Jesus Fish - What is it?
The Jesus fish is a well recognized symbol consisting of two curved lines that resemble the image of a fish. The symbol is also known as an Ichthys (coming from the ancient Greek word for fish). IXÈYÓ is an acronym coming from the first letter of words that mean “Jesus Christ God’s Son is Savior.”
Those words are:
- I – Iota or Iesous - Greek for Jesus
- X – Chi or Christos - Greek for Christ
- È – Theta or Theou - Greek for God
- Y – Upsilon or Yios/Huios - Greek for Son
- Ó – Sigma or Soter - Greek for Savior
Jesus Fish - What is it used for?
The Jesus fish is a symbol of Christianity that reemerged in popularity in the mid 1960's and can be seen today on everything from religious clothing to auto bumper stickers. Those who want to identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ often display the Jesus fish on things such as their key chains, car windows, and business cards.
The Christian or Jesus fish logo is also used in company and store ads to attract consumers looking for businesses that operate with Christian integrity and ethics. The fish also publicizes businesses that carry Christian items such as Bibles, books, and Christian music. In this age of technology, the Jesus fish can also been seen in web sites and personal emails as <><.
Jesus Fish – What are the origins?
The Jesus fish is perhaps the earliest symbol for Christianity. Some reports of its use date back to the end of the 1st Century AD and it is believed to predate the symbol of the cross. The fish is reported to have given Christians a simple means by which to identify themselves as believers in a time of persecution. This was a time when Christians began to come against pagan emperors and others who called themselves gods. As Christians proclaimed the sin of idol worship and false saviors, it was important to boldly stand on and state their beliefs even though it placed them in danger.
Fish are talked about many times throughout the New Testament Gospels. The symbol probably came about because of those references. One of the most notable is found in Matthew 4:19. Many of Jesus’ original disciples were fishermen by profession. He told them that if they would follow Him, He would make them fishers of men. The symbolism to these fishermen represented their commission to bring souls into the knowledge and recognition of Jesus as the Savior. Spreading the good news of Jesus is at the very heart of the calling of all Christians still today.
There are other biblical scriptures that include fish such as the miracle Jesus performed by feeding five thousand listeners when He multiplied a young boy’s “five small loaves and two fishes.” This story is told in all four Gospels, Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9 and John 6. The Jesus fish is a symbol that says, with Jesus the Savior, all things are possible.
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