[CF Devotionals] 2012-05-15 - The meaning of <IXOYE><

Blessings and peace to you, my friends, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have you ever seen the fish <><, <JESUS><, or the <IXOYE>< symbol on the back of cars and wondered what that was? Perhaps you have it on something yourself. I have seen the symbol, as you probably have, in a number of places such as on cars, T-shirts, as a pendant, and it's embroidered on my Bible cover. My colleague Mike has it in the signature line on his e-mails. I have even seen it as part of a wedding band that my friends, both husband and wife, wear. It's actually very pretty, the way they have it. They are both born-again Christians but she is a born again Jew. She did not want to wear a diamond on her finger. Instead, she wanted to wear the Star of David in place of a diamond. My friend purchased two wide ring bands, and had the fish symbol engraved on each side of the ring, pointing upward to the Star of David in the center - like this ><>*<><. They are very pretty rings. I use to wonder what it was and what it meant.

So what does the <IXOYE>< symbol actually mean?

After a little research, I found out that IXOYE is the Greek word for "fish". Phonetically spelled in English, the word is ichthus. It was a used as an anagram by members of the early Christian church to identify themselves. It means "Jesus Christ - Son of God - Savior". The first letter in Greek, iota, looks like the English "I"; it is the first letter for the Greek word for "Jesus." Chi, the second Greek letter that looks like the English "X", is the first letter for the Greek word for "Christ." Theta is the third Greek letter, similar in appearance to the English "O"; the Greek word for "God" begins with theta. The fourth letter in Greek, which looks like the English "Y", is the first letter for the Greek word for "Son". It is upsilon. The final letter in IXOYE is a sigma. A sigma resembles a stylized English "E" and is the first letter of theGreek word for "Savior."

In the Greek:

I - Iota - Jesus
X - Chi - Christ
O - Theta - God's
Y - Upsilon - Son
E - Sigma - Savior

According to legend, in the days of the persecution of the early Christian church, one arc of Ichthus was sketched in the sand or dirt when a believer met a stranger. If the stranger were a believer also, he would then respond by drawing the second arc, and the two would know it was safe to discuss the Lord without fear of harm.

Today, the Ichthus is seen frequently to signify a person's Christian faith.

When someone that does not know Jesus as their Savior in the pardon of their sin would ask you about the symbol, it is a good time to be able to tell them about "Jesus Christ - Son of God - Savior." And others that are Christians will enjoy learning about the symbol as well.

I like the <IXOYE>< fish symbol, because it keeps reminding me Christ died for my sins, and that He is my Lord and Savior.

God Bless you my Friends!.
Rob

[email rob] rob@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org