Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

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mlinssen
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by mlinssen » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:16 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 3:22 pm

Barnabas 9.8: 8 For the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household eighteen males and three hundred. What then was the knowledge given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen first, and then after an interval three hundred. In the eighteen 'I' stands for ten, 'H' for eight. Here thou hast JESUS (IHSOYS). And because the cross [σταυρὸς] in the 'T' was to have grace, He saith also three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in the remaining one the cross [σταυρόν].

That's very interesting!

In Hebrew, I indeed stands for 10,
and H(eth) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heth for 8.
But 300? That's the S - shin, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_(letter)
What's the T in Hebrew? 400! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taw

But... there is an alphabet where the T stands for 300, and that's Greek, and / or Coptic. And the Barnabas letter is in the Codex Sinaiticus among others, which is Greek

Now what is funny? In Hebrew, the numerology of the letters is this:
10 - I
8 - H
300 - S

IHS is something we all can relate to, I think?
Yet if you take the numbers and transfer them to the Greek / Coptic alphabet, you get:

10 - I
8 - H
300 - T

And suddenly you find yourself with something having to elaborate upon... and then come up with this far-fetched story

In not entirely unrelated news, stauros is in Thomas of course, logion 55. It simply is a stake, that's what it stood for. So the stauros in 'T' is not the horizontal line, but the vertical one - yet the entire sentence there doesn't make any sense to me, regardless

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:40 am

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:16 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 3:22 pm

Barnabas 9.8: 8 For the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household eighteen males and three hundred. What then was the knowledge given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen first, and then after an interval three hundred. In the eighteen 'I' stands for ten, 'H' for eight. Here thou hast JESUS (IHSOYS). And because the cross [σταυρὸς] in the 'T' was to have grace, He saith also three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in the remaining one the cross [σταυρόν].

That's very interesting!

In Hebrew, I indeed stands for 10,
and H(eth) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heth for 8.
But 300? That's the S - shin, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_(letter)
What's the T in Hebrew? 400! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taw

But... there is an alphabet where the T stands for 300, and that's Greek....
Yes, Barnabas is doing his gematria in the Greek alphabet, not in the Hebrew alphabet. That is very clear.
In not entirely unrelated news, stauros is in Thomas of course, logion 55. It simply is a stake, that's what it stood for. So the stauros in 'T' is not the horizontal line, but the vertical one - yet the entire sentence there doesn't make any sense to me, regardless
A σταυρός can indeed be a stake. When described as a tau, though, the patibulum is included.

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by mlinssen » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:42 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:40 am
A σταυρός can indeed be a stake. When described as a tau, though, the patibulum is included.
A stauros, before there was any Christian context, or content for that matter, was a pole or a stake, sometimes used by peasants or shepherds as a tool, but mostly used in palisades

https://lsj.gr/wiki/%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B1% ... F%8C%CF%82

The story in Barnabas here comes across (pun intended) as a back breaking attempt at translating Hebrew into Greek. The Tanakh says what it says of course, and the stauros got introduced as cross, so Barnabas translates the number 300 from the Hebrew S into the Greek T, exactly as required when you take the Greek numerical system.
But where this is a surprising similarity with IHS in Hebrew, it is meaningless in Greek of course, unless you find a purpose for the resulting T

Which Barnabas did, as unconvincing as it is. There's a word tau in s.tau.ros of course, but not a stauros in tau.
Unless, of course, you take the original meaning of the symbol stauros, being a pole of some kind, and liken it to the vertical in T

οτι δε ο σταυρος εν τω Τ ημελλεν εχειν την χαριν

That however the stauros in the T is-about having the grace

Is it me, or is Barnabas inadvertently making a case against the stauros resembling the cross?

And would this have been an extraordinarily cunning case for IHS being in the Tanakh - in Hebrew?

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:42 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:40 am
A σταυρός can indeed be a stake. When described as a tau, though, the patibulum is included.
A stauros, before there was any Christian context, or content for that matter, was a pole or a stake, sometimes used by peasants or shepherds as a tool, but mostly used in palisades
Fortunately, for our purposes, crucifying people (σταυρόω in Greek, cruci figo in Latin) on a cross (σταυρός in Greek, crux in Latin) as a lethal form of punishment (and also as a form of displaying the victim after death by other means) long, long predates the Christianity of Barnabas, and the use of the patibulum predates it, so we need worry only about the interpretation which Barnabas laid upon the punishment.
The story in Barnabas here comes across (pun intended) as a back breaking attempt at translating Hebrew into Greek. The Tanakh says what it says of course, and the stauros got introduced as cross, so Barnabas translates the number 300 from the Hebrew S into the Greek T, exactly as required when you take the Greek numerical system.
But where this is a surprising similarity with IHS in Hebrew, it is meaningless in Greek of course, unless you find a purpose for the resulting T
Regarding "IHS in Hebrew," what verse are you referring to, specifically? (Or just an example, if you had more than one in mind.)

Regarding IHS in the first regard, here is Barnabas 9.8 in codex Sinaiticus:

Barnabas 9.8 in Sinaiticus.png
Barnabas 9.8 in Sinaiticus.png (915.09 KiB) Viewed 2279 times

I think you will find upon close inspection that the only instance of ΙΗΣ in the text comprises the third, fourth, and fifth letters of the word ποιήσας (line 11 from the top). When we actually get to the word which Barnabas tells us the numbers indicate, that word is ΙΝ (line 14 from the top), which also bears an overstroke. Ι is 10, as you have pointed out, and Ν is 50, if I am not mistaken. What do you think Barnabas is doing here?

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by mlinssen » Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:19 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm
Fortunately, for our purposes, crucifying people (σταυρόω in Greek, cruci figo in Latin) on a cross (σταυρός in Greek, crux in Latin) as a lethal form of punishment (and also as a form of displaying the victim after death by other means) long, long predates the Christianity of Barnabas, and the use of the patibulum predates it, so we need worry only about the interpretation which Barnabas laid upon the punishment.
Do you have pointers to texts there? I'm unfamiliar with the Greek verb
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm
Regarding "IHS in Hebrew," what verse are you referring to, specifically? (Or just an example, if you had more than one in mind.)
I wasn't quite clear there, what I mean is the numerical value of the TLA in Hebrew

Take IHS from any Coptic or Greek text, and treat it according to the Hebrew numerical system - then you get 318

I still don't know what it refers to, but I like Secret Alias' take

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:54 am

mlinssen wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:19 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm
Fortunately, for our purposes, crucifying people (σταυρόω in Greek, cruci figo in Latin) on a cross (σταυρός in Greek, crux in Latin) as a lethal form of punishment (and also as a form of displaying the victim after death by other means) long, long predates the Christianity of Barnabas, and the use of the patibulum predates it, so we need worry only about the interpretation which Barnabas laid upon the punishment.
Do you have pointers to texts there? I'm unfamiliar with the Greek verb
Sure. The following are not exhaustive, of course. I have arranged them roughly in chronological order from Herodotus to century II, since we do not know exactly when Barnabas wrote, but sometime in century II is the latest possibility:

Herodotus, Histories 3.125.1-4: 1 But Polycrates would listen to no advice. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Croton and the most skillful physician of his time. 2 But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was horribly murdered in a way unworthy of him and of his aims; for, except for the sovereigns of Syracuse, no sovereign of Greek race is fit to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. 3 Having killed him [ἀποκτείνας] in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσε] him; as for those who had accompanied him, he let the Samians go, telling them to thank him that they were free; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates’ followers, he kept for slaves. 4 And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter’s vision in every detail; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body.

Xenophon, Anabasis 3.1.17: 17 “And yet if we submit and fall into the king’s hands, what do we imagine our fate is to be? Even in the case of his own brother, and, yet more, when he was already dead [τεθνηκότος ἤδη], this man cut off his head and his hand and crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσεν] them; as for ourselves, then, who have no one to intercede for us, and who took the field against him with the intention of making him a slave rather than a king and of killing him if we could, what fate may we expect to suffer?”

Polybius, Histories 1.86.3-4 (English translation from Evelyn S. Shuckburgh): 3 Hannibal pitched his camp on the side of the town nearest to Carthage, and Hamilcar on the opposite side. 4 When this was done they brought the captives taken from the army of Spendius and crucified them in the sight of the enemy. / 3 κατὰ μὲν οὖν τὴν ἀπὸ Καρχηδόνος πλευρὰν προσεστρατοπέδευσεν Ἀννίβας, κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἀπέναντι ταύτης Ἀμίλκας. 4 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα προσαγαγόντες πρὸς τὰ τείχη τοὺς περὶ τὸν Σπένδιον αἰχμαλώτους ἐσταύρωσαν ἐπιφανῶς.

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 2.18.1 (English translation slightly modified from that of C. H. Oldfather): 1 When he had made all his preparations for the war he despatched messengers to Semiramis, who was already on the road, accusing her of being the aggressor in the war although she had been injured in no respect; then, in the course of his letter, after saying many slanderous things against her as being a strumpet and calling upon the gods as witnesses, he threatened to nail her to a cross [αὐτὴν σταυρῷ προσηλώσειν] when he had defeated her.

4Q169, fragments 3-4, column 1, lines 6b-8a: 6b And concerning what he says: «He fills] his cave [with prey] and his den with spoils» (= Nahum 2.13), ~ its interpretation concerns the Angry Lion 7 [who filled his cave with a mass of corpses, carrying out rev]enge against those looking for easy interpretations [דורשי החלקות], who hanged living men 8a [from the tree, committing an atrocity which had not been committed] in Israel since ancient times, for it is [hor]rible for the one hanged alive from the tree.

Seneca the Younger, Moral Essays 6.20.3a, to Marcia on consolation: 3a I see before me crosses not all alike, but differently made by different peoples: some hang a man head downwards, some force a stick upwards through his groin, some stretch out his arms on a gibbet. I see cords, scourges, and instruments of torture for each limb and each joint. / 3 Video istic cruces non unius quidem generis sed aliter ab aliis fabricatas: capite quidam conversos in terram suspendere, alii per obscena stipitem egerunt, alii brachia patibulo explicuerunt; video fidiculas, video verbera, et membris singulis articulis singula nocuerunt machinamenta.

CIIP 50 (page 93 of Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae & Palaestinae 1: Jerusalem 1, by Hannah M. Cotton):

50. Ossuary of Yehoḥanan with Hebrew inscription, 1 c. BCE-1 c. CE

Plain ossuary with flat lid, smoothed surfaces. Inscription in formal Jewish script incised on one of the long sides. First word seems to have been incised in different hand from rest of inscription; fourth letter in l.3 has many erasure marks.

Meas.: h 32, w 57, d 24 cm; l. 14 cm, letters 1-8 cm. Pres. loc: Israel Museum, Jerusalem, IAA inv. no. 1968-679. Autopsy: 26 January 2009.

יהוחנן
יהוחנן
בן חזקיל

App. crit.: l.3 הגקול ed. pr.; העקול Yadin.

Translit.: yhwḥnn | yhwḥnn | bn ḥzqyl Yehoḥanan. Yehoḥanan son of Ḥezkil.

Comm.: The ossuary contained the bones of two adult males (one skeleton partial) and a 3-4-year-old child. One of the adult males had been crucified, the nail still in his heel; this, together with the ambiguous, heavily erasured fourth letter in l.3, and the assumption (not impeccable) that the inscription refers to the crucified man, has given rise to different interpretations seeking to fit the inscription to the fact of the crucifixion. But it seems that the intended letter is zayin, thus ḥzqil after bn = “son of Ḥezkil”, the father’s name being a form of the biblical name Yeḥezkel (Ezekiel); this is the interpretation offered by Naveh in his commentary in the ed. pr., but he printed the reading hgqwl; as Puech argued decisively, the inscriber incorrectly incised gimel and tried to change it to zayin. The first Yehoḥanan is incised more shallowly, with a slightly different style of letters, than the second, thus possibly by a different hand.

Josephus, Wars 5.11.1 §451: 451 So the soldiers, out of wrath and hatred, nailed those they caught, one after one way and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses and crosses wanting for the bodies. / 451 προσήλουν δὲ οἱ στρατιῶται δι᾽ ὀργὴν καὶ μῖσος τοὺς ἁλόντας ἄλλον ἄλλῳ σχήματι πρὸς χλεύην, καὶ διὰ τὸ πλῆθος χώρα τε ἐνέλειπε τοῖς σταυροῖς καὶ σταυροὶ τοῖς σώμασιν.

Josephus, Antiquities 5.11.1 §379-380: 379 Now as Alexander fled to the mountains, six thousand of the Jews hereupon came together [from Demetrius] to him out of pity at the change of his fortune; upon which Demetrius was afraid, and retired out of the country; after which the Jews fought against Alexander, and being beaten, were slain in great numbers in the several battles which they had; 380 and when he had shut up the most powerful of them in the city Bethome, he besieged them therein; and when he had taken the city, and gotten the men into his power, he brought them to Jerusalem, and did one of the most barbarous actions in the world to them; for as he was feasting with his concubines, in the sight of all the city, he ordered about eight hundred of them to be crucified; and while they were living, he ordered the throats of their children and wives to be cut before their eyes.

Lucian, The Consonants at Law 12.1-14 (English translation slightly modified from A. M. Harmon): That is the way he injures mankind as far as their speech is concerned, but look at the material injury he has done them! Men weep and bewail their lot and curse Cadmus over and over for putting Tau into the alphabet, for they say that their tyrants, following his figure and imitating his build, have fashioned timbers in the same shape and stake [ἀνασκολοπίζειν] men upon them, and that it is from him that the sorry device gets its name. For all this do you not think that Tau deserves to die many times over? As for me, I hold that in all justice we can punish Tau only by making a T of him.

Artemidorus Daldianus, Oneirocritica 1.76, lines 35b-36a: 35b-36a Since he is a criminal, he will be crucified in his height and in the extension of his hands. / κακούργος δὲ ὦν σταυρωθήσεται διὰ τὸ ὕψος καὶ τὴν τῶν χειρῶν ἔκτασιν.

Pseudo-Manetho, Apotelesmatica 4.198 apud Martin Hengel, Crucifixion in the Ancient World, page 9: 9 .... Punished with limbs outstretched, they see the stake as their fate; they are fastened (and) nailed to it in the most bitter torment, evil food for birds of prey and grim pickings for dogs. ....

The incident which lingered most in the imagination of the Jewish people was probably that instigated by Alexander Jannaeus, discussed both by Josephus and by the Qumran text above: 800 of the Pharisees crucified alive while their families were slain in front of them.

I imagine you have read that satire by Lucian, since you employ his same pun in your observations. Sigma is prosecuting Tau in a court presided over by the seven Greek vowels (alpha, epsilon, eta, iota, omicron, upsilon, omega), and accuses Tau of having given humans both the idea of crucifixion (by its shape) and the name for the device on which to do it (by its name).
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm
Regarding "IHS in Hebrew," what verse are you referring to, specifically? (Or just an example, if you had more than one in mind.)
I wasn't quite clear there, what I mean is the numerical value of the TLA in Hebrew
Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying. In that case, why does the ΙΗΣ not appear in Sinaiticus as such? The Greek name for the number does, written in full (δεκαοκτὼ καὶ τριακοσίους, eighteen and three hundred), but the payload in the text is ΙΝ. What is your take on that?

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by robert j » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:48 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:54 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm
Fortunately, for our purposes, crucifying people (σταυρόω in Greek, cruci figo in Latin) on a cross (σταυρός in Greek, crux in Latin) as a lethal form of punishment (and also as a form of displaying the victim after death by other means) long, long predates the Christianity of Barnabas, and the use of the patibulum predates it ...

Herodotus, Histories 3.125.1-4: 1 But Polycrates would listen to no advice. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Croton and the most skillful physician of his time. 2 But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was horribly murdered in a way unworthy of him and of his aims; for, except for the sovereigns of Syracuse, no sovereign of Greek race is fit to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. 3 Having killed him [ἀποκτείνας] in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσε] him; as for those who had accompanied him, he let the Samians go, telling them to thank him that they were free; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates’ followers, he kept for slaves. 4 And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter’s vision in every detail; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body.

Xenophon, Anabasis 3.1.17: 17 “And yet if we submit and fall into the king’s hands, what do we imagine our fate is to be? Even in the case of his own brother, and, yet more, when he was already dead [τεθνηκότος ἤδη], this man cut off his head and his hand and crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσεν] them; as for ourselves, then, who have no one to intercede for us, and who took the field against him with the intention of making him a slave rather than a king and of killing him if we could, what fate may we expect to suffer?”

Polybius, Histories 1.86.3-4 (English translation from Evelyn S. Shuckburgh): 3 Hannibal pitched his camp on the side of the town nearest to Carthage, and Hamilcar on the opposite side. 4 When this was done they brought the captives taken from the army of Spendius and crucified them in the sight of the enemy. / 3 κατὰ μὲν οὖν τὴν ἀπὸ Καρχηδόνος πλευρὰν προσεστρατοπέδευσεν Ἀννίβας, κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἀπέναντι ταύτης Ἀμίλκας. 4 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα προσαγαγόντες πρὸς τὰ τείχη τοὺς περὶ τὸν Σπένδιον αἰχμαλώτους ἐσταύρωσαν ἐπιφανῶς.

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 2.18.1 (English translation slightly modified from that of C. H. Oldfather): 1 When he had made all his preparations for the war he despatched messengers to Semiramis, who was already on the road, accusing her of being the aggressor in the war although she had been injured in no respect; then, in the course of his letter, after saying many slanderous things against her as being a strumpet and calling upon the gods as witnesses, he threatened to nail her to a cross [αὐτὴν σταυρῷ προσηλώσειν] when he had defeated her.

In these Greek histories that predate Paul as well as Barnabus, do you have evidence or other reasonable arguments to justify these translations of ἀνεσταύρωσε, ἀνεσταύρωσεν, ἐσταύρωσαν in the first three entries as “crucified” rather than “staked-up” or “staked”? Should one assume that these authors intended the instrument of punishment to be cross-shaped rather than a simple wooden stake on which one, in all or in parts, had been nailed, tied, impaled or otherwise attached?

In light of the inextricable connotation for modern readers of the term “crucifixion” as an execution on a wooden cross, might these translations tend to give modern readers a biased impression of these punishments?

In the same vein, do you have evidence or other reasonable arguments to justify the translation of σταυρῷ in the last entry above as a “cross” rather than a simple wooden “stake” to which Semiramis was threatened to be nailed?

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:17 pm

robert j wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:48 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:54 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm
Fortunately, for our purposes, crucifying people (σταυρόω in Greek, cruci figo in Latin) on a cross (σταυρός in Greek, crux in Latin) as a lethal form of punishment (and also as a form of displaying the victim after death by other means) long, long predates the Christianity of Barnabas, and the use of the patibulum predates it ...

Herodotus, Histories 3.125.1-4: 1 But Polycrates would listen to no advice. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Croton and the most skillful physician of his time. 2 But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was horribly murdered in a way unworthy of him and of his aims; for, except for the sovereigns of Syracuse, no sovereign of Greek race is fit to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. 3 Having killed him [ἀποκτείνας] in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσε] him; as for those who had accompanied him, he let the Samians go, telling them to thank him that they were free; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates’ followers, he kept for slaves. 4 And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter’s vision in every detail; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body.

Xenophon, Anabasis 3.1.17: 17 “And yet if we submit and fall into the king’s hands, what do we imagine our fate is to be? Even in the case of his own brother, and, yet more, when he was already dead [τεθνηκότος ἤδη], this man cut off his head and his hand and crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσεν] them; as for ourselves, then, who have no one to intercede for us, and who took the field against him with the intention of making him a slave rather than a king and of killing him if we could, what fate may we expect to suffer?”

Polybius, Histories 1.86.3-4 (English translation from Evelyn S. Shuckburgh): 3 Hannibal pitched his camp on the side of the town nearest to Carthage, and Hamilcar on the opposite side. 4 When this was done they brought the captives taken from the army of Spendius and crucified them in the sight of the enemy. / 3 κατὰ μὲν οὖν τὴν ἀπὸ Καρχηδόνος πλευρὰν προσεστρατοπέδευσεν Ἀννίβας, κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἀπέναντι ταύτης Ἀμίλκας. 4 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα προσαγαγόντες πρὸς τὰ τείχη τοὺς περὶ τὸν Σπένδιον αἰχμαλώτους ἐσταύρωσαν ἐπιφανῶς.

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 2.18.1 (English translation slightly modified from that of C. H. Oldfather): 1 When he had made all his preparations for the war he despatched messengers to Semiramis, who was already on the road, accusing her of being the aggressor in the war although she had been injured in no respect; then, in the course of his letter, after saying many slanderous things against her as being a strumpet and calling upon the gods as witnesses, he threatened to nail her to a cross [αὐτὴν σταυρῷ προσηλώσειν] when he had defeated her.

In these Greek histories that predate Paul as well as Barnabus, do you have evidence or other reasonable arguments to justify these translations of ἀνεσταύρωσε, ἀνεσταύρωσεν, ἐσταύρωσαν in the first three entries as “crucified” rather than “staked-up” or “staked”? Should one assume that these authors intended the instrument of punishment to be cross-shaped rather than a simple wooden stake on which one, in all or in parts, had been nailed, tied, impaled or otherwise attached?

In light of the inextricable connotation for modern readers of the term “crucifixion” as an execution on a wooden cross, might these translations tend to give modern readers a biased impression of these punishments?

In the same vein, do you have evidence or other reasonable arguments to justify the translation of σταυρῷ in the last entry above as a “cross” rather than a simple wooden “stake” to which Semiramis was threatened to be nailed?
It can be "staked." The references are pretty clear that there were all manner of crucifixion methods, and that the vocabulary does not by itself imply a patibulum. A straight vertical stake is certainly one of the more common options from ancient times.

The only point I am making here is that the use of the patibulum predates (both) Barnabas (and Lucian), and became a popular Roman method, thus rendering their comparison of a crucifixion to the Greek letter Tau comprehensible.

IIRC, Carrier takes what I think is the correct tack in OHJ. He uses the entire set of terms to mean the act of displaying or hanging someone on a pole of some kind, no matter what the exact posture of the victim or the exact shape of the device. He makes his own range of meaning match what is found in antiquity, in other words.

Someone who insists that references to crucifixion must include the patibulum unless otherwise indicated is probably wrong. Someone who insists that no patibulum was used in crucifixions is also probably wrong. The truth is that crucifixion was a varied form of punishment, even if the Romans did display enough of a preference for the crossbar method that Lucian could turn that specific shape for the device into a satire.

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by robert j » Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:27 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:54 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm
Fortunately, for our purposes, crucifying people (σταυρόω in Greek, cruci figo in Latin) on a cross (σταυρός in Greek, crux in Latin) as a lethal form of punishment (and also as a form of displaying the victim after death by other means) long, long predates the Christianity of Barnabas, and the use of the patibulum predates it ...

Herodotus, Histories 3.125.1-4: 1 But Polycrates would listen to no advice. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Croton and the most skillful physician of his time. 2 But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was horribly murdered in a way unworthy of him and of his aims; for, except for the sovereigns of Syracuse, no sovereign of Greek race is fit to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. 3 Having killed him [ἀποκτείνας] in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσε] him; as for those who had accompanied him, he let the Samians go, telling them to thank him that they were free; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates’ followers, he kept for slaves. 4 And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter’s vision in every detail; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body.

Xenophon, Anabasis 3.1.17: 17 “And yet if we submit and fall into the king’s hands, what do we imagine our fate is to be? Even in the case of his own brother, and, yet more, when he was already dead [τεθνηκότος ἤδη], this man cut off his head and his hand and crucified [ἀνεσταύρωσεν] them; as for ourselves, then, who have no one to intercede for us, and who took the field against him with the intention of making him a slave rather than a king and of killing him if we could, what fate may we expect to suffer?”

Polybius, Histories 1.86.3-4 (English translation from Evelyn S. Shuckburgh): 3 Hannibal pitched his camp on the side of the town nearest to Carthage, and Hamilcar on the opposite side. 4 When this was done they brought the captives taken from the army of Spendius and crucified them in the sight of the enemy. / 3 κατὰ μὲν οὖν τὴν ἀπὸ Καρχηδόνος πλευρὰν προσεστρατοπέδευσεν Ἀννίβας, κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἀπέναντι ταύτης Ἀμίλκας. 4 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα προσαγαγόντες πρὸς τὰ τείχη τοὺς περὶ τὸν Σπένδιον αἰχμαλώτους ἐσταύρωσαν ἐπιφανῶς.

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 2.18.1 (English translation slightly modified from that of C. H. Oldfather): 1 When he had made all his preparations for the war he despatched messengers to Semiramis, who was already on the road, accusing her of being the aggressor in the war although she had been injured in no respect; then, in the course of his letter, after saying many slanderous things against her as being a strumpet and calling upon the gods as witnesses, he threatened to nail her to a cross [αὐτὴν σταυρῷ προσηλώσειν] when he had defeated her.

robert j wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:48 am

In these Greek histories that predate Paul as well as Barnabus, do you have evidence or other reasonable arguments to justify these translations of ἀνεσταύρωσε, ἀνεσταύρωσεν, ἐσταύρωσαν in the first three entries as “crucified” rather than “staked-up” or “staked”? Should one assume that these authors intended the instrument of punishment to be cross-shaped rather than a simple wooden stake on which one, in all or in parts, had been nailed, tied, impaled or otherwise attached?

In light of the inextricable connotation for modern readers of the term “crucifixion” as an execution on a wooden cross, might these translations tend to give modern readers a biased impression of these punishments?

In the same vein, do you have evidence or other reasonable arguments to justify the translation of σταυρῷ in the last entry above as a “cross” rather than a simple wooden “stake” to which Semiramis was threatened to be nailed?
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:17 pm

It can be "staked." ... the vocabulary does not by itself imply a patibulum. A straight vertical stake is certainly one of the more common options from ancient times.

The only point I am making here is that the use of the patibulum predates (both) Barnabas (and Lucian), and became a popular Roman method, thus rendering their comparison of a crucifixion to the Greek letter Tau comprehensible.

... The truth is that crucifixion was a varied form of punishment, even if the Romans did display enough of a preference for the crossbar method that Lucian could turn that specific shape for the device into a satire.
Sure, the Romans of the times sometimes attached a cross-bar (patibulum) to an upright stake to form a cross-shaped instrument of suspension and punishment.

But I think the 4 examples you have cited here can be seen as misleading in this context because none of those citations describe punishments conducted by the Romans. And as you acknowledge there is no reason to assume the instruments used in those citations were cross-shaped, and that "A straight vertical stake is certainly one of the more common options from ancient times."

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:36 pm

robert j wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:27 pm
But I think the 4 examples you have cited here can be seen as misleading in this context because none of those citations describe punishments conducted by the Romans. And as you acknowledge there is no reason to assume the instruments used in those citations were cross-shaped, and that "A straight vertical stake is certainly one of the more common options from ancient times."
They would perhaps be misleading in other contexts, but in this context, the purpose of which is to establish the antiquity of the use both of the verb (σταυρόω) and of the noun (σταυρός) specifically as a punishment (rather than merely as a palisade or a tool or such)? Not at all. I stand by every word, and I think you may have missed the bit of context which these instances are illuminating. To exclude them would be the oddity, not to include them.

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