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The Bible and Archaeology

Which tree common in the American South bears a Christian symbol?

The dogwood tree. Lore has it that long ago, the dogwood tree was taller and stronger than the pine and the oak. When people came to chop down a tree to make Jesus’ cross, the tree cried at having to be used for such an ignoble purpose. Jesus heard the tree’s cry, and promised it that, because of its compassion, it would never be used for such a task again. From then on, dogwoods did not grow tall and strong. Now they grow to be slender, delicate trees. In the spring, when the dogwood tree blooms with pink and white blossoms, each flower bears the marks of the crucifixion. Each flower has four petals, and thus resembles a cross. The tip of each petal looks torn and has a reddish-brown color, as if to suggest blood. The center of each flower resembles a crown.


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