or Messianic Cross
The Star Cross is a hybrid and symbolises Christianity being 'central' to Judaism. A variation of the symbol represents an alternative, where Judaism is 'central' to Christianity.
.... and of course love is central to both Christianity and Judaism.
The term 'Star Cross' could be applied to several designs and in heraldry a cross with pointed arms is called a Stellated Cross. One such six-pointed star is seen with the Etoile Cross, and others include the
- Bath Star Cross
- Bethlehem Star Cross
- Brunswick Star Cross
- Garter Star Cross
- Sun Cross
- Southern Star Cross
- Northern Star Cross
On this page, we'll look at the Christian cross combined with the Mogen Dovid, the Jewish Star of David.
The Star of David was considered to be a 'cross' in European heraldry. It is sometimes called a Jewish Cross but generally, this is a misnomer - 'emblem', 'medallion' or 'badge' is more accurate than 'cross'.
Judaism denies that Jesus rose again as Christ; therefore the Cross has no significant meaning for Jews. However, entering the Twilight Zone of logic, since Jesus was a Jew, then the cross used to crucify him could be referred to as a Jewish Cross. But we already have a name for that – the True Cross.
The Star of David comprises two triangles, representing the Greek letter for 'D' inverted over the other, which happens to have been King David's royal cipher (since his name began and ended with a 'D'). The symbol represents the town of Bethlehem, first and foremost, the place of Christ's birth.
Like the Crescent Cross, the Star Cross shown on the left is a hybrid and symbolises Christianity being central to Judaism. The symbol is used by Jewish Christians; a sect that retains its Jewish heritage yet believes in Salvation through Jesus, rather than through works. They tend to join Protestant or Catholic churches.
Another group are called Messianic Jews, who believe that Yeshua (Jesus) came as the Messiah, but they continue to worship in the synagogue.
Despite the differences between Judaism and Christianity, the two religions also have fundamental similarities; such as, ethical standards, sacred texts, and belief in the same God. It is not surprising therefore that some people decide to enjoy the best of both worlds.
An alternative arrangement is shown on the left, which can be interpreted as Judaism being central to Christianity. A significant feature of this pattern is that the lines of the star are intertwined with the lines of the cross. (Click the image for an enlarged view.)
The colours used for our image are arbitrary, selected to show the overlapping lines rather than imply any particular meaning. However, red is quite often used in the Christian faith to remind us of the spiritually cleansing blood, shed by Jesus when he was crucified. Blue is often used in the Jewish faith to symbolise the sky, heaven, and by extension, the Divine nature of God. (The blue tint used for this image is copied from the flag of Israel. For an interesting background to the Jewish use of the Mogen Dovid, see the Israeli government's official webpage about the Emblem of Israel.)
Neither the star nor the cross is in front of the other and consequently the symbol does not say that one element should have precedence over the other.
Your own faith will tell you whether the cross or the star is more important and relevant.
Other Star Crosses
The Quaker Star is not an official or universal symbol of the Religious Society of Friends, but the Quaker Service Star (black and red) was used by the Friends War Victims Relief Committee during the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871, and has been used by some Quaker groups since 1917.
...and a cross inside the star of the rather bizarre Raelian movement's logo.
And if you fancy a puzzle, see if you can explain why the star is on this gravestone.