Why crucifixion?

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Ben C. Smith
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Why crucifixion?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 am

For the purposes of this thread, assume that there is/was no historical Jesus who was crucified and then thought to be the Messiah or the Son of God or whatnot. The notion, then, that the Messiah or the Son of God had to be crucified must have come from some other source than historical misfortune. What might that other source have been? What I am looking for is a list of options, like so:
  • The Greek of Psalm 21.17 (22.17 Masoretic, 22.16 English) says that "they dug my hands and feet" (ὤρυξαν χεῖράς μου καὶ πόδας), perhaps suggesting the piercing of the hands and feet for the purpose of crucifixion.
  • Zechariah 12.10 prophesies that the inhabitants of Jerusalem will look upon the one whom they have "pierced" (דָּקָ֑רוּ, in the Hebrew only, not in the OG) and mourn him (and Isaiah 53.5 uses מְחֹלָל in a similar sense), and perhaps this piercing suggested crucifixion.
  • The wicked in Wisdom of Solomon 2.20 plot to condemn the righteous man to "a shameful death" (θανάτῳ ἀσχήμονι), and there was no death more shameful in antiquity than the servile supplicium, crucifixion.
  • Some ancient dying and rising gods and goddesses were thought to have suffered some kind of hanging or crucifixion.
  • Cyrus the Great is called an Anointed One (= Messiah) in Isaiah 45.1 who, according to Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 2.44.2, suffered crucifixion.
  • Justin Martyr, in Dialogue 40.3, claims that the Passover lamb was dressed and roasted in a fashion "like unto the form of the cross" (ὁμοίως τῷ σχήματι τοῦ σταυροῦ), thus possibly suggesting that a figure known as the Lamb of God would undergo crucifixion.
  • Plato, in The Republic 2.362a, has Glaucon citing anonymous persons to the effect that the fate of the just man is to be "staked up" (ἀνασχινδυλευθήσεται), thus suggesting crucifixion.
  • Philo, in On the Posterity of Cain and His Exile 17.61, compares souls being attached to bodies to men being attached to crosses via crucifixion.
  • Isaiah 50.10; 52.13 (refer also to 53.11) speaks of a suffering "servant" (παῖς) whom Christians commonly identified with Christ, and the servile supplicium, the mode of death most appropriate for slaves or servants, is crucifixion.
  • Odes of Solomon 27.1-3; 42.1-3 and other early texts describe a worship posture, sometimes called orans, involving the stretching out of the hands: a posture which, far from being suggested by an historical crucifixion, may perhaps have actually suggested crucifixion.
Some of these are of greater or lesser probability than others, obviously, but I am not being picky right now. What are other viable options?

Nota bene: I am already mentally taking into account the possibility of some mystic experiencing a random vision or hallucination involving crucifixion, so no need to add that one. Also, for the purposes of this thread I am not interested in sources for the mere death, or even the execution, of a Son of God or a Messianic figure; it has to be something which would suggest crucifixion in particular.

Thanks.

Ben.

ETA: I am adding suggestions on this thread which include ancient references to the list.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:46 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:41 am

Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, 40:

and that lamb which was commanded to be wholly roasted was a symbol of the suffering of the cross which Christ would undergo. For the lamb, which is roasted, is roasted and dressed up in the form of the cross

Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Charles Wilson
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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Charles Wilson » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:41 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 am
Some of these are of greater or lesser probability than others, obviously, but I am not being picky right now. What are other viable options?
A priest of the Mishmarot Group Immer is involved/leading a planned Coup against Herod in 4 BCE at Passover with the Re-Dedication of the Temple occurring on the Sabbath following the Passover of Tuesday night/Wednesday, when Immer rotates in after Bilgah.

Herod dies a week-ish too soon and the gives the Herodians/Romans a chance to stage a Counter-Revolution. Herod has been taken to the Palace in Jericho and is out of the picture, what with his dinky eaten by worms and his onset of Senility. With Archelaus ascending the Throne, the Coup is thwarted at the cost of 3000+ lives. Passover is cancelled, leaving Judea Unclean.

The Priest survives by "Miracle" and returns to Gallilee (Probably to the Settlement in Jabnit - or perhaps Meiron) where he waits. "Jairus" seeks him out 12 years later and convinces him to make one last "Call to Glory".

Alas, he is intercepted and is Crucified, perhaps in Caesarea, where substantial tessellated/mosaic tile has been found (See GJohn.). In the last few years, tessellated tile has been found from the Second Temple in a dump, so the descriptions given in the NT may yet be true.).

This Political Story has been rewritten into the Story of a savior/god "Jesus".

Best to you, Ben,

Charlie

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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:59 am

Charles Wilson wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:41 am
Alas, he is intercepted and is Crucified, perhaps in Caesarea, where substantial tessellated/mosaic tile has been found (See GJohn.).
This would be the real, historical crucifixion of a real, historical person, correct?
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Giuseppe
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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:27 am

I should quote from the book of Nanine Charbonnel the entire list of biblical and talmudic quotes about the tau terminology, where the tau may refers to a cross, as for example Ezekiel 9:4, Exodus 17:11, Revelation 21,6; 22,13 etc.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:35 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:27 am
I should quote from the book of Nanine Charbonnel the entire list of biblical and talmudic quotes about the tau terminology, where the tau may refers to a cross, as for example Ezekiel 9:4, Exodus 17:11, Revelation 21,6; 22,13 etc.
Give me a viable ancient reference (not just a modern one) which implies that the tau could be a missing link between some mystical concept and a crucified Messiah or deity and I will add it to the list (as I already added your Passover lamb item).

The tau resembling a cross does not by itself work, since nothing there inherently links either the tau or the cross to a Messiah figure. Without both elements in place, the tau idea may as well be a unique vision granted to a unique mystic.
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nightshadetwine
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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by nightshadetwine » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:45 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 am
What are other viable options?
I consider it possible that the gospels are allegories for what the "soul" goes through when incarnated into the "flesh" or physical body. Jesus representing the spiritual aspect in everyone. In the mystery cults initiates would perform a death and rebirth ritual which would end with the initiate being reborn into a new life and gaining a god-like aspect which would take full form when they died. I think the sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus may be an allegory for this.

Plato's republic book 2 362a http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... at.+Rep.+2 :
What they will say is this: that such being his disposition the
just man will have to endure the lash, the rack, chains,
the branding-iron in his eyes, and finally, after every extremity
of suffering, he will be crucified,30 and so will learn his lesson
that not to be but to seem just is what we ought to desire.
Philo, ON THE POSTERITY OF CAIN AND HIS EXILE, 61:
that the body must be thought akin to the souls that love the body, and that external good things must be exceedingly admired by them, and all the souls which have this kind of disposition depend on dead things, and, like persons who are crucified, are attached to corruptible matter till the day of their death.
A Story of the Soul’s Journey in the Nag Hammadi Library: A Study of Authentikos Logos, Ulla Tervahauta
Somewhat later in Phaedo 82E Socrates calls the body akin to a prison or a cage, and in Gorgias 493A and in Cratylus 400B-C the body is the tomb of the soul. In a section starting with Phaedo 82E Socrates explains how the soul must contemplate the realities through the prison of the body...The soul's incarceration is caused by bodily desires, and the prisoner is active in keeping herself imprisoned by submitting herself under the power of these desires...In each pleasure and sorrow there is a nail, as it were, that fixes the soul to the body.
Also the Osiris fetish and djed pillar(made out of the tree that Osiris's dead body was found in) which would sometimes be combined. The fetish pole would have the head of Osiris and sometimes a corn body hanging from it. Sometimes Isis and Nephthys would be portrayed near it in a gesture of mourning. The fetish pole was associated with ritual animal killings and they would hang the skin or intestines on it. I don't necessarily think this is where the crucifixion of Jesus comes from but I think it's an interesting parallel seeing as they're both dying and resurrecting saviors.

The Festivals of Osiris and Sokar in the Month of Khoiak: The Evidence from Nineteenth Dynasty Royal Monuments at Abydos, Katherine J. Eaton
The Osiris Fetish is also depicted in the Chapel of Ramesses I and the Temple of Ramesses II at Abydos.43 The origins of the Osiris Fetish are obscure and debated but,44 by the Nineteenth Dynasty, the fetish seems to have represented the head reliquary of Osiris Khentyimentiu.45 The Osiris Fetish essentially consists of a wig, sometimes with a face,
stuck onto a plain pole.

"...in most representations the fetish is adorned not only with sun disk and plumes, but also with uraei and headbands, and the ribbons associated with these fillets. These elements of the developed cult symbol were all intended to suggest its character as the 'head' of the deity."(R. Wilkinson, Reading Egyptian Art, 1992, 169.)...

There are other iconographical similarities between the two conveyances: golden figures of the king, wearing the nemes-headdress, support the fetishpole along with protective jackals and cobras. In this case, however, some figures of the king are replaced by golden statuettes of Isis and Nephthys, raising their arms in a gesture of mourning...

The scenes in the Osiris Chapel show the Osiris Fetish on two different palanquins. One representation left the pole of the fetish exposed; the other enclosed a significant portion of the pole with the shrine of Osiris' processional barque. According to a later tradition recorded at Dendera, a corn body was made for Osiris-Khentyimentiu and attached to a head, perhaps an Osiris Fetish.91 When the fetish or its contents was attached to a corn
mummy, the barque shrine may have been placed around the pole to protect the delicate corn body...

Since, by the New Kingdom, the [djed]dd-pillar seems to have been associated with the spinal column of Osiris, it would have united the divine members. The Osiris Fetish and the dd-pillar are often juxtaposed, as on the west wall of the Chapel of Ramesses I at Abydos.
Biographical Texts from Ramesside Egypt, Elizabeth Frood
It is likely that this represents the top of an imiut-fetish, the stuffed skin of an animal tied to a pole, which was one of the central symbols of Osiris and Anubis at Abydos.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imiut_fetish
Logan suggests that the jmy.wt has its origin as a standard associated with kingship and transition, a pole upon which the intestines of a ritual animal sacrifice were hung.
There's also the pole that Dionysus(another dying and resurrecting savior) was hung on.
https://www.mfa.org/collections/object/ ... sos-153877
Principal design a sacrifice to Dionysos, encircling the vase. On the front an archaic idol of Dionysos, with a large disc on each shoulder; in front a table with amphorae on it, and sacrificial cakes. Women on each side, and others under the handles and on the other side.
[Label text]: In the scene depicted here, women are gathered at a festival of Dionysus. The women have erected an image of the god in this outdoor celebration. A mask of Dionysus has been hung on a pole while drapery held by large pins suggests the body of the makeshift cult image. The women have decorated the idol with garlands of ivy. Loaves or cakes have been heaped on the table in front of the image of the god as offerings to him.
http://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/tools/potte ... /dinos.htm
Style: later classical, rich but not ornate
Subject/s: A. Women or maenads with thrysi and tambourines dance around a pillar idol of Dionysos, festooned with branches and set before a table holding two large stamnoi from which one maenad ladles wine into a skyphos. B. more maenads with thrysi and tambourines join the celebrations
Date: late 5th c.
Analysis: the subjects are very like that of those on the earlier stamnos by the Villa Giulia Painter. Now the image of the god fastened to pillar suggests a festival of Dionysos. The tambourines are new and probably reflect their recent appearance in Athens with the cult of Bendis.
Last edited by nightshadetwine on Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

Ethan
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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Ethan » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:54 am

The author needed a convenient form of punishment, if it were an actual Roman punishment, Jesus be dead for sure,for example beheading, head on a spike, how would he have resurrected from that. Real crucifixion was a form of anal penetration, an upright pole up the ass with the legs apart, this is what is found in Judea, so probably a Jewish fetish at the time.
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf

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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:59 am

nightshadetwine wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:45 am
There's also the pole that Dionysus(another dying and resurrecting savior) was hung on.
Thanks. I already have this one covered under the item about dying and rising gods.
I consider it possible that the gospels are allegories for what the "soul" goes through when incarnated into the "flesh" or physical body. Jesus representing the spiritual aspect in everyone. In the mystery cults initiates would perform a death and rebirth ritual which would end with the initiate being reborn into a new life and gaining a god-like aspect which would take full form when they died. I think the sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus may be an allegory for this.

Plato's republic book 2 362a http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... at.+Rep.+2 :
What they will say is this: that such being his disposition the
just man will have to endure the lash, the rack, chains,
the branding-iron in his eyes, and finally, after every extremity
of suffering, he will be crucified,30 and so will learn his lesson
that not to be but to seem just is what we ought to desire.
Philo, ON THE POSTERITY OF CAIN AND HIS EXILE, 61:
that the body must be thought akin to the souls that love the body, and that external good things must be exceedingly admired by them, and all the souls which have this kind of disposition depend on dead things, and, like persons who are crucified, are attached to corruptible matter till the day of their death.
Good ones. I have added them.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Why crucifixion?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:02 pm

nightshadetwine wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:45 am
Philo, ON THE POSTERITY OF CAIN AND HIS EXILE, 61:
that the body must be thought akin to the souls that love the body, and that external good things must be exceedingly admired by them, and all the souls which have this kind of disposition depend on dead things, and, like persons who are crucified, are attached to corruptible matter till the day of their death.
This remembers Acts of Peter, 37:

"It is right to mount upon the cross of Christ, who is the word stretched out, the one and only, of whom the spirit saith: For what else is Christ, but the word, the sound of God So that the word is the upright beam whereon I am crucified. And the sound is that which crosseth it, the nature of man. And the nail which holdeth the cross-tree unto the upright in the midst thereof is the conversion and repentance of man."

http://wesley.nnu.edu/sermons-essays-bo ... -of-peter/
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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