Jehovah`s Witness/The Pagan Cross_Tradition of Men and Logical Fallacy of Mr. Holland
Mr. Holland, have you ever heard this reasoning?
"All red trucks are firetrucks because all firetrucks are red"?
If so, do you know what it's called?
And what does this have to do with the lie that is the CROSS?
Furthermore, what have you to do with it?
Plenty - as you will see.
First off, thank you Mr. Holland for the reply but I'm quite puzzled as to why you said that I didn't answer your questions from my last post because I thought I did. I guess not.
In any case, I'll reply to them (as many as I can) here so as not to get accused of not answering this or that. Besides it also gives me the opportunity to show the fallacies in your arguments and the importance of knowing facts against opinions.
So to start here's what you said:
Eddie’s task is simple, yet monumental. He has to prove a couple of things:
1. That “xylon” means specifically, and only, a “pole”, rather than ANY object made of wood. If a “xylon” is merely a wooden object, then the use of the term “tree” is clearly addressed, because ALL “xylon”s are the product of a “tree”. If its wood, it’s a “xylon”.
2. That a “pole” ceases to be a “pole”, when a cross-beam is attached to it. This is about as intelligent as saying the pole in my back yard is no longer a pole, because Ia attached a bird house to it. My son built a miniature Fenway Park in our back yard, and even built a fence like the “Green Monster”. When he put up the foul “poles”, he then made a crucial mistake, with eternal consequences…he attached a NET to it. Yet, he still calls it a foul “pole”. I will need to address this error with him.
Actually Mr. Holland my task is not monumental but simple because your argument is typical of those who are trying to prove something that's not there. In fact I've encountered similar line of reasoning as yours and are quite easy to debunk because they are based on half-truth. In fact they have a terminology for it - 'Logical Fallacy Argument' and mostly employed by Evolutionist and atheists alike. But I'm quite surprised why you choose to employ such tactic.
NO! you say?
Maybe you're correct and that you're telling the truth. Then again maybe not or maybe you're not aware of it. Either way, it's still the same, it's a dishonest tactic with the intention of convincing an audience into believing that a half truth is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
In fact looking at your arguments, it's very obvious - if I may say so. Here's why.
Since we ALL know that a tree is made of wood, therefore anything made from it, is obviously - wood. Thus a "pole" made from a trunk of a tree or from its branch is obviously wood, just as a pole with a wooden "cross-beam attached to it" is obviously made of wood. Tree is wood. Nothing extraordinary or mysterious about it. Matter of fact it's quite logical. But the thing is, that is NOT what we're talking about here. We're not talking about the MATERIAL a "pole" (xylon) was made of/from nor the MATERIAL a "CROSS" was made of/from?
NO, what we're talking about here Mr. Holland, is NOT the obvious but your CLAIM, that the Lord Jesus Christ was PUT to death on a CROSS, an INSTRUMENT of death made of two beams crossing each other. Or if you prefer my claim that the Lord Jesus Christ was tortured and put to death on a STAKE.
Either way, by using such arguments like yours (as quoted above), it's obvious that you're trying to divert the topic/subject to something else, that is, make a half-truth APPEAR to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
In other words, what you're you're trying to do is to make a connection between the Greek word "xylon" - a pole / stake to the traditional CROSS so that by default both will appear as though they are one and the same.
And that is the reason why you brought up what trees are made of - wood. Why you brought up what a pole is made of - wood and what a 'XYLON' is made of - wood. You did this in order to, if I may say so, show that if: a POLE is made of wood and a 'xylon' is also made of wood THEREFORE a pole is a cross and cross is a pole.
Am I correct?
A CROSS is still a POLE
because to say otherwise is like you saying "This is about as intelligent as saying the pole in my back yard is no longer a pole, because I attached a bird house to it....."2. That a “pole” ceases to be a “pole”, when a cross-beam is attached to it."
Isn't it Mr Holland? That was the intention. Yes? To convinced everyone into believing that a CROSS is a POLE because both are made of WOOD? If so, clever!
Now, how's that for a logical fallacy, a play on words! I must congratulate you, cunning indeed, this 'play on words' of yours (if that was your intention).
But is anyone buying it? I hope not because it's like saying 'all red trucks are firetrucks because firetrucks are red'.
But what then is the whole truth and nothing but the truth about "xylon"?
Simple (in Scriptural context as well as historical/archeological context) - a "xylon" is a pole or (as accurately translated in the NWT) a stake!
Which answers your next challenge / question to me, namely:
"WHERE are the passages in the KJB, that translate “xylon” as “cross?”"
Answer: None! Obviously NONE, because to quote again what I've been saying all along:
>>'XYLON stands for a "tree" not a "CROSS" or to be VERY ACCURATE "XYLON" stands for a STAKE!
In fact translating it into the traditional "Christian Cross" would be a BIG mistake because the expression itself (in the NT) was quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures (OT) where it said:
[Deu 21:22-23 KJV] 22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree : 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance."
where Paul applied it to Jesus at Gal 3:13 KJV:
"... being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree " (xylon). "<<
So I hope this is clear enough: That 'xylon' doesn't mean CROSS if truth be told!
Of course, if you go by your own 'play on words', your logical fallacy, then why not.
Next you said:
Eddie’s task is simple, yet monumental. He has to prove:
3. That crosses did not come into common use before Jesus’ time. And this is one that he will not even TRY to prove.
Of course that's what you think, but the problem is I didn't say "that crosses didn't come into common use before Jesus’ time".
No, in fact here's what I've been saying (I hate to keep repeating myself)
"OK Mr. Holland.
Since you agree that:
1. The cross is connected to the symbol of male and female genital organs.
2. That it is connected with sex worship.
3. That it is connected with sun-worship.
4. That it already existed way before the advent of Christianity.
So it's either you did not read what I said or just plainly ignored it. Probably both but in either case it's right there.
But then you're now saying that I have to prove:
4. That Christians did not believe in the cross until the early 4th century, even though we have numerous proofs from the 1st and 2nd centuries, that they certainly did. Perhaps they can MISQUOTE the “IMPERIAL BIBLE DICTIONARY”, again?
Again Mr. Holland if you were paying attention, perhaps you could have asked a different question. But just to get this out of the way too, the answer is YES and NO.
, in that TRUE Christians, led by the apostles kept themselves SEPARATE from the rest (of their contemporaries). In fact they suffered a lot at the hands of those who hated them. Just like Jesus, they were persecuted to the end. And the SCRIPTURES gives us ample evidence of this in so many ways (that it requires a separate post to show just a few of them). History too shows them to obedient to their faith even in the face of death. They did not compromise nor had done any of the detestable things that the MAJORITY of "Christians" are doing today.
Venerate, worship, make an idol, kiss, kneel down, bow down, hang around their necks nor pray to the CROSS (a well known Pagan Symbol of sex worship during their time), not even take it INSIDE their places of worship in order to "remind" them of Christ's death. No! None of these was done by them! History testify to this fact:
For example, here are just some of the hundreds in evidence of what the SCRIPTURE told us:.
In showing that the cross was not a symbol used in early Christianity, the book Records of Christianity states:
“Even the Cross was not directly employed in church decoration . . . The earliest symbol of Christ was a fish (second century); on the earliest carved tombs he is represented as the Good Shepherd (third century).”
Also, J. Hall in his Dictionary of Subjects & Symbols in Art writes:
“After the recognition of Christianity by Constantine the Great, and more so from the 5th cent., the cross began to be represented on sarcophagi [stone coffins], lamps, caskets and other objects.”
Sir E. A. Wallis Budge in Amulets and Talismans:
“The cross did not become the supreme emblem and symbol of Christianity until the IVth century.”
Interestingly enough, according to tradition, the cross that Constantine is reputed to have seen in the sky and then used as his military banner was not the Latin cross but the sign (Greek characters) that some relate to sun worship (because Constantine himself was a sun worshiper) and others to the Chi-Rho monogram—the first two letters of “Christ” in Greek. Since then the cross has been frequently used to add an aura of righteousness to unchristian military activities such as the Crusades, when many vile atrocities were committed by “soldiers of the Cross.”
Some more here (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/jesus-christ-died-cross-scholar/story?id=11066130
"July 2, 2010
By RUSSELL GOLDMAN
For 2,000 years the crucifix has been a potent symbol of both Jesus Christ's death and Christianity. Now one Swedish theologian says that despite the crucifix's proliferation in art and literature, there is scant evidence in the Bible or other ancient sources to indicate that Christ was killed on a cross.
Gunnar Samuelsson, an evangelical preacher and theologian, says he spent three years combing thousands of ancient texts to research his recently completed 400-page doctoral thesis "Crucifixion in Antiquity."
What he discovered, he said, "came as a shock." While there were numerous references to "suspension devices" used for executions at the time of Christ's death, he could find no explicit references to the classic T-shaped cross.
"There is no distinct punishment called 'crucifixion,' no distinct punishment device called a 'crucifix' anywhere mentioned in any of the ancient texts including the Gospels," he told ABCNews.com. -- end quote.
I can cite more but the point is made. The CROSS was NEVER part of worship by the TRUE Christians in the first century inspite of ITS EXISTENCE and the claim by its supporters.
As for YES:
, in that when the true Christians, headed by the apostles began to die off, apostasy was starting to take root, becoming more pronounced amongst the surviving Christians and eventually got corrupted from within. Constantine the Great - the so called "First Christian Emperor" put the final nail to 'the coffin' (so to speak). And by the time he was recognized to be the first Pope - Christianity became the domain of the Roman Catholic Church which then eventually became the realm of Christendom! History is full of these facts and too many to enumerate here.
In fact the Scriptures (which gives the strongest evidence of ALL time) testify to this very fact that apostasy was coming and indeed was already in OPERATION even while the apostles were still alive. The gave clear warning of this great apostasy to ALL true Christians when they said:
“Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed YOU overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own [Son]. I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among YOU yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.
” (Acts 20:28-30)</b>
“Young children, it is the last hour, and, just as YOU have heard that antichrist is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists ; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us. But [they went out] that it might be shown up that not all are of our sort.” (1 John 2:18, 19)
This fact is well supported by history in that in the "#2. Distinction of Clergy and Laity,” by M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopadia, Volume II, page 386, it shows the differentiation or contrast between clergy and laity (local members) this way:
"The Jewish antithesis of clergy and laity was at first unknown among Christians; and it was “only as men fell back from the evangelical to the Jewish point of view” that the idea of the general Christian priesthood of all believers gave place, more or less completely, to that of the special priesthood or clergy. . . . So Tertullian, even (De Baptismo, c. 17, before he became a Montanist): “The laity have also the right to administer the sacraments and to teach in the community. The Word of God and the sacraments were by the grace of God communicated to all, and may therefore be communicated by all Christians as instruments of the divine grace. But the question here relates not barely to what is permitted in general, but also to what is expedient under existing circumstances. We may here use the words of St. Paul, ‘All things are lawful for men, but all things are not expedient.’ If we look at the order necessary to be maintained in the Church, the laity are therefore to exercise their priestly right of administering the sacraments only when the time and circumstances require it.” From the time of Cyprian . . . the father of the hierarchical system, the distinction of clergy and laity became prominent, and very soon was universally admitted. Indeed, from the third century onward, the term clerus (kle′ros, ordo) was almost exclusively applied to the ministry to distinguish it from the laity. As the Roman hierarchy was developed, the clergy came to be not merely a distinct order (which might consist with all the apostolical regulations and doctrines), but also to be recognised as the only priesthood, and the essential means of communication between man and God." -end quote
Thus, on these, we can readily see that TRADITION became the main driving force for Christianity becoming an apostate "Church"!
And it's for this reason why I asked this question in one of my posts:
=='Did the TRADITION of men play some role or a MAJOR role in the translation of the Greek word "STAUROS" into the traditional "Christian Cross"?==
Then ended it with this:
==In short, your entire belief about the traditional Christian CROSS stands or falls whether the word "stauros" means - a "tree" a "stake" or a "cross" based on two premise:
1. The Traditions of men
Based on your posts - what do you think?' ==
All evidence points to tradition NOT the scriptures - as the SOURCE of the traditional "Christian CROSS".
Yes, it's TRADITION that is the basis of your premise Mr. Holland - that Jesus died on the CROSS.
Proof of this is all over the historical/archeological documents you've cited. It's also evident in the writings of historians as well as the men who came be known as "Church Fathers"
The Epistle of Barnabas (100 C.E.)
Justin Martyr (died 165 C.E.)
Irenaeus of Lyons (died 200 C.E.)
Octavius of Minucius Felix (210 C.E.)
Tertullian (died 230 C.E.)
They based most of their writings NOT on the Scriptures but on TRADITIONS.
To further prove my point, I'll use your own quotes.
But before I do it, I need to correct something you've accused us of doing - that we "MISQUOTE the “IMPERIAL BIBLE DICTIONARY”.
Nothing of that sort was done!
In fact the QUOTATION that Sister T provided are based on FACTS! Opinions of the author and writers on the other hand were NOT included for a very good and valid reasons - NOT to dilute or muddy the main POINT of the subject. But for those of same mind like yours, who seem to be NOT so keen to such things, I wouldn't doubt that YOU will gladly quote ANYTHING no matter if it is an OPINION or heresy just to prove us wrong. Unfortunately, it will backfire on YOU as you will see.
Take for example, the following misuse of a quote, found in Sister T’s comments on the cross. She quotes from the IMPERIAL BIBLE DICTIONARY, the following….
SISTER T (quoting IMPERIAL DICTIONARY)………
“The Greek word rendered “cross” in many modern Bible versions (“torture stake” in NW) is stau·ros′. In classical Greek, this word meant merely an upright stake, or pale. Later it also came to be used for an execution stake having a crosspiece. 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.”
"Now, a VERY important part of this quote, is the ELLIPSES (…). There is a proper usage of the ellipses (to remove IRRELEVANT parts of a quote), and there is an improper use (to remove RELAVENT parts of a quote). We see that Sister T did not provide the entire quote.
"ACTUAL QUOTE FROM IMPERIAL DICTIONARY………
“The Greek word for cross, (stauros), 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 <i>
piece of ground. But a modification was introduced as the dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves through Greek-speaking countries. Even amongst the Romans, the crux (from which the word cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole, and always
remained the more prominent part. But from the time that it began to be used as an instrument of
punishment, a traverse piece of wood was commonly added: not however always then. … There can be no doubt, however, that the later 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. </i>
… But the commonest form, it is understood, was that in which the upright piece of wood was crossed by another near the top, but not precisely at it, the upright pole running above the<i>
other, thus "a cross" and so making four, not merely two right angles. It was on a cross of this form, according to the general voice of tradition, that our Lord suffered. </i>
... It may be added that crucifixion was abolished around the time of Constantine, in consequence of the sacred associations which the cross had now gathered around it."
Actually your accusation Mr. Holland, of our dear Sister, is unfounded for the simple fact that she did not specifically quote the "IMPERIAL DICTIONARY" but quoted an 'Edited' version of it 'by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376.”.
There was a reason for doing it that way, like I said, in order to separate the facts from OPINIONS and heresy!
Now here's what happens if one is NOT careful in quoting something without knowing what the FACTS and OPINIONS are.
Summarizing the IMPERIAL DICTIONARY that you quoted, it basically said that:
"the Greek word "stauros", was originally understood to signify "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". But was later changed to mean something else "as the dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves through Greek-speaking countries". It continued to state that the Roman's refer to the "stauros" as "crux" in Latin where it "appears to have been originally an upright pole, and always remained the more prominent part".
But then it said that "from the time that it began to be used as an instrument of punishment, a traverse piece of wood was commonly added: not however always then". Meaning, the "crux" (stauros) was not used as "an instrument of punishment" until "a traverse piece of wood was commonly added" to it. Then and only then according to author the "crux" (stauros) became "an instrument of punishment"
Now, is this fact or an opinion by the author?
If you say fact then you're incorrect because historical and archeological evidence show that the stake / pole (crux/stauros) has been in used as an instrument of punishment and death throughout the ages, from ancient times down to Gospel era to the dark ages. The evidence of these are too gruesome to name here, just like what was done to Jesus was gruesome to describe.
But now comes the interesting part, after the ellipsis...the IMPERIAL DICTIONARY (as quoted by you Mr. Holland) states that:
"… There can be no doubt, however, that the later 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.
… But the commonest form, it is understood, was that in which the upright piece of wood was crossed by another near the top, but not precisely at it, the upright pole running above the other, thus "a cross" and so making four, not merely two right angles. It was on a cross of this form, according to the general voice of tradition, that our Lord suffered.
... It may be added that crucifixion was abolished around the time of Constantine, in consequence of the sacred associations which the cross had now gathered around it."
Now can you spot where the FACTS starts and ends and where the OPINION begins and ends? If so where? But if you really want to analyzed it, it's a mesh-mash of both facts and opinions. To confirm if a statement is a fact, it must backed up with evidence from different sources. If it can't be confirmed then it might as well be an opinion or heresy. But ONE thing for sure that is undeniably a fact from the statements is this statement:
"It was on a cross of this form, according to the general voice of tradition, that our Lord suffered".
The statement that: "It was on a cross of this form, according to the general voice of tradition , that our Lord suffered
has given us the evidence that INDEED the "VOICE OF TRADITION" was the source of information as to how "our Lord suffered" and died on a CROSS. No doubt about it!
In fact it's ALWAYS been tradition as the MAIN source of information for the "crucifixion" of the Lord Jesus Christ! This is further proven to us by the FACT:
"... that crucifixion was abolished around the time of Constantine, in consequence of the sacred associations which the cross had now gathered around it."
Yes, it was your "Constantine the Great" the so called "first Christian Emperor" by the Roman Catholic Church - was responsible for the complete and total transformation of the True Christian Church into an Apostate Christian Church!
As M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia comments:
“The simplicity of the Gospel was corrupted; pompous rites and ceremonies were introduced; worldly honors and emoluments were conferred on the teachers of Christianity, and the kingdom of Christ in a great measure converted into a kingdom of this world.”
And to this the Encyclopadia Britannica adds the following:
“Nothing perhaps has tended more thoroughly to corrupt Christianity than the introduction into it of superstitions which are really pagan themselves, or have been suggested by pagan practices. Paganism, unable to oppose Christianity successfully, has done much to corrupt it, and in numberless ways has made inroads into its purity.”
The book The Development of Christian Doctrine by Cardinal Newman comments:
“Constantine, in order to recommend the new [Roman Catholic] religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own.”
Then, after listing many of the practices of his church, the cardinal admits that these “are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”
The cardinal here refers to Constantine the Great, Roman emperor of the fourth century.
What was Constantine’s interest in religion?
The Encyclopadia Britannica says of Constantine:
“Paganism must still have been an operative belief with the man who, down almost to the close of his life, retained so many pagan superstitions. . . . Constantine was entitled to be called Great in virtue rather of what he did than what he was. Tested by character, indeed, he stands among the lowest of all those to whom the epithet [“Great”] has in ancient or modern times been applied.”
This is demonstrated in that he went as far as to the murder several of his own family members. In addition, his pagan title, “Pontifex Maximus,” was later transferred to the popes of the Roman Catholic Church!
Thus the Encyclopadia Britannica of 1907 and 1942 editions, under the term “cross” states correctly that Christ is “generally believed” to have died on such a cross, that at best it is only “by general tradition” that the matter is established.
In fact if you know your traditional history it was said that the mother of Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem at the age of about eighty years, determined to “rid the Holy Sepulchre of the mound of earth heaped upon and around it, and to destroy the pagan buildings that profaned its site.” She then received revelations, which gave her confidence that she would discover Christ’s tomb and his cross. Jews had hidden the cross, but one Jew, being “touched by Divine inspiration, pointed it out to the excavators.” However, three crosses were found, and since the title that Pilate had decreed to be placed above Jesus was found separately it could not be told which was Christ’s cross. So the three crosses were carried, “one after the other, to the bedside of a worthy woman who was at the point of death. . . . On touching that upon which Christ had died the woman got suddenly well again.” However, according to another tradition Helena had a dead person carried to the spot, who became alive by contact with the true cross. “From yet another tradition, related by St. Ambrose, it would seem that the titulus, or inscription, had remained fastened to the cross.”
There's so much information about this and to mention just a few will take a while.
So in summary:
The facts are:
1. The CROSS is pagan and is of pagan origin used in pagan worship.
2. The POLE / STAKE is also an instrument of punishment and death as well as a phallic (sex) symbol much like the CROSS is a sex symbol and sun-god symbol.
3. The Greek word Xylon and the Latin word 'CRUX' both mean - a POLE / STAKE and the Greek word "STAUROS" mean the same - a POLE or a "TORTURE STAKE" as accurately rendered in the NWT.
4. TRADITION - or GENERAL TRADITION not the Scripture was the main source of the adaptation and introduction of the CROSS into the "Christian Church".
So if you're looking for the traditional "Christian Church" look to TRADITIONS of men for you will surely find it there - at your hearts delight!
OK - I'll stop here before it gets longer, will be continued in another post to cover the remaining parts of this SUBJECT: The Pagan Cross.