by Brad Scott
The traditional symbol of much of modern Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church, is the crucifix. The history of this symbol and how it came to be a symbol is spurious, at best, and pagan, at worst. The word crucifix, however, can be traced back to Hebrew roots. The word is actually a combining of two Hebrew words:
- qeras (קרס), which means a hook (Shemot (Exodus) 26:6, 33) The English word in the King James is "tache" (or attach) and
- saphach (ספח), which means to join together or cleave (Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 14:1, Iyov (Job) 30:7). These two words combine to form qerasaphach, or phonetically karahsahfak. Say it once! Karahsahfak. Eventually, through the Indo-European language, it became crucifix. The English word suffix, which means to attach or fix to the end of a word, is a cognate of crucifix.
Theologically, when Messiah was fixed to the tree, the crucifix was the means by which the prophecy of the House of Israel and the House of Yehudah, clinging together, was made possible, for Messiah was the mediator of the New Testament as it says in Yesha’yahu:
Yesha’yahu 14:1For YHVH will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the sojourners shall be joined with them, and they shall cling to the house of Jacob.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊