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Phone Line Transcript May 2000

The Stake or The Cross?

Thank you for calling SOS. Today, we are probing the question: "Was Jesus executed on an upright pole or was Jesus really crucified on the cross"? After hearing this message, you may want to order copies of crucial documentation. We would be glad to send them to you absolutely free. All you have to do is send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

SOS Outreach
3266 Yonge St. Box # 1702
Toronto, Ontario
M4N 3P6

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is certainly true in the WT's children publication " My book of Bible Stories". Please open your copy to story # 101. Here we can see Jesus being executed on an upright pole.

Quote: "Look at the terrible thing that is happening. Jesus is being killed. They have put him on a stake." End of Quote.

That's right, according to the WT, Jesus, with his hands one over the other and arms stretched out above his head had a single spike nailed through his hands into the upright pole or "torture stake" as they call it. This is very different from the traditional depiction of Jesus' crucifixion with his arms stretched out, one to either side, and then nailed by two separate spikes to a cross beam with his feet being pierced by a single spike on the vertical pole.

The WT further explores this idea in their 1985 publication "Reasoning from the Scriptures" on pg. 89 where The Imperial Bible-Dictionary is referred to and I Quote: "The Greek word for cross, [stauros], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground…. Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole." End of Quote.

Upon reading this explanation from "Reasoning from the Scriptures" one might come to the conclusion that Jesus was in fact executed on an upright pole. But what does the "The Imperial Bible Dictionary" say in-between the WT's ellipses or the "…."? Is it possible that in this quotation, the WT failed to inform us of any pertinent information about Jesus death?

As I speak, I have in front of me the very dictionary quoted in "Reasoning from the Scriptures", that is, "The Imperial Bible Dictionary". It seems that within the ellipses or "….", the WT has indeed neglected to include some crucial information about the "stake" or "upright pole"; that is, and I quote: "a modification was introduced as the dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves through Greek speaking countries."

Well, this is very interesting. What was this modification?

From the very same dictionary the WT refers to, namely "The Imperial Bible Dictionary"

I Quote: Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole, and this always remained the more prominent part. But from the time that it began to be used as an instrument of punishment, a transverse piece of wood was commonly added." End of Quote

The Imperial Bible Dictionary continues by quoting a contemporary of Jesus, whose name was Seneca and again

I Quote: "…and that about the period of the gospel age crucifixion was usually accomplished by suspending the criminal on a cross piece of wood." End of Quote

But friends, that isn't all. The Imperial Bible Dictionary goes on to emphasise further that, and

I Quote: "But the commonest form, it is understood, was that in which the upright piece of wood was crossed by another near the top, but not pricisely at it, the upright pole running above the other, thus "a cross" and so making four, not merely two right angles. It was on a cross of this form, according to the general voice of tradition, that our Lord suffered."
End of Quote.

You see, we can now clearly see that the authors from the WT's book "Reasoning from the Scriptures" have knowingly excluded crucial information essential for you and I to formulate a reasonable conclusion on the means by which Jesus was executed.

I must briefly interrupt this message to remind you, and to urge you to order a complete copy on "the cross" from "The Imperial Bible Dictionary" which is available by sending SOS a self addressed stamped envelope to the address already mentioned.

So, Did Jesus Die on a torture stake, or was he crucified on the cross?

We now have a clear picture what "The Imperial Bible Dictionary" says, but how about the bible itself? What does it tell us about Jesus death?

Quote: "But Thomas, one of the twelve, who was called the twin, was not with them when Jesus came. Consequently the other disciples would say to him: 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them: 'Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will certainly not believe.'" End of Quote. From John Chapter 20 vs. 24 & 25

That's right my friends, Thomas himself identified that there were nails driven into Jesus' hands; not one nail as the WT would have us believe, but nails, in the plural. This evidence clearly corroborates the evidence revealed to you from the Imperial Bible Dictionary! Two spikes nailed Jesus' outstretched hands to the transverse piece of wood attached to the upright pole forming the shape of a cross to which we identify the means of our Lord's suffering.

Well, do you and I need more evidence than this?

Let me answer that question with another question.

If Jesus was crucified on an upright stake, then why does Matthew 27:37 say a sign was put above Jesus' head instead of his hands?

And I Quote: "Also, they posted above his head the charge against him, in writing: 'This is Jesus the King of the Jews.'" End of Quote.

You may dismiss this evidence or you may even say to yourself, "well the means by which Jesus was executed is unimportant". But we believe that it is important. So I will leave you with one more quote, from the Apostle Paul, who can put into words, the importance of the cross so amazingly as to bring a man to his knees in prayer and humility to the most high God.

"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel-not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 'The 1st letter to the Corinthians Chapter 1 vss 17 & 18.'

Please join us again any time. Next month, SOS will continue "Reasoning from the Scriptures".

By the way, did you know that Exodus 12:22 and Ezekiel 9:4-6 foretold, hundreds of years before Jesus' birth, how the Messiah was to be crucified? Stay tuned and find out!

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