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History of the Visable Symbol, The Cross

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When you see a cross  you automatically think of Christ based religions. But, where did the use of the cross come from as a symbol of Christianity. In the 3rd century, was banded by one church father because of the crosses roots to paganism as with many of the early church rituals that were blended from paganism to draw the pagans to the church in early church history. The First depiction of the corpus, or body of Christ in the Vatican was as late as the 5th century.  

Initially the Greek crosses were depicted with equal parts to equal to the arms of Jesus, although they did not display the corpus, creating the crucifix. The appearance of to corpus didn’t emerge until the 7th century. Simultaneously, the story of the crucifixion started to appear in the art of the day.

The original cross was also set to represent a tau, which is the letter T. Some theorize that the use of the T started with the Druids who had a God named Tau, They often used two trees to form a cross for crucifixion purposes . It is also believed that St. Phillip was crucified on a tau cross in Phrygia. He was crucified on the pagan holiday which was later associated with St. Phillip. This cross is thought to predate the Roman Cross and maybe even the basis for it.

Because of translations though time, the crucifixion of Jesus has long been discussed from the earliest days of the church. The actually way Jesus was crucified is at the pinnacle of the argument. History tells us that Romans who were notorious for crucifying people actually used a stake. They did evolve to a Tau Cross and then evolved again to the Roman Cross. The original text of the gospels was Greek. In English the word Stauro was translated to mean cross but there is evidence that it actually meant a structure without out a crossbar.

The scholars that argue it was a single pole and not a cross site the Bible itself as one of the proof sources that It was a pole and not a  cross. There are references in Act (5:30) where it is said they hung Jesus on a tree. And in 1 Peter there is reference as well to Jesus hanging on a tree. But many scholars cannot find the use of the cross prior to Constantine, who notoriously melded the pagan traditions with Christianity when he declared that the Roman Empire was Christian. In the present time the scholars are now coming to the conclusion that the cross was born out of art making a better more palatable story as to what happened to Jesus during the crucifixion.  The use of a stake was for more gruesome.

In the present time, Christians often wear crosses or crucifixes to remind them of their faith and to let others know their beliefs. There are many varies of crosses that are available for Catholics and Christians to wear.

This article was published on Sunday 15 June, 2008.

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