Is the cross a pagan symbol
I heard the cross and the sign of the cross came from paganism. The Bible says that Jesus was hung on a stake. It was not until much later that the cross became the symbol of Christians because other religions were already familiar with it. This made it easier to join Christianity. Is that correct?
P. B., Niederkrüchten
The cross is an ancient symbol that can be found on cave drawings from the Stone Age. The two lines that cross each other connect the horizontal and vertical in such a way that the connection between heaven and earth and on earth itself suggested a comprehensive spatial arrangement. This was used in many early cultures even before Christianity. The pyramids also have the cross as their basic order pattern. The cross can also be found in mathematics (plus and mal signs), especially in geometry. In addition, the cross is laid out in the person himself when he extends his arms.
The stake and the bar cross were probably first used by the Persians and later by the Romans as instruments of torture and execution. The New Testament only speaks of the stake (xylon) instead of the cross (staurós) in two places: Once Peter quotes in Caesarea (Acts 10:39) and once Paul in Galatians (3:13) the statement of the Torah: Whoever is on the stake who was executed is someone who has been cursed by God (Deuteronomy 21: 22-23). The Christians had to deal with the accusation.
Through the Christian faith, the cross has changed from a sign of shame to a sign of salvation. Paul already speaks of this in the first letter to the Corinthians. The cross became established as a visible symbol of Christianity from the third century onwards. The church father Cyprian (200–258) was the first to establish the crucifixion as a Christian symbol. With the fingers over the forehead, torso and shoulders, the gesture traces this sign of salvation on the body and symbolically embraces the whole person. That is why it was also understood as a trademark. The crucifixion is also a confession to the crucified and risen Christ and is understood to this day as a gesture of blessing.
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