John 19:17 in the New King James Version, reads, “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha…”
Most Bible translations render the Greek word “stauros” as “cross” in this verse, despite the fact that it has no scriptural support.
E.W. Bullinger, a Nineteenth-Century Anglican theologian, wrote, “The σταυρός (stauros) was simply an upright pale or stake to which Romans nailed those who were thus said to be crucified, σταυρόω, merely means to drive stakes. It never means two pieces of wood joining at any angle. Even the Latin word crux means a mere stake. The initial letter Χ, (chi) of Χριστός, (Christ) was anciently used for His name, until it was displaced by the T, the initial letter of the pagan god Tammuz, about the end of cent. iv.” — A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to The English and Greek New Testament, 1877.
Seneca the Younger, a Roman, stoic philosopher, and a contemporary of Yeshua, wrote: "I see crosses there, not just of one kind but made in many different ways: some have their victims with head down to the ground; some impale their private parts; others stretch out their arms on the gibbet." — Dialogue To Marcia on Consolation, 6.20.3. googleusercontent.com (in Latin). The Latin Library.
In Seneca’s description of Roman executions, he shared three examples of how a person was executed on a “crux.” The first two examples were carried out on one beam of wood, which he referred to as a “crux.” The third example includes two beams of wood: a “crux,” and a “gibbet,” the latter being the beam on which one’s arms were stretched out. So even in the third example, the word crux refers to only one beam of wood. This confirms that E.W. Bullinger was correct when he stated: “Even the Latin word crux means a mere stake.” And the reason why this is so is because it was only later that the word crux came to refer exclusively to a cross.
It is believed that if Yeshua carried a cross comprised of two beams of wood to the site of His execution, the weight of it would have been about 300 pounds. Considering Yeshua’s condition after being scourged, this would seem to be impossible without the performance of a miracle. As a result, there are those who believe that He might have only carried the crossbeam, the gibbet, which would have been attached to the crux at the site of His execution. However, if this were the case, the beam that He carried on which He was executed would have been referred to in the biblical account by two different words. Yet, it was referenced by only one word, the Greek word stauros (John 19:17; Matt. 27:31; etc.), which is the equivalent of the Latin word crux. This means that the beam that Yeshua carried, and the beam on which He was executed were one and the same.
The evidence proves that Yeshua was executed on a stake for the sins of mankind with His hands raised up to the heavens towards Elohim, bridging the gap between Elohim and man. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man, Messiah Yeshua, who gave Himself as a ransom for all…” (1 Tim. 2:5-6).
Thus, John 19:17 is correctly translated: “He went out, bearing His stake, to the place called “The Place of a Skull,” which is called in Hebrew, “Golgotha….” This is how the word “stauros” is translated in this version.
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