Q: #357. The Bible says in several verses that Jesus was "hanged on a tree." Could Jesus have been crucified on a tree and not a cross?
By: Steve Shirley
A: There are 5 verses that talk about Jesus being hanged on a "tree" (Acts 5:30)(Acts 10:39)(Acts 13:29)(Gal 3:13)(1 Pet 2:24). The Greek word for "tree" that is used in these verses is "xulon," which basically means "wood, a piece of wood, anything made of wood" (Strong's Concordance). In other words, it does not literally mean "a tree." If Jesus had been hung from an actual "tree," the Greek word "dendron" would have been used.
The "cross" is mentioned 28 times in the New Testament. The Greek word "stauros" is used for "cross," which according Strong's, means: "a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (spec.) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment). In addition to this, history has clearly shown us that the cross was a form of Roman execution. Both Biblical and historical evidence points to an actual cross being used to murder Jesus, as opposed to "a tree." (Also, consider that Simon was compelled to carry the cross (not a tree) for Jesus on the way to His execution: Mk 15:21.)