We are excited to offer a line of luggage and bag tags that have the ichthus symbol printed on the fabric handles of some of our YourBagTags. Many know the ichthus symbol as the "Christian Fish". We thought it would be interesting to offer you a bit of background and history of the ichthus. The extract below is from a blog post entitled "The Meaning of ICHTHUS
" by Del Birkey from his blog - House Church Book. ~Used with family permission.
The Meaning of ICHTHUS/ichthus as an adopted Christian symbol.
In ancient Greco-Roman times, ICHTHUS was the Greek word for “fish.” In the early church sometime near the end of the first century, the word was made into an acronym or a word formed from the first letter of several words. As such, ichthus compiles to “Jesus Christ, God’s son, Savior,” based on this configuration:
• Iota (i) is the first letter of Iesous (Greek for Jesus)
• Chi (kh) is the first letter of Khristos (Greek for Christ)
• Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou (Greek for God, or “God’s)
• Upsilon (u) is the first letter of Huios (Greek for Son)
• Sigma (s) is the first letter of Soter (Greek for Savior)
Known colloquially as “the sign of the fish,” it is reported that in early times it was used by Christians as a secret symbol that all would recognize, whether scratched on walls, rocks, or sand. The simple symbol of the fish is made of two intersecting arcs, the ends extending beyond the meeting point so as to resemble the profile of a fish. It has been suggested that when a Christian met a stranger on the road, he/she sometimes drew one arc of the fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company! The symbol may have also been used by early Christians to mark tombs or even meeting places in a house church.