A t-Shaped Cross Vs. an I-Shaped Cross Discussed

Stauros, the Koine Greek word for cross, like most words in all languages, has several meanings. To arrive at the true meaning of a word, we can’t just look at the first meaning in a list of dictionary definitions or choose the meaning that best suits our personal biases or theologies.

Too determine which dictionary definition of a word best applies to a particular word in a literary situation, we must consider all the meanings of a word and then look at the context of the literature in which the word is found, and then choose the meaning that best fits.

Even then, well meaning people will have differences of opinions on this (e.g. The Companion Bible, by E.W. Bullinger, appendix 162). This is the dilemma that scholars who translate literary documents from one language to another face. This is the case with the Koine Greek word, cross, which is found in the NT some 32 times.

Stauros means “un upright, pointed stake used for fencing or in the construction of a stockade. It can also refer to a torture instrument, or a cross on which the Roman’s executed criminals. A stauros came in several basic forms: a vertical upright, pointed stake, or an upright stake with a crossbeam resembling our capital letter “T” or our small letter “t”, or it consisted of two intersecting beams of equal length like our letter “X”. Due to the sign that was attached to the top of Yeshua’s torture stake, it seems that his cross was shaped like a “t”; that is, the upright stake projected above the cross beam thus giving the Romans a place to attach the sign (The TDNT, vol 7, p. 572; International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol 1, pp. 826-827).

The reasons that I lean toward the idea that Yeshua was crucified on a t-shaped cross are several. As noted above, such a cross gave a place for the Romans to attach their sign (Mattt 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, John 19:19).

Additionally, more than one nail was used in Yeshua’s hands to attach him to the cross (John 20:25). The use of two nails would have been more necessary had the cross been t-shaped as opposed to an upright stake.

Moreover, the Tabernacle of Moses is a symbolic and prophetic picture of the death, burial and glorification of Yeshua. It is literally a multi-dimensional gospel tract! As such, the furnishings therein are arranged in the form of a t-shape cross.

Similarly, the tribal encampments around the tabernacle are laid out like a perfect t-shaped cross (see Num 2). This is a picture of the believer who, through the ritual of baptism for the remission of sins (see Rom 6:3–11) must symbolically identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua when coming to faith in him.

Furthermore, the marks made by the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the Israelites’ homes on their first Passover in Egypt made the outline of a perfect t-shaped cross (Exodus 12:7). There are several dozen aspects of this first Passover that prophetically pointed forward to Yeshua who was the Passover Lamb of Elohim slain from the foundation of the world for the redemption of man from his sin, and who fulfilled these symbols perfectly by his death. The t-shaped cross is but one of these prophetic symbols. An I-shaped cross would not have fit this symbology.

Moreover, when Moses initiated the the tabernacle, his steps form a perfect cross—actually a cross with an arrow on it that points man into the holy of holies, which is a picture of YHVH’s heavenly throne room (Exod 40).

Next, when the angelic messenger of YHVH went through Jerusalem before its fall to the Babylonians to search out those saints that would be spared from that judgment, he put a mark in the form of a Paleo-Hebrew letter tav (shaped like our small letter t) on their foreheads. This was another prophetic symbol that pointed to Yeshua, who, through his work on the cross, is our salvation (Ezek 9:4).

Finally, when Jacob was prophetically praying over his two grandsons who whose descendants would largely become the Christian church, he crossed his arms in the shape of a Paleo-Hebrew letter tav, which, pictographically, some take to mean,”sign or seal of the covenant” (Gen 48:14).

With regard to the Scriptures that say that Yeshua was crucified on a tree, the Hebrew word for tree is etz, which can mean both tree and stick (e.g. see Ezek 37:16). A cross whether in a t or an I shape is still made of wood and both can fit the definition of the Hebrew word etz. But how many trees have you seen that don’t have branches? More trees in their natural state resemble a t shape than an I shape. Some trees even have trunks with branches that are opposite each other on the trunk like a t-shaped cross. So in light of these facts, it is not a logical stretch to call a t-shaped cross “a tree.”

Personally, I don’t care whether Yeshua died on a t or an I shaped cross—only that he died for my sins. This is the main point! Let’s never stray from the importance of this truth. Furthermore, I have no ax to grind in this argument. I could care less about defending any cherished doctrines or traditions of the church. I care only about finding and then believing the truth as a found in the Bible. The overwhelming evidence points to the fact that Yeshua was crucified on a t, and not an I shaped cross. That is the reason, and the only reasons, I subscribe to this idea.

I will conclude with this personal testimony. I was born and raised in a Torah-believing church that hated traditional Christianity. We had a sinful Pharisaical superiority complex. We rejected many biblical truths simply because the mainstream church believed them. The idea of a t-shaped cross was one of those ideas we rejected. It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s after leaving that church that I began to objectively examine the truth about the shape of the cross and became convinced based on the biblical evidence that it was t-shaped, not I-shaped as I had been brainwashed to believe. When I presented the biblical evidence to some family members who were still in that church, they flat-out rejected what I had to say—not because it wasn’t the truth, but simply because their minds were closed and the truth didn’t conform to their biases and bigoted opinions. They had been psychologically conditioned to believe something else for the wrong reason. Sadly, there are too many people in our day who are returning to the biblical, Torah foundations of our faith and are rejecting biblical truths simply because the church believes the same things. Shame on us for our lack of intellectual honestly. I’ve been there and done that! I had to repent to this sin.


What Shape Was Yeshua’s Cross?

John 20:25, Nails. The Greek word for nail is in its plural form. The plurality of the word nails is corroborated by the fact that all the major English translation of the NT whether from both the Alexandrian or Byzantine texts contain the Greek word helon (nails, plural) as opposed to helos (nail, singular). This is the case in the Aramaic NT as well (see the translations of Ethridge and Murdock, for example). William Mounce whose Koine Greek grammar book is used in the majority of seminaries in the U.S. in his Greek and English Interlinear NT designates this word as in the genitive case, plural form and masculine gender.

What is the point here? Yeshua was crucified on a standard t-shaped cross, not on an upright stake minus its cross arm. Had he been crucified on the latter torture instrument, only one nail would have been used to secure his hands to the one post, not more than one nail as this text indicates, which would have been required on the traditional t-shaped cross.


How to Overcome Sin!


Dealing With the “Leavening” in Our Lives

Throughout Scripture, leavening is a spiritual metaphor for sin, pride, hypocrisy, malice, bitterness and false religious doctrine (Pss 71:4; 73:21; Hos 7:4; Matt 16:6; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1; 1 Cor 5:8–6; Gal 5:9). Even as a small amount of leavening agents in bread (e.g., yeast and various chemical agents) will quickly permeate bread dough causing it to rise, so a little sin can rapidly infect our lives (or like a quick spread cancer disease) and take us away from Elohim’s path of righteous-living.

The Scripture teaches us to be overcomers (Rom 12:21; 1 John 2:13–14; 5:4) eradicating the leavening of sin from our lives. We must overcome the world, the flesh and the devil (Jas 3:15). Yeshua admonished each of the seven Messianic assemblies to be overcomers (Rev 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; see also Matt 24:13). For those who overcome, there will be great rewards—a spiritual inheritance; they will be sons of Elohim (Rev 21:7).

The Greek word for overcome is nikao (Strong’s G3528) meaning “to conquer, to get the Continue reading


The Similarities Between Sin and Germs

Hacker bug smile

The surprising way Leviticus chapters 12, 13 and 14 relate to you

These several chapters are some of the most difficult ones in the Torah for us to wrap our brains around spiritually. What is the relevance of these arcane laws of ritual impurity and “leprosy” to us in modern times ? With a little thought, we can see that there are some deep and relevant spiritual truths contained in these biblical passages!

As Matthew Henry points out in his classic gospel-oriented commentary on these passages, after the laws concerning clean and unclean foods in Leviticus 11 come the laws concerning clean and unclean persons. As germs are contagions causing physical disease, so man is infected with the spiritual contagion of a sin nature that brings about spiritual disease leading ultimately to death. Henry points out that man imparts his depraved sin nature to his offspring at the time of conception, which is why the woman needed to go through ritual cleansing at the time of a child’s birth. Similarly, the Bible teaches us that the plague of leprosy (Heb. tzaaras referring to a generic skin disease) was judgment by Eohim against the sins of rebellion, greed and misuse of the tongue (e.g, Miriam, Gehazi and King Uzziah).

The spread of and cure for spiritual diseases is similar to those of physical diseases, as we’ll discuss below. First, however, let’s compare and contrast how physical germs are similar to spiritual sin “germs.” Continue reading


New Video: Religion Vs. Relationship—Sitting at Yeshua’s Feet Is the Key to Victory

In your spiritual walk, are you more like Martha who was busy trying to earn Yeshua’s favor with her activities or like Mary who was sitting at the Master’s feet learning and worshipping? Religious acts are important, but building a daily relationship with Yeshua is the higher level to reach for. This video explores the idea of sitting at Yeshua’s feet and the central place of the cross in the believer’s life as evidenced in the service in the Tabernacle of Moses.


The Cross and the Triangle in the Tabernacle

Exodus 40:2–7, Set up the tabernacle. YHVH’s instructions to Moses to set up the furnishings in the tabernacle followed a particular order. Moses first started in the holy of holies, then proceeded to the table of show bread, then moved across to the menorah, then over to the altar of incense, and then down to the altar of sacrifice within the tabernacle’s courtyard, and then up to the bronze laver. The outline of Moses’ movements make a triangle on a cross with the base of the triangle forming the cross arm of the cross. The base of cross corresponds to the altar of sacrifice, while apex of the triangle corresponds to the altar of incense and the top of the cross, which extends past the apex of the triangle is where the testimony in the holy of holies is.

Tabernacle Set-Up Order

Would anyone care to posit their opinion on the spiritual significance of this geometric pattern?


The Ancient Ritual of Two Doves … and Yeshua??

Leviticus 14:4–32, Read this scripture passage and see how many clues you can find that point to Yeshua. We’ll give you hints along the way by providing you with the scripture verses to look up that will give you the answers. The purpose of this exercise is to show you that all the ceremonies and rituals that were part of the sacrificial system all prophetically pointed to Yeshua the Messiah, who fulfilled them all. This means that if we place our trusting faith in him, we no longer have to do the laborious and involved rituals that our ancient forefathers had to do in order to atone for their sins—we simply have to repent and believe in, love, follow and obey Yeshua and his word.

Now let’s look at the ritual for cleansing a metzora (one with a skin disease—a picture of our sinfulness) who had tzaraas (an infectious skin disease caused by sin).

Verses 4–7, two birds: One bird (likely a dove or pigeon) was killed in a clay pot over running water. The other bird along with the cedar wood, scarlet cloth and hyssop were dipped into the clay pot containing the blood from the killed bird and the running water. The water-blood mixture was then sprinkled on the diseased person (metzora) who was being purified, and the living bird was let loose and allowed to fly away. There is a lot going on here, but it all prophetically pointed to Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection. Before deciphering this ritual out, perhaps it would help to understand the spiritual meaning of the wood, scarlet and hyssop, which we will explain next.
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