or at any angle. There is no proof to the contrary. The apostles Peter and Paul also use the word xy′lon to refer to the torture instrument upon which Jesus was nailed, and this argues that is was an upright stake without a crossbeam, for that is what xy′lon in this special sense means. (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24) At Ezra 6:11 we find xy′lon in the Greek Septuagint (1 Esdras 6:31), and there it is spoken of as a beam on which the violator of law was to be hanged, the same as at Luke 23:39; Acts 5:30; 10:39.

“The fact that stau·ros′ is translated crux in the Latin versions furnishes no argument against this. Any authoritative Latin dictionary will inform the examiner that the basic meaning of crux is a ‘tree, frame, or other wooden instrument of execution’ on which criminals were impaled or hanged. (Lewis-Short) A cross is only a later meaning of crux. Even in the writings of Livy, a Roman historian of the first century B.C., crux means a mere stake. Such a single stake for impalement of a criminal was called crux simplex, and the method of nailing him to such an instrument of torture is illustrated by the Roman Catholic scholar, Justus Lipsius, of the 16th century. We present herewith a photographic copy of his illustration on page 647, column 2, of his book De Cruce Liber Primus. This is the manner in which Jesus was impaled .

“Religious tradition from the days of Emperor Constantine proves nothing. Says that monthly publication for the Roman Catholic clergy, The Ecclesiastical Review, of September, 1920, No. 3, of Baltimore, Maryland, page 275: ‘It may be safely asserted that only after the edict of Milan, A.D. 312, was the cross used as the permanent sign of our Redemption. De Rossi positively states that no monogram of Christ, discovered in the catacombs or other places, can be traced to a period anterior to the year 312. Even after that epoch-making year, the church, then free and triumphant, contented herself with having a simple monogram of Christ: the Greek letter chi vertically crossed by a rho, and horizontally sometimes, by an iota. [Artwork—Greek characters] The oldest crucifix mentioned as an object of public worship is the one venerated in the Church of Narbonne in southern France, as early as the 6th century.’

“After showing the pagan origin of the cross, The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. 7, of edition 11, page 506, says: ‘It was not till the time of Constantine that the cross was publicly used as the symbol of the Christian religion.’ That was but logical, for Emperor Constantine was a worshiper of the pagan sun-god, whose symbol was a cross. Other experts have pointed out that ‘before the fourth century the cross was not used as a Christian emblem in the East any more than in the West’.

“Rather than consider the torture stake upon which Jesus was impaled a relic to be worshiped, the Jewish Christians like Simon Peter would consider it to be an abominable thing. At Galatians 3:13 the apostle Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:23 and says: ‘It is written: “Accursed is every man hanged upon a stake.’” Hence the Jewish Christians would hold as accursed and hateful the stake upon which Jesus had been executed. Says the celebrated Jewish authority, Moses Mai·mon′i·des, of the 12th century: ‘They never hang upon a tree which clings to the soil by roots; but upon a timber uprooted, that it might not be an annoying plague: for a timber upon which anyone has been hanged is buried; that the evil name may not remain with it and people should say, “This is the timber on which so-and-so was hanged.” So the stone with which anyone has been stoned; and the sword, with which the one killed has been killed; and the cloth or mantle with which anyone has been strangled; all these things are buried along with those who perished.’ (Apud Casaub. in Baron. Exercitat. 16, An. 34, Num. 134) Says Kalinski in Vaticinia Observationibus Illustrata, page 342: ‘Consequently since a man hanged was considered the greatest abomination—the Jews also hated more than other things the timber on which he had been hanged, so that they covered it also with earth, as being equally an abominable thing.’

“The evidence is, therefore, completely lacking that Jesus Christ was crucified on two pieces of timber placed at a right angle. We refuse to add anything to God’s written Word by inserting the pagan cross into the inspired Scriptures, but render stau·ros′ and xy′lon according to the simplest meanings. Since Jesus used stau·ros′ to represent the suffering and shame or torture of his followers (Matthew 16:24), we have translated stau·ros′ as ‘torture stake’, to distinguish it from xy′lon, which we have translated ‘stake’, or, in the footnote, ‘tree,’ as at Acts 5:30.”
The gulf of speculation having thus been bridged, Christians today stand on the solid ground of provable facts when they emphatically declare that Christ was never hung on a pagan cross of phallic origin."-- end of quote

There you go.

Now Dave, did you noticed what the Watchtower stated in regards to the quote used by Rev Jim?

Is stated:

"Even in the writings of Livy, a Roman historian of the first century B.C., crux means a mere stake. Such a single stake for impalement of a criminal was called crux simplex, and the method of nailing him to such an instrument of torture is illustrated by the Roman Catholic scholar, Justus Lipsius, of the 16th century. We present herewith a photographic copy of his illustration on page 647, column 2, of his book De Cruce Liber Primus. This is the manner in which Jesus was impaled ."

Was there something or anything in the statement that suggest or even claimed by the Watchtower that the Roman Catholic scholar, Justus Lipsius STATED or SAID "This is the manner in which Jesus was impaled ."??

No, but rather the manner in which Jesus Christ died or impaled was being ILLUSTRATED (by the Watchtower) USING Justus Lipsius' drawing - SPECIFICALLY on page 647, column 2, of his book De Cruce Liber Primus. That's all.

This is evidence by the fact that the:

1. Page was given.
2. Column was given.
3. Title of the book was given.

As such, it makes it evident that there was NO INTENT to deceive or as stated by Rev Jim a "deceptive move by the Watchtower". No, none at all.

In fact ANYONE reading Justus Lipsius' book will come to the same conclusion as Rev Jim that "there are several different illustrations of methods of crucifixion" and NOT just one as depicted in many if not ALL of Christendom's churches.

Now Dave, as a person whose interested in the truth, based on the FACTS presented in the Watchtower article, do you still believe that:

a. The cross is a christian symbol?

if so please provide evidence that it is.

or a

b. Pagan symbol?

a. The xylon/stau·ros′ translated as "crux" is a stake or pale, a simple one without a crossbeam of any kind or at any angle?


b. crossbeam?

If so again, please present the evidence to the contrary.

5. Christians should venerate the instrument that was USED to kill Jesus?
If so why?

6. Venerating the "cross" (an instrument of death)" is not idolatry?

OK - I'll leave it here to see your response.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much EddieG

Thank you for allowing me to prove my point... So let me start out by saying that Stauros and Xylon both have multiple meanings and not just a single one as the WT has implied. Like for an instance, according to Strong's concordance (referred to regularly by the Watchtower) the word stauros can mean;

"(4716) stauros stow-ros' from the base of 2476; a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial; by implication, the atonement of Christ:--cross.

(4717) stauroo stow-ro'-o from 4716; to impale on the cross; figuratively, to extinguish (subdue) passion or selfishness:--crucify."

>>Contradicting itself the Awake! 1963 April 8 p.28 actually went on to say;

"While the word xylon generally means a piece of wood, no longer living, it is at times used in the Scriptures to refer to figurative living trees...." ---End quote

By Jesus day xylon had many meanings, including wooden artefacts made out of more than one piece of wood. In classical and Koine Greek xylon was used to refer to "benches" (Demosthenes, 1111.22; Aristophanes, Vespae, 90; Acharnenses, 25)--End quote

>>I've never seen a "tree" that looks just like a single pole. Trees have branches.

So even looking ONLY at these two words, we can see that Stauros and Xylon both have multiple meanings and not just a single one as the WT has implied.

And I may also agree that Stauros originally meant an upright pole, but 100 years before Jesus it came to refer to a pole with a crossbeam (among other things).

I showed you an example of the same with Xylon, and how it came to refer to something made of wood (eg a bench).

So words change(or has evolve) EddieG. And we have examples of this in English.

The word "GAY" originally meant "happy". But it eventually came to refer to a homosexual person. If we lived in the future and were studying the 90s, we would be confused if we insisted that since "gay" originally referred to being happy, it could mean nothing else.

I hope it does make sense to you...

And also, I want you to consider this ARCHEOLOGICAL FACT:

Here are some quotes from the discovery:

The first century catacomb, uncovered by archaeologist P. Bagatti on the Mount of Olives, contains inscriptions clearly indicating its use, "by the very first Christians in Jerusalem."

Here is an example of a "head stone", found near the entrance to the first century catacomb, is inscribed with the sign of the cross:

The catacombs were found and excavated primarily by two well-known archaeologists, but their findings were later read and verified by other scholars such as Yigael Yadin, J. T. Milik and J. Finegan.

You can also check out for this link(from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC):

Further archaeological evidence can be found by examining the body of a man crucified sometime between 7AD and 60AD. The name of the man that archaeologists found was Yehohanan, whos name was inscribed on his tomb.

Here is an article that describes the crucifixion of this man.

An interesting side not about this is that Yehohanan was crucified by the nails being driven in to his ARMS and not his hands. In fact, some have suggested that the translation of "hands" in Luke 24 and John 20 should be translated "arms" rather than hands. Yehohanan's arms were stretched OUT and they were fixed to the cross with nails being driven through his arms. Here is a forensic artists rendering of what this mans crucifixion would have looked like:

So EddieG I'm hoping for your prompt answer as always but, would you start with the evidence based posts from the top and work your way down to show with evidence that they are wrong? I mean, just take the things that have been shown in archaeology and deconstruct them if they are wrong.

Looking forward as always
May Jehovah Bless you more &
Thank you in adv.

Dave ♥

Hi Dave,

I'm still reading your post and the links you've provided and will a have a full analysis posted later. But in the meantime I have just these simple questions that I need you to answer (I'll just keep as short as I can.)

Based on the incontrovertible facts noted below (about the cross - two crossbeams).

That is:

Since it already existed way back before Christ and well before the Christian era and was associated with pagan worship (sex worship - symbols of sexual organs/sun worship).

1. Why would worshipers of such symbol use it to execute criminals including Christ?

(note: The Romans considered the cross (crux-ansata) as part of their worship.)

2. If you really believe that Christ was put to death on a cross (two wood crossbeams) why would you even VENERATE it as something sacred when its origins is pagan?

3. Why would you even associate an instrument of death in your worship?

4. How would you feel if you see people venerating the very object that was used to execute criminals including your son? Happy, thankful glad or incensed?

Thank you.  

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