This photo (below) is of an early Christian ichthys symbol carved into some marble in the ruins of Ephesus, Turkey.
Briefly, the fish symbol is based on a Greek acronym for the phrase Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior. In Greek, the phrase is Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ. When we take the first letter from each word in that phrase, we have ΙΧΘΥΣ, which happens to be the Greek word for “fish” (ixthus or icthus—the spelling can vary in English).– Got Questions
Do you know the Fish?
During the first 300 years, Roman persecution of Christians required a way for Christians to find each other. When a Christian came upon a stranger, the Christian would take their staff and draw an arc in the dust. If the stranger were a Christian, they would take their staff and complete the symbol by drawing the opposite arc, thereby creating a fish symbol.
The fish is an apt symbol for Christianity since Jesus, during His earthly ministry, used and referred to fish in many places (Matthew 12:38-45, John 21:11, Mark 1:16-18). And the Greek acronym for the phrase Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior, spells the word Fish. Fish is the Gospel of Jesus in just five words. There is a lot packed into just two arcs and five Greek letters!
We need to learn what the early Church knew
We should learn the invaluable lesson that the early Church has taught countless believers throughout the past two-thousand years. This lesson is critical for Christians today. The lesson is this: No matter how tough it gets, no matter what the cost, no matter how great is the risk, Christians need other Christians. Our challenge is not too much, our cost not too great, our risk not too high for you and I to fellowship together in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.– Romans 1:16
So, do you know the Fish?
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