Gregory Jordon wrote,
>>I realize this has little to do with Greek, but while we're on the 
>>subject, why does Paul refer to the cross as a tree?  I don't have access 
>>to the Greek word now, but maybe someone else knows.  This had great 
>>significance in Christian missionary tradition.  For instance, the 
>>Anglo-Saxons emphasized the tree (Dream of the Rood), and Scandinavian 
>>religion already believed in a god who was hanged from a tree.

ingria@bbn.com (Bob?) commented,
>There are ancient Greek cults with divinities hanging in/on trees, as
>well.  Pausanias, if I remember my sources correctly, speaks of a cult
>of Helen that depicted her hanging in the trees.  (I believe this was
>a Spartan cult, but I might be wrong about that part.)

     It seems that _stauros_ and _xulon_ conincide in meaning in certain
contexts simply because crosses were made of wood.  Moulton and Geden show
_xulon_ as a synonym for _stauros_ in the following five verses in the NT:
Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Gal. 3:13; and I Pet. 2:24.  

     Certain implements made of wood could be called _xula_.  In Mat. 26:47,
55; Mark 14:43, 48 and Luke 22:52 the culbs carried by those who came to
arrest Jesus are referred to as _xula_.  In Acts 16:24, the stocks that held
Paul and Silas's feet are called a _xulon_.  The use of _xulon_ in Revelation
in reference to the tree of life is probably not significant toward implying
identity with the cross (which can also be called _xulon_) since _xulon_ is
the word used by the LXX (Septuagint) in reference to the tree of life.

David L. Moore