Re: Stauros

On 18 Jul 1994 DAVID.WIGTIL%er@mailgw.er.doe.gov wrote:

> Although stauros originally meant "post" or "stake", the Hellenophone 
> world's encounter with Rome reapplied the term to the Roman method of 
> execution, which of course, included a stake in its construction.  So the 
> question should never be, "What does stauros mean?"  Rather it should be, 
> "How did Romans typically execute people in the Near East?"  I suggest 
> reviewing M. Hengel's book CRUCIFIXION for a gruesome but thorough 
> description and list of ancient sources on this topic.

That is my point.  A number of methods were used by the Romans--everything
from an upright post to "Tau" crosses, etc.  consequently the precise
nature of the "cross" mentioned in the NT cannot be determined just from
the word _stauros_; nor can it be determined precisely from an historical
knowledge of Roman methods, because those varied.  In short, there seems
to be no way to determine precisely what type of object is meant by
_stauros_ in the NT, though there is a range of possibilities.