Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Cross Or A Torture Stake?

You know the Watchtower claims that Christ wasn’t hung on a cross but on a pole. They throw rocks at all the other Christian religions for teaching that Jesus was crucified.

The Watchtower claims this because the Greek words used when referring to this instrument of death were “stauros” and “xylon”. “Stauros” meaning upright pole and “xylon” being literally “wood”.

At first blush this might make one actually consider their argument.

Yet the use of these two words does not rule out the use of a cross member in the execution of Christ.

Another thing that the Watchtower doesn’t want you to think about is that this was the standard execution procedure for the Roman empire.

You know if you think of Jews executing someone then you’d be correct in assuming the standard Jewish method of stoning. If you think of someone being executed in the United States during the mid 1800’s you’d think of hanging. If you think of execution in France during the French revolution then it is hard not to think of the infamous guillotine as their preferred method of execution. These are all matters of historical record.

Why fly directly in the face of historical record and claim that somehow the Romans made an exception when they hung Jesus on a “torture stake” or pole?

Because the Watchtower again, seeks to differentiate itself from all other religions. By making themselves different they can claim (under delusion of course!) that they are the only true religion because they are the only ones that have all of these odd, quirky, historically inaccurate beliefs.

Let’s get back to the basic argument:

Because the Greek word “Stauros” meaning “upright pole” is used then the Watchtower completely rules out the possibility (in the face of overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary) of a cross being used to execute Jesus.

I have but one question:

When one is referring to a TELEPHONE POLE does that prevent a cross member from being used?

We have them all across our country in cities, towns and rural communities. They decorate our entire national landscape with the familiar CROSSES that they are. Yet nobody calls them TELEPHONE CROSSES do they? Have you ever seen a telephone pole without a cross member? I haven’t.

Perhaps a thousand years from now some idiot will begin teaching that we used straight poles to carry the wires of communication across the country, not because of established historical record, or even the physical necessity for such a cross member but based merely upon the word used to describe it!

Ridiculous? You bet!

It is interesting that this “torture stake” theory was introduced not by Charles Taze Russell but by none other than the trial lawyer, “Judge” Rutherford. Trial lawyers make their living by manipulating words. They can shade and change the meaning of words and testimony in order to change opinion or even question established fact.

Rutherford made his living doing this in court and he continued his assault when he seized control of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. He was a master at establishing doubt in the minds of his followers and he used it to great advantage while building a worldwide organization of followers who do nothing but parrot his failed and flawed theology.

The Watchtower has again introduced a “paper tiger”. Saying that Jesus wasn’t crucified has absolutely no basis in reality or the historical record. Yet some people fall for their flawed arguments because they fail to think critically for themselves.

As I wrote in a prior post: “There’s a sucker born every minute!”

Yours in Christ,

Doug Shields