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Why do words change in the bible?

Updated on June 11, 2012

In The Bible, four times we are told the Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. We are this by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul.

The word "Cross" was used only once in Matthew Chapter 23:26 As they lead him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.

The word "Cross" was only used once in Mark. Chapter 15:21 A certain man from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.

The word "Cross" was once again only used once in Luke. Chapter 23:26 As they lead him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.

The word "Cross" was used for the last time in John. Chapter 19:16-17 So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went into the place of the Scull ( which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).

When it comes to using the word "Tree" however, it has been used numerous times in the bible.

Acts 5:29-30 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather then men. 30: The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged him on a tree.

Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins , should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we were healed.

And in Galations 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the cruse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.

The "Tree" is even meantioned in the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree.

Why would the Romans, crucify all of the worst ones on crosses? They would have to cut down trees, shave away all the bark, then cut them apart in order to make boards of wood, and then nail the boards of wood together in order to make crosses. Then they would have to dig up the ground and plant the crosses in the ground.

Since we have been told, that Jesus was being helped to carry his cross, how many crosses were the Romans making? And how many trees were they cutting down?

One interesting thing, however is revelation and the number 666 that does not change. It is in the bible, and has been in the bible for a very long time.

I do know that Jesus Christ died to save my soul. To forgive my sins, and for that I love him. God loves us more then we will ever know. But, sometimes certain things confuse me. Like the cross. The fact that Jesus, died for our sins, and rose from the dead is the most important thing. But, why are there so many crosses in every church, on every necklace, in every painting? Why is the cross itself so important? It is not the cross that is important, it is Jesus Christ's death and resurrection.


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    • Michele Travis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michele Travis 

      5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you Vlad it is true no one saw the resurrection except the angels, the importance of the crucifixion the fact we have been forgiven of our sins..

      Thank you for your comment

      I am also happy to see you

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      5 years ago from HubPages, FB


      Michele, it is very interesting Hub. I wrote the book in Slovak about cross. I had the chance to do my homework.

      The cross was invented by Romans as most horrible execution on the planet. It was designed for criminals against the Rome. It was not knows 500 years when David prophecies about crucifixion (Psalm22). Prediction was supernatural, channeled through him by God.

      There were many Jews crucified with the name of Jesus. But Jesus the Messiah was only One who was raised from the death. The name of Jesus was common name used in Israel.

      Natural Christians, walking in physical senses they like to see. Resurrection was not seen, nobody witnessed except the angels. If human would witness resurrection he would be disqualified from salvation. But God is just and save equally anyone who receives Grace by faith. The seeing it does not believe! The faith is invisible substance based on Word of God.

      Important of crucifixion is Jesus who shed His blood for us. It was divine blood, never touched by sin (even genetic) this is why it can save all. It was His part of salvation. Secondly He took curse of the Law for us on the cross (poverty, sickness and death).

      Everyone can see and witness crucifixion. In the contrary resurrection is invisible and is based for salvation. We receive His Grace by faith (Ef. 2:5).

      Our part is to believe.

      Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. It is not what we do but what Jesus did for us.

      Paul clarified: Rom 10:9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved.

      Again thanks Michele for bringing this important topic.

    • Michele Travis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you again. I do appreciate what you have given me!

    • profile image


      6 years ago


      The salvation you mention comes from a living Master, not a past one. Jesus' death had nothing to do with salvation, especially yours. Go to to learn more.

    • Michele Travis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for your comment. We as humans do have a lot to learn from God. One of the best things we can do is know that he loves us, and forgives us. Also, we know we love him. Those are wonderful things.

    • Millercl profile image


      6 years ago

      Hey Michelle,

      I read your post and I want one thing to be certain, I am not trying to argue with you or anything of the sort.

      I agree whole-heartedly that the important part is what you described. Jesus saving those who believe.

      The cross thing is a good question. The effort put into creating a cross would make sense since it seemed that the Romans put a lot of effort into torturing people. Also, the punishment is called 'crucifixion' which wouldn't make sense if it were done on a pole or tree.

      You are right about the cross being a pagan symbol initially. The Romans were pretty pagan themselves and probably wouldn't have a problem borrowing symbols and such from other forms of paganism.

      I am not trying to correct you but just give some reasonable explanations to perhaps why things were the way they were!

      I hope you learn lots!

    • Michele Travis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you. You are helping me, because what the thing this hub, was about was to learn more about Christianity because I am new to it.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Michele,

      Many people from different denominations use the cross as a symbol to remember what Jesus did. They say that the cross was the sacrifice. It was predicted that this was the way He would die and so they use it to show Him I suppose that they treasure His death for them.

      I do not do that, however, because I find that it gives one the impression that Christ is still dead when indeed He is risen and alive.

      Some people say that the Bible is contradictory because in one place it is called a cross while in another it was called a tree but I believe they are one and the same. The cross was made from the tree and so it can be called either thing.

      I think that since the method of execution in that day was crucifixion that that is way the word cross was used. Cross comes from crucifix which is Latin for fixed on a cross.

      This is a great hub because this question comes up a lot. I also agree that it is Jesus' death and resurrection that matters most.

      Great hub!

    • Michele Travis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      It still makes me wonder why the word "Cross" was used. Was there any reason?

    • Michele Travis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      You are correct. It does not matter how it was done. Jesus is the one who gave anyone the chance to be forgiven of our sins. And he did it without being forced by God, to do it. And thank you for being kind about it, there is so much I need to learn.

    • collegatariat profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautifully put! It's true that no matter how it was done, Christ's death, burial and resurrection is the most important event in history.


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