Shape of Cross Disputed and why it might be important to you

There exists an odd yet very widespread practice among the Churches of "reverencing the cross".  This practice includes the actual physical bowing toward an image in the shape commonly thought of as a cross.  It is a practice that I can only imagine would seem, at the least, weird to our brothers in Christ if we were to transport it back to the New Testament era and then tell them that, for many of us, this is considered honoring to Jesus. The practice would seem even more weird if the shape of the cross now used every where became popular as a solar symbol originally used in the worship of the"invincible sun" and was transferred over as an appropriate(?) symbol for the worship of the "resurrected son". They might look at us and say, "you are doing what?..."

Recently a scholar has called into question some alleged assumptions about the shape of the cross which have even worked their way into authoritative lexicons and such.

Why might this be important?  Well it is not important except that it may highlight the fact that you and I do not need to fill our hearts and minds with a humanly evolved way of  being loyal to Jesus.  He has given you the word of the gospel. It is an authoritative call to real loyalty. If we won't hear it, then we will be subject toall manner of distractions.  We do not want to dilute that gospel call with an inappropriate concern for tradition-generated-practices and  symbolism.  The substance of honoring God is doing His will in obedience to the Gospel.  

Here is a link to a post that discusses some recent research on the topic of "cross" and "crucifixion".  This research may highlight the irrelevance of some modern Christian emphasis upon symbol rather than substance.  http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2010/05/if-samuelsson-is-right-about.html

also see http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dcjvgcp2_14cz3jsfcs&hl=en 
also seehttp://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AdPbTCLmbooiZGNqdmdjcDJfMzNkanQ3M2RnNw&hl=en


  1. Exodus 25:18, 22, 26:1, 31; 1 Kings 6:23, 29, 32, 7:29, 36 (commands to make images and statues for temple worship).

    1 Chronicles 15:28, 16:4-6; 2 Chronicles 6:41, 8:11; Psalm 80:1, 99:1, 5, 132:8 (the Ark and cherubs are a part of worship)

    1 Kings 8:38-43; Psalm 5:7, 28:2, 138:2 (worship is directed toward the temple.)

  2. Yes, The LORD gave specific instructions for man-made images and engravings to adorn The man-made model of The Temple. And we have taken note that the second commandment is not against making images...but against "making images" coupled with "bowing to them" or "worshiping them". Similarly, the LORD instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent so that the Israelites could get relief from actual serpents by looking at it. But later, in faithfulness to the LORD, Hezekiah destroyed the bronze serpent because the Israelites turned their adoration to it, burning incense before it. It was when Israel made an image which God had not specified, said that it represented God their savior, and bowed to it, that the LORD’s anger burned against them (Exodus 32:1-35, also see 1Kings 2:26-33).