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Bible Q

Was the “cross” at the crucifixion a crucifix-shape, a T-shape, or a stake?

Although the Greek word “cross” (stauros) originally meant just a stake, and the Romans kept large stakes permanently planted at places of execution, the available textual evidence from the Roman period points strongly to the use on the stake of a patibulum or crossbeam in crucifixions to spread and suspend the victim’s arms. Although the basic shape […]

Was it normal for someone to carry their own cross to their crucifixion?

Crucifixion was used by Romans for punishing non-Romans from the end of the first century BC. By the time of Jesus, the regulations governing a crucifixion had become relatively standard in the Roman world. The following description is taken from Vassilios Tzaferis (1985), the archaeologist whose excavations in Jerusalem in 1968 discovered the only known physical […]

What is meant by taking up one’s cross?

The full quote comes from Jesus in the Gospels: Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it […]

Who carried the cross — Jesus or Simon of Cyrene?

In John 19:17, Jesus is described as carrying his own cross, but in the other gospels we are told that Simon of Cyrene carried the cross for Jesus (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26). It was customary in Roman crucifixions for the prisoner to carry his own cross. Most likely, he had to carry only […]

Who was the man that pierced Jesus on the cross?

The Bible says very little about this person; in fact, he is only mentioned in one verse, John 19:34: …one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. So, we know that he was a Roman soldier (cp. John 18:31; 19:1-2,34), but that’s the only […]