Origin of The Cross

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Origin of The Cross

A tradition of the Church which our fathers have inherited, was the adoption of the words “cross” and “crucify”. 

These words are nowhere to be found in the Greek of the New Testament. These words are mistranslations, a “later rendering”, of the Greek words stauros and stauroo. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says, “STAUROS denotes, primarily, an upright pole or stake … Both the noun and the verb stauroo, to fasten to a stake or pole, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two-beamed cross. 

The shape of the latter had its origin in ancient Chaldea (Babylon), and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) … By the middle of the 3rd century A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. 

In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross piece lowered, was adopted .

Dr. Bullinger, in the Companion Bible, appx. 162, states, “crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian Sun-god … It should be stated that Constantine was a Sun-god worshipper … The evidence is thus complete, that the Lord was put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two pieces of timber placed at any angle.” 

Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 197-205, frankly calls the cross “this Pagan symbol … the Tau, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah … the mystic Tau of the Cladeans (Babylonians) and Egyptians – the true original form of the letter T the initial of the name of Tammuz … the Babylonian cross was the recognised emblem of Tammuz.” 

In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, vol. 14, p. 273, we read, “In the Egyption churches the cross was a pagan symbol of life borrowed by the Christians and interpreted in the pagan manner.” Jacob Grimm, in his Deutsche Mythologie, says that the Teutonic (Germanic) tribes had their idol Thor, symbolised by a hammer, while the Roman Christians had their crux (cross). It was thus somewhat easier for the Teutons to accept the Roman Cross.

Greek dictionaries, lexicons and other study books also declare the primary meaning of stauros to be an upright pale, pole or stake. The secondary meaning of “cross” is admitted by them to be a “later” rendering. At least two of them do not even mention “cross”, and only render the meaning as “pole or stake”. 

In spite of this strong evidence and proof that the word stauros should have been translated “stake”, and the verb stauroo to have been translated “impale”, almost all the common versions of the Scriptures persist with the Latin Vulgate’s crux (cross), a fallacious “later” rendering of the Greek stauros. Why then was the “cross” (crux) brought into the Faith?

Again, historical evidence points to Constantine as the one who had the major share in uniting Sun-worship and the Messianic Faith. Constantine’s famous vision of “the cross superimposed on the sun”, in the year 312, is usually cited. Writers, ignorant of the fact that the cross was not to be found in the New Testament Scriptures, put much emphasis on this vision as the onset of the so-called “conversion” of Constantine. But, unless Constantine had been misguided by the Gnostic Manichean half-Christians, who indeed used the cross in their hybrid religion, this vision of the cross superimposed on the sun could only be the same old cosmic religion, the astrological religion of Babylon. The fact remains: that which Constantine saw, is nowhere to be found in Scripture.

We read in the book of Johannes Geffcken, The Last Days of Greco-Roman Paganism, p.319, “that even after 314 A.D. the coins of Constantine show an even-armed cross as a symbol for the Sun-god.” Many scholars have doubted the “conversion” of Constantine because of the wicked deeds that he did afterwards, and because of the fact that he only requested to be baptized on his death-bed many years later, in the year 337. So, if the vision of the cross impressed him, and was used as a rallying symbol, it could not have been in honour of YAHUSHA, because Constantine continued paying homage to the Sun-deity and to one of the Sun-deity’s symbols, the cross.

This continuation of Sun-worship by Constantine is of by his persistent use of images of the Sun-deity on his coins that were issued by him up to the year 323. Secondly, the fact of his motivation to issue his Sunday-keeping edict in the year 321, which was not done in honour of YAHUSHA, but was done because of the “venerable day of the Sun”, as the edict read, is proof of this continued allegiance to Sol Invictus. We shall expand on this later.

Where did the cross come from, then? J.C. Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols, p. 45, aptly summarises it, “Cross – A universal symbol from the most remote times; it is the cosmic symbol par excellence.” Other authorities also call it a sun-symbol, a Babylonian sun-symbol, an astrological Babylonian-Assyrian and heathen run-symbol, also in the form of an encircled cross referred to as a “solar wheel”, and many other varieties of crosses. Also, “the cross represents the Tree of Life”, the age-old fertility symbol, combining the vertical male and horizontal female principles, especially in Egypt, either as an ordinary cross, or better known in the form of the crux ansata, the Egyptian ankh (sometimes called the Tau cross), which had been carried over into our modern-day symbol of the female, well known in biology.

As stated above, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the mystic Tau of the Babylonians and Egyptians, was brought into the Church chiefly because of Constantine, and has since been adored with all the homage due only to the Most High.

The Protestants have for many years refrained from undue adoration of, or homage to the cross, especially in England at the time of the Puritans in the 16th – 17th centuries. But lately this un-Scriptural symbol has been increasingly accepted in Protestantism.

We have previously discussed “the weeping for Tammuz”, and the similarity between the Easter resurrection and the return or rising of Tammuz. Tammuz was the young incarnate Sun, the Sun-divinity incarnate. This same Sun-deity, known amongst the Babylonians as Tammuz, was identified with the Greek Adonis and with the Phoenician Adoni,96 all of them Sun-deities, being slain in winter, then being “wept for”, and their return being celebrated by a festivity in spring, while some had it in summer – according to the myths of pagan idolatry.

The evidence for its pagan origin is so convincing that The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that “the sign of the cross, represented in its simplest form by a crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly antedates, in both East and the West, the introduction of Christianity. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization.” It then continues and revers to the Tau cross of the pagan Egyptians, “In later times the Egyptian Christians (Copts), attracted by its form, and perhaps by its symbolism, adopted it as the emblem of the cross.”98 Further proof of its pagan origin is the recorded evidence of the Vestal Virgins of pagan Rome having the cross hanging on a necklace,99 and the Egyptians doing it too, as early as the 15th century B.C.E.100 The Buddhists, and

Ancient Egyptian Rot-n-no priests. Note the crosses on the robe, and hanging from their necks.

Numerous other sects of India, also used the sign of the cross as a mark on their followers’ heads. “The cross thus widely worshipped, or regarded as a ‘sacred emblem’, was the unequivocal symbol of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah, for he was represented with a head-band covered with crosses. “It was also the symbol of Jupiter Foederis in Rome.103 Furthermore, we read of the cross on top of the temple of Serapis,104 the Sun-deity of Alexandria.

This is Tammuz, whom the Greeks called Bacchus, with the crosses on his head-band.

After Constantine had the “vision of the cross”, he and his army promoted another variety of the cross, the Chi-Rho or Labarum or sometimes . This has subsequently been explained as representing the first letters of the name Christos, the being the Greek for “Ch” and the being the Greek for “r”. but again, this emblem had a pagan origin. The identical symbols were found as inscriptions on a rock, dating from the year ca. 2 500 B.C., being interpreted as “a combination of two Sun-symbols”, as the Ax or Hammer-symbol of the Sun- or Sky-deity, and the or as the ancient symbol of the Sun, both of these signs having a sensual or fertility meaning as well.

Another proof of its pagan origin is the identical found on a coin of Ptolemeus III from the year 247 – 222 B.C. A well-known encyclopaedia describes the Labarum (Chi-Rho) as, “The labarum was also an emblem of the Chaldean (Babylonian) sky-god and in

Christianity it was adopted…”Emperor Constantine adopted this Labarum as the imperial ensign and thereby succeeded in “uniting both divisions of his troops, pagans and Christians, in a common worship … according to Suicer the word (labarum) came into use in the reign of Hadrian, and was probably adopted from one of the nations conquered by the Romans. “It must be remembered that Hadrian reigned in the years 76 – 138, that he was a pagan emperor, worshipped the Sun-deity Serapis when he visited Alexandria, and was vehemently anti-Judaistic, being responsible for the final near-destruction of Jerusalem in the year 130.

Another dictionary relates the following about the Chi-Rho, “However, the symbol was in use long before Christianity, and X (Chi) probably stood for Great Fire or Sun,and P (Rho) probably stood for Pater or Patah (Father). The word labarum (labarum) yields everlasting Father Sun.”

What is the “mark of the beast” of which we read in Rev 13:16-17, Rev 14:9-11, Rev 15:2, Rev 16:2, Rev 19:20 and Rev 20:4 – a mark on people’s foreheads and on their right hands? Rev 14:11 reveals the mark to be “the mark of his (the beast’s) name.” Have we not read about the mystic Tau, the T, the initial of Tammuz’s name, his mark? This same letter T (Tau) was written in Egyptian hieroglyphics and in the old Wemitic languages as, representing the CROSS. Different interpretations have been given to the “mark of the beast”, and also the cross has been suggested. There has been some research done on the strange crosses found on quite a few statues of pagan priests, on their foreheads. However, these scholars have been unable to come to an agreement. Conclusive evidence may still come (see among others: Dr. F.J. Dolger, Antike und Christentum, vol. 2, pp. 281-293).

Let us rather use the true rendering of the Scriptural words stauros and stauro, namely “stake” and “impale” and eliminate the un-Scriptural “cross” and “crucify”.

The Mysterious “Mark of Cain”

When Cain was banished from the sight of YAHUAH ELOHIYM, to the land of “Nod,” or wandering and unrest, YAHUAH placed a “mark” upon him so that all would know who he was, and would not destroy him lest they suffer seven-fold vengeance.

The Hebrew word for “mark” is simply owth and means “a signal, as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence — mark, miracle, ensign, token.”

It was something that identified Cain, and set him apart from other men. It marked him as NOT being one of YAHUAH’s own people, but an outcast, a renegade, a man who had been banished from the society of YAHUAH’s people. This mark came to stand for Cain and his way. Could it have been the pagan “cross” or “X” which was a sign commonly used in pagan societies and among the heathens religions? The “cross” or “Tau” symbol stood for the pagan Messiah Tammuz, who was the illegitimate son of Semiramis, wife of Nimrod.

Alexander Hislop tells us:

“There is yet one more symbol of the Romish worship to be noticed, and that is the sign of the CROSS. In the Papal system, as is well known, the sign of the cross and the image of the cross are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross was looked upon as the GRAND CHARM [rememeber Cain? The “mark” was his symbol of divine protection! No wonder its use would become commonplace among his followers!], as the GREAT REFUGE IN EVERY SEASON OF DANGER, in every hour of temptation as the INFALLIBLE PRESERVATIVE from all the powers of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due only to the Most High; and for any one to call it, in the hearing of a genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term, ‘the accursed tree’ is a MORTAL OFFENCE.

“To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to a wooden or a metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ — that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified — is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretence. The magic virtue attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source. The SAME SIGN OF THE CROSS THAT ROME NOW WORSHIPS WAS USED IN THE BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES, was applied by Paganism to the same magic purposes, was honoured with the same honours.

“That which is now called the Christian cross was ORIGINALLY NO CHRISTIAN EMBLEM AT ALL, BUT WAS THE MYSTIC TAU OF THE CHALDEANS AND EGYPTIANS — the true original form of the letter T — the initial of the name of Tammuz — which, in Hebrew, radically the same as ancient Chaldee….That mystic Tau was MARKED IN BAPTISM ON THE FOREHEADS OF THOSE INITIATED IN THE MYSTERIES, and was used in every variety of way as a most sacred symbol. To identify Tammuz with the son it was joined sometimes to the circle of the sun…” (The Two Babylons, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, NJ 1959, pp. 197-198).

A clear understanding of the pagan use of the cross can only inspire one to wonder as to its original source. And nothing would suit the purpose better than the “mark,” the “sign of protection” which YAHUAH ELOHIYM Himself used to mark the forehead of Cain!

This was further reinforced when the Roman Church accepted the fictitious account of Constantine the Great’s so-called conversion to Christianity. According to Finding Dulcinea (Librarian of the Internet) —

“Constantine was the son of Constantius, who had served as a Caesar (a junior emperor) of the Western Roman Empire under Maximian before succeeding Maximian as Augustus (senior emperor) in 305. Constantius’ death in 306 sparked a conflict over who would succeed him. Though Constantine had the support of his father’s army, he allowed Severus, his father’s Caesar, to become Augustus. 

“Maxentius, the son of Maximian, was angered that he was passed over and declared himself Augustus. He defeated the Severus and Galerius, the Augustus of the East, in 306 and 307. In 311, Maxentius declared war on Constantine, the greatest threat to his power.

“In the spring of 312, Constantine led his army toward Maxentius in in Rome. After routing Maxentius’ forces in northern Italy, Constantine approached Rome in October.

“According to legend, on Oct. 27, the day before the two armies would battle outside of Rome near the Milvian Bridge, Constantine had a vision instructing him to fight in the name of Christ, with his soldiers’ shields bearing the symbol of Christ. The symbol was either a cross or the labarum, an intersection of the chi (X) and rho (P), the [supposed] letters of Christ.

“Christian author Lactantius, writing several years after the battle, described, ‘Constantine was directed in a dream to cause the heavenly sign to be delineated on the shields of his soldiers, and so to proceed to battle. He did as he had been commanded, and he marked on their shields the letter Χ, with a perpendicular line drawn through it and turned round thus at the top, being the cipher of Christ. Having this sign (ΧР), his troops stood to arms.’

“The author Eusebius, a Constantine apologist, also described the event in Life of Constantine, which he wrote after Constantine’s death in 337. According to Eusebius, Constantine saw a vision of a cross rather than the letters of Christ. 

“‘He saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, CONQUER BY THIS. At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also, which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle,’ wrote Eusebius.

“The following day, Constantine’s outnumbered forces defeated Maxentius’ forces, which tried to retreat over the Tiber River on a pontoon bridge. In the chaos of the retreat, the bridge collapsed, leaving only the too-narrow Milvian Bridge as a route to escape. Maxentius and many of his men would drown or be trampled to death in the escape. Constantine rode into Rome with the head of Maxentius.

“’There, at around the age of twenty-four, Constantine was hailed as emperor, of the western half of the empire,’ writes historian Frank E. Smitha. “He was hailed as a man of boldness and a man favored and guided by the gods.”

In commenting on this event in Constantine’s life, Alexander Hislop writes:

“…I am not without my suspicions that the X may have been intended to have one meaning to the Christians and another to the Pagans. It is certain that the X was the symbol of the god Ham in Egypt, and as such was exhibited on the breast of his image. Whichever view be taken, however, of Constantine’s sincerity, the supposed Divine warrant for reverencing the sign of the cross entirely falls to the ground…

“In this view, therefore, it [the cross or Tau] had no very great attraction for the Pagans, who, even in worshipping Horus, had always been accustomed to make use of the mystic Tau or cross, as the ‘sign of life,’ or the magical charm that secured all that was good, and warded off everything that was evil. When, therefore, multitudes of the Pagans, on the [so-called] conversion of Constantine, flocked into the [Roman] Church, like the semi-Pagans of Egypt, they brought along with them their predilection for the old symbol. The consequence was, that in no great length of time, as apostasy proceeded…the Tau, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah, was everywhere substituted in its stead” (The Two Babylons, pp. 204-205).

The pagan “cross” sign or symbol is the MARK OF CAIN!

Those who go about using this sign identify themselves as followers of the “WAY OF CAIN,” and the RELIGION BEGUN BY CAIN!

Hislop continues: “…there seems no reason to doubt that that Maltese cross is an express symbol of the sun; for Layard found it as a sacred symbol in Nineveh in such a connection as led him to identify it with the sun. The mystic Tau, as the symbol of the great divinity, was called ‘the sign of life;’ it was used as an AMULET OVER THE HEART; it was marked on the official garments of the priests of Rome; it was borne by kings in their hand, as a token of their dignity or divinely-conferred authority” (ibid., p.198).

The Vestal virgins of Pagan Rome used it suspended from their necklaces, even as Catholic nuns do now. The ancient Egyptians did the same, as Egyptian monuments show. Wilkinson in his work on the Egyptians (The Ancient Egyptians: Their Life and Customs) notes that it was already in use as early as the fifteenth century before the Christian era (Crescent Books, New York, NY 1988, Vol. 1, p. 277).

Says Hislop:

“There is hardly a Pagan tribe where the cross has not been found. The cross was worshipped by the Pagan Celts, long before the incarnation and death of Christ….It was worshipped in Mexico for ages before the Roman Catholic missionaries set foot there, large stone crosses being erected, probably to the ‘god of rain.’ The cross thus widely worshipped, or regarded as a sacred emblem, was the unequivocal symbol of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah, for he was represented with a head-band covered with crosses. This symbol of the Babylonian god is reverenced at this day in all the wild wastes of Tartary, where Buddhism prevails, and the way in which it is represented among them forms a striking commentary on the language applied by Rome to the Cross” (The Two Babylons, p. 199).

How did the cross get into the visible “Christian” church? Hislop relates, “Now this Pagan symbol seems first to have crept into the Christian Church in EGYPT, and generally into Africa. A statement of Tertullian, about the middle of the third century, shows how much, by that time, the Church of Carthage was infected with the old leaven. Egypt, especially, which was never thoroughly evangelized, appears to have taken the lead in bringing in this Pagan symbol” (ibid., p. 201).

Says Ralph Woodrow, in Babylon Mystery Religion, “It was not until Christianity began to be paganized that the cross came to be thought of as a Christian symbol. It was in 431 A.D. that crosses in churches and chambers were introduced, while the use of crosses on steeples did not come until about 586 A.D. In the sixth century, the crucifix image was introduced and its worship sanctioned by the church of Rome. It was not until the second council at Ephesus that private homes were required to possess a cross” (Ralph Woodrow, Riverside, CA 1982, p. 50).

Woodrow points out that long before the Messiah, the cross was a widely used religious symbol not only in Babylon and Egypt, but also in China, where it was used on pagodas, in northern and southern India, among both Buddhists and Hindus, in Ethiopia, and in Mexico, among the Aztecs.

The ancient Mexicans worshipped the cross as “Tota,” or “Our Father.” But the Word of YAHUAH ELOHIYM condemns calling a stock of wood “My father” (see Jeremiah 2:27).

The cross, as an instrument of death and crucifixion, is also of remote antiquity, and pagan. The cross was used in this way by the ancient Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, in Palestine, Carthage, Greece, and by the Romans. Tradition says the originator of this form of execution was none other than Semiramis, the apostate-prostitute wife of Nimrod, shortly after the Flood!

However Nancy L. Kuehl notes in her work, A Book of Evidence: The Trials and Execution of Jesus, that the Messiah was not nailed to a cross or Tau, but to a living tree — notice!

“Whatever one believes, we must believe Jesus was hanged alive on a living tree. The evidence is overwhelming. From the New Covenant, we have several references to it. Never is the word xulon translated as the ‘cross.’ The word for ‘cross’ would have been stauros, and even then the Greek word only reflects the upright nature of the tree! The word xulon, however, is the same that Luke uses in 23:31 for ‘moist wood’ and refers to a living tree! The Hebrew equivalent would be the ‘ets (derived from ‘atsah), which is also used as a term for ‘gallows’ in the book of Esther where Haman is ‘hanged’ (Esth. 5:14; 8:7). It is the same word used in Genesis 40:19 and Deuteronomy 21:22 to describe the hanging of an individual on a ‘tree.’

“These ‘gallows’ DO NOT refer to a Roman cross. The word is even used to describe the fruit trees of the Garden of Eden, including the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the New Covenant, the disciples were QUITE CLEAR about how Jesus was hanged [crucified], and it wasn’t upon a Roman cross. The disciples, in fact, confronted the Jewish judicial Sanhedrin later that decade with the ultimate accusation that they had hanged [crucified] Jesus upon a ‘living’ tree” (Resource Publications, Eugene, OR 2013, p.199).

For more information on how the Messiah was put to death, send for or download our articles, The “CROSS” of the Messiah! and The Messiah’s Crucifixion Tree.

Doesn’t it make sense, then, that the “cross” was the literal “mark of Cain”? 

It was his own personal “amulet” of protection; he began to view with with superstitious regard and reverence. And it became the symbol of his way — his religious institution — his mystery religious system.

http://www.albatrus.org/english/religions/pagan/origin_of_cross.htm 

About the author

Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

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Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

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