Among the Egyptians it is said to have been the symbol of divinity and eternal life, and to have been found in the temple of Serapis. But does the Sign of the Cross go back as far as the Bible? And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. The Sign of the Cross is a simple gesture yet a profound expression of faith for both Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. ‣ (1) Extra-Scriptural. Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace … ‣ --- Blog, A Specifically, around 2,000 BC the letter was shaped like St. George’s Cross. Around 1,000 BC—a few hundred years before the writing of Ezekiel—it still had a cross-shape but was more like St. Andrew’s Cross. ), Catholic commentators have traditionally associated the seal on the foreheads of the servants of God with the Sign of the Cross. O (It might help, before proceeding further, to recall that languages have words for the letters in their alphabets. The New American Bible—recognizing that most readers don’t know what a thau is, much less what it looks like—instead says that God instructed the linen-clad man to “mark an X on the foreheads.” Either way, St. Jerome’s interpretation still carries water today in Catholic exegetical circles. Contrary to what some Protestants would have you think, the Sign of the Cross dates back to the earliest times. The practice has developed over time and is now a regular practice for over a billion people around the world. F Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. St. Jerome’s cross-centered view of Ezekiel 9:4 has continued to be taken seriously since then. ‣ Although often translated as sealed, the Greek word in these three texts is the same as the one used in Revelation 7:3, sphragizō, which one biblical concordance defines as to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal for a number of purposes, including security from Satan and to prove one’s testimony to a person that he is what he professes to be. As then-Cardinal Ratzinger once described it, the Sign of the Cross as the “summing up and re-acceptance of our baptism.”. cross, ‣ 28 Verses About Cross from 10 Books Matthew 10:38. G A number of commentators, most notably St. Jerome, have concluded that the mark was cross-shaped. ‣ image: Hill of Crosses, Lithuania/Shutterstock, Tagged as: Ed. Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. The sources that were readily available, like the Haydock Bible Commentary and others, don’t elaborate, but it’s clear where he got the idea by taking a look at the Hebrew text for Ezekiel 9:4. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. The Sign of the Cross in the Old Testament 18 March 2017 In his first epistle to the Corinthians Saint Paul mentions that the “Jews seek a sign” (I Cor. W Centuries later, in the early 1800s, the noted Catholic commentator George Haydock cites it. Below are supportive scriptures to convince me that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross is a sign that I am loved and desired: John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34 - And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. The formal and proper form of the sign of the cross includes the use of three fingers, especially when entering the church. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites (Revelation 7:2-4, New American Bible, Rev. Wisdom was found not beyond the cross, not above the cross, not below the cross, but in the cross. Scriptures on Gospel Voice Lv 6. Best of Week, Labs ... Visit the Bible online to search for words if you don’t know the specific passage your’re looking for. ( Exodus 20:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 10:14 ) With very good reason, therefore, true Christians do not use the cross in worship. The idea of a sign or a seal marking members of the Church as God’s own also surfaces elsewhere in the New Testament. (See below illustration.). When Peter says that Christ bore our sins, he is citing from Isaiah 53:12 (LXX). ‣ ‣ What did this sign or seal look like? B ‣ 1 2. hollymichal. Z. Saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”. In Roman Catholicism, the sign of the cross is sacramental. Matthew 16:24. Specifically, St. Jerome says the mark was shaped like the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, which, in its earliest forms had a cross-like shape. ‣ Making the sign of the cross (Latin: signum crucis), or blessing oneself or crossing oneself, is a ritual blessing made by members of some branches of Christianity. The Epistle of Barnabas — Barnabas In like manner He points to the cross of Christ in another prophet, who saith, [1605] "And when shall these things be accomplished? H The combination of the words and the action are a creed —a statement of belief. Y ‣ WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS Nowhere does the Bible suggest that the earliest Christians used the cross as a religious symbol. Its witness to a faith that is ever ancient, yet ever new is yet another way the Sign of the Cross symbolizes the heart of what we believe and practice as Catholics. The sign of the cross was well known in the symbolics of various ancient nations. Demons are apostates, the enemies of God. The cross symbol is taken from the initial letter for the god Tammuz. For Catholics, the Sign of the Cross does not need to be explicitly recorded in the Scriptures in order to justify its use. P Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. For that, we have to go deeper into the Scriptures. St. Cyprian explained the ritual in the 3rd century by reference to Christ’s redemptive death on the cross.The sign of the cross is used throughout Christian liturgies, in moments of need or danger, at the beginning and end of prayer, and on numerous other occasions. Supportive Scriptures . Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace and which sanctifies a moment or circumstance. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. In Revelation 14:1, John sees the same assembly of believers with the “name” of the Father and Son on their foreheads. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) The Scriptures also forbid all forms of idolatry. All three verses are clearly describing the sacrament of baptism, according to the Haydock Bible Commentary. ‣ From a church in Dubova, Slovakia. Since the human race sinned, a member of the race had to pay the just penalty God demands. OpenBible.info For Catholics, the Sign of the Cross does not need to be explicitly recorded in the Scriptures in order to justify its use. Often these words contain they letter they are naming. Tertullian appeals to scriptures as his primary and foremost doctrinal standard with no mention of oral tradition. Amen." For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1, Keep Christ at the Center of Your Christmas. It is the movement of the right hand from the forehead to the chest and then left and right upon the shoulders. Translations and Formats. About the Scriptures. Publisher: OpenBible.info. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For Catholic Christians reading the Old Testament, it’s all just too much of a coincidence that the Hebrew word mark is also the Hebrew word for a letter of its alphabet that was shaped like a cross—the instrument with which salvation is offered to all men. As Catholics, it’s something we do when we enter a church, after we receive Communion, before meals, and every time we pray. crossing self, One thing which sets Orthodox Christians apart from many of the heterodox is their use of the sign of the Cross. ‣ Sometimes Catholics make the sign of the cross, with or without words, at other times as well. 50+ videos Play all Mix - 02,TYPES OF THE CROSS IN THE SCRIPTURES PART 1 BY GBILE AKANNI YouTube 03,TYPES OF THE CROSS IN THE SCRIPTURES PART 2 BY GBILE AKANNI - Duration: 41:48. In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. U In Revelation 7, John witnesses four angels at the four corners of the earth, holding back storm winds ready to wreak havoc on the earth and sea. The demons fear the sign of the Cross and cannot stand to even see it traced in the air because they know that the Cross is the sign of friendship between mankind and God. But it just so happens that there is compelling biblical evidence that supports this practice. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. However, we must not think that on the cross the ontological unity between the … 12:30 . sign of the Cross, Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. 2:21-25; see Isa. Over the centuries, this interpretation of Ezekiel 9:4 has been taken seriously by saints and scholars alike. The sign of the Cross shows the transformation of each man and his friendship with God. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. “What is the significance of the sign of the cross? Those so marked would be saved from the destructed that was to be visited upon the sinners. How Can Beauty & Culture Save the World? But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. ), Now, what was so exciting for St. Jerome and others is that in its ancient forms the letter tav looked like a cross. The Sign of the Cross simply affirms in gestures the core of the creed—the existence of the Trinity and the crucifixion of Jesus. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. ‣ L And, in Revelation 22:4, while an angel is leading John on a tour of the New Jerusalem that descended out of heaven, he is told that the servants of God who live in the celestial city will have God’s name on their foreheads. ‣ The sign of the cross is a beautiful gesture which reminds the faithful of both the cross of salvation while invoking the Holy Trinity. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Few actions so clearly distinguish a person as a Catholic in our culture as the Sign of the Cross. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. And she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 53:4, 5, 6, 8b, 11b.) The Sign of the Cross simply affirms in gestures the core of the creed—the existence of the Trinity and the crucifixion of Jesus. The sign of the cross permeates the scriptures of both the old and new testaments. All rights reserved. 1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. This experience is deeply mysterious and no one can plunge its depths fully. In 1215, Pope Innocent III opened the Fourth Lateran Council with a rousing sermon on Ezekiel 9. Publication date: Dec 17, 2020. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ‣ The Cross of Christ Frequently Announced in the Old Testament. The Easter story, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has made the cross likely the most recognized icon on earth. All this is to say that the Sign of the Cross is indeed a distinctly Catholic (and Orthodox) practice, but it is also one that is deeply rooted in both the Old and New Testaments. The cross redefines power in the kingdom. C He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. T Such baptismal language strengthens the connection with the Sign of the Cross, which is accompanied by the words, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”—the same words with which we are baptized. The holiness and justice of God demand that a penalty be paid for sin; Christ took that penalty on Himself on the cross. Through this Bible study we will explore the practice of the prayer and also the enormity of the mystery of the Trinity and the sacrifice of our ever-loving God. Tertullian wrote, "In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting off our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupieth us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross." Instead, it was the Romans of that era who used the cross design to symbolize their gods.Then, about 300 years after Jesus’ death, Roman Emperor Constantine adopted the cross as the emblem of his armies, and it thereafter became associated with the “Christian” church. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. St. Francis, who attended the council, was reportedly so inspired that he embraced the tau (the Greek letter that is the counterpart to the Hebrew letter tav) as the emblem of his order, according to historian Warren Carroll. M Praying the Sign of the Cross traces its origins back to the very early Christians marking a cross on their foreheads. It is often used as a form of prayer. Luke 1:26-38 ESV / 2 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. And, even a Protestant commentator in the same century, British Methodist theologian Adam Clarke, lends it some credence. What a shame many "bible believers" can't see it. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. And the virgin's name was Mary. The evidence is hidden in a book whose very name suggests the unveiling of concealed concealed—a book so filled with tales of beasts, a seven-headed dragon, horse-like locusts, and a two hundred million-strong army of fire-breathing steeds that you might have missed where it talks about anything like the Sign of the Cross: the Book of Revelation. There, the word for mark is tav (that’s the transliterated spelling; a phonetic spelling would be tāw or thau). In the Douay-Rheims translation, the name of the letter, thau, is offered. ‣ 1, 22), that they wanted a supernatural sign, such as the resurrection of the dead, cure of the possessed, and so on that would allow them to believe in the teaching concerning the Cross. That’s also the Hebrew word for the last letter of its alphabet (according to these language sites here and here). N The sign of the cross is a beautiful gesture which reminds the faithful of both the cross of salvation while invoking the Holy Trinity. 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