THE WORD “CROSS”!
THERE IS ONLY ONE WORD USED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT FOR CROSS.
THE WORD IS #4716 IN STRONG’S CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE.
THAT CONCORDANCE SAY:
“STAUROS - pronounced stowros; from the base of 2476; a stake or post [as set upright] I.e. a pole or cross [as an instrument of capital punishment]; fig. Exposure to death, i.e. self-denial; by implementing. The atonement of Christ:- cross.”
VINE’S—— Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament words:
stauros (4716) 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 had its origin in ancient Chaldea, 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.
As for the Chi, or X, which Constantine declared he had seen in a vision leading him to champion the Christian faith, that letter was the initial of the word "Christ" and had nothing to do with "the Cross" (for xulon, "a timber beam, a tree," as used for the stauros, see under tree).
The method of execution was borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians. The stauros denotes (a) "the cross, or stake itself," e.g., Matt. 27:32; (b) "the crucifixion suffered," e.g., 1 Cor. 1:17-18, where "the word of the cross," RV, stands for the gospel; Gal. 5:11, where crucifixion is metaphorically used of the renunciation of the world, that characterizes the true Christian life; 6:12, 14; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 3:18.
The judicial custom by which the condemned person carried his stake to the place of execution, was applied by the Lord to those sufferings by which His faithful followers were to express their fellowship with Him, e.g., Matt 10:38.
stauroo (4717) signifies (a) "the act of crucifixion," e.g., Matt. 20:19; (b) metaphorically, "the putting off of the flesh with its passions and lusts," a condition fulfilled in the case of those who are "of Christ Jesus," Gal. 5:24, RV; so of the relationship between the believer and the world, 6:14.
sustauroo (4957), "to crucify with" (su-, "for," sun, "with"), is used (a) of actual "crucifixion" in company with another, Matt. 27:44; Mark 15:32; John 19:32; (b) metaphorically, of spiritual identification with Christ in His death, Rom. 6:6, and Gal. 2:20.f
anastauroo (388) (ana, again) is used in Heb. 6:6 of Hebrew apostates, who as merely nominal Christians, in turning back to Judaism, were thereby virtually guilty of "crucifying" Christ again.
prospegnumi (4362), "to fix or fasten to anything" (pros, "to," pegnumi,
"to fix"), is used of the "crucifixion" of Christ, Acts 2:23.f
From SMITH’S BIBLE DICTIONARY——
Cross. As the emblem of a slave's death and a murderer's punishment, the cross was naturally looked upon with the profoundest horror. But after the celebrated vision of Constantine, he ordered his friends to make a cross of gold and gems, such as he had seen, and "the towering eagles resigned the flags unto the cross," and "the tree of cursing and shame" “sat upon the sceptres and was engraved and signed on the foreheads of kings.” (Jer. Taylor, "Life of Christ," Hi., xv. 1.) The new standards were called by the name Labarum, and may be seen on the coins of Constantine the Great and his nearer successors.
Latin cross, on which our Lord suffered, was in the form of the letter T, and had an upright above the cross-bar, on which the "title" was placed. There was a projection from the central stem, on which the body of the sufferer rested.
This was to prevent the weight of the body from tearing away the hands. Whether there was also a support to the feet is doubtful. An inscription was generally placed above the criminal's head, briefly expressing his guilt, and generally was carried before him. It was covered with white gypsum, and the letters were black.
Three Forms of the Cross—— T X T with extention of the upright beam above
From The Zondervan PICTORIAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE
CROSS (CROSS-BEARING) — pale, stake, cross.
1. Background. The word stauros comes from the Greek verb histemi [root sta], “to stand” and originally meant an “upright pointed stake” or “pale.’ Criminals were either tied to or impaled upon it. Stauros in the NT,
however, apparently was a pole sunk into the ground with a cross-bar fastened to it giving it a "T" shape. Often the word "cross" referred only to the cross-bar.
Death by crucifixion originated somewhere in the E. Alexander the Great seems to have learned of it from the Persians. Rome borrowed the idea from the Phoenicians through Carthage, and perfected it as a means of capital punishment.
The Romans reserved crucifixion, however, for slaves, robbers, assassins, and the like, or for rebellious provincials. Only rarely were Rom. citizens subjected to this kind of treatment (Cicero, In Ver. 1. 5. 66). The tradition, therefore, which relates the beheading of Paul, and Peter's crucifixion accords well with this distinction between peoples.
Upon receiving the sentence of death the condemned person was flogged with a leather whip loaded with metal or bone so cruelly that it became known as the intermediate death. He was then required to shoulder the crossbar upon which he was to be extended and carry it to the place of his crucifixion (Plutarch, De Ser. Num. Vind. 9.554A). He wore about his neck a placard naming his crime. At the execution site he was stripped and tied or nailed to the crossbar, which then was fastened to an upright post. A projecting peg gave the condemned a place to sit to relieve the strain on his arms. Death, therefore, was slow in coming, except when it was hurried by soldiers breaking the crucified man's legs (John 19:31).
According to Josephus crucifixion in Pal. was a most common sight (Antiq. 17. 10. 10; 20. 5. 2; Wars, 2. 12. 6, 13. 2, 14. 9; 5. 11. 1). The fact that two robbers were crucified with Jesus in Jerusalem tends to confirm this claim.
The Jewish nation, unlike the Rom., did not crucify living persons. Frequently, however, they did suspend the bodies of the executed upon a tree to intensify their punishment and to expose them to public shame (Num 25:4; Josh 10:26; 1 Sam 31:10). Men thus hanged were considered accursed by God (Deut 21:22, 23).
Crucifixion, therefore, was abhorrent to the Jew (1 Cor 1:23; Gal 3:13), but no less so to the Rom. Cicero wrote: "Let the very name of the cross be far away not only from the body of a Roman citizen, but even from his thoughts, his eyes, his ears" (Pro Rab. 5).
2. Jesus' cross.
In the NT, when used of Jesus, the word stauros has both a literal and figurative meaning. Literally it meant that physical instrument by which Jesus was put to death. After being flogged (Matt 27:26) and forced to carry His own cross (= crossbar, John 19:17), which, though not a heavy piece of wood, was, nevertheless, too heavy for Him in His weakened condition (Mark 15:21; cf. 2 Cor 13:4), He was fastened to it by nails (cf. John 20:25), and hoisted then with it up onto the upright stake already in place at the execution site (Matt 27:35). Here He was left to die, a death which Jesus Himself had anticipated (20:18, 19), and from which He could not escape (Mark 15:32).
Figuratively Jesus' cross became the mark of God's redemptive action in history. It was symbolic of the means God employed for releasing into this world a power for good sufficiently strong to save men (1 Cor 1:18), to break down otherwise insurmountable barriers between man and man, thus making it possible for him to live at one with his brother (Eph 2:16), to bring everything back into peace and harmony with God (Col 1:20), to effect for mankind forgiveness of sins and a release from that which continually made him feel his guilt (2:14), and to free him forever from the cosmic forces of evil which everywhere surrounded him (2:15).
Since the cross was reserved for criminals and those accursed by God (see above), it symbolized, too, the suffering, shame and humiliation Jesus endured (Heb 12:2) for the human race, indicating the depths to which He was willing to go to lift up the worst and lowest of men.
Jesus' cross also stood as the symbol of God's unique purpose for Him. That is to say, since dying was planned by God as Jesus* supreme mission (Acts 2:23; cf. Matt 16:21 with 20:18, 19 and John 18:11), the cross, therefore, becomes a metonym for mission, a symbol both of the divine will for Jesus, and Jesus' voluntary submission to that will (Mark 14:36; Phil 2:8).
3. The Christian's cross: crossbearing.
The cross was used also of the followers of Jesus, both literally and metaphorically. Because crucifixion was a frequent occurrence, and because the spectacle of condemned men carrying their crosses to the place of execution was common, Jesus' words about taking up the cross and following Him (Matt 16:24; cf. John 12:26) must first of all have been interpreted literally. These words must have been understood as a prediction of the same physical means of death for Jesus' followers as for Him (Matt 23:34). This prediction was soon fulfilled in the early years of the Church's history (cf. the tradition about Peter's crucifixion and see also Ignatius, Rom. 5.3; Hermas, Vis. 3.2.1).
Jesus also interpreted metaphorically the cross His followers must bear. It was for Him the symbol of their self-sacrifice: "If any man wills to come after me," He said, "let him deny (perhaps, 'lose sight of) himself, and take up his cross (Luke adds, 'daily'), and [continually] follow me" (Mark 8:34-36). "To bear the cross," therefore, means a continuing loyalty to Christ along with a continuing death to self. It means "we must refuse, abandon, deny serf altogether as a ruling or determining or originating element in us. It is to be no longer the regent of our action. We are no more to think 'What should I like to do?' but 'What would the Living One have me do?'" (George MacDon-ald).
If in the experience of Jesus the cross was a metonym for His mission, there is a sense then in which the cross also stands for that mission in life to which the Christian has been called.' "To bear the cross," therefore, means further that the Christian is called upon to imitate Jesus' commitment to doing that particular task assigned him by God and doing it completely (Luke 14:27, noting esp. the words "his own cross"; cf. John 17:4). The cross is a symbol, then, of life lived under Christian discipline, marked by voluntary obedience to the will of God.
The cross is also a symbol of the shame and humiliation which the Christian must be prepared to endure for the sake of Christ (Heb 12:2 with 13:12, 13; cf. also Ign. Trail. 11:2: Hermas, Vis. 3. 2. 1). It is a symbol, further, of the destruction of everything which interposes itself between man and God, whether it be an institutionalized religion, as in the case of Paul (Gal 6:14), or material things, as in the case of Ignatius (Rom 7:2), or whatever else there might be. The cross, too, is a symbol of that mystical union of the Christian with Christ, wherein one's old evil impulses are crucified with Christ, and new desires and powers are released in his life (Gal 2:19b, 20; Rom 6:6).
The Christian's cross is always a voluntary thing. Unlike the convict he never is compelled to carry it: "If any man wills to do so," Jesus said (Mark 8:34). Nor is there ever any hint that the Christian, like Christ, by bearing his cross acts redemptively or becomes accursed in behalf of others or thereby atones for another's sins. Yet there is a sense in which the Christian who bears the cross fills up (supplements) on his part the things lacking of the afflictions of Christ (Col 1:24), i.e. by continued acts of self-denial on the part of successive individuals through the years in the interest of God and humanity, the work which Christ began continues even to the present.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. H. Cremer, Biblico-Theo-logical Lexicon of NT Greek (1892); F. W. Dilli-stone, Jesus Christ and His Cross (1953); L. Morris, The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (1955); J. Schneider, eravpos, in G. Kittel, ed., Theologisches Worterbuch zum NT (1962); Theological Dictionary of the NT, tr. and ed. by G. W. Bromiley (1971).
THE IDEA THAT WE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT USE THE WORD “CROSS” EVEN NOT SAYING “CROSS” WHEN READING FROM THE KJV, IS NOT A WARRANTED TRUE THEOLOGY OF GOD.
THE FACTS OF RECORDED HISTORY TELL US VERY PLAINLY JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED ON A BEAM THAT HAD A CROSS BEAN; HIS ARMS THEN OUT HORIZONTALLY TO THE GROUND, HANDS BEING NAILED TO THAT CROSS BEAM.
IT IS OVER-ZEAL, ZEAL NOT ACCORDING TO FACTS OF HISTORY, A MISPLACED ZEAL, THAT SOME PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO USE THE WORD “CROSS.”
IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE THE WORD “CROSS” BRINGS AN IMMEDIATE SENSE TO THE MIND, THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT AN UPRIGHT BEAM WITH A CROSS BEAM.
THERE IS NOTHING WHATSOEVER WRONG WITH USING THE ENGLISH WORD “CROSS” IN SPEAKING ABOUT THE DEATH OF JESUS, AND USING THAT WORD AS TRANSLATED IN THE KJV BIBLE.
IT IS RELIGIOUS CULTS THAT TEND TO GET CAUGHT UP IN SOME “NEVER USE THIS WORD’ OR “CAN ONLY USE THIS WORD” AS LIKE THE CULTS OF “SACRED NAME” GROUPS.