Cross

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notmartha
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Cross

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Crosses, in varying forms, have been pagan symbols and tools of torture for thousands of years, but somehow these pagan symbols morphed into purportedly "Christian" symbols, mostly due to the lying, scheming, Mithras worshipping Constantine. More on Constantine later, but here are some definitions to show how both secular and religious source have used "cross" as a term of art:

Smith’s Bible Dictionary, William Smith, 1884
CROSS
As the emblem of a slave's death and a murderer's punishment, the cross was naturally looked upon with the profoundest horror. But after the celebrated vision of Constantine, he ordered his friends to make a cross of gold and gems, such as he had seen, and "the towering eagles resigned the flags unto the cross," and "the tree of cursing and shame" "sat upon the sceptres and was engraved and signed on the foreheads of kings." (Jer. Taylor, "Life of Christ," iii., xv. 1.) The new standards were called by the name Labarum, and may be seen on the coins of Constantine the Great and his nearer successors. The Latin cross on which our Lord suffered, was in the form of the letter T, and had an upright above the cross-bar, on which the "title" was placed. There was a projection from the central stem, on which the body of the sufferer rested. This was to prevent the weight of the body from tearing away the hands. Whether there was also a support to the feet (as we see in pictures) is doubtful. An inscription was generally placed above the criminal's head, briefly expressing his guilt, and generally was carried before him. It was covered with white gypsum, and the letter were black.
Easton's Bible Dictionary, Matthew George Easton, 1897
Cross

In the New Testament the instrument of crucifixion, and hence used for the crucifixion of Christ itself (Eph 2:16; Heb 12:2; 1Co 1:17, 18; Gal 5:11; Gal 6:12, 14; Php 3:18). The word is also used to denote any severe affliction or trial (Mat 10:38; Mat 16:24; Mark 8:34; Mark 10:21).
The forms in which the cross is represented are these:
1. The crux simplex (I), a "single piece without transom."
2. The crux decussata (X), or St. Andrew's cross.
3. The crux commissa (T), or St. Anthony's cross.
4. The crux immissa (t), or Latin cross, which was the kind of cross on which our Saviour died. Above our Lord's head, on the projecting beam, was placed the "title." (See CRUCIFIXION.)
After the conversion, so-called, of Constantine the Great (B.C. 313), the cross first came into use as an emblem of Christianity. He pretended at a critical moment that he saw a flaming cross in the heavens bearing the inscription, "In hoc signo vinces", i.e., By this sign thou shalt conquer, and that on the following night Christ himself appeared and ordered him to take for his standard the sign of this cross. In this form a new standard, called the Labarum, was accordingly made, and borne by the Roman armies. It remained the standard of the Roman army till the downfall of the Western empire. It bore the embroidered monogram of Christ, i.e., the first two Greek letters of his name, X and P (chi and rho), with the Alpha and Omega. (See A.)
labarum.JPG
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Labarum
Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1828
CROSS, noun [G., Latin ]
1. A gibbet consisting of two pieces of timber placed across each other, either in form of a T or of an X. That on which our Savior suffered, is represented on coins and other monuments, to have been of the former kind.
2. The ensign of the Christian religion; and hence figuratively, the religion itself.
3. A monument with a cross upon it to excite devotion, such as were anciently set in market places.
4. Any thing in the form of a cross or gibbet.
5. A line drawn through another.
6. Any thing that thwarts, obstructs, or perplexes; hindrance; vexation; misfortune; opposition; trial of patience.
Heaven prepares good men with crosses.
7. Money or coin stamped with the figure of a cross
8. The right side or face of a coin, stamped with a cross
9. The mark of a cross instead of a signature, on a deed, formerly impressed by those who could not write.
10. Church lands in Ireland.
11. In theology, the suffering of Christ by crucifixion.
That he might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross Ephesians 2:16.
12. The doctrine of Christs sufferings and of the atonement, or of salvation by Christ.
The preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:17. Galatians 5:11.
To take up the cross is to submit to troubles and afflictions from love to Christ.
13. In mining, two nicks cut in the surface of the earth, thus +.
Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1856
CROSS. contracts.

1. A mark made by persons who are unable to write, instead of their names.
2. When properly attested, and proved to have been made by the party whose name is written with the mark, it is generally admitted as evidence of the party's signature.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 1st Edition, 1891, 2nd Edition, 1910
CROSS.
A mark made by persons who are unable to write, to stand instead of a signature; usually made in the form of a Maltese cross.

As an adjective, the word is applied to various demands and proceedings which are connected in subject-matter, but opposite or contradictory in purpose or object.
The Century Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, 1895
crosses in Century 1895.JPG
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(More on these crosses individually later)


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 1919
Cross1 (-aw-, -o-), n.

Stake (usu. with transverse bar) used by the ancients for crucifixion, esp. that on which Christ was crucified ; model of this as religious emblem ; sign of c. made with right hand as religious act ; staff surmounted with c. & borne before archbishop or in processions ; c.-bearer, person who carries this ; monument in form of c, esp. (also market-c.) one in centre of town ; Christian religion ; trial, affliction ; annoyance; c. -shaped thing; (Southern) C, a constellation ; Greek c. (upright with limbs of equal length) ; Latin c. (with long lower limb) ; St Andrew's c. (like X) ; Tau c, c. of St Anthony, (like T) ; Maltese c. (with equal limbs, narrow where they join & widening out towards outer extremities, which are indented) ; fiery c, Scotch signal (orig. two bloody sticks) sent through district to rouse inhabitants ; decoration in orders of knighthood (Grand C, highest degree of this ; Victoria C, decoration for personal valour) ;
Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, James A. Ballentine, Third Edition, 1969
cross.
The symbol of the Christian Faith: the mark which a voter uses in expressing his choice of a candidate whose name appears upon a written ballot, any kind of a cross being sufficient for this purpose, the only requirement being that two lines cross one another at a common center. Winn v Blackman. 229 III 198. 82 NE 215.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, 5th Edition, 1979
CROSS.

A mark made by persons who are unable to write, to stand instead of a signature. A mark usually in the form of an X, by which voters are commonly required to express their selection. There are four principal forms of the cross: The St. Andrew's cross, which is made in the form of an X ; the Latin cross, t, as used in the crucifixion; St. Anthony's cross, which is made in the form of a T; and the Greek cross, +, which is made by the intersection at right angles of lines at their center point. Hunt v. Campbell, 19 Ariz. 254, 169 P. 596, 610.
William Cooper's Mystery Babylon: 35 – From Babylon to Christianity
In those early days of the real Church -- the real Church, Christ's Church, who practiced exactly what he taught them -- great, great changes began to take place that have affected us right up to this very day. What a shock it must have been when Constantine professed a conversion to Christianity after stating that he'd seen the vision of a cross in the sky. And some accounts say that he didn't see it in the sky during daylight, that he saw it in a dream. And ladies and gentlemen, because he never accepted Christ during his entire life, and in fact was a pagan sun worshiper, I question whether he ever saw a cross at all. You see, because history says and records very clearly, that Constantine never accepted Christ as his savior. He never really followed the teachings of Christ. He was, in fact, a sun worshiper He practiced the Mystery Religion of Babylon. But he was, in fact, the Emperor of Rome. Rome very quickly became, ladies and gentlemen, the Catholic Church, and the Roman Emperor became the Pope. He had to do this to save the Empire.
https://deceivedworld.blogspot.com/2010 ... -from.html

The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, 1853

The Sign of the Cross, reprinted from Chapter V, Section VI
The Sign of the Cross by Alexander Hislop.pdf
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The Works of Flavius Josephus.
8. On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip their enemies that were slain, they got the bodies of Saul and of his sons, and stripped them, and cut off their heads; and they sent messengers all about their country, to acquaint them that their enemies were fallen; and they dedicated their armor in the temple of Astarte, but hung their bodies on crosses at the walls of the city Bethshun, which is now called Scythepolls.
Some time after this [two eunuchs], Bigthan and Teresh, plotted against the king; and Barnabazus, the servant of one of the eunuchs, being by birth a Jew, was acquainted with their conspiracy, and discovered it to the queen's uncle; and Mordecai, by the means of Esther, made the conspirators known to the king. This troubled the king; but he discovered the truth, and hanged the eunuchs upon a cross, while at that time he gave no reward]: to Mordecai, who had been the occasion of his preservation.
But my will is, that those who disobey these injunctions, and make them void, shall be hung upon a cross, and their substance brought into the king's treasury."
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notmartha
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Re: Cross

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In Appendix 162 of the Companion Bible, Bullinger writes of the cross and the crucifixion:
“In the Greek N.T. two words are used for "the cross", on which the Lord was put to death.

1. The word stauros; which denotes an upright pale or stake, to which the criminals were nailed for execution.
2. The word xulon, which generally denotes a piece of a dead log of wood or timber, for fuel or for any other purpose. It is not like dendron, which is used of a living, or green tree, as in Matt. 21:8. Rev. 7:1, 3; 8:7; 9:4, &c.

As this latter word xulon is used for the former stauros, it shows us that the meaning of each is exactly the same.
The verb stauros means to drive stakes (*1).

Our English word "cross" is the translation of the Latin crux; but the Greek stauros no more means a crux than the word "stick" means a "crutch".

Homer uses the word stauros of an ordinary pole or stake, or a single piece of timber (*2). And this is the meaning and usage of the word throughout the Greek classics (*3).

It never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always of one piece alone.

Hence the use of the word xulon (No. 2, above) in connection with the manner of our Lord's death, and rendered "tree" in Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29. Gal. 3:13. 1Pet. 2:24. This is preserved in our old Eng. name rood, or rod. See the Encycl. Brit., 11th (Camb.) ed., vol. 7, p. 505 d.

There is nothing in the Greek of the N.T. even to imply two pieces of timber.”
Stauros, Greek Strong's #4716, is found in the NT of the KJV 28 times, always translated as “cross”:

Matthew 10:38 -
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.


Matthew 16:24 -
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.
Matthew 27:32 -
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
Matthew 27:40 -
And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
Matthew 27:42 -
He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
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.
Mark 10:21 -
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mark 15:21 -
And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
Mark 15:30 -
Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
Mark 15:32 -
Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
Luke 9:23 -
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.


Luke 14:27 -
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Luke 23:26 -
And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.


John 19:17 -
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
John 19:19 -
And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
John 19:25 -
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
John 19:31 -
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
1 Corinthians 1:17 -
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
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.
Galatians 5:11 -
And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
Galatians 6:12 -
As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Galatians 6:14 -
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Ephesians 2:16 -
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Philippians 2:8 -
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 3:18 -
(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Colossians 1:20 -
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Colossians 2:14 -
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Hebrews 12:2 -
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Xylon, Greek Strong's #3586, is found in the NT of the KJV 19 times, translated as tree, staff, wood, stocks. It is used for a tree in connection to the Lord’s death in the following verses:

Acts 5:30 -
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Acts 10:39 -
And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Acts 13:29 -
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
Galatians 3:13 -
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:
1 Peter 2:24 -
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Bullinger continues on in Appendix 162:
The letter chi, C, the initial of the word Christ (Xristos), was originally used for His Name; or Xr. This was superseded by the symbols Image and Image , and even the first of these had four equal arms.
These crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian sun-god, Å, and are first seen on a coin of Julius Caesar, 100-44 B.C., and then on a coin struck by Caesar's heir (Augustus), 20 B.C. (*4).

On the coins of Constantine the most frequent symbol is Image ; 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 (EUSEBIUS, Vit. Const. I. 37).

The evidence is the same as to the pre-Christian (phallic) symbol in Asia, Africa, and Egypt, whether we consult Nineveh by Sir A. H. Layard (ii. 213), or Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, iii. pp. 24, 26, 43, 44, 46, 52, 82, 136.

Dr Schliemann gives the same evidence in his Ilios (1880), recording his discoveries on the site of prehistoric Troy. See pp. 337 ,350, 353, 521, 523.

Dr Max Ohnefalsch-Richter gives the same evidence from Cyprus; and these are "the oldest extant Phoenician inscriptions"; see his Kypos, the Bible, and Homer: Oriental Civilization, Art, and Religion in Ancient Times, Plates XIX, XXV, XXVI, XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XL, LVIII, LXIX, &c.

The Catacombs in Rome bear the same testimony: "Christ" is never represented there as "hanging on a cross", and the cross itself is only portrayed in a veiled and hesitating manner. In the Egyptian churches the cross was a pagan symbol of life, borrowed by the Christians, and interpreted in the pagan manner.

See the Encycl. Brit. 11th (Camb.) ed., vol. 14, p. 273.

In his Letters from Rome Dean Burgon says: "I question whether a cross occurs on any Christian monument of the first four centuries".

In Mrs. Jameson's famous History of our Lord as Exemplified in Works of Art, she says (vol. ii. p. 315): "It must be owned that ancient objects of art, as far as hitherto known, afford no corroboration of the use of the cross in the simple transverse form familiar to us, at any period preceding, or even closely succeeding, the time of Chrysostom"; and Chrysostom wrote half a century after Constantine!

"The Invention of the Cross" by Helena the mother of Constantine (in 326), though it means her finding of the cross, may or may not be true; but the "invention" of it in pre-Christian times, and the "invention" of its use in later times, are truths of which we need to be reminded in the present day. The evidence is thus complete, that the Lord was put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two pieces of timber placed at any angle.
________________________________________
(*1) There are two compounds of it used: sustauroo = to put any one thus to death with another (Matt. 27:44. Mark 15:32. John 19:32. Rom. 6:6. Gal. 2:20); and anastauroo = to raise up and fix upon the stake again (Heb. 6:6). Another word used is equally significant: porspegnumi = to fix or fasten anything (Acts 2:23).
(*2) Iliad xxiv. 453. Odyssey xiv. 11.
(*3) e.g. Thucydides iv. 90. Xenophon, Anabasis v. 2. 21.
(*4) Other coins with this symbol were struck by Augustus, also by Hadrian and other Roman emperors. See Early Christian Numismatics, by C. W. King, M.A.
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notmartha
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Re: Cross

Post by notmartha »

I don't know what shape the wood that Jesus was hung on was. There is disagreement, even between Christians, whether it was two pieces of wood, intersected, or a stake of some sort. Like Bullinger's interpretation (noted above), the Jehovah's Witnesses think he was hung on a stake. See HERE and HERE.

In Foxes Book of Martyrs, written in the 1500's, there are many, many examples of the murders of Christians using both crosses and stakes. They were often punished for not making the sign of the cross, or for refusing to kiss a wooden cross. What I found interesting, was that stakes were always used with the intent of burning someone to death, while crosses did not involve this burning.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/history ... f-martyrs/

Whether Jesus was hung on one piece of wood, or two, is irrelevant to the fact that crosses were always pagan symbols, and imo should not be kissed, bowed to, or adored by Christians.
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notmartha
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Re: Cross

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notmartha wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 12:49 pm The Century Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, 1895






crosses in Century 1895.JPG (60.62 KiB) Viewed 42 times





(More on these crosses individually later)
1. Cross of Calvary –

The Calvary Cross, or Golgotha Cross, is usually a Latin cross mounted on three steps or degrees, which are considered as symbolizing Faith, Hope, and Charity, and/or the incline of the hill on Golgotha. Golgotha, meaning “the place of the skull”, is the hill where Christ was crucified.

Kranion, Greek Strong's #2898, is translated as “skull” and “calvary” in the KJV of the NT.
Golgotha, Greek Strong's #1115, is a word of Chaldee origin meaning the skull.

Matthew 27:33-35 - And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Mark 15:22 - And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

John 19:16-18 - Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

Luke 23:33 - And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary, William Smith, 1884
GOLGOTHA Gol'gotha (skull), the Hebrew name of the spot at which our Lord was crucified. Matt 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17 By these three evangelists it is interpreted to mean the "place of a skull." Two explanations of the name are given:
(1) that it was a spot where executions ordinarily took place, and therefore abounded in skulls; or
(2) it may come from the look or form of the spot itself, bald, round and skull-like, and therefore a mound or hillock, in accordance with the common phrase—for which there is no direct authority—"Mount Calvary." Whichever of these is the correct explanation, Golgotha seems to have been a known spot.
Easton's Bible Dictionary, Matthew George Easton, 1897
Calvary

Only in Luke 23:33, the Latin name Calvaria, which was used as a translation of the Greek word Kranion, by which the Hebrew word Gulgoleth was interpreted, "the place of a skull." It probably took this name from its shape, being a hillock or low, rounded, bare elevation somewhat in the form of a human skull. It is nowhere in Scripture called a "hill." The crucifixion of our Lord took place outside the city walls (Heb 13:11-13) and near the public thoroughfare. "This thing was not done in a corner." (See GOLGOTHA.)
Golgotha

The common name of the spot where Jesus was crucified. It is interpreted by the evangelists as meaning "the place of a skull" (Mat 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). This name represents in Greek letters the Aramaic word Gulgaltha, which is the Hebrew Gulgoleth (Num 1:2; 1Ch 23:3, 24; 2Ki 9:35), meaning "a skull." It is identical with the word Calvary (q.v.). It was a little knoll rounded like a bare skull. It is obvious from the evangelists that it was some well-known spot outside the gate (Compare Heb 13:12), and near the city (Luke 23:26), containing a "garden" (John 19:41), and on a thoroughfare leading into the country. Hence it is an untenable idea that it is embraced within the present "Church of the Holy Sepulchre." The hillock above Jeremiah's Grotto, to the north of the city, is in all probability the true site of Calvary. The skull-like appearance of the rock in the southern precipice of the hillock is very remarkable.
Here is a version of the cross on a Russian Military Flag c.1650
Image

Sometimes, especially in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, a skull is present at the foot of the cross, which may or may not have a second cross bar (see Cross 5 above). One example is the Russian Calvary Cross, which is usually found on a monk’s robe:
Image

The steps symbolize the slope to Calvary. The Holy Lance on the left wounded Christ’s side, and the pole on the right was topped with a hyssop sponge w/ vinegar. The skull is supposedly Adam’s skull, who was supposedly buried at Golgotha some 3,000ish years earlier, and whose skull remained in the same place even after the devastation of the flood. The right arm bone is usually above the left arm bone, and in Orthodox communion, this is how they are to fold their arms across their chests. The abbreviations are in Church Slavonic.

This painting called Crucifixion by Andrea Mantegna, c. 1457-59, is hanging at the Louvre, Paris, France. You can see (at least) three steps up to the cross, and the skull at the base.
Image

The skull and crossbones has been in use as a symbol of mortality for thousands of years. I have not been able to find a link between the Golgotha Cross (w/ or w/o skull) and any pre-Christ history. It is interesting to note that freemasons have 3 degrees/steps of initiation - Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master Mason.

"The word degree, in its primitive meaning, signifies a step. The degrees of Freemasonry are, then, the steps by which the candidate ascends from a lower to a higher condition of knowledge." Albert G. Mackey, The Encyclopedia of Freemasonry , 1873.
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