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did you know the Cross was found as early as the 2nd century?

Christian cross - History and Usage
During the first three centuries of Christianity, the cross was rare in Christian iconography as it depicts a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution by impalement and/or exposure. The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians to covertly identify each other. The Chi-Rho monogram, which was adopted by the emperor Constantine in the fourth century as his banner called the labarum, was an Early Christian symbol of wider use.


Asked by Anonymous at 11:19 AM on Jun. 27, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (9)
  • I didn't know this. Thank you for sharing

    Answer by starmoonlight at 11:23 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Descriptions of the cross are to be found in Christian writings from the early 2nd century onwards. The Cross first became prominent in Christian imagery during the 3rd century in Egypt.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:20 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • A Christian bust from the site of an early church in Fayoum, Egypt, shows an ankh partially evolved, changing, over time, from a round upper section, to one that is half-way through a "morphing process", leading to the Coptic cross . It is being worn, in this half-way mode, as a necklace on the bust. (see image)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:20 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • An early third century reference (there are few others) is in Clement of Alexandria's unfinished Stromateis or 'Miscellanies' (book VI): he speaks of the Cross as tou Kuriakou semeiou tupon, i.e. "the symbol of the Lord." His contemporary Tertullian could designate the body of Christian believers as crucis religiosi, i.e. "devotees of the Cross" (Apol., chapter xvi).


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:21 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Christian cross - History and Usage

    I will say one thing, it is like a history class on this site sometimes. LOL Going on with my life now. I have things to do on this hot Saturday.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:23 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • sure. i mean, even some Pagans use a cross to represent the four elements. ...of course, the cross we use (if one chooses to do so) is more centered. It is not the same as the Christian cross.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 11:24 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • interesting outstandinglove, if you google the Christian Cross you will many of the early ones had more than four side. :-) but I made it clear this was about the Christian Cross--the very first words AAMOF

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:30 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • I believe outstandinglove pointed that out because the cross is not unique or original to Christianity. In fact, many people think Christians stole it to add just another symbol to the collection. Pre-Christian cross uses:

    Scandinavia: The Tau cross symbolized the hammer of the God Thor.
    Babylon: the cross with a crescent moon was the symbol of their moon deity.
    Assyria: the corners of the cross represented the four directions in which the sun shines.
    India: In Hinduism, the vertical shaft represents the higher, celestial states of being; the horizontal bar represents the lower, earthly states.
    Egypt: The ankh cross (a Tau cross topped by an inverted tear shape) is associated with Maat, their Goddess of Truth. It also represents the sexual union of Isis and Osiris.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:31 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Europe: The use of a human effigy on a cross in the form of a scarecrow has been used from ancient times. In prehistoric times, a human would be sacrificed and hung on a cross. The sacrifice would later be chopped to pieces; his blood and pieces of flesh were widely distributed and buried to encourage the crop fertility.

    The word used for "cross" in the Greek to describe Jesus' crucifixion is more appropriately translated as "tree," "pole," or :stake" and NOT "cross."  Early documents confirm this as well as Acts 5:30 and I Peter 2:24 state he was hung on a tree.  This is actually why many Jews are in disbelief that he is the Messiah, to this day, because Deuteronomy  21:23 says that a man who hangs from a tree is cursed by God.  When Christianity was accepted into Rome, Constantine took the idea of the cross from writings and produced it as a useable and wearable/useable symbol.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 PM on Jun. 27, 2009