Mailbag Page 34

Is the cross a pagan symbol?
What is a female-adam?

What was the skin color of Adam and Eve?

Question -- Is the cross a pagan symbol?

Anon writes -
A Jehovah Witness told me that the cross is a pagan symbol. Is he correct?

Biblebell's Reply
In the panel along side is the verse wherein the Bible makes its first mention of the cross.

Note that "cross" translates the Greek word
  (Jesus said...) He who does not take his cross [stauros] and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Mt 10.38
In the panel alongside is one of many verses that describe our Lord's suffering and death on the cross.

In this and EVERY other such verse, "cross" translates the Greek word
  (As Jesus hung on the cross...) those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross [stauros]." Mt 27.39-40

Definition of stauros from 3 sources

  • #1 - Strong's Exhaustive Concordance defines stauros as a stake or upright post.
  Strong's 4716 stauros, stow-ros'
a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment)
  • #2 - Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the NT defines stauros as an upright stake.
  Thayer's 4716 stauros stow-ros'
an upright "stake", esp. a pointed one, used as such in fences or palisades
  • #3 - Vine's Expository Dictionary of the NT gives a very detailed definition of stauros. It is quoted-in-part in the panel alongside.
  Vine's Topics - stauros
Denotes, primarily, "an upright pale or stake." On such malefactors were nailed for execution.

Both the noun and the verb stauroo, "to fasten to a stake or pale," 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, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country & in adjacent lands, including Egypt.

Strong's, Thayer's, and Vine's dictionaries leave little or no room for doubt that
stauros, translated "cross," refers to an upright stake or pole. Ergo...

  • It is highly unlikely that Lord Jesus was crucified on a T-shaped cross. Instead, He was probably crucified on an upright stake.
  • It is very likely that the T-shaped cross symbol is a pagan symbol that has "crept unawares" into Christian usage.

Is it really important to know the exact shape of the
stauros upon which your Savior suffered and died?

The answer to this question is a resounding NO!

God gave you the truly important information in His 3-point Gospel, quoted alongside...

  • Notice that God's Gospel does not see fit to describe the physical appearance of the stauros upon which Jesus died.
  • Nowhere in the Bible is the stauros described. Why not? Because the shape of the stauros is of zero significance to God's eternal purposes. ZERO!
  • What IS important is the fact that Jesus suffered and died in atonement for your sins. And He was buried. And He rose again. Halleluyah!

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:

  • that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
  • and that He was buried,
  • and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures 1 Cor 15.1-4

Question -- What is a female-adam?

Read Gen 1.27 in the panel alongside...

  • Notice that the word "man" is a translation of the Hebrew word adam.
  • Notice that the verse differentiates between the adam that is male (zakar), and the adam that is female (neqebah).
  • Ergo, the Hebrew word adam often refers to the human race as a whole, and NOT just males.
  • Accordingly, many occurrences of the Hebrew word adam could accurately be translated as "human being" rather than "man."
  • Thus, it would be *accurate* to refer to Eve as a "female-adam" IF one was using this term to mean a "female human being."

So God created man (adam) in His own image.
In the image of God He created.
Male (
zakar) and female (neqebah) He created.
Gen 1.27

In passing, it is interesting to note that...

  • The root meaning of neqebah (female) is "punctured," and the root meaning of zakar (male) is "decorated."

Question -- What was the skin color of Adam and Eve?

Read Gen 2.7 in the panel alongside...

  • God made man from the dust of the ground.
  • Notice that the Hebrew word for "man" is adam.
  • Notice that the Hebrew word for "ground" is adama.
  • Ergo, God named the human race adam, after the dirt (adama) from which He made us.
  • We are (tah-dah!!!) the ***Dirt People***
  And the LORD God formed man (adam) of the dust of the ground (adama), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Gen 2.7
  • In the verses alongside, notice that adam carries the additional meaning of "red."
  • This is probably because the adama (ground) that God used to make adam (man) was adam (red) in color.
  • In Bible Bell's OPINION, Adam and Eve were probably the color of reddish-brown dirt. Not white. Not black. Reddish brown!
  "Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red (adam) like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isa 1.18

Do not look on the wine when it is
red (
adam), when it sparkles in the cup... Prov 23.31

And now, as a wrap-up to this brief study, here's an interesting play on words for you...

  • Adam, the first adam, was made from the adam adama.






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