All posts tagged: Cross

Why did it take five centuries for the cross to be embraced as a symbol of Christianity?

You may have seen the images circulating of how Notre Dame’s alter and cross survived the devastating fire that destroyed much of the church on Monday, April 15, 2019. Though this cross is making history, it is interesting to note that the cross was not fully embraced as a symbol of Christianity until around the fifth century. In his article, Jesus and the Cross, historian Steven Shisley states that the first sign that the cross had finally gained public acceptance as a symbol of Christianity was in its appearance on the doors of the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome in the fifth century. Until then, the cross had for the most part been down played and the reason for this Shisley claims is because of societal views on the cross. For the Romans, that cross was associated with the deaths of criminals and slaves, the despised of society. They used the cross as a form of execution because it was particularly brutal and painful. And it was also favored because it often took days …

Raising of the cross by Peter Paul Ruben (1577-1640) Credit: Wikipedia

A 2,000 year old skeleton discovered showing evidence of crucifixion

Though the Bible and several other ancient historical documents talk about crucifixion as a brutal form of Roman execution, there has been very little archaeological evidence found of this ancient practice. However, a group of Italian researchers discovered that a skeleton of man uncovered in Northern Italy in 2007 was probably crucified. If this proves correct, it will be only the second example found revealing the brutal form of punishment used by the Romans to execute criminals. The first one was found in 1968 while excavating a Jerusalem cemetery connected  with the second Jewish temple (2 BC t0 70 Ad). In an ossuary used to store the bones of the deceased, they discovered a man with a nail in his heel. There was also a fragment from the olive tree used for the cross attached to the nail. Because the metal nails were so valuable, the Roman typically pulled them out after the person had died. This is part of the reason, it is difficult to determine if a person was crucified. In this case, …

Clara Gantt's car in the front yard of the church after the flood Photo: Video Capture WIS TV

Saved by a cross in the South Carolina floods

A strange story has emerged from the flooding that hit South and North Carolina last weekend. The torrential rains which started Thursday, October 1, 2015 and didn’t start abating until the following Monday dropped an estimated 11 trillion gallons of water on the two states — about 1.2 million gallons per person. Parts of Charleston, South Carolina received 25 inches of rain, but it was still two inches short of the 27 inches that drenched nearby Mount Pleasant, SC.  The damage is estimated at over $1 billion dollars. News reports are now suggesting the flooding wasn’t as unprecedented as first thought calling it a one in 10 year event. Tragically at least 16 people were killed as result of the flood. It would have been more except for the strange and miraculous escape by Clara Gantt and her son-in-law Travis Catchings of Blythewood, South Carolina. Clara was on her way home late at night so she could attend Three Rivers Baptist church when her car was caught up in the raging waters from nearby Lake …

Remarkable discovery confirms the Bible’s crucifixion account

[by Dean Smith] While the Bible provides a first-hand account of the crucifixion of Christ, some have discredited the story as being little more than fabrication. However, the discovery of a crucified man in a tomb outside of Jerusalem in 1968 tossed cold water on these opinions. The discovery was made by Jewish archaeologist Vassilios Tzaferis. He found the bones of a crucified man in an ossuary or burial box in a tomb.  After death, bodies were wrapped in cloth and laid out on shelves in the tomb. After decomposition, family members transferred the bones to an ossuary — small boxes (16 inches to 28 inches long). The name on this box was “Yehohanan son of Hagakol.” He was a 25 to 30-year-old man and based on the tomb contents from a wealthy family. The tomb was dated to the first century AD, sometime before 70 AD, which made Yehohanan a contemporary of Jesus. Because of the family’s wealth, they suspect the Romans crucified him for rebellious activities instead of criminal. The crucifixion style It …

A woman’s perspective: Am I Enough?

[by Barb Smith] I hadn’t been feeling well, still,  I was determined to have a nice supper for our family gathering. I  had rested in bed most of the day and managed to prepare a couple of dishes in the evening thinking I would finish the rest of my preparations the next day. Morning came and my strength continued to wane. Then it began, the barrage of self-degrading thoughts:

The brave new America: Threatening grieving mothers?

There has been a radical change in America over the past few years and perhaps the Devaney cross in many ways symbolizes this transformation. When 19-year-old Anthony Devaney died after being hit by a car while crossing a street in Lake Elsinore, California in May 2012, his grieving mother AnnMarie Devaney wanted to mark the spot by putting up a cross. She and her family erected the cross near where Anthony died in December of the same year. But according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise (RPE), when the Washington D.C.-based, American Humanist Association found out about the cross, they immediately sent the family a demand letter ordering the cross removed because it was on government property — a city right-of-way.

Is this fish a sign from God?

I am normally not caught up by reports of Jesus being seen on Naan bread or images of the virgin Mary and Jesus appearing in a bubble.  I look at them and think well I suppose it could be. If you turn it upside down, squint your eyes just right, and catch the optimum sun reflection it might be Jesus or maybe its an image of  “fill in the blanks.” You get my drift. But for some reason, this story about the appearance of a Christian symbol on a fish caught my attention.