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Sunday, June 6, 2010

STAUROS - "Cross" or "Torture Stake"?


Some have objected to stauros being translated as "torture stake" in the NWT as opposed to the traditional "cross." But look at this statement by one of Christendom's favorite NT Greek experts:

"STAUROS ... denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb stauroo, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross. The shape of the latter [the cross] had its origin in ancient Chaldea [Babylon], and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ." - W. E. Vine, p. 248, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers. - Also see "Cross" in Reasoning from the Scriptures and "Torture Stake" in Insight on the Scriptures (Watchtower publications).

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