Did the Egyptians use crucifixion?

Does the Qur’an commit an anachronism when it says there was ‘crucifixion’ in the Egyptian civilisation?

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc. (Hons.), MCollT

Today I had a dialogue with a Christian that goes by the name ‘kevangreen’ on Paltalk who was recycling a common objection raised against the Qur’an by Christian missionaries namely that it says that the ancient Egyptians practised crucifixion. The relevant verses are as follows:

Said [Pharaoh]: “Have you come to believe in him ere I have given you permission? Verily, he must be your master who has taught you magic! But in time you shall come to know [my revenge]: most certainly shall I cut off your hands and your feet in great numbers, because of [your] perverseness, and shall most certainly crucify you in great numbers, all together!” (26:49)

Said [Pharaoh]: “Have you come to believe in him ere I have given you permission? Verily, he must be your master who has taught you magic! But I shall most certainly cut off your hands and feet in great numbers, because of [your] perverseness, and I shall most certainly crucify you in great numbers on trunks of palm-trees: and [I shall do this] so that you might come to know for certain as to which of us [two] can inflict a more severe chastisement, and [which] is the more abiding!” (20:71)

The Christian missionary posits the claim that the Egyptians did not have crucifixion as a method of punishment or execution. Thus their contention is that the Qur’an is grossly misrepresenting history. Did the Egyptians practice crucifixion or do we see here an example of an anachronistic information in the Qur’an?

Steve Bates writes:

“In other nations of the ancient world crucifixion was the main form of execution, and thousands of criminals were crucified. Criminals were crucified in Egypt, and Alexander the Great, after a seven month siege to conquer Tyre, ordered two thousand Tyrians to be crucified as punishment for their resistance.” [1] (bold and underline emphasis added)

Prebendary of Saint Paul’s and scholar at Saint John’s College, Cambridge, Thomas Hartwell Horne writes:

“Crucifixion obtained among several ancient nations, the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Carthaginians.” [2] (emphasis added)

What is even more interesting is that Horne mentions the Qur’anic verse cited above where Pharoah demanded the crucifixion of his enemies in the footnote section and yet saying nowhere that the Qur’an commits an anachronism there.

Assoc. Professor of New Testament and Archeology, Covenant Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, David Chapman writes:

“Studies often associate the inception of crucifixion in antiquity with the Persians; and indeed sources frequently testify to acts of suspension under Persian rule. However, it should be noted that: (1) This testimony is largely found in later Greek and Latin sources  (thus stemming from a Hellenistic viewpoint of history), (2) as remarked in chapter one, the terminology employed by these sources is rarely sufficient in itself definitively to determine that “crucifixion” was employed as opposed some other form of suspension, and (3) other ancient peoples in Europe, Egypt, and Asia were said to crucify as well.” [3] (bold and underline emphasis added)

Noted Christian scholar and interpreter of the New Testament, William Barclay writes:

“The custom of crucifixion was widespread. We find it in Egypt, Phoenicia, Carthage, Persia, Assyria, Scythia and even India;” [4]

Markus Adams writes:

“Crucifixion was really nothing new. Some historians believe that it dates back to ancient Egypt and Assyria.” [5]

According to the above non-Muslim scholars crucifixion did exist as a form of penalty in the time of Egypt. So much for the usual faulty charge of anachronism levelled against the noble Qur’an.

Addendum:

Typically, whenever Christians speak of the crucifixion or refer to it what they have in mind is the cross that has the the patibulum and stipes fixed together in an upright and horizontal fashion as the following image shows:

cross

The vertical bar of wood is called the patibulum and the horizontal post is called the stipes. Together, they create the general impression that Christians have of what a crucifixion looks like:

cross 2

We must remember however, that the term crucifixion is rather recent. It comes from the Late Latin ‘crucifixionem’ which stems from ‘crucifigere’. The original term used in New Testament literature such as the gospels is certainly not crucifixion but the Greek σταυρός (stauros) and its derivatives. Undoubtedly, ‘stauros’ that is translated as ‘crucifixion’ has in general come to refer to the images above, but is the mainstream Christian depiction or imagination the only correct meaning that may be associated with the term ‘stauros’? Is the patibulum that is affixed to the stipes exclusively the definition of ‘stauros’?

According to authoritative Greek lexicons, ‘stauros’ is essentially a pole or an upright stake placed to the ground that is used as a method of execution:

Danker and Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon on ‘Stauros’:

“a pole to be placed to the ground and used for capital punishment…a stake sunk in the ground in an upright position…” [6]

Thayer’s Greek lexicon concurs with the above definition:
“1. an upright stake, esp. a pointed one…” [7]

According to the above two major Greek-English lexicons, crucifixion may not necessarily refer to the typical Christian depiction but that it is essentially a wooden stake or a pole that is fixed to the ground in an upright manner. In simple terms, we may call this ‘impalement’ which means to fix or put someone on an upright stake that is placed to the ground and the Greek-English lexicon by Liddell and Scott is rather explicitly clear on this:

σταυρός, ύ, an upright pale or stake, σταυρονς έκτός ελασσε διαμπερες ενθα καί ενθα πυκνους καί θαμέας Od. 14. II, cf. II. 24. 453, Thuc. 4. 90, Xen. An. 5. 2, 22;” [8] (emphasis added)

We do not disagree that the typical Christian depiction is indeed ‘stauros’ but the basic meaning of the term does not have to be that according to the lexicons. In reality, ‘stauros’ can refer to simply one slab of stake or sharpened wood that is placed upright to the ground which we simply refer to as impalement as seen in the following image:

impale

But it does not even have to be an upright sharp stake that the victim is impaled upon according to the lexicons. It can just be a pole to which the victim is affixed such as the following:

crucifixion

In short, ‘stauros’ or crucifixion may refer to a variety of upright slabs of wood with various ways of affixing the victim, but in essence, it has to be one that is placed upright upon the ground.

The two Qur’anic verses cited at the beginning of the article refer to an incident that occurred in Pharoah’s court at the time of Moses. The missionary argument is that there is no historical proof of crucifixion being practised at the time, but as we have seen prior to the addendum, historians clearly disagree and concur with Islamic sources that Egyptians did use crucifixion. But a pertinent question may arise: “Egypt was a civilisation of thousands of years and so, did crucifixion exist in the time of ancient Egypt when Moses was around or did it come later?”

According to Deuteronomy 21:22-23, which is supposed to be Moses’ book, the Jews themselves practised crucifixion at the time and so, this method did indeed exist during Moses’ dispensation in ancient Egypt. This fact is mentioned by Alicia Craig Faxon:

“As a form of punishment, crucifixion was widespread in ancient Assyria, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Carthage, and Macedonia as well as in Rome. Deuteronomy 21:22-23 contains these instructions:

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

This passage suggests that Jews of biblical times also punished by hanging on a tree, or a form of crucifixion.” [9]

Notice that the Deuteronomic penal law above is a double-fold punishment, i.e., the victim is first physically punished or executed after which he is hanged on the tree and this seems to mirror the method of punishment that Pharaoh, according to the Qur’an, threatened his magicians with once they declared belief in Moses’ prophethood — that their limbs would be severed after which they would be fixed upon trunks of palm-trees. And so, we see a clear convergence between the biblical Deuteronomic description of crucifixion and the one in the Qur’an. For the missionary to disclaim the latter as ahistorical they would have to equally disclaim the former.

Indeed, a plain reading of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 shows that the crucifixion is only of the corpse after the person had been executed by other means but even so, one may venture to exegete the verse in an alternative way as saying that the victim’s death may actually occur on the cross itself, i.e., his death is caused by the crucifixion whilst affixed to the ‘stauros’ and not by other means prior to it. The first notable person to interpret it in that manner was none other than Paul of Tarsus. In Galatians 3:13, he teaches that “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (King James Bible) The last portion of the verse — “for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” — is clearly a reference to Deuteronomy 21:23 and this is agreed upon by most commentators of the Bible. By applying it to Jesus’ crucifixion, Paul is inadvertently teaching that the Deuteronomic law of crucifixion may be understood as a method of executing someone on the upright stake or ‘stauros’ itself and not just a means of dangling a person upon it post-mortem, because according to the New Testament narrative, Jesus was not killed prior to being crucified but that his death occurred on the cross as he was crucified. This significant point is noted by Professor Emeritus of Sacred Scripture at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy Martin McNamara who cites Catholic priest and Hebraist Alejandro Diez Macho as saying “that Paul’s application of Deut 21:23 to the crucifixion of Christ was probably because in Paul’s day “to hang on a tree” meant the same as “to be crucified”. [10]

Whether we go by the plain reading of the text or by Paul’s interpretation, the Christian should not have any qualms against the understanding or interpretation that Deuteronomy 21:22-23 instructs crucifixion since Paul himself quoted the penal law specifically to refer to crucifixion.

Is the case closed? Not just yet. The missionary’s claim is further weakened if not completely shattered by the very fact that according to the first book of their most beloved Bible, crucifixion existed in ancient Egypt even before Moses’ time in Pharaoh’s kingdom. Many years before Moses was born, crucifixion was a readily available method of punishment at Pharaoh’s disposal in the time of Joseph.

In Genesis 40:19, Joseph helped to interpret Pharaoh’s chief baker’s dream that “Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.” After three days, Joseph’s interpretation came to pass just as he had said it:

“But Pharaoh impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had predicted  when he interpreted his dream.” (Genesis 40:22)

As per the standard meaning of ‘stauros’ or crucifixion gleaned from authoritative lexicons that we went through above, impalement is a form of crucifixion and this is precisely what is understood by the prominent lexicographer Sir William Smith:

“CRUCIFIXION (σταυρουν, άνασταυρουν, σκολοπίςειν, προσηλουν (and, less properly, άνασκινδυλεύειν): cruci or patibulo affigere, suffigere, or simply figere (Tert. de Pat. iii.), cruciare (Auson.), ad palum alligare, crucem alicui statuere, in crucem agere, tollere, &c.: the sufferer was called cruciarius). The variety of the phrases shows the extreme commonness of the punishment, the invention of which is traditionally ascribed to Semiramis. It was in use among the Egyptians (as in the case of Inarus, Thuc. i. 30; Gen. xl. 19), the Carthaginians (as in the case of Hanno, &c., Val. Max. ii. 7; Sil. Ital. ii. 344), the Persians (Polycrates, &c., Herod. iii. 125, iv. 43; Esth. vii. 10, σταυρωθήτω έπ αύτό, LXX. v. 14), the Assyrians (Diod. Sic. ii. 1), Scythians (id. ii. 44), Indians (id. ii. 18), (Winer, s. v. Kreuzigung,) Germans (possibly, Tac. Germ. 12), and very frequent from the earliest times (reste suspendito, Liv. i. 26) among the Greeks and Romans.” [11] (emphasis added)

His list of nations that practised crucifixion seems to have great resemblance to William Barclay’s. It is quite possible that Barclay based his statement on Smith’s work, but be that as it may, both Barclay and Smith agree that crucifixion existed in Egypt and Smith specifically identifies Gen. xl. 19 or Genesis 40:19 as his reference.

Smith is not alone in seeing Genesis 40:19 as an example of crucifixion in ancient Egypt. He is joined by a very prominent Jewish historian that lived about 1900 years before him. One of the greatest Jewish historians, Titus Flavius Josephus or Joseph ben Matityahu understood Genesis 40:19 as referring to a mode of crucifixion:

“Joseph’s interpretation of the dream is that “within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head — from you! — and hang you on a pole; and the birds will eat the flesh from you” (Gen 40:19). Josephus says that “He (Joseph) told him that the baskets meant three days, and that one the third day he would be crucified and devoured by birds, being unable to defend himself.” [12]

In a footnote to the above, the author David Tombs, who is the Howard Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues, and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Otago, writes:

“Josephus Ant. 2. 72. Since Josephus is writing for a Roman audience it is not surprising that he refers to this hanging or impalement as “crucifixion.” [13]

And so, Josephus in writing about Genesis 40:19 wanted his audience to see it as an example of crucifixion in ancient Egypt in Joseph’s time.

In discussing the significance of the cross, avid Christian believer, the late Dr. Ray H. Hughes Sr., former general overseer of the Church of God and past president of Lee University, also sees Genesis 40:19 as an example of crucifixion in ancient Egypt before Moses’ time that was practised in Pharaoh’s court:

“The Word gives a record of the crucifixion of the baker of Pharaoh in the Book of Genesis (see 40:19,22).” [14]

In Targum Neofiti, which is a voluminous work that translates the Torah into Aramaic, the phrase “hang you on a tree” in Genesis 40:19 is translated into Aramaic as “they shall crucify you on a cross”. This is mentioned by Diez Macho as cited by McNamara:

“He notes that in Neof. Gen 40:19; 41:13, the phrase “they shall hang you on a tree” of the Hebrew text is rendered into Aramaic as “they shall crucify you on a cross”.” [15]

According to Diez Macho, the Neofiti is from the first century CE but there is actually no certainty for this dating. In any case, it is certainly a rather early record showing that besides Josephus, Jews have long understood Genesis 40:19, 22 as crucifixion in ancient Egypt that existed even before Moses.

The term used for impalement in Genesis 40:19,22 and also in Deuteronomy 21:23 is ותלה or ‘tzalav’ and in Hebrew, according to Wilhelm Gesenius and other authorities of Hebrew, it does mean “to crucify”.  Professor of Biblical Literature in Judeao Christian Studies at the Graduate Department of Oral Roberts University, Bradford Young writes:

“Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that the word tzalav, which certainly has the meaning of “to crucify” as well as “to hang,” is used to describe the fate of Pharaoh’s baker (see also Targum Deut. 21:22-23, Targum Esther 6:4, 5:14, 9:14, 9:25, 10:26, Targum Joshua 8:29, 10:26).” [16]

In the foregoing addendum, it has become crystal clear that the crucifixion not only existed in Moses’ time but even before that. There is absolutely no reason for the Christian missionary to reject or question the validity of the Qur’anic narrative as it is clearly backed by biblical evidence.

 

References:

[1] Bates, S. (2007). Bible Crusade. Xulon Press. p. 135

[2] Horne, T. H. (1858) An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, Vol. 2. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. p. 69

[3] Chapman, D. W. (2008). Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion. Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck. pp. 100-101

[4] Barclay, W. (1998). The Apostles’ Creed. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 77

[5] Adams, M. E. (2009). A Biography of the Holy Trinity and Man: Understanding the Relationship Between God and Man. p. 178

[6] Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 941

[7] Thayer, J. H. (2012). Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 586

[8] Liddell, G. H. & Scott, R. (1883). Greek-English Lexicon.  New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 1422

[9] Faxon, A. C. (1998). Crucifixion. In Helene E. Roberts (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art. Chicago, Illinois: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. p. 191

[10] McNamara, M. (2011). Targum and New Testament: Collected Essays. Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck. p. 461

[11] Smith, W. (1871). Dictionary of the Bible; Comprising its Antiquities, Biography, Geography and Natural History, Volume 1. New York: Hurd and Houghton. p. 513

[12] Tombs, D. (2009). Prisoner Abuser: From Abu Ghraib to The Passion of the Christ. In Linda Hogan & Dylan Lee Lehrke, Religion and the Politics of Peace and Conflict: Princeton Theological Monograph Series 94. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications. p. 187

[13] Ibid. fn. 48; See also

[14] Hughes Sr., R. H. (2011). Classic Pentecostal Sermon Library. Cleveland, Tennessee: Pathway Press. p. 169

[15] McNamara, M. (2011). Op. Cit.

[16] Young, B. H. (1990). The Cross, Jesus and the Jewish People. In Malcolm Lowe (Ed.),  In The New Testament and Christian-Jewish Dialogue : Studies in Honor of David Flusser. Jerusalem, Israel: Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel. p. 28 fn. 16

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13 Responses to “Did the Egyptians use crucifixion?”

  1. rocky says:

    these people also believe that the qur’aan is the only book which says that the arabs practiced burying thier daughters alive

    now we have evidence that the practice did exist

    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/soc.religion.islam/A5_Bjud2cvo

  2. Abu Booboo says:

    The main argument in your article is that “crucifixion did exist as a form of penalty in the time of Egypt..” therefore what Christians and other skeptics of the Qur’an have is nothing more than a “faulty charge of anachronism leveled against [the ] Qur’an”

    Egypt has a very long history, so the question is not if crucifixion existed as a form of punishment at any point in time, but whether, or not, it was used by Pharaoh during the time of the Exodus. Your article cites several sources which do not prove your point.

    The first citation is from Steve Bates’ book Bible Crusade which says that Alexander the Great ordered the crufixion of 2,000 Tyrian rebels. The siege of Tyre occurred around 332 BC – long after anyone dates the events of Exodus.

    The second citation is from Thomas Hartwell Horne, An Introduction to the Critical Study of the Holy Scriptures, Volume 2, page 69 which clearly says that crucifixion was used in Egypt. When we check the footnote, we see that he is making a reference to Thucydides. Thucydides wrote of an Egyptian rebel named Inaros who was captured, and crucified in Susa by the Persians in 454 BC – which was also long after the events of the Exodus.

    The third citation is from David W. Chapman’s Ancient Jewish And Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion. The people at “Islamic Awareness”, an Islamic apologetics site, say:

    “Chapman’s book is not a history of the application of crucifixion in the ancient world rather his focus is on the perceptions of crucifixion [ibid., p. 2]. Nevertheless, Chapman provides an informative detailed study on crucifixion terminology spanning numerous different languages.”

    Chapman blurs the distinctions between nailing a living person to a cross (what we would call crucifixion) and impaling or suspending a body believing crucifixion is a form of suspension.
    William Barclay’s The Apostles’ Creed (page 77) does not say that crucifixion was practiced in Pharaoh’s Egypt. It gives a brief history of the practice:

    “…. The Gospels tell the story of the crucifixion of Jesus with the most astonishing restraint. They simply state the fact, and leave it at that with no description at all.

    The reason for this is that the Gospel-writers did not need to describe crucifixion; their readers knew all about it, for crucifixion was too tragically common in the ancient world to need any description. After the siege of Tyre, Alexander the Great crucified two thousand Tyrhians. During the Jewish civil wars Alexander Jannaeus crucified eight hundred men on one single occasion (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.14.2). In Sicily Augustus on one occasion crucified six hundred men (Orosius 6.18). Hadrian crucified five hundred in one single day. Varus, in crushing the revolt in Galilee within the actual life-time of Jesus, crucified two thousand people (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17.10.10). In Titus’ final campaign in which the Jews lost their freedom for ever in which the Temple was destroyed, it was said of Titus that he crucified so many men ‘that there was no space left for crosses, and no crosses for the bodies’ (Josephus, Wars of the Jews 6.18). No one in the ancient world needed to be told what crucifixion was like. They were perfectly familiar with its agonizing details.

    The custom of crucifixion was widespread. We find it in Egypt, Phoenicia, Carthage, Persia, Assyria, Scythia and even India; and we find it in Greece and Rome. It was likely that the Romans took it over from the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians”

    In conclusion, none of these four sources so much as imply that crucifixion was a form of punishment during the time of the Exodus. Therefore, it is your claim that crucifixion was used as a punishment during the time period, in which historians believe the events of Exodus took place, is anachronistic.

    However, looking at some of your references could offer some insights as to why Muhammad’s Quran places the punishment of crucifixion in at place and at a time when it was not practiced.

    William Barclay points out that crucifixion was as well-known, and greatly feared, form of punishment. The Pharaoh of the Qur’an is the most wicked character in the entire book, so the idea that he used crucifixion as a form of punishment makes him look even more evil.

    David Chapman’s blurring of terms, such as impalment, suspension and crucifixion, could provide a possible explanation of how Muhammad came up with the Qur’an’s story. Perhaps he heard the story of Joseph’s dream about the chief baker in Genesis 40:19 “Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Impaling is a form of crucifixion Abu BooBoo.

      “Crucifixion developed from a method of execution by which the victim was fastened to an upright stake either by impaling him on it or by tying him to it with thongs… From this form of execution developed crucifixion in the strict sense, whereby the outstretched arms of the victim were tied or nailed to a crossbeam (patibulum), which was then laid in a groove across the top or suspended by means of a notch in the side of an upright stake that was always left in position at the site of execution.” (Anon. (1981). Crucifixion. New Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. IV. Washington: The Catholic University of America. p. 485)

      It was practiced as far back as Mesopotamia:
      “Crucifixion (impalement) is found in the Code of Hammurabi. The punishment for breaking through a wall in a house was death followed by impalement. Impalement after death reflects the crime; he pierced the wall, so his body is pierced. But another, even grosser punishment is inflicted upon an adulterous woman who instigated the death of her husband for the sake of her lover. In Code of Hammurabi, 153 we read: “If a woman has procured the death of her husband on account of another man, they shall impale that woman.” (Ford, J. M.(1996). The Crucifixion of Women in Antiquity, Journal of Higher Criticism. pp. 293-294)

      The father of Hebrew Grammar Gesenius defines the word וְתָלִ֥יתָ which is derived from תָּלָה ‘talah’ in Deuteronomy 21:22 as ‘crucifixion’ in his ‘Gesenius’s Hebrew And Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament Scripture’. Notice that the same verse is applied to Jesus in the New Testament to refer to his crucifixion.

      Chapman does not blur the “distinction” between “crucifixion and impaling” as they are in fact one and the same which is why he includes impaling in his book including the text from Genesis which you cited. He specifically states:
      “.. in studying the ancient world the scholar is wise not to differentiate too rigidly the categories of “crucifixion,” “impalement,” and “suspension” (as if these were clearly to be distinguished in every instance). Hence any study of crucifixion conceptions in antiquity must grapple with the broader context of the wide variety of penal suspension of human beings.” (Ibid., p. 32)

      As a matter of fact the text from Genesis can be understood as a form of crucifixion:
      “That Hewitt asserts crucifixion as having originated in Egypt, I can only think that he is referring to a situation mentioned in Josephus where the author states that Pharaoh had his baker, from the famous Joseph story of the Bible, σταυρωθhσαν” (Robinson, J. C. (2002). Crucifixion in the Roman World: The Use of Nails at the Time of Christ. Studia Antiqua, 2(1). p. 41)
      In a footnote to the above he mentions the fact that the crucifixion’s(the form used in Rome and thereafter supposedly on Jesus) antecedent is the Assyrian’s impalement which means that it is also a form of crucifixion!

      Impaling is a form of crucifixion as see in Danker and Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon on “Stauros”:
      “a pole to be placed to the ground and used for capital punishment…a stake sunk in the ground in an upright position…” (Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. U.S.: The University of Chicago Press. p. 941)

      Thayer’s Greek lexicon concurs:
      “1. an upright stake, esp. a pointed one…” (Thayer, J. H. (2012). Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 586)

      Liddel and Scott gives a similar definition and specifically uses the words “upright pale” – pale from which you get the word impale/impaling/impalement.

      Smith’s Bible Dictionary also identifies Genesis 40:19 as crucifixion:
      “Crucifixion was in use among the Egyptians, (Genesis 40:19); the Carthaginians, the Persians, (Esther 7:10); the Assyrians, Scythains, Indians, Germans, and from the earliest times among the Greeks and Romans. Whether this mode of execution was known to the ancient Jews is a matter of dispute. Probably the Jews borrowed it from the Romans. It was unanimously considered the most horrible form of death.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com.....ixion.html)

      In addition, scholars are not certain as to what form exactly and precisely the crucifixion in the time of Jesus was like. There are numerous theories out there but the fact that is agreed is that some form of crucifixion did indeed exist. Impaling according to several scholars some of which I have already cited does indeed mean crucifixion. By the way, the Qur’an does not use the word ‘crucifixion’ to be precise. It uses a word that is derived from the trilateral root s-l-b. The following is the pertinent definition that explains why the verb is used to describe the kind of punishment used in Egypt and elsewhere:
      وفي الحديث: أَنه لـمَّا قَدِمَ مَكَّةَ أَتاه أَصحابُ الصُّلُب؛ قيل: هم الذين يَجْمَعُون العِظام إِذا أُخِذَت عنها لُحومُها فيَطْبُخونها بالماءِ، فإِذا خرج الدَّسَمُ منها جمعوه وائْتَدَمُوا به. يقال اصْطَلَبَ فلانٌ العِظام إِذا فَعَل بها ذلك. والصُّلُبُ جمع صَليب، والصَّلِـيبُ: الوَدَكُز والصَّلِـيبُ والصَّلَبُ: الصديد الذي يَسيلُ من الميت. والصَّلْبُ: مصدر صَلَبَه يَصْلُبه صَلْباً، وأَصله من الصَّلِـيب وهو: الوَدَك. وفي حديث عليّ: أَنه اسْتُفْتِـيَ في استعمال صَلِـيبِ الـمَوْتَى في الدِّلاءِ والسُّفُن، فَـأَبـى عليهم، وبه سُمِّي الـمَصْلُوب لما يَسِـيلُ من وَدَكه. والصَّلْبُ، هذه القِتْلة المعروفة، مشتق من ذلك، لأَن وَدَكه وصديده يَسِـيل. وقد صَلَبه يَصْلِـبُه صَلْباً، وصَلَّبه، شُدِّدَ للتكثي وفي التنزيل العزيز: وما قَتَلُوه وما صَلَبُوه. وفيه: ولأُصَلِّـبَنَّكم في جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ؛ أَي على جُذُوعِ النخل. والصَّلِـيبُ: الـمَصْلُوبُ. والصَّليب الذي يتخذه النصارى على ذلك الشَّكْل

      In essence the ‘salb’ refers to for example the pus that leaks out of the body of the executed.The term itself does not intrinsically mean one vertical and horizontal beam attached together to form the Christian cross. Thus your efforts are cute but they completely fail.

      Finally, until 1968 when the remains of a crucified man was found in Givat ha-mivtar, crucifixion remained nothing but notes in dusty old chronicles and historical records even though thousands of crucifixions indeed took place in Palestine (The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, p. 1217). How do you expect to find clear archeological evidence of crucifixion in Moses’ time? No one has ever found writings contemporaneous to Noah’s flood nor relevant archeological artifacts so that must surely mean Noah and his ark did not exist right? If you’re a Christian this line in inquiry does not suit you. So perhaps you will try to pretend to be an atheist/agnostic after this?

      • Abu Booboo says:

        So, the polemic has changed! First you cite several articles which mention crucifixion in Egypt. Unfortunately, you omit the key point that none of these sources so much as imply that this form of punishment existed in any time period in which historians believe the events of Exodus took place. This is intellectual dishonesty – pure and simple.

        Your new line of attack is to broaden the definition of “crucifixion” so that you can fit something into to its definition. After all, since crucifixion is a form of impalement, any form of impalement can be called crucifixion. Also, since a cross contains a stake [the vertical beam], all stakes must be a cross. Any student of Philosophy 100 can see the fallacy in this. But then again, sophistry is slightly better than outright dishonesty!

        The cut-and-paste apologetics concerning the meaning of “cross” and “crucifixion”, from Christian commentaries, is completely irrelevant to the discussion. Christians know the meanings of these terms. For example, the chief baker of Genesis was not nailed to a cross, but was impaled on a pole.

        The issue is the meaning of “cross” and “crucify” in the Qur’an and how these terms fit into our knowledge and understanding of Egyptian history. So we must look at the term salaba – and, by the way, I find your attempt to re-define it as “pus” laughable, as would centuries worth of Islamic scholars and commentators.

        Every passage in the Qur’an which mentions crucifixion can be traced back to the same root word salaba – from the S-L-B root. The Qur’an uses the variant Salaba [to crucify] in two passages: Surah 4:157 where it is perfect active, and Surah 12:41 where it is imperfect passive. A second form, Sallaba, is used in four passages. In three of these cases the imperfect active is used (Surah 7:124, Surah 20:71, and Surah 26:49). In the fourth case it is imperfect passive (Surah 5:33).

        By the way, it will probably surprise you that this word is not Arabic, but was borrowed from Old Persian and/or Ethiopic via Syriac or Aramaic [see Arthur Jeffery’s “Foreign Vocabulary of the Koran”]. The Arabic term for a cross is salib and “to crucify” is salaba. This is also the term used for making the sign of the cross [as Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do] or to cross one’s arms or legs. Sulub janubi is the “Southern Cross” constellation of stars. A salbut is a crucifix, a musallab is an intersection of two roads and Hurub al-Salib, or ‘Wars of the Cross’, is the Arabic term for the Crusades.

        Muhammad most certainly knew the difference between stakes and crosses (and pus) since we know, from Islamic sources, that he had a fierce hatred for anything that resembled a cross. Even placing ones’ hands on their hips during prayers was considered tasleeb [i.e. making the shape, sign, or image of a cross] by Muhammad and was strictly forbidden by him (see the Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, vol. 10, p. 153).

        Clearly, the Arabic word for crucifixion requires the use of more than one stick. The Arabic term used in the Qur’an refers clearly to a geometric cross and not a pole, a stake, or a tree. If Pharaoh were impaling people on poles or stakes, why doesn’t the Qur’an use the term al-awtadi [which is used in Surahs 38:12 and 89:6-12 – in which Pharaoh is called Lord of Stakes ]? So, since the Arabic language has a term for a “stake”, why does the Qur’an use the terms salaba / sallaba which indicates crucifixion on a cross, rather than impalement on a stake?

        I have no problem with anyone believing, or not believing, in something based on faith – this freedom of conscience – something not widely appreciated or practiced in the Muslim world. History, archaeology, and science can only take people so far. I have a problem when people use logical fallacies and attempt to “mine” publications for quotes which they dishonestly twist to fit their agenda.

        • Ibn Anwar says:

          You said:
          So, the polemic has changed! First you cite several articles which mention crucifixion in Egypt. Unfortunately, you omit the key point that none of these sources so much as imply that this form of punishment existed in any time period in which historians believe the events of Exodus took place. This is intellectual dishonesty – pure and simple.

          Your new line of attack is to broaden the definition of “crucifixion” so that you can fit something into to its definition. After all, since crucifixion is a form of impalement, any form of impalement can be called crucifixion. Also, since a cross contains a stake [the vertical beam], all stakes must be a cross. Any student of Philosophy 100 can see the fallacy in this. But then again, sophistry is slightly better than outright dishonesty!

          My response:
          No, nothing has changed. Notice that one of the references was to David Chapman who is a recognised historian by the way. As I have pointed out in my previous response Chapman sees impalement as a form of crucifixion and historical evidence points to the fact that ancient Egypt did indeed practice that form of punishment which is why archeologist H. S. Smith after evaluating certain hieroglyphs(on plate 29) that depict impalement writes:
          “… the evidence for the Egyptians impaling their enemies is far too strong to be doubted.” (H. S. Smith (1976). The Fortress Of Buhen: The Inscriptions, Forty Eighth Excavation Memoir. London: Egyptian Exploration Society. p. 127)

          Impalement is seen as a form of crucifixion which is ultimately the English translation of the Greek ‘stauros’ which means ‘impalement’ which we have already proven from the relevant(not irrelevant as you absurdly suggested) lexicons. Reproducing Chapman’s pertinent explanation:
          “.. in studying the ancient world the scholar is wise not to differentiate too rigidly the categories of “crucifixion,” “impalement,” and “suspension” (as if these were clearly to be distinguished in every instance). Hence any study of crucifixion conceptions in antiquity must grapple with the broader context of the wide variety of penal suspension of human beings.”

          Reputed scholar of the New Testament and history Professor Martin Hengel lends credence to the above as he writes:
          “All attempts to give a perfect description of the crucifixion in archaeological terms are therefore in vain; there were too many different possibilities for the executioner. Seneca’s testimony speaks for itself:
          I see crosses there, not just of one kind but made in many different ways: some have their victims with head down to the ground; some impale their private parts; others stretch out their arms on the gibbet” (Hengel, M. Hengel (1976). The Cross Of The Son Of God. London: SCM Press. p. 117)

          Your attempt to restrict “crucifixion” to the traditional Catholic depiction is completely without historical and linguistic foundation as I have already proven in my earlier response.

          We have also shown that non-Muslim Christian scholars agree that crucifixion did indeed exist in the time of Pharoah:
          “Crucifixion was in use among the Egyptians, (Genesis 40:19); the Carthaginians, the Persians, (Esther 7:10); the Assyrians, Scythains, Indians, Germans, and from the earliest times among the Greeks and Romans. Whether this mode of execution was known to the ancient Jews is a matter of dispute. Probably the Jews borrowed it from the Romans. It was unanimously considered the most horrible form of death.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com…..ixion.html)
          I will also reproduce the other reference that was made with regards to Genesis 40:19:
          ““That Hewitt asserts crucifixion as having originated in Egypt, I can only think that he is referring to a situation mentioned in Josephus where the author states that Pharaoh had his baker, from the famous Joseph story of the Bible, σταυρωθhσαν” (Robinson, J. C. (2002). Crucifixion in the Roman World: The Use of Nails at the Time of Christ. Studia Antiqua, 2(1). p. 41)
          In a footnote to the above he mentions the fact that the crucifixion’s(the form used in Rome and thereafter supposedly on Jesus) antecedent is the Assyrian’s impalement which means that it is also a form of crucifixion!”

          The scholar of the Hebrew language Gesenius also proved our point along with the New Testament for applying the verse from Deuteronomy to refer to Jesus’ crucifixion. Thus I reproduce what I cited from him:
          “The father of Hebrew Grammar Gesenius defines the word וְתָלִ֥יתָ which is derived from תָּלָה ‘talah’ in Deuteronomy 21:22 as ‘crucifixion’ in his ‘Gesenius’s Hebrew And Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament Scripture’. Notice that the same verse is applied to Jesus in the New Testament to refer to his crucifixion.”

          You wrote:
          “By the way, it will probably surprise you that this word is not Arabic, but was borrowed from Old Persian and/or Ethiopic via Syriac or Aramaic [see Arthur Jeffery’s “Foreign Vocabulary of the Koran”]. The Arabic term for a cross is salib and “to crucify” is salaba. This is also the term used for making the sign of the cross [as Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do] or to cross one’s arms or legs. Sulub janubi is the “Southern Cross” constellation of stars. A salbut is a crucifix, a musallab is an intersection of two roads and Hurub al-Salib, or ‘Wars of the Cross’, is the Arabic term for the Crusades.”

          My response:
          Nice try, but try harder. Sorry to burst your bubble but I am not surprised at all as I have Jeffery’s book right here beside me now. Do you not you realise by now that I have access to a whole lot of material? Nothing you can possibly produce can generate a shock effect here. Jeffery’s work in fact is hardly original which he makes clear in his introductory notes citing for example the work done by Imam al-Suyuti in his al-Itqan( as a matter of fact Imam al-Suyuti has discussed this subject in thorough detail in his ‘al muhadhdhab fima waqa’a fil Qur’an min al mu’arrab and in ‘mutawakkili fima warada fil Qur’an bil lughat al habashiya wal farisiyya wal rumiyya wal hindiyya wal siryaniyya wal ibraniyya wal nabatiyya wal qibtiyya wal turkiyya wal zanjiyya wal barbariyya’). You are beating on a straw man with all your references to the traditional depiction of the Catholic cross as I have never once suggested that the word ‘salaba’ cannot refer to that specific type. Rather, what you have thus far failed to grasp is that ‘salaba’ and even ‘stauros’ as well as ‘crucifixion’ may refer to various modes of execution that essentially involves an upright pole/pale/beam.

          Perhaps you do not realise this, but my honours degree is in linguistics. Do I need to instruct you on the phenomena known as ‘polysemy’ and ‘loan words’? Your argument stems from a total absence of understanding of how languages operate and function. Essentially, what you are arguing is that if I were to say, “John enjoys all magazines” I would not be speaking English at all. Sounds strange? Well, that is your argument in a nutshell. Following your line of argument a fool would think that he’s got an intelligent point and decrees that the sentence is not English but a cacophony of languages! Why is that? It is because John is derived from Greek(Ioannes)/Hebrew(yohannan); enjoy is derived from Old French(enjoir); all is Proto Germanic in origin; magazine is from the Middle French ‘magasin’. So that sentence is NOT English! Do you not see how ridiculous that kind of reasoning is? The fact of the matter is Arberry on page 197 of his book which you cited and have probably never actually read before identifies the word ‘saleeb’ in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry such as an-Nabigha and Adi Bin Zaid. By the time the Prophet s.a.w. brought Islam back to his people the word was already part and parcel of Arabic vocabulary just as today the word ‘televisyoon’ is Arabic and NOT English. In the Malay language there are more than 1000 words taken from Arabic, but nobody claims that whenever the Malays speak and use those words they are speaking Arabic! They are speaking their own language which is ‘Bahasa Malaysia/Melayu’ using loan words that have been naturalised into the language. Rather than mentioning Philosophy 101 why don’t you take an introduction course in linguistics? It will do you some good.

          You stated:
          “and, by the way, I find your attempt to re-define it as “pus” laughable, as would centuries worth of Islamic scholars and commentators.”

          My response:
          Why do you have to prove to us that you know nothing of what you speak? I cited an entire definition from a scholarly source in which it specifically mentions what you absurdly think is laughable. In fact, this is what Lane’s Lexicon has in its entry on S-L-B:
          “(A:) from صلب العظام,; because the oily matter, and the ichor mixed with blood, of the person so put to death flows.” (Lane’s Lexicon, p. 1711)

          Lane’s Lexicon also defines it as that which is hard or severe(impalement[again a form of crucifixion] is indeed hard and severe); being exposed to the sun which brings about a lot of sweat(which impalement certainly does); put to death is a certain well-known manner(which very well includes impalement). ‘Maslub’ is defined as “one who had slain another”. These and several other polysemic features found in the word in question are good reasons why it is used to describe the form of punishment that was given in the time of Pharoah’s Egypt, Jesus’ Jerusalem under Rome etc.

          Thus you have been soundly refuted.

        • Jesus says:

          Abu Booboo

          Your arguments have been soundly answered by brother Ibn Anwar.

          Please see the same topic discussed in detail in a very academic way at the Islamic Awareness.It completely refutes all your objections.

          • Ibn Anwar says:

            Jzk bro. Dr. Muhammad Mohar Ali has an excellent treatment on the subject in his ‘The Qur’an and the Orientalists’. Insha’Allah I will post the chapter where he specifically discusses this subject in detail. By he way, I have added several more citations in the article on Mark 2:26 for you reading pleasure.

  3. rocky says:

    The mohar ali was a scholar from bangladesh and recently passed away . these people new thier stuff.Allah have mercy on mohar ali.

  4. rocky says:

    mohar ali lived only 100 miles away from the city i live in u.k .

  5. kevangreen says:

    this is kevangreen,
    my argument is not that crucifixion was not used by ancients like Egyptians, my argument is the crucifixion was not used as a method of execution until 600BC…. hence Alexander the great would have crucified people does not prove it existed in pharaohs time so the koran is still placing a form of execution that did not exist in the time it was used

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      I have already refuted the above in my previous responses to abo Booboo. I will reproduce them here:
      Impaling is a form of crucifixion Abu BooBoo.

      “Crucifixion developed from a method of execution by which the victim was fastened to an upright stake either by impaling him on it or by tying him to it with thongs… From this form of execution developed crucifixion in the strict sense, whereby the outstretched arms of the victim were tied or nailed to a crossbeam (patibulum), which was then laid in a groove across the top or suspended by means of a notch in the side of an upright stake that was always left in position at the site of execution.” (Anon. (1981). Crucifixion. New Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. IV. Washington: The Catholic University of America. p. 485)

      It was practiced as far back as Mesopotamia:
      “Crucifixion (impalement) is found in the Code of Hammurabi. The punishment for breaking through a wall in a house was death followed by impalement. Impalement after death reflects the crime; he pierced the wall, so his body is pierced. But another, even grosser punishment is inflicted upon an adulterous woman who instigated the death of her husband for the sake of her lover. In Code of Hammurabi, 153 we read: “If a woman has procured the death of her husband on account of another man, they shall impale that woman.” (Ford, J. M.(1996). The Crucifixion of Women in Antiquity, Journal of Higher Criticism. pp. 293-294)

      The father of Hebrew Grammar Gesenius defines the word וְתָלִ֥יתָ which is derived from תָּלָה ‘talah’ in Deuteronomy 21:22 as ‘crucifixion’ in his ‘Gesenius’s Hebrew And Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament Scripture’. Notice that the same verse is applied to Jesus in the New Testament to refer to his crucifixion.

      Chapman does not blur the “distinction” between “crucifixion and impaling” as they are in fact one and the same which is why he includes impaling in his book including the text from Genesis which you cited. He specifically states:
      “.. in studying the ancient world the scholar is wise not to differentiate too rigidly the categories of “crucifixion,” “impalement,” and “suspension” (as if these were clearly to be distinguished in every instance). Hence any study of crucifixion conceptions in antiquity must grapple with the broader context of the wide variety of penal suspension of human beings.” (Ibid., p. 32)

      As a matter of fact the text from Genesis can be understood as a form of crucifixion:
      “That Hewitt asserts crucifixion as having originated in Egypt, I can only think that he is referring to a situation mentioned in Josephus where the author states that Pharaoh had his baker, from the famous Joseph story of the Bible, σταυρωθhσαν” (Robinson, J. C. (2002). Crucifixion in the Roman World: The Use of Nails at the Time of Christ. Studia Antiqua, 2(1). p. 41)
      In a footnote to the above he mentions the fact that the crucifixion’s(the form used in Rome and thereafter supposedly on Jesus) antecedent is the Assyrian’s impalement which means that it is also a form of crucifixion!

      Impaling is a form of crucifixion as see in Danker and Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon on “Stauros”:
      “a pole to be placed to the ground and used for capital punishment…a stake sunk in the ground in an upright position…” (Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. U.S.: The University of Chicago Press. p. 941)

      Thayer’s Greek lexicon concurs:
      “1. an upright stake, esp. a pointed one…” (Thayer, J. H. (2012). Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 586)

      Liddel and Scott gives a similar definition and specifically uses the words “upright pale” – pale from which you get the word impale/impaling/impalement.

      Smith’s Bible Dictionary also identifies Genesis 40:19 as crucifixion:
      “Crucifixion was in use among the Egyptians, (Genesis 40:19); the Carthaginians, the Persians, (Esther 7:10); the Assyrians, Scythains, Indians, Germans, and from the earliest times among the Greeks and Romans. Whether this mode of execution was known to the ancient Jews is a matter of dispute. Probably the Jews borrowed it from the Romans. It was unanimously considered the most horrible form of death.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com…..ixion.html)

      In addition, scholars are not certain as to what form exactly and precisely the crucifixion in the time of Jesus was like. There are numerous theories out there but the fact that is agreed is that some form of crucifixion did indeed exist. Impaling according to several scholars some of which I have already cited does indeed mean crucifixion. By the way, the Qur’an does not use the word ‘crucifixion’ to be precise. It uses a word that is derived from the trilateral root s-l-b. The following is the pertinent definition that explains why the verb is used to describe the kind of punishment used in Egypt and elsewhere:
      وفي الحديث: أَنه لـمَّا قَدِمَ مَكَّةَ أَتاه أَصحابُ الصُّلُب؛ قيل: هم الذين يَجْمَعُون العِظام إِذا أُخِذَت عنها لُحومُها فيَطْبُخونها بالماءِ، فإِذا خرج الدَّسَمُ منها جمعوه وائْتَدَمُوا به. يقال اصْطَلَبَ فلانٌ العِظام إِذا فَعَل بها ذلك. والصُّلُبُ جمع صَليب، والصَّلِـيبُ: الوَدَكُز والصَّلِـيبُ والصَّلَبُ: الصديد الذي يَسيلُ من الميت. والصَّلْبُ: مصدر صَلَبَه يَصْلُبه صَلْباً، وأَصله من الصَّلِـيب وهو: الوَدَك. وفي حديث عليّ: أَنه اسْتُفْتِـيَ في استعمال صَلِـيبِ الـمَوْتَى في الدِّلاءِ والسُّفُن، فَـأَبـى عليهم، وبه سُمِّي الـمَصْلُوب لما يَسِـيلُ من وَدَكه. والصَّلْبُ، هذه القِتْلة المعروفة، مشتق من ذلك، لأَن وَدَكه وصديده يَسِـيل. وقد صَلَبه يَصْلِـبُه صَلْباً، وصَلَّبه، شُدِّدَ للتكثي وفي التنزيل العزيز: وما قَتَلُوه وما صَلَبُوه. وفيه: ولأُصَلِّـبَنَّكم في جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ؛ أَي على جُذُوعِ النخل. والصَّلِـيبُ: الـمَصْلُوبُ. والصَّليب الذي يتخذه النصارى على ذلك الشَّكْل

      In essence the ‘salb’ refers to for example the pus that leaks out of the body of the executed.The term itself does not intrinsically mean one vertical and horizontal beam attached together to form the Christian cross. Thus your efforts are cute but they completely fail.

      Finally, until 1968 when the remains of a crucified man was found in Givat ha-mivtar, crucifixion remained nothing but notes in dusty old chronicles and historical records even though thousands of crucifixions indeed took place in Palestine (The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, p. 1217). How do you expect to find clear archeological evidence of crucifixion in Moses’ time? No one has ever found writings contemporaneous to Noah’s flood nor relevant archeological artifacts so that must surely mean Noah and his ark did not exist right? If you’re a Christian this line in inquiry does not suit you. So perhaps you will try to pretend to be an atheist/agnostic after this?

      —–end of first part—–

      You said:
      So, the polemic has changed! First you cite several articles which mention crucifixion in Egypt. Unfortunately, you omit the key point that none of these sources so much as imply that this form of punishment existed in any time period in which historians believe the events of Exodus took place. This is intellectual dishonesty – pure and simple.

      Your new line of attack is to broaden the definition of “crucifixion” so that you can fit something into to its definition. After all, since crucifixion is a form of impalement, any form of impalement can be called crucifixion. Also, since a cross contains a stake [the vertical beam], all stakes must be a cross. Any student of Philosophy 100 can see the fallacy in this. But then again, sophistry is slightly better than outright dishonesty!

      My response:
      No, nothing has changed. Notice that one of the references was to David Chapman who is a recognised historian by the way. As I have pointed out in my previous response Chapman sees impalement as a form of crucifixion and historical evidence points to the fact that ancient Egypt did indeed practice that form of punishment which is why archeologist H. S. Smith after evaluating certain hieroglyphs(on plate 29) that depict impalement writes:
      “… the evidence for the Egyptians impaling their enemies is far too strong to be doubted.” (H. S. Smith (1976). The Fortress Of Buhen: The Inscriptions, Forty Eighth Excavation Memoir. London: Egyptian Exploration Society. p. 127)

      Impalement is seen as a form of crucifixion which is ultimately the English translation of the Greek ‘stauros’ which means ‘impalement’ which we have already proven from the relevant(not irrelevant as you absurdly suggested) lexicons. Reproducing Chapman’s pertinent explanation:
      “.. in studying the ancient world the scholar is wise not to differentiate too rigidly the categories of “crucifixion,” “impalement,” and “suspension” (as if these were clearly to be distinguished in every instance). Hence any study of crucifixion conceptions in antiquity must grapple with the broader context of the wide variety of penal suspension of human beings.”

      Reputed scholar of the New Testament and history Professor Martin Hengel lends credence to the above as he writes:
      “All attempts to give a perfect description of the crucifixion in archaeological terms are therefore in vain; there were too many different possibilities for the executioner. Seneca’s testimony speaks for itself:
      I see crosses there, not just of one kind but made in many different ways: some have their victims with head down to the ground; some impale their private parts; others stretch out their arms on the gibbet” (Hengel, M. Hengel (1976). The Cross Of The Son Of God. London: SCM Press. p. 117)

      Your attempt to restrict “crucifixion” to the traditional Catholic depiction is completely without historical and linguistic foundation as I have already proven in my earlier response.

      We have also shown that non-Muslim Christian scholars agree that crucifixion did indeed exist in the time of Pharoah:
      “Crucifixion was in use among the Egyptians, (Genesis 40:19); the Carthaginians, the Persians, (Esther 7:10); the Assyrians, Scythains, Indians, Germans, and from the earliest times among the Greeks and Romans. Whether this mode of execution was known to the ancient Jews is a matter of dispute. Probably the Jews borrowed it from the Romans. It was unanimously considered the most horrible form of death.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com…..ixion.html)
      I will also reproduce the other reference that was made with regards to Genesis 40:19:
      ““That Hewitt asserts crucifixion as having originated in Egypt, I can only think that he is referring to a situation mentioned in Josephus where the author states that Pharaoh had his baker, from the famous Joseph story of the Bible, σταυρωθhσαν” (Robinson, J. C. (2002). Crucifixion in the Roman World: The Use of Nails at the Time of Christ. Studia Antiqua, 2(1). p. 41)
      In a footnote to the above he mentions the fact that the crucifixion’s(the form used in Rome and thereafter supposedly on Jesus) antecedent is the Assyrian’s impalement which means that it is also a form of crucifixion!”

      The scholar of the Hebrew language Gesenius also proved our point along with the New Testament for applying the verse from Deuteronomy to refer to Jesus’ crucifixion. Thus I reproduce what I cited from him:
      “The father of Hebrew Grammar Gesenius defines the word וְתָלִ֥יתָ which is derived from תָּלָה ‘talah’ in Deuteronomy 21:22 as ‘crucifixion’ in his ‘Gesenius’s Hebrew And Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament Scripture’. Notice that the same verse is applied to Jesus in the New Testament to refer to his crucifixion.”

      You wrote:
      “By the way, it will probably surprise you that this word is not Arabic, but was borrowed from Old Persian and/or Ethiopic via Syriac or Aramaic [see Arthur Jeffery’s “Foreign Vocabulary of the Koran”]. The Arabic term for a cross is salib and “to crucify” is salaba. This is also the term used for making the sign of the cross [as Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do] or to cross one’s arms or legs. Sulub janubi is the “Southern Cross” constellation of stars. A salbut is a crucifix, a musallab is an intersection of two roads and Hurub al-Salib, or ‘Wars of the Cross’, is the Arabic term for the Crusades.”

      My response:
      Nice try, but try harder. Sorry to burst your bubble but I am not surprised at all as I have Jeffery’s book right here beside me now. Do you not you realise by now that I have access to a whole lot of material? Nothing you can possibly produce can generate a shock effect here. Jeffery’s work in fact is hardly original which he makes clear in his introductory notes citing for example the work done by Imam al-Suyuti in his al-Itqan( as a matter of fact Imam al-Suyuti has discussed this subject in thorough detail in his ‘al muhadhdhab fima waqa’a fil Qur’an min al mu’arrab and in ‘mutawakkili fima warada fil Qur’an bil lughat al habashiya wal farisiyya wal rumiyya wal hindiyya wal siryaniyya wal ibraniyya wal nabatiyya wal qibtiyya wal turkiyya wal zanjiyya wal barbariyya’). You are beating on a straw man with all your references to the traditional depiction of the Catholic cross as I have never once suggested that the word ‘salaba’ cannot refer to that specific type. Rather, what you have thus far failed to grasp is that ‘salaba’ and even ‘stauros’ as well as ‘crucifixion’ may refer to various modes of execution that essentially involves an upright pole/pale/beam.

      Perhaps you do not realise this, but my honours degree is in linguistics. Do I need to instruct you on the phenomena known as ‘polysemy’ and ‘loan words’? Your argument stems from a total absence of understanding of how languages operate and function. Essentially, what you are arguing is that if I were to say, “John enjoys all magazines” I would not be speaking English at all. Sounds strange? Well, that is your argument in a nutshell. Following your line of argument a fool would think that he’s got an intelligent point and decrees that the sentence is not English but a cacophony of languages! Why is that? It is because John is derived from Greek(Ioannes)/Hebrew(yohannan); enjoy is derived from Old French(enjoir); all is Proto Germanic in origin; magazine is from the Middle French ‘magasin’. So that sentence is NOT English! Do you not see how ridiculous that kind of reasoning is? The fact of the matter is Arberry on page 197 of his book which you cited and have probably never actually read before identifies the word ‘saleeb’ in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry such as an-Nabigha and Adi Bin Zaid. By the time the Prophet s.a.w. brought Islam back to his people the word was already part and parcel of Arabic vocabulary just as today the word ‘televisyoon’ is Arabic and NOT English. In the Malay language there are more than 1000 words taken from Arabic, but nobody claims that whenever the Malays speak and use those words they are speaking Arabic! They are speaking their own language which is ‘Bahasa Malaysia/Melayu’ using loan words that have been naturalised into the language. Rather than mentioning Philosophy 101 why don’t you take an introduction course in linguistics? It will do you some good.

      You stated:
      “and, by the way, I find your attempt to re-define it as “pus” laughable, as would centuries worth of Islamic scholars and commentators.”

      My response:
      Why do you have to prove to us that you know nothing of what you speak? I cited an entire definition from a scholarly source in which it specifically mentions what you absurdly think is laughable. In fact, this is what Lane’s Lexicon has in its entry on S-L-B:
      “(A:) from صلب العظام,; because the oily matter, and the ichor mixed with blood, of the person so put to death flows.” (Lane’s Lexicon, p. 1711)

      Lane’s Lexicon also defines it as that which is hard or severe(impalement[again a form of crucifixion] is indeed hard and severe); being exposed to the sun which brings about a lot of sweat(which impalement certainly does); put to death is a certain well-known manner(which very well includes impalement). ‘Maslub’ is defined as “one who had slain another”. These and several other polysemic features found in the word in question are good reasons why it is used to describe the form of punishment that was given in the time of Pharoah’s Egypt, Jesus’ Jerusalem under Rome etc.

      Thus you have been soundly refuted.

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