About the History of the Christian Fish Symbol
Akili Kumasi says:
In recent years the Christian Fish Symbol can be seen affixed to the back of cars, as key chains and in other very visible locations as Christians use it to demonstrate to the world that they are believers in the only one true God.
The Origin of the Christian Fish Symbol
The origin of the popular Christian Fish Symbol is believed to have been in the early years of the church after Jesus’
ascension into heaven. Because the church was growing rapidly it was the target of persecution by both the Romans and
One usage of the symbol was as a sort of secret code. When a Christian met someone they thought was a fellow believer they would scratch the top arch of the symbol in the ground. If the other person was also a believer in Christ he would complete the fish symbol by drawing the lower inverted arch.
Another reported use for the Christian Fish Symbol in the early church was as a pointer to secret meetings which would be scratched on the ground or on a rock.
Sixteenth Century Christians
In later times (around the 16th Century) Christians used the symbol in a more open and declarative fashion. The Greek word was added to the body of the fish. or Ichthusis or Ichthys is the Greek word used most often
in the Bible for the word fish.
Christians used the Greek letters from the word ??T?S (Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma) as an acronym to represent “Isesous Christos Theou Uios Soter” or “Jesus Christ God’s Son, Savior.”
Why Christians Use the Symbol of a Fish?
Christians may have used the fish as a symbol for their faith because of how Jesus used fish in His ministry. Some of those references include the following: Jesus told Peter and Andrew that He would make them fishers of men (Mark 1:17). Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:17). After Jesus resurrection, He appeared to His disciples and directed them to a miraculous catch of fish and He cooked a breakfast of fish for them (John 21:6-9).
Christians today represent the Christian Fish Symbol in various ways including: the Greek letters ??T?S, with a cross, with JESUS in the body of the fish or just plain without any letters.
Akili Kumasi is the President of GIL Publications (http://www.gilpublications.com) and the author of numerous articles and books including the Bible Word Search Book Series (puzzles with scripture), Fun Meals for Fathers and Sons: Recipes & Activities for Bonding & Mentoring and On the Outside Looking in: Hope for Separated Fathers Who Want To Be Good