|Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria|
"There has to be a roundabout at some stage", I bleated to Jean as she despaired over the map. And there was and I got round about it, and we tried again - this time arriving successfully at the territory. Most people were not at home, but we had two very interesting calls.
At one door we found a young girl who had just become a "born again Christian", and she had some questions to ask us.
She asked why we didn't believe Jesus died on a cross. And we explained that, if you look at the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures in an interlinear Bible, you will find that the Greek word rendered “cross” in many modern Bible versions is stau·rosʹ. In classical Greek, this word meant merely an upright stake, or pale.
So we understand that Jesus was executed on a stake, a single piece of wood.
Right at the last minute I had put my Reasoning book into my bag, thank God. And so I read her a quote or two from it.
The book The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons (London, 1896), says: “There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross. . . . It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as ‘cross’ when rendering the Greek documents of the Church into our native tongue, and to support that action by putting ‘cross’ in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles, did not become its primary signification till long afterwards, and became so then, if at all, only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which Jesus was executed had that particular shape.”—Pp. 23, 24; see also The Companion Bible (London, 1885), Appendix No. 162.
I then said that when this was explained to me, I wondered why it mattered, whether it was a cross, or a stauros - a single piece of wood - as the Bible describes - but then I began to think of all the things that have been done under the banner of the cross...
She really did stop and think about that. We had a long conversation and plan to call back.
We didn't see Jacks on Saturday sadly. We all decided to cancel because of this wretched cold I have. We remember what happened this time last year when we all got colds.