Cross: In the New Testament the instrument of crucifixion, and hence used for
the crucifixion of Christ itself
(Ephesians 2:16; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:17,18)
(Galatians 5:11; 6:12,14; Philippians 3:18) The word is also used to denote any severe
affliction or trial
(Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; 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."
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.