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Codswallop!  Disdaining Tradition, both oral and written, a Protestant scholar might well come to such a conclusion. 

The JWs will have a field day with this one.


Little Evidence Jesus Died on a Cross, Says Scholar(June 27)

— The crucifix is the defining symbol of Christianity, a constant reminder to the faithful of the sacrifice and suffering endured by Jesus Christ for humanity. But an extensive study of ancient texts by a Swedish pastor and academic has revealed that Jesus may not have died on a cross, but instead been put to death on another gruesome execution device.

Gunnar Samuelsson — a theologian at the University of Gothenburg and author of a 400-page thesis on crucifixion in antiquity — doesn’t doubt that Jesus died on Calvary hill. But he argues that the New Testament is in fact far more ambiguous about the exact method of the Messiah’s execution than many Christians are aware.

“When the Gospels refer to the death of Jesus, they just say that he was forced to carry a “stauros” out to Calvary,” he told AOL News. Many scholars have interpreted that ancient Greek noun as meaning “cross,” and the verb derived from it, “anastauroun,” as implying crucifixion. But during his three-and-a-half-year study of texts from around 800 BC to the end of the first century AD, Samuelsson realized the words had more than one defined meaning. 

This iconic image of Christ dying on the cross may be misleading, according to theologian Gunnar Samuelsson, who says crucifixion was more rare than commonly thought.  “‘Stauros’ is actually used to describe a lot of different poles and execution devices,” he says. “So the device described in the Gospels could have been a cross, but it could also have been a spiked pole, or a tree trunk, or something entirely different.” In turn, “anastauroun” was used to signify everything from the act of “raising hands to suspending a musical instrument.”

The manner in which Jesus died is further thrown into question by Samuelsson’s discovery that crucifixion may have been an unusual form of punishment in the Roman Empire. Descriptions of crucifixions contained in the thousands of Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin and Greek manuscripts he examined most commonly referred to dead prisoners being placed on some form of suspension device, or living captives skewered on stakes. The first century Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, for example, wrote about seeing a great many prisoners of war on “crosses” after one campaign. But the scribe then describes how a large number
of the dead had been impaled.  “If you search for ancient texts that specifically mention the act of crucifixion [as we understand it today]” he says, “you will end up with only two or three examples.”

That revelation stands in stark contrast to claims that appear in many books on the historical Jesus, as well as more general surveys of life under Roman rule, which state that prisoners were routinely nailed to crosses. (The Encylopaedia Britannica, for example, says crucifixion was an “important method of capital punishment” in Rome.) Of course, this lack of hard evidence doesn’t mean that the Roman Empire was a crucifix-free zone. Samuelsson suspects that crucifixion was simply one of a great many methods of execution employed across the empire. He notes that Flavius Josephus — a Jewish historian and adviser to three Roman emperors in the 1st century — recorded how Roman soldiers were allowed to use their “wicked minds in various ways to execute” prisoners captured during a Jewish uprising. This suggests that the method of Jesus’ execution may have been decided by legionnaires stationed at Calvary, and not by the state.

“If we put this on the table, and think that the execution of Jesus was the result of the wicked mind of the soldiers at that very point, we can’t know how he could have been executed,” Samuelsson says. “The executions of that day could have taken a completely different form from ones the day before.”  The Swedish scholar isn’t sure exactly why the crucifix went on to become the dominant Christian motif. But this symbol only seems to have become fixed in followers’ minds long after Jesus’ death, as the first T and X shaped crucifixes appear in Christian manuscripts around the 2nd century AD.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Samuelsson’s thesis has caused something of an unheavenly row. While fellow theologians have complimented his highly detailed research, many critics in the blogosphere have claimed that he wants to undermine Christianity.  Samuelsson — who believes that “the man who walked this earth was the Son of God, and that he will return to judge the living and the dead” — says this accusation is simply “stupid.”

“I’m really just a boring, conservative pastor and I start everyday reading the New Testament,” he says. “But my suggestion is that we should read the text as it is, not as we think it is.”

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In other news, he finds even less evidence otherwise.
This reminds me that in one week those with arthritis should not exercise, because that kills them (let them take plavix for $40 a month supply even with insurance), in other week the exercise in necessary for them, so let them by stationary machines to their home. In the good old times the scholars served the people, no they serve the money.
Sigh.......A Cross,a Stake a X,it matters very little....expecially since it is a protestant saying it.F*** i heard prots when i was a prot argue that the bible is completely innerent but the scriptures i pointed out were "Of little importance",saying it has to be "Interpreted" in their "Tradition" of thinking.

Sigh,Honestly,This is quite pointless.......I believe he died on the Cross  :crucifix:  but it is the fact he was crucified that matters,not on what structure he died.but as I said I believe it was the cross.The Eastern Styled one or the Latin.
wow, it took him 3 years to come to that conclusion. He's some scholar  :pazzo:

If only the early christians  had read the Bible in the original Greek like our Protestant scholar friend, then they would have known that there eyes were wrong and the Christ was not crucified but shishkabobbed like the original Greek text implies.
Mention in the article of a pole might help the Festivus people out somehow.
This is the importance of knowing the actual languages of the Bible as opposed to relying translations. Then again, as the late D. James Kennedy said, "'experts' will say everything about anything."
Just another academic trying to make a name for himself. The vast majority of these new "findings" stem simply from boredom and the desire for personal gain.
(06-27-2010, 05:29 PM)venerbaeda Wrote: [ -> ]Mention in the article of a pole might help the Festivus people out somehow.

I saw a documentary where they tried to recreate the crucifixtion that many people think of and they ran into several problems.  They came to a conclusion that Jesus likely died on a T-shape.  This is reinforced by the fact that the earliest pictures of the crucifiction are T-shaped and not an actual cross.

However Jesus really died....whether it was T-shaped or not....that really doesn't matter.  The article cited by the first poster builds itself up to mean much more than it really does.
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