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

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MrMacSon
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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 3:26 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am

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
  • Yes he does. He appeals to the prophets quite a bit. And, as I said above, he appeals to the form of Moses in Ezekiel 17:10-12

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am

Dialogue with Trypho, 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

  • I can't find substantial evidence that even the NT authors thought that, "nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet." Can you?

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am
If there are Greek versions of Justin Martyr that used "stauros" ...
  • " If " ? -- There is.

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am
... it would seem to indicate that the writer thought of it in terms of a cross-shape
  • I'd like to see a middle premise, perhaps to make a syllogism, at least, to help make that argument.

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am

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).

Cheers. Yes, I've read that. These are the points I've taken from it.

I'd highlight the first paragraph like this -

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).

ie. just the first sentence. I think a lot of the subsequent commentary in that first sentence is non-specific and general. Whether the so-called "traditional -shaped cross" or the "T-shaped cross (the crux commissa or tau cross)" were the 'normal form' execution cross in use in antiquity or the early first century AD/CE doesn't seem to have any direct bearing on what Justin Martyr or others in antiquity say or describe.

I'd highlight the second paragraph thus -

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.

I am yet to see evidence that, "The Greek word [stauros] is used in descriptions in antiquity of [an] execution cross", or "indicate that [a] normal shape was similar to the Greek letter tau (Τ)"

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.
  • He's not describing a cross, he using metaphors to create an impression -- of a shaped 'cross'.
Furthermore, he uses the word σταυρον, stauros, -

... 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.

It was mostly used to impale. Perhaps people were tied to one. But the shape of someone tied to one would not have created a shape

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MrMacSon
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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 3:50 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 [obliquely, thru metaphors].
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
GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:05 am
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.
If he was, it'd be because it was Justin's commentary which re-defined the word "stauros" to mean a shape ...

... and the change to crux or words based on it would likely be because of Justin's metaphors and the shift to Latin at the end of or just after his time.

Wikipedia shows the meaning before his time -

... stauros, found in texts of four centuries or more before the gospels and always in the plural number to indicate stake or pole. From the first century BC, it [was] used to indicate an instrument used in executions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 GakuseiDon » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:57 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:26 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am

Dialogue with Trypho, 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

  • I can't find substantial evidence that even the NT authors thought that, "nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet." Can you?
It honestly doesn't matter to me. I thought that perhaps you meant that Justin thought that the hands were nailed directly to the stake, thus not requiring a cross-shape. But I see that's not your intent.
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:26 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am
If there are Greek versions of Justin Martyr that used "stauros" ...
  • " If " ? -- There is.
GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:09 am
... it would seem to indicate that the writer thought of it in terms of a cross-shape
  • I'd like to see a middle premise, perhaps to make a syllogism, at least, to help make that argument.
* Justin Martyr was educated in Greek
* He used 'stauros' to mean a punishment that involved a cross-shaped object formed from an initial stake
* Therefore it is evidence that 'stauros' carried a meaning of a cross-shaped object used in punishment in Justin's time
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:26 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.
  • He's not describing a cross, he using metaphors to create an impression -- of a shaped 'cross'.
Furthermore, he uses the word σταυρον, stauros, -
Your point is too subtle for me, I'm afraid. He seems to be using the word "stauros" which -- to him -- is a cross-shaped object.

Do you think that Justin has his own eccentric view of the meaning of "stauros" that differed from others in his time? Or do you think the word changed meaning within the pagan world between Paul's time and Justin's? Either is possible, I guess.
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:26 am

... 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.

It was mostly used to impale. Perhaps people were tied to one. But the shape of someone tied to one would not have created a shape
What if you start with a man-sized stake and drive it into the ground for the purposes of capital punishment, and then put a beam across the top? Would it still be a stake? Or would it be called something else in Greek?

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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 4:12 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:57 am
* He used 'stauros' to mean a punishment that involved a cross-shaped object formed from an initial stake
  • I don't think so.

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:57 am
* Therefore it is evidence that 'stauros' carried a meaning of a cross-shaped object used in punishment in Justin's time
  • Certainly not.

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:57 am
Now, if I understand you correctly, you believe that Justin has his own eccentric view of the meaning of "stauros" that differ[ed] from earlier Christians.
  • No, I don't believe that. Not passively, anyway.

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:57 am
Or do you think the word changed meaning within the pagan world between Paul's time and Justin's?
  • No, I don't think that at all.

I think
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:26 am
  • Justin was not describing a cross, he was using metaphors to create an impression of, or reverence for, a shaped entity.

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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 4:55 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:12 am
  • Justin was not describing a cross, he was using metaphors to create an impression of, or reverence for, a shaped entity.
I see. Interesting! I'll look forward to see what you can find on 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 7:35 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
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.
Yes, he was. Apologies for my "You're missing the point", that was not necessary. We both have points, it's not like I have The point - sorry

Justin is indeed using the word Stauros, and indeed he is trying very hard to treat and present it as 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 7:56 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:55 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:12 am
  • Justin was not describing a cross, he was using metaphors to create an impression of, or reverence for, a shaped entity.
I see. Interesting! I'll look forward to see what you can find on that.
Well, it's already been found - Justin is trying very hard to defend the idea that Jesus was put on a cross, and the funny thing is is that he is - in the end - using the staurogram. Which is a written symbol, of course, and I take that to be a very hard pointer to some text.
And I already have one in mind, of course

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

Post by bbyrd009 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:40 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:15 pm
bbyrd009 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:56 pm
well, No son of man may die for another's sins
Ezekiel 18:20ff ?
also in Psalms, if i recall correctly

bbyrd009 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:56 pm
it might be interesting to note that "Jesus died for our sins" cannot be Quoted
cannot be quoted anywhere (in the NT? in the Church Fathers?)
well, you might give it a try, but i suggest that Christ died for our sins is a subtly--or not--diff animal

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

Post by bbyrd009 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:52 am

"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"

may i suggest that both of these statements can be read literally, or spiritually, and Trypho (?) is only assuming the "was used in reference to the nails of the cross" part as being literal? "Hands" and "feet" and even "vesture" could easily be shorthand for what those things do maybe?

although i am admittedly biased; whenever someone writes as if they know, in absolutes, like that, "was used...," i tend to get suspicious:)

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

Post by bbyrd009 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:05 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:35 pm
bbyrd009 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:56 pm
well, No son of man may die for another's sins, and it might be interesting to note that "Jesus died for our sins" cannot be Quoted
fwiw, -
GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:03 pm

I've reproduced Earl Doherty's thoughts on the Shepherd of Hermas from his "Jesus: Neither God Nor Man" ...

Page 271

The central section of the Shepherd discusses a great list of moral rules, some resembling the teachings of the Gospels, but no attribution is made to Jesus. A passage in the Fifth Parable (6:3) has the Son "cleansing the sins of the people," but this precedes his "showing them the ways of life and giving them the Law," and the former is never presented in terms of sacrifice or atonement. The 'giving of the Law' is through spiritual channels, for a later Parable states that the angel Michael (who in Parable 9 is yet another figure equated with the Son of God) has "put the Law into the hearts of those who believe." There is no preaching by an historical Son in evidence anywhere in this work... [/#efe]

i wonder if
Jesus of Nazareth
"John Doe, from Nowhere"
might be a valid contemplation in this context? The argument being that "Jesus" (Joshua) was the most common male name then, and as we know Nazareth was pretty literally "Nowhere," esp 1st century, when it (apparently) was not even inhabited

it would certainly be a clever way to hide wisdom from the wise i guess

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