UPDATE JANUARY 17, 2010: What I have found out since posting these four parts will require a major rewrite. Parts 2, 3 and 4 will be broken up. Videos showing where Christianity got The Crucifixion FROM will be presented. The series will rerun under a new title, "The Romans NEVER CRUCIFIED the Way We Think They Did."
Jesus was Jehovah - Papyrus Bodmer II (P66)
Wikipedia - Papyrus 66
Earlham.edu - Papyrus 66
Jesus Was Caesar - Part III: Crux
Definition of Chiasma
Ancient Crucifixion Nails
Raving Athiests.com - Domus Aureus Reopens in the New Year
Photo Credit: Earlham.edu
The Papyrus Bodmer II (Papyrus 66)
The Papyrus Bodmer II (Papyrus 66) is an interesting document. Dating to about 200 CE, it has some curious abbreviations for the various forms of the Greek noun stauros, cross or crux, and the various conjugations of the verb staurow, to crucify. Following are a few examples from page 137 of the manuscript:
Line 3 – John 19:16 – verb “to be crucified” - staurothe - abbreviated as s tau-rho the
Line 6 – John 19:18 – verb “crucified” - staurosan - abbreviated as s tau-rho san
Line 10 – John 19:19 – noun “cross” - staurou - abbreviated as s tau-rho ou
What is going on here is that copyists, as early as 200CE, have been inserting staurograms and Christograms for the letters “t,a,u” and “r” in the Greek noun stauros, the verb staurow, and all their variants. A staurogram is a pictorial representation of a human body being affixed to a Crux Immissa (Tropaeum) – Latin Cross – or a Crux Commissa – St Anthony’s Cross. Below is a diagram of the three monograms (the staurogram and two Christograms) combining the Greek letters, from left to right, Tau and Rho, Chi and Rho (the first two letters of Xristos, “Christ”), and Iota and Chi (initials for Iesous Xristos, “Jesus Christ”). I shall note here that the Greek letter Chi is also the first letter of the word xiasma, meaning a cross-piece of wood.
Diagram Credit: WCAC - Online Horizon
Now what is interesting about the staurougram on the left, is that the letters “tau” and “rho” are drawn as a UNIT. In other words, the Crucified One and his Cross once were two but by crucifixion had become one. And as we shall see in the next installment, Physics of Crucifixion, it’s not just the nails that will make the two one! It probably took the seat of the cross called the “sedile” a.k.a. “cornu,” as I have noted in the previous installments, to enable the two to unite into one.
Similarity to the Imagery of the Cult of Divus Iulius (Julius Caesar)
What’s also curious about these monograms is that the first resembles the nailing of the wax effigy of Julius Caesar on a Crux Immissa (Tropaeum) and the other two look awfully similar to the Comet Pictogram of Divus Iulius, aka the deified Julius Caesar. I presume it helped the Christians operate under the radar of the pre-Constantine Roman Empire.
Comparison of the Christusmonogram and the Sidus Iulium
Photo Credit: “Nero's Domus Aureus Reopens in the New Year” (Calpurnpiso)
This seems like a diversion but I believed it necessary to discuss the similarities of the Staurogram and the Christograms to see how very similar icons can develop independently one from another. I’m sure Justin Martyr would agree… it was he who said that the Pagan savior-gods and the cult of emperor worship were invented by the Devil! And there are critics who say Christianity itself is built on nothing but plagiarism!