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Encyclopedia > Christian cross
A reliquary in the form of an ornate Christian Cross
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Christianity

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Image File history File links Size of this preview: 478 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1576 × 1975 pixel, file size: 147 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 478 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1576 × 1975 pixel, file size: 147 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Image File history File links Christian_cross_trans. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Christ is the English term for the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... St. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Christian theology is reasoned discourse concerning... Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... Supersessionism (sometimes referred to as replacement theology by its critics) is a belief that Christianity is the fulfillment and continuation of the Old Testament, and that Jews who deny that Jesus is the Messiah are not being faithful to the revelation that God has given them, and they therefore fall... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      As a current in Protestant Christian theology... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      For other uses, see... The Kingdom of God or Reign of God (Greek: - Basileia tou Theou,[1]) is a foundational concept in Christianity, as it is the central theme of Jesus of Nazareths message in the synoptic Gospels. ... Gospel, from the Old English good tidings is a calque of Greek () used in the New Testament (see Etymology below). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Church historian redirects here. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The purpose of this...


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Inspiration · Hermeneutics This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh to refer to its canon, which corresponds to the Protestant Old Testament. ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ... The canonical list of the Books of the Bible differs among Jews, and Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Christians, even though there is a great deal of overlap. ... A biblical canon is a list of Biblical books which establishes the set of books which are considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular Jewish or Christian community. ... The biblical apocrypha includes texts written in the Jewish and Christian religious traditions that either were accepted into the biblical canon by some, but not all, Christian faiths, or are frequently printed in Bibles despite their non-canonical status. ... The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ... This article is about a list of ten religious commandments. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The death and resurrection of Jesus are two events in the New Testament in which Jesus is crucified on one day (the Day of Preparation, i. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      The Sermon on the... In Christian tradition, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples, that they spread the faith to all the world. ... The Bible has been translated into many languages. ... The efforts of translating the Bible from its original languages into over 2,000 others have spanned more than two millennia. ... Biblical inspiration is the doctrine in Christian theology concerned with the divine origin of the Bible and what the Bible teaches about itself. ... Biblical Hermeneutics, part of the broader hermeneutical question, relates to the problem of how one is to understand Holy Scripture. ...


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Christian movements are theological, political, or philosophical intepretations of Christianity that are not generally represented by a specific church, sect, or denomination. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      A denomination, in the... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Ecumenism (also oecumenism, Å“cumenism... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      A sermon is an oration by... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      This article... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      A liturgy is a... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      This article is about... Christian art is art that spans many segments of Christianity. ... Throughout the history of Christianity, a wide range of Christians and non-Christians alike have offered criticisms of Christianity, the Church, and Christians themselves. ...


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Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch A 19th century picture of Paul of Tarsus Paul of Tarsus (originally Saul of Tarsus) or Saint Paul the Apostle (fl. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers... The relationship between Constantine I and Christianity entails both the nature of the conversion of the emperor to Christianity, and his relations with the Christian Church. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (Greek: Αθανάσιος, Athanásios; c 293 – May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop, the Bishop of Alexandria, in the fourth century. ... “Augustinus” redirects here. ... Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033 or 1034 – April 21, 1109) was an Italian medieval philosopher and theologian, who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.(also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ... Gregory Palamas Gregory Palamas (Γρηγόριος Παλαμάς) (1296 - 1359) was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece and later Archbishop of Thessalonica known as a preeminent theologian of Hesychasm. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was a central developer of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism or Reformed theology. ... John Wesley (June 28 [O.S. June 17] 1703 – March 2, 1791) was an eighteenth-century Anglican minister and Christian theologian who was an early leader in the Methodist movement. ... Arius (AD/CE 256 - 336, poss. ... Marcion of Sinope (ca. ... The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader and senior clergyman of the Church of England, recognized by convention as the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Pope. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Patriarch of Alexandria. ... Throne inside the Patriarchade of Constantinople. ...

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The Christian cross is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity. It is generally seen as a representation of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a representation of Jesus' body) and to the more general family of cross symbols. Religious symbolism is the term used to describe the use of symbols (archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomenae) by a religion for various purposes. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Crucifixion is an ancient method of execution, where the condemned is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... The Crucifix, a cross with corpus, a symbol used in Catholicism in contrast with some other Christian communions, which use only a cross. ... Also known as the Latin cross or crux ordinaria. ...

Contents

History of use of the symbol

Pre-Christian cross symbols

The cross-shaped sign, represented in its simplest form by a crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly antedates, in both East and West, the introduction of Christianity. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization. It is supposed to have been used not just for its ornamental value, but also with religious significance.[1]


Some have sought to attach to the widespread use of this sign, in particular in its swastika form, a real ethnographic importance. It may have represented the apparatus used in kindling fire, and thus as the symbol of sacred fire (Burnouf, La science des religions) or as a symbol of the sun,[2] denoting its daily rotation. It has also been interpreted as the mystic representation of lightning or of the god of the tempest, and even the emblem of the Aryan pantheon and the primitive Aryan civilization. A right-facing Swastika in a decorative Hindu form The swastika (from Sanskrit ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing () or left-facing () forms. ...


Another symbol that has been connected with the cross is the ansated cross (ankh or crux ansata) of the ancient Egyptians, which often appears as a symbolic sign in the hands of the goddess Sekhet, and appears as a hieroglyphic sign of life or of the living.[3] In later times the Egyptian Christians (Copts), attracted by its form, and perhaps by its symbolism, adopted it as the emblem of the cross (Gayet, "Les monuments coptes du Musée de Boulaq" in "Mémoires de le mission française du Caire", VIII, fasc. III, 1889, p. 18, pl. XXXI-XXXII and LXX-LXXI).


In the Bronze Age we meet in different parts of Europe a more accurate representation of the cross, as conceived in Christian art, and in this shape it was soon widely diffused. This more precise characterization coincides with a corresponding general change in customs and beliefs. The cross is now met with, in various forms, on many objects: fibulas, cinctures, earthenware fragments, and on the bottom of drinking vessels. De Mortillet is of opinion that such use of the sign was not merely ornamental, but rather a symbol of consecration, especially in the case of objects pertaining to burial. In the proto-Etruscan cemetery of Golasecca every tomb has a vase with a cross engraved on it. True crosses of more or less artistic design have been found in Tiryns, at Mycenæ, in Crete, and on a fibula from Vulci..


Early Christian use

During the first two centuries of Christianity, the cross may have been rare in Christian iconography, as it depicts a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution. The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians. The Chi-Rho monogram, which was adopted by Constantine I in the fourth century as his banner (see labarum), was another Early Christian symbol of wide use. Look up Iconography in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The ichthys has been used to represent a number of ideas. ... An image of the labarum, with the letters Alpha and Omega inscribed. ... Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[2] (27 February c. ... The Labarum An image of the labarum, with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega inscribed. ... The Early Christians is a term used to refer to the early followers of Jesus of Nazareth, before the emergence of established Christian orthodoxy. ...


However, the cross symbol was already associated with Christians in the second century, as is indicated in the anti-Christian arguments cited in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, chapters IX and XXIX, written at the end of that century or the beginning of the next,[4] and by the fact that by the early third century the cross had become so closely 4868141441Howdy do there partner424278242424 associated with Christ that Clement of Alexandria, who died between 211 and 216, could without fear of ambiguity use the phrase τὸ κυριακὸν σημεῖον (the Lord's sign) to mean the cross, when he repeated the idea, current as early as the Epistle of Barnabas, that the number 318 (in Greek numerals, ΤΙΗ) in Genesis 14:14 was a foreshadowing (a "type") of the cross (T, an upright with crossbar, standing for 300) and of Jesus (ΙΗ, the first two letter of his name ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, standing for 18),[5] and his contemporary Tertullian could designate the body of Christian believers as crucis religiosi, i.e. "devotees of the Cross".[6] In his book De Corona, written in 204, Tertullian tells how it was already a tradition for Christians to trace repeatedly on their foreheads the sign of the cross.[7] Felix Marcus Minucius was one of the earliest if not the earliest, of the Latin apologists for Christianity. ... Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), was the first member of the Church of Alexandria to be more than a name, and one of its most distinguished teachers. ... The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek treatise with some features of an epistle containing twenty-one chapters, preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. ... Greek numerals are a system of representing numbers using letters of the Greek alphabet. ... Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. ...


The Jewish Encyclopedia says:

The cross as a Christian symbol or "seal" came into use at least as early as the second century (see "Apost. Const." iii. 17; Epistle of Barnabas, xi.-xii.; Justin, "Apologia," i. 55-60; "Dial. cum Tryph." 85-97); and the marking of a cross upon the forehead and the chest was regarded as a talisman against the powers of demons (Tertullian, "De Corona," iii.; Cyprian, "Testimonies," xi. 21-22; Lactantius, "Divinæ Institutiones," iv. 27, and elsewhere). Accordingly the Christian Fathers had to defend themselves, as early as the second century, against the charge of being worshipers of the cross, as may be learned from Tertullian, "Apologia," xii., xvii., and Minucius Felix, "Octavius," xxix. Christians used to swear by the power of the cross (see Apocalypse of Mary, viii., in James, "Texts and Studies," iii. 118).

In contemporary Christianity

In Christendom the cross reminds Christians of God's act of love and atonement in Christ's sacrifice at Calvary - "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." The cross also reminds Christians of Jesus' victory over sin and death, since it is believed that through His death and resurrection He conquered death itself. This T-and-O map, which abstracts the known world to a cross inscribed within an orb, remakes geography in the service of Christian iconography. ... Agapē (IPA: or IPA: ) (Gk. ... For other uses, see Atonement (disambiguation). ... Golgotha redirects here. ... For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ...


Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, some Anglican, and other Christians often make the sign of the cross upon themselves. This was already a common Christian practice in the time of Tertullian.[8] One of the twelve great feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church is the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, which commemorates the consecration of the basilica on the site where the (allegedly) original cross of Jesus was discovered in 326 by Helena of Constantinople, mother of Constantine the Great. The Catholic Church celebrates the feast on the same day and under the same name ("In Exaltatione Sanctae Crucis"), though in English it has been called the feast of the Triumph of the Cross. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican bishops place a cross [+] before the name when signing a document. The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Eastern Orthodoxy (also called Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy) is a Christian tradition which represents the majority of Eastern Christianity. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keeps the faith of only the first three ecumenical councils of the undivided Church - the councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus. ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... For other uses, see Sign of the cross (disambiguation). ... Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Coptic Orthodox Pope · Roman Catholic Pope Archbishop of Canterbury · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Faith... In the Christian liturgical calendar, there are several different feasts known as Feasts of the Cross, all of which commemorate the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus. ... is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events September 14 - Discovery of the (alleged) True Cross by Vatican City, where St. ... Flavia Iulia Helena, also known as Saint Helena, Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople (ca. ...

See also: True Cross

According to Christian tradition, the True Cross is the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. ...

Forms of the Cross

The cross is often shown in different shapes and sizes, in many different styles. It may be used in personal jewelry, or used on top of church buildings. It is shown both empty, and with the body of Christ (corpus) nailed to it, in which case it is typically called a crucifix, though this word, in its original sense, denotes the body affixed to the cross. Roman Catholic and High Anglican depictions of the cross are often crucifixes, in order to emphasize Jesus' sacrifice. Many Protestant traditions depict the cross without the corpus, interpreting this form as an indication of belief in the resurrection rather than as representing the interval between the death and the resurrection of Jesus. The Crucifix, a cross with corpus, a symbol used in Catholicism in contrast with some other Christian communions, which use only a cross. ... “Catholic Church” redirects here. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ...


Crosses are a prominent feature of Christian cemeteries, either carved on gravestones or as sculpted stelas. Because of this, planting small crosses is sometimes used in countries of Christian culture to mark the site of fatal accidents, or to protest alleged deaths. Castle Ashby Graveyard Northamptonshire A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. ... Headstones in the Japanese Cemetry in Broome, Western Australia A cemetery in rural Spain A typical late 20th century headstone in the United States A headstone, tombstone or gravestone is a marker, normally carved from stone, placed over or next to the site of a burial. ... Stele is also a concept in plant biology. ... Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 16, 2005. ...


In Catholic countries, crosses are often erected on the peaks of prominent mountains, such as the Zugspitze or Mount Royal, so as to be visible over the entire surrounding area. The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. ... For other uses, see Mount Royal (disambiguation). ...


Forms of the Christian cross include:

  • Altar cross. Cross on a flat base to rest upon the altar of a church. Earliest known example is a picture in a manuscript from the 9th century; by the 10th century they were commonly used, but the earliest extant altar cross is from the 12th century located at Great Lavra on Mt. Athos.
  • Andrew cross. See, below, Saltire.
  • Ankh. Shaped like the letter T surmounted by an oval or circle. Originally the Egyptian symbol for "life", it was adopted by the Copts (Egyptian Christians). Also called a crux ansata, meaning "cross with a handle".
  • Anthony's cross. See, below, Tau cross.
  • Archiepiscopal cross. A double-barred cross carried by an archbishop.
  • Basque cross. The lauburu.
  • Calvary cross. Either a stepped cross (see below), or a Gothic-style cross mounted on a base shaped to resemble Mt. Golgatha (where Christ was crucified), with the Virgin Mary and Saint John on either the base or crossarms.
  • Canterbury cross. A cross with four arms of equal length which widen to a hammer shape at the outside ends. Each arm has a triangular panel inscribed in a triquetra (three-cornered knot) pattern. There is a small square panel in the center of the cross. A symbol of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches.
  • Celtic Cross. Essentially a Latin cross, with a circle enclosing the intersection of the upright and crossbar, as in the standing High crosses;
  • Consecration cross. One of 12 crosses painted on the walls of a church to mark where it had been anointed during its consecration.
  • Crux fourchette. A cross with flared or forked ends (see illustration at Crosses in Heraldry).
  • Crux gemmata. A cross inlaid with gems. Denotes a glorification of the cross, this form was inspired by the cult of the cross that arose after Saint Helena's discovery of the true cross in Jerusalem in 327.
  • Crux hasta. A cross with a long descending arm; a cross-staff.
  • Crux pattée. A Greek cross with flared ends.
  • Double cross. A cross with two crossbars. The upper one is shorter, representing the plaque nailed to Jesus' cross, Also known as a crux gemina. Also called the Cross of Lorraine.
  • Gammadion. A hooked cross or swastika, also known as a crux gammata.
  • Globus cruciger. Globe cross. An orb surmounted by a cross; used in royal regalia.
  • Greek cross. With arms of equal length. One of the most common Christian forms, in common use by the 4th century.
  • Gnostic cross. Cross used by the early Gnostic sects.
  • Latin cross. With a longer descending arm. Along with the Greek cross, it is the most common form, it represents the cross of Jesus' crucifixion.
  • Living cross. One of two possibilities: Either a natural cross made of living vines and branches. Or, a man-made cross with vines or plants planted at its base. In the all-natural version, it refers to the legend that Jesus' cross was made from the Tree of Life. In the man-made cross with plants planted at the base, it contrasts the "new" Tree of Life (the cross) with the Genesis Tree of Life. In both cases it shows Jesus' death (the cross) as a redemption for original sin (Tree of Life).
  • Lorraine cross. Once with crossbars of equal length near the top and the bottom, now practically identical with the patriarchal cross
  • Maltese cross. A Greek cross with arms that taper into the center. The outer ends may be forked.
  • Marian Cross. A term invented to refer to Pope John Paul II's combination of a Latin cross and the letter M, representing the Mary present on Calvary.
  • Occitan cross
  • Papal Cross. A cross with three bars near the top. The bar are of unequal length, each one shorter than the one below.
  • Patriarchal cross. A double cross, with the two bars near the top, the upper shorter than the lower. Also called an archiepiscopal cross. The Eastern Orthodox cross adds a slanted bar near the foot.
  • Pectoral cross. A large cross worn in front of the chest (in Latin, pectus) by some clergy.
  • Peter cross. A cross with the crossbeam placed near the foot, that is associated with Saint Peter because of the tradition that he was crucified with head down. In modern times it has been used also as a symbol of the Devil and Satanism.
  • Saltire or crux decussata. An X-shaped cross associated with St. Andrew, patron of Scotland, and so a national symbol of that country. The shape is that of the cross on which Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred. Also known as St. Andrew's Cross or Andrew Cross.
  • Stepped cross. A cross resting on a base with three steps, also called a graded or a Calvary cross.
  • Suppedaneum cross. Also known as Crux Orthodoxa, Byzantine cross, Eastern cross, Russian cross, Slavic or Slavonic cross. A three-barred cross in which the short top bar represents the inscription over Jesus' head, and the lowest (usually slanting) short bar, placed near the foot, represents his footrest (in Latin, suppedaneum). This cross existed very early in Byzantium, and was adopted by the Russian Orthodox Church and especially popularized in the Slavic countries.
  • Tau cross. A T-shaped cross. Also called the Saint Anthony's cross and crux commissa.

For further information on the forms in which the cross is represented, including its heraldric use, see the article Cross. Look up Altar in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Monastary of Great Lavra was built by the monk Athanasios in the 10th century. ... One of the 20 monasteries on Mount Athos Mount Athos is a mountain and a peninsula in Macedonia, northern Greece, called Άγιο Όρος (Ayio Oros or Holy Mountain) in Modern Greek, or Ἅγιον Ὄρος (Hagion Oros) in... The arms of St Albans: Azure, a saltire Or (a gold saltire on a blue field) For The Saltire (proper noun) see Flag of Scotland. ... Ankh The ankh (pronunced // in English, symbol ) was the Egyptian hieroglyphic character that stood for the word , meaning life. ... The word Copt signifies the natives of Egypt as a nationality, and in popular common culture in Egypt it is used to specifically signify Christian Egyptians, although its use to mean Egyptian is not unwitnessed. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Patriarchal cross The Patriarchal cross is a variant of the Christian cross, the universal religious symbol of Christendom. ... In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated bishop. ... An example of a lauburu: each arm can be drawn with three sweeps of a compass The lauburu or Basque cross has four comma-shaped heads, each of which is drawn with a compass upon a scribed cross, employing in each head a common center but two settings, one the... Golgotha redirects here. ... The Western (Royal) Portal at Chartres Cathedral ( 1145). ... Calvary (Golgotha) was the hill outside Jerusalem on which Jesus was crucified. ... Saint Mary and Saint Mary the Virgin both redirect here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Names of John. ... Canterbury is a cathedral city in east Kent in South East England and is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of All England, head of the Church of England and of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... Main article: Anglicanism The Anglican Communion is a world-wide affiliation of Anglican Churches. ... Celtic cross For Celtic Cross, the ambient/dub band see Celtic Cross (band) A Celtic cross is a symbol that combines the cross with a ring surrounding the intersection. ... High Cross, Dysert, Co. ... To consecrate an inanimate object is to dedicate it in a ritual to a special purpose, usually religious. ... Assorted forks. ... Also known as the Latin cross or crux ordinaria. ... A Crux gemmata Crux gemmata is a fork-ended jeweled cross with thirteen precious stones, from which its Latin name is derived. ... According to Christian tradition, the True Cross is the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Events September 1 - start of first indiction cycle Christianity was adopted as a state religion of Georgia. ... Hasta is a Latin word meaning spear. ... Heraldic cross pattee A cross having arms with curving edges, narrow at the inner center, and very broad at the outer end. ... Patriarchal cross The Patriarchal cross is a variant of the Christian cross, the universal religious symbol of Christendom. ... Cross of Lorraine The Cross of Lorraine, ‡, is a heraldic cross. ... The swastika is a cross with its arms 90° to either right or left. ... A right-facing Swastika in a decorative Hindu form The swastika (from Sanskrit ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing () or left-facing () forms. ... Queen Elizabeth II held a globus cruciger, called the Sovereigns Orb, for her coronation portrait in 1953. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A Caddo solar cross, to Southeastern Native Americans a symbol of both the sun and fire. ... Gnosticism is a blanket term for various religions and sects most prominent in the first few centuries A.D. General characteristics The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis (γνῶσις), referring to the idea that there is special, hidden mysticism (esoteric knowledge... The traditional form of the Christian cross, known as the Latin cross The Christian cross is a familiar religious symbol of most Christianity. ... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ... Cross of Lorraine The Cross of Lorraine, ‡, is a heraldic cross. ... Patriarchal cross The Patriarchal cross is a variant of the Christian cross, the universal religious symbol of Christendom. ... The Maltese Cross (✠) has been the symbol of the Christian warrior since the First Crusade. ... The Marian Cross The Marian Cross is an informal name applied to a Roman Catholic cross design. ... Coat of Arms of Pope John Paul II. The Letter M is for Mary, the mother of Jesus, to whom he held strong devotion Pope John Paul II (Latin: , Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan PaweÅ‚ II) born   []; 18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) reigned as the 264th Pope of... The term Virgin Mary has several different meanings: Mary, the mother of Jesus, the historical and multi-denominational concept of Mary Blessed Virgin Mary, the Roman Catholic theological and doctrinal concept of Mary Marian apparitions shrines to the Virgin Mary Virgin Mary in Islam, the Islamic theological and doctrinal concept... Golgotha redirects here. ... For the language called Langue doc, see Occitan language. ... The top of the Popes Cross, standing in the Phoenix Park. ... Patriarchal cross The Patriarchal cross is a variant of the Christian cross, the universal religious symbol of Christendom. ... A Pectoral cross (sometimes simply Pectoral, from the Latin pectoralis, of the chest) is a cross, usually large, worn around the neck on a cord or a chain. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... St. ... “St Peter” redirects here. ... The Devil, on the central gate of Notre-Dame de Paris, 1225, France. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The arms of St Albans: Azure, a saltire Or (a gold saltire on a blue field) For The Saltire (proper noun) see Flag of Scotland. ... This article is about the country. ... Saint Andrew (Greek: Ανδρέας, Andreas), called in the Orthodox tradition Protocletos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle and the younger brother of Saint Peter. ... Patriarchal cross The Patriarchal cross is a variant of the Christian cross, the universal religious symbol of Christendom. ... Byzantium (Greek: Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek city, which, according to legend, was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas or Byzantas (Βύζας or Βύζαντας in Greek). ... The Tau cross The Cross of Tau; also called the Tau Cross, St. ... For the 13th century saint, see Saint Anthony of Padua. ... Heraldry in its most general sense encompasses all matters relating to the duties and responsibilities of officers of arms. ... Also known as the Latin cross or crux ordinaria. ...


The Dagger symbol also represents the Christian cross. In Unicode, it is U+2020(). Everyone please stop nitpicking on the use of daggers in theoldnewthing blog! This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ...


Legitimacy of the Christian cross symbol

Main article: Cross or stake as gibbet on which Jesus died

Jehovah's Witnesses, noting the pre-Christian use of the cross symbol and disputing its early use by Christians (see above), reject it as essentially pagan in origin. They hold that the "cross" on which Jesus died was really a single-beamed "stake". Justus Lipsius:De cruce, p. ... Look up pagan, heathen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


References

  1. ^ "Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world. India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples . . . The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times and among non-Christian peoples may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship" (Encyclopaedia Britannica (1946), Vol. 6, p. 753.
  2. ^ Bertrand, La religion des Gaulois, p. 159; and cf. "These crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian sun-god, [See book], and are first seen on a coin of Julius Caear, 100-44 B.C., and then on a coin struck by Caear’s heir (Augustus), 20 B.C. On the coins of Constantine the most frequent symbol is [See book]; but the same symbol is used without the surrounding circle, and with the four equal arms vertical and horizontal; and this was the symbol specially venerated as the ‘Solar Wheel’. It should be stated that Constantine was a sun-god worshipper, and would not enter the ‘Church’ till some quarter of a century after the legend of his having seen such a cross in the heavens" The Companion Bible, Appendix No. 162
  3. ^ "The cross in the form of the ‘Crux Ansata’ . . . was carried in the hands of the Egyptian priests and Pontiff kings as the symbol of their authority as priests of the Sun god and was called ‘the Sign of Life.’"(The Worship of the Dead (London, 1904), by Colonel J. Garnier, p. 226.
  4. ^ Minucius Felix speaks of the cross of Jesus in its familiar form, likening it to objects with a crossbeam or to a man with arms outstretched in prayer (Octavius of Minucius Felix, chapter XXIX).
  5. ^ Stromata, book VI, chapter XI
  6. ^ Apology., chapter xvi. In this chapter and elsewhere in the same book, Tertullian clearly distinguishes between a cross and a stake.
  7. ^ "At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign" (De Corona, chapter 3)
  8. ^ De Corona, chapter 3, written in 204.

See also

Also known as the Latin cross or crux ordinaria. ... The Crucifix, a cross with corpus, a symbol used in Catholicism in contrast with some other Christian communions, which use only a cross. ... Crucifixion is an ancient method of execution, where the condemned is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead. ... For other uses, see Sign of the cross (disambiguation). ... According to Christian tradition, the True Cross is the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. ... Christian symbolism is the use of actions or objects to represent the truths of the Christian faith, either as a reminder of those truths or as a way of spiritually connecting with the underlying truth or act. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... An intending cross is a cross, which was built as memorial to remember at a special event. ... A market cross is a structure used to mark a market square in market towns. ... Roodmas (from Old English rod pr. ... The rood screen (also choir screen or chancel screen) is a common feature in late medieval church architecture, dividing the chancel from the nave. ... Rood has several distinct meanings, all derived from the same basic etymology. ...

External links

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ...

Gallery

Here are some examples of crosses:


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Cross: Latin: Christian Resource Centre (Bermuda)! (1147 words)
After the cross was outlawed as a means of execution, it became fully embraced by the Christians as their symbol of Christ.
The Latin cross is not inappropriate for a church that composed itself entirely of men, for in several early societies the Latin cross was a primary phallic symbol.
Phallic-masculine meanings of the cross are broadly hinted at in the fifth-century Gospel of Nicodemus, which says Jesus descended into hell and redeemed Adam, together with Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, and fore- fathers, by making the sign of the cross on their foreheads.
Christian cross - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2875 words)
The Cross was the first of the Instruments of the Passion that came to be venerated in the form of relics.
Connected with the cross is the medieval legend of the Tree of Jesse, from the wood of which the cross was said to have been fashioned.
Denotes a glorification of the cross, this form was inspired by the cult of the cross that arose after Saint Helena's discovery of the true cross in Jerusalem in 327.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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