"a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifixion"

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mlinssen
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by mlinssen » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:40 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:57 pm
MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:15 pm
In Justin the word in Greek is also a derivative of σταυρός / stauros ie. stake.
...
Irenaeus wrote in Greek, and some of his works are extant in Greek, but the more complete ones are in Latin.

I'd say the Greek here would also have a derivative of σταυρός / stauros ie. stake.
So, to clarify: are you suggesting that some Christians might have thought that Jesus was nailed to a stake (i.e. a single upright post), rather than to a cross-shaped object?
You can't just say that, it is a story that evolves so certain truths are considered valid at certain times by a certain majority

What is most likely is that, until 150 CE and likely a lot later even, people just understood the gospels for what they said: those would be the Greek ones and those simply narrate impaling. The noun is a stake, the verb is to impale, and the entire crucifixion scene is one of impaling. No discussion possible there

Then, the story seems to have been spun towards dying on a cross instead of a stake, highly likely for reasons of marketing: and those efforts were undertaken by the so-called Church fathers. Those stories are in Greek as well as Latin, and perhaps they caught on around 200-250 CE, or not at all, among the followers - dunno

Then the written tradition moved from Greek to Latin, and it is at that exact point that the Greek stauros simply got translated to the Latin crux - no mistake there, a cross is a cross

There is no talk of nailing Jesus, there are no nails in the gospels. Only John talks of the marks of those, and only when the risen Jesus shows himself. Could be an interpolation, dunno, but it very likely is

The entire content and context of the Greek NT points to a stake, it is impossible to read anything else into it. It is Matthew who changes the (INRI) inscription to be "over his head" but that's it, that's the only thing.
You'll say "they didn't need to describe anything, it was evident that it was a cross!"
Then I'll say: provide the documentation to that, and tell me how a man hanging from a cross can die in the exact way that is described: completely lucid until the very last minute, and then suddenly being dead the next one

(Just saw that MrMacSon posted during me writing mine: exactly that)
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by mlinssen » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:42 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:33 am
mlinssen has, for Justin's First Apology, pointed out in a post upthread, page 2, that the Greek has a derivative of σταυρός and that one Latin version has crucifixum, so it may well be that the change in terminology from stake to crucified actually came with more texts being written in Latin (and the concept of crucifixion has been retrofitted onto the original terminology).
Not just one, every Greek stauro-something changes into a Latin cruc-something in Justin

We'll likely see a slow progression in the church fathers: perhaps stories about a cross, a few, prior to Justin. When in Greek they will talk of stauros, when in Latin they'll talk of crux.
After that we'll see that they increase in number, and at some moment the entire topic will end - and that is when the tradition has moved from Greek to Latin, after which the word is freed from its original noun, and changed into the new noun, which just as unambiguously says cross as the previous one unambiguously said stake

Case closed - now, to put that thesis to the test

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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:50 am

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:42 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:33 am
mlinssen has, for Justin's First Apology, pointed out in a post upthread, page 2, that the Greek has a derivative of σταυρός and that one Latin version has crucifixum, so it may well be that the change in terminology from stake to crucified actually came with more texts being written in Latin (and the concept of crucifixion has been retrofitted onto the original terminology).
Not just one, every Greek stauro-something changes into a Latin cruc-something in Justin
I meant in the one Latin version of Justin you looked at (and I think you just looked at his First Apology - that was all I saw in the link)

(I'm only being careful in case different Latin versions of Justin's works are not be consistent)
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by mlinssen » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:57 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:50 am
mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:42 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:33 am
mlinssen has, for Justin's First Apology, pointed out in a post upthread, page 2, that the Greek has a derivative of σταυρός and that one Latin version has crucifixum, so it may well be that the change in terminology from stake to crucified actually came with more texts being written in Latin (and the concept of crucifixion has been retrofitted onto the original terminology).
Not just one, every Greek stauro-something changes into a Latin cruc-something in Justin
I meant in the one Latin version of Justin you looked at (and I think you just looked at his First Apology - that was all I saw in the link)

(I'm wondering if the Latin versions of Justin's works may or may not be consistent)
Yup. I followed up on your comment wrt Second Apology. Have to dig through Trypho but it was very consistent in First Apology. Perhaps irenaeus will help

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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:04 am

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:57 am
Yup. I followed up on your comment wrt Second Apology.
Cheers.

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:57 am
Have to dig through Trypho but it was very consistent in First Apology.
The English version of Dialogue with Trypho has ' cruc ' 74 times (I haven't gone there yet)

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:57 am
Perhaps Irenaeus will help
Perhaps. Irenaeus wrote in Greek, and some of his works are extant in Greek, but the more complete early ones are in Latin.

It'd be interesting if the extant Greek texts of his works have σταυρός / stauros ie. stake or a derivative of it implying impaling.

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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by GakuseiDon » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:33 am
It seems in every case we see 'crucified' or 'cross' in English translations, the Greek word is based on σταυρός ie. stauros = stake.

I'm working through the implications of that. As you know, I'm interested in the commentary of Justin Martyr appealing to the form of Moses in Ezekiel 17:10-12 and to other manifestations of outstretched hands (I also think Isaiah 42:5 might be relevant, too).

mlinssen has, for Justin's First Apology, pointed out in a post upthread, page 2, that the Greek has a derivative of σταυρός and that one Latin version has crucifixum, so it may well be that the change in terminology from stake to crucified actually came with more texts being written in Latin (and the concept of crucifixion has been retrofitted onto the original terminology).
In Justin Martyr's First Apology, he writes:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... ology.html

Chapter 35

And the expression, "They pierced my hands and my feet," was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture

Chapter 55

But in no instance, not even in any of those called sons of Jupiter, did they imitate the being crucified; for it was not understood by them, all the things said of it having been put symbolically. And this, as the prophet foretold, is the greatest symbol of His power and role; as is also proved by the things which fall under our observation. For consider all the things in the world, whether without this form they could be administered or have any community. For the sea is not traversed except that trophy which is called a sail abide safe in the ship; and the earth is not ploughed without it: diggers and mechanics do not their work, except with tools which have this shape. And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having the hands extended, and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called the nose, through which there is respiration for the living creature; and this shows no other form than that of the cross.

In his Dialogue with Trypho, Justin uses a quote from the OT to describe the cross. He writes:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... rypho.html

Chapter 15

For the lamb, which is roasted, is roasted and dressed up in the form of the cross. For one spit is transfixed right through from the lower parts up to the head, and one across the back, to which are attached the legs of the lamb.

Chapter 41

And again in other words, through another prophet, He says, "They pierced My hands and My feet, and for My vesture they cast lots." And indeed David, the king and prophet, who uttered these things, suffered none of them; but Jesus Christ stretched forth His hands, being crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He was the Christ. And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said, Judge us. Now, no one could say or prove that the horns of an unicorn represent any other fact or figure than the type which portrays the cross. For the one beam is placed upright, from which the highest extremity is raised up into a horn, when the other beam is fitted on to it, and the ends appear on both sides as horns joined on to the one horn. And the part which is fixed in the centre, on which are suspended those who are crucified, also stands out like a horn; and it also looks like a horn conjoined and fixed with the other horns.

If there are Greek versions of Justin Martyr that used "stauros", it would seem to indicate that the writer thought of it in terms of a cross-shape, at least in context of capital punishment.

I also found this about the Latin word 'crux' in Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross

The field of etymology is of no help in any effort to trace a supposed original meaning of crux. A crux can be of various shapes: from a single beam used for impaling or suspending (crux simplex) to the various composite kinds of cross (crux compacta) made from more beams than one. The latter shapes include not only the traditional †-shaped cross (the crux immissa), but also the T-shaped cross (the crux commissa or tau cross), which the descriptions in antiquity of the execution cross indicate as the normal form in use at that time, and the X-shaped cross (the crux decussata or saltire).

The Greek equivalent of Latin crux "stake, gibbet" is stauros, found in texts of four centuries or more before the gospels and always in the plural number to indicate a stake or pole. From the first century BC, it is used to indicate an instrument used in executions. The Greek word is used in descriptions in antiquity of the execution cross, which indicate that its normal shape was similar to the Greek letter tau (Τ).

But whether Justin Martyr used 'stauros' in the Greek or 'crux' in the Latin, he clearly is describing a cross.

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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by mlinssen » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:19 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am
But whether Justin Martyr used 'stauros' in the Greek or 'crux' in the Latin, he clearly is describing a cross.
You're missing the point. Yes, Justin is spinning the story here, just like I described. It likely is he who started it all, turning the stake into a cross

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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by mlinssen » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:23 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:04 am
mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:57 am
Yup. I followed up on your comment wrt Second Apology.
Cheers.

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:57 am
Have to dig through Trypho but it was very consistent in First Apology.
The English version of Dialogue with Trypho has ' cruc ' 74 times (I haven't gone there yet)

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:57 am
Perhaps Irenaeus will help
Perhaps. Irenaeus wrote in Greek, and some of his works are extant in Greek, but the more complete early ones are in Latin.

It'd be interesting if the extant Greek texts of his works have σταυρός / stauros ie. stake or a derivative of it implying impaling.
Holy shit. This one by Irenaeus is a true beauty

https://www.scribd.com/document/4141945 ... Volume-pdf

I made a screenshot, still on mobile LOL

Page 235 of 599!!!
Screenshot_20210220-101614_ReadEra_1.jpg
Irenaeus stauros = crux
Screenshot_20210220-101614_ReadEra_1.jpg (558.24 KiB) Viewed 570 times

5. They show, further, that that Horos of theirs, whom they call by a variety of names, has two faculties,--the one of supporting, and the other of separating; and in so far as he supports and sustains, he is Stauros, while in so far as he divides and separates, he is Horos. They then represent the (Stauros) Saviour as having indicated this twofold faculty: first, the sustaining power, when He said, "Whosoever doth not bear his cross (Stauros), and follow after me, cannot be my disciple;"(5) and again, "Taking up the cross follow me;"(6) but the separating power when He said, "I came not to send peace, but a word."

Please do note how there is a conjectural emendation in the Greek text, suggesting that where it says Stauron, Saviour should be read

I'm not sure what this is all about, but again there is business about the cross, and it involves the form of a stake. Quickie, sorry

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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:18 am

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:23 am

Holy shit. This one by Irenaeus is a true beauty

https://www.scribd.com/document/4141945 ... Volume-pdf
Wow, it is a beauty! Thanks!

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:23 am

I made a screenshot, still on mobile LOL

5. They show, further, that that Horos of theirs, whom they call by a variety of names, has two faculties,--the one of supporting, and the other of separating; and in so far as he supports and sustains, he is Σταυρον, Stauros, while in so far as he divides and separates, he is Horos. They then represent the Σταυρον, Stauros [ l. Σωτήρα, Saviour ] as having indicated this twofold faculty: first, the sustaining power, when He said, "Whosoever doth not bear his cross σταυρον [stauros], and follow after me, cannot be my disciple;"(5) and again, "Taking up the cross σταυρον follow me;"(6) but the separating power when He said, "I came not to send peace, but a word."

Please do note how there is a conjectural emendation in the Greek text, suggesting that where it says Stauron, Saviour should be read

I'm not sure what this is all about, but again there is business about the cross, and it involves the form of a stake. Quickie, sorry

This is very interesting. I presume your boxed text is a rough translation of the Greek?

As you can see I made some changes^ .. :D

What's really interesting is Σταυρον - Stauros - is capitalised - twice! - and it's Σωτήρα, Saviour, which in [square] brackets thus, [ l. Σωτήρα ]
  • ( dunno what the ' l. ' thing is before Σωτήρα )
It's like Σταυρον is a god !! ( perhaps higher than Horos ! )

Also, a σταυρον appears to be a significant additional tool or instrument ...

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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by GakuseiDon » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:05 am

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:19 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am
But whether Justin Martyr used 'stauros' in the Greek or 'crux' in the Latin, he clearly is describing a cross.
You're missing the point. Yes, Justin is spinning the story here, just like I described. It likely is he who started it all, turning the stake into a cross
But he was using the word "stauros" to mean "a cross-like shape", wasn't he? IIUC he was writing in Greek and educated in the Greek of his time.

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