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Carry one's cross

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on July 28, 2009 at 20:46

In Reply to: Carry one's cross posted by David FG on July 28, 2009 at 17:14:

: : What is the origin of the phrase "carry one's cross"? Seems to have been a pre-Christ phrase, since Jesus himself used it while talking to the disciples (Please refer extract below)

: : Luke 14:26-28 (New International Version) "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

: : "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

: Well, crucifixion was a well-established method of execution before Jesus, so that might have something to do with it.


I don't think the fact that Luke (also Matthew) put that phrase into Jesus' mouth imply that at all. Even if you take the view that the gospel of Luke is an accurate report of what Jesus said, it is not hard to envisage Jesus using this phrase in foreknowledge of, and in reference to, the manner of his death. If on the other hand you believe that it is an account, written at least 30 years and possibly 70 years after the event, of what late 1st-century Christians remembered Jesus saying / imagined he might have said / thought he ought to have said, it's just as easy to imagine the writer ascribing a phrase that by that time was commonplace in Christian preaching to Jesus himself. (VSD)