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
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
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
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.
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:
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.