Christianity symbol- the reason behind a crucifix and other symbols

Since the majority of the world populations are christians, finding christianity symbols is actually quite common.

                                               Christianity symbol

In fact, christians broadly classify themselves into three categories. These groups are the Catholics, the Protestants, and the Orthodox. All these groups use different sets of christianity symbols. So, in this article we have decided to list all the important christianity symbols. Furthermore, we are going to describe them in detail for you to understand their meanings better.

Christianity symbol meaning

There are various christianity symbols that christians all over the world use. Also, the different symbols have different meanings.

However, the most well-known christianity symbol is the cross. The cross symbol is a reference to Jesus Christ, the founder of christianity.

The basic forms of the cross are the Latin cross with unequal arms and the Greek cross with equal arms.

The other more complicated variants of the cross are:

  • Tau cross
  • Cross potent
  • Triple-barred cross
  • Cross and crosslets
  • Double-barred cross
  • Cross moline, and a few others.

John Pearson, the Bishop of Chester’s made a commentary on the Apostles creed. He said that the cross was the symbol of crucifixion of Christ, who gave up his life to anoint for the sins of humanity. Also, he described the cross. According to him, the pole of crucifixion was not only a single straight piece of wood. In fact, a transverse beam was also attached to the top of it. This gave it the appearance of a cross.

Most commonly, we see the crucifix with a figure of Christ added on top of it. It was widely in use by christians till the 6th century AD.

The cross symbol was already quite common since the 2nd century AD. Clement of alexandra mentioned the significance of  the number 318 that was used in Genesis 14:14 quite often.

Briefly, he was sure that the number 318 was a reference to the christian cross.

According to him, T, an upright with crossbar, stood for 300 and of Jesus (ΙΗ, the first two letters of his name ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, standing for 18). Thus, the number 318 might be related to the cross itself.

Christianity symbol of faith

Although the most common christianity symbol is of a latin cross, there are many other significant christianity symbols of faith as well. The Latin cross refers to the lower-case t-shaped cross, which is mostly in use today.

Throughout history, these symbols were widely used in religious works of art to communicate a message of faith and bring the worshiper closer to God.

Further, we shall list a few of the important christianity symbols:

  • The Alpha and Omega
  • The Anchor
  • The Angel
  • The Butterfly
  • The Daisy
  • The Descending Dove
  • The Fleur-de-lis
  • The Heart
  • The Ichthus
  • The Latin cross
  • The Nail and,
  • The Star of David.

The Alpha and Omega symbols explain the concept of the beginning and the end. Jesus called himself the Alpha (the first to appear) and the Omega (the last one to prevail on the planet). Thus, this is one of the three main symbols of Christianity.

Further, the anchor is a common christianity symbol. It was often carved on inscriptions and old Roman gems. In brief, it is a symbol of hope and steadfastness.

The Angel literally means “the messenger”. Throughout the old and new testaments of the bible, there have been various references to angels. According to christians, the angels descended on earth to communicate God’s message to the people on Earth.

Consequently, they are the harbinger of news like the birth of baby Jesus in Jerusalem.

Moreover, they also protect us from harm.

Besides the cross, these are the three main christianity symbols. So, they are widely in use by christians all over the world.

What is symbol in religion?

Since the early days, people have associated certain diagrams or figures with their respective religions.These are called symbols.

This is true for all known religions. Somehow, religious symbols help people to feel closer to God. So, they are widely used till date.

What represents Christianity?

The cross is the most used symbol of Christianity. However, among them the latin cross is the most common. Thus, The cross is a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians.

Read Also: Infinity knot: a symbol of knot

However, the protestant cross is different from the catholic cross. The protestant cross does not bear the figure of Christ on it. Further, this is because the protestants believe that Jesus on a crucifix focuses too much on his death. Instead, they like to focus on his resurrection.

Christianity symbol of religion

The cross is the main symbol of christianity. However, there are many others.

We will describe the various other symbols, as well.

The Butterfly is a significant christian symbol. It is used in reference to the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Just like a butterfly develops from a caterpillar to a cocoon and finally to a butterfly, Jesus Christ was also born, then crucified and finally resurrected. So, the butterfly refers to the resurrection of Christ. Thus, it is an important christianity symbol.

Next, we discuss the Daisy symbol of christianity. Daisy is a pure flower. So, it is widely associated with the purity of the virgin Mother Mary.

In Spanish, it is also used to refer to the innocence of baby Jesus.

The symbol of the descending dove is a metaphor for the holy spirit. During Jesus’ baptism, the holy spirit descended upon him just like a dove. It symbolizes purity and peace.

The Fleur-de-lis depicts the holy trinity. It is used to show the concept of resurrection of Jesus as well.

Next, we shall discuss the significance of the heart symbol. People all around judge others  on the basis of their outward appearances. On the contrary, the Lord always pays heed to what is underneath. He looks into the heart of a person. So, the heart symbol denotes charity and the love of God. It also refers to the pure intentions of one’s heart.

We shall discuss the Ichthus christianity symbol in a later section of this article.

Finally, we will discuss the Latin cross symbol.

Now, as we have said before, the Latin cross shows the crucifixion of Christ. It is mostly a gruesome symbol of the suffering of the Lord.

Christianity symbol and description

There are various other christianity symbols that we shall discuss.

Firstly, the Tree of Life symbolizes the healing process and growth of an individual. It represents the tree in the Garden of Eden. It is one of the most famous references in Genesis.

Secondly, the symbol of the nail is obviously a representative of Christ’s love and sacrifice. As the name suggests, it refers to the nails that were fixed into the palms and feet of the Lord during his crucifixion.

Thirdly, the rainbow is a symbol of God’s faithfulness. It depicts his promise to never again destroy the earth by flooding it. It is a work of his grace. Also, in scriptures, a rainbow surrounds the throne of the Lord.

Fourthly, various symbols of candles and lights are used in reference to christianity. Often, the holy scriptures refer to the Lord as being “the light of the world”. Thus, this acts as a guiding light for people worldwide. The light of the world banishes darkness of the world.

Christianity symbol

Fifth, the Christian circle is a symbol of eternity. Likewise, Christian wedding rings symbolize eternal love. Further, the exchange of rings is considered to be an outward expression of the inward bond.

Christianity symbol

The lamb of God (Agnus dei) portrays the Lord himself. Lamb, as an animal, denotes purity and innocence. Similarly, the Lamb of God represents Jesus Christ as the “sacrificial lamb”. Jesus punished himself for the sins committed by humans by offering himself as a sacrifice as a form of penance.

Christianity symbol

Finally, The Holy Bible is the word of God. Consequently, it is a handbook for christians to lead a pure and blissful life. Christians all over the world respect the holy book and the ideals it emphasizes.

Christianity symbol

Why is the Christianity symbol a fish?

The christian symbol of the fish demands a special significance. It was mainly used as a secret language for the early christians.

Moreover, it is an acronym which translates into English as ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior’.

When Jesus Christ is portrayed as the son of God, it gives him a humanly and divine nature at the same time.

In Matthew 13:47-50, the Parable of Drawing in the Net, there is a mention of fish as well. Here, Lord Jesus explains the differences between good and bad people to the fishermen, very simply. Firstly, he compares the bad people to the ‘bad fish’ that a fisherman might catch. On the contrary, the ‘good fish’ are the good people. In conclusion, he says that one must be alert to segregate the good and bad fish. The bad fish leads you down a bad path, whereas the good ones bring prosperity in life. So, keeping bad people away from one’s life is a crucial thing to do.

It is also known as the Trinity. Further, it is a major symbol of Christianity. Of course, the trinity refers to the holy communion of the son, the father and the Holy Spirit. It is also known as the Triquetra and is used to represent a three-part interlocking fish symbol for the Christian trinity.

Christianity symbol

Even today, the Ichthus Music Festival is an annual large outdoor Christian music festival held in mid-June in Wilmore, Kentucky. In fact, it is the oldest Christian music festival in the United States, starting in 1970.

Christianity symbol

Different Christianity symbols

Of course, the most famous of all christian symbols is the sign of the cross.

In fact, there are many different crosses that people have used in reference to christianity, time and again.

Obviously the Latin cross (small t-shaped) is the most famous version. In fact, it is the most widely used variation of the cross. It is also known as the crucifix and it stands as a picture of Christ’s sacrifice for humans.

Christianity symbol

Secondly, the Greek cross also has a similar significance. However, instead of having a long arm at the bottom, all of its four arms are of equal length.

Christianity symbol

Saint Anthony was the head of all christian monks. Thus, a different type of cross was reserved for him. It is known as the Tau cross or the Abbot cross.

Next, the upside-down cross has a great importance.

St. Peter was one of the twelve apostles of Christ. He deemed himself unworthy of being crucified in the same manner as Jesus. Thus, they crucified him upside-down. Since then, this cross has been widely in use by christians.

Further, the Maltese cross is a unique one. It is eight-pointed and is made up of four distinct V-shapes. It was most commonly associated with the Knights Hospitaller.

Next, the Celtic cross is almost similar to the Latin cross. It has a circle surrounding the center of the four arms. However, it was mainly popular from the 9th to the 12th centuries and was commonly used in Great Britain, and France.

Also, the orthodox cross is a more detailed version of the Latin cross. A slanted line towards the bottom of the cross represents the two thieves that were crucified on either side of Christ.

Why is the peacock a Christianity symbol?

Ancient pagan texts said that a peacock’s flesh never decayed. Consequently, a peacock symbol came to use in Christianity. This symbol stands for resurrection and eternal life. In fact, the peacock was just an elaborate artistic symbol. So, there might not be an exact relation but over the years, christians have associated peacocks with resurrection.

However, all of this is based on a surprising argument.

Everyone loves looking at peacocks due to the plethora of blue and green on its feathers.

Medieval legends formed certain theories. They thought that these colors actually came from their special diet. Peacocks could kill poisonous snakes, and ingest its poison to form these beautiful colors on its feathers. This procedure found a certain christian symbolism.

Christ became “the sin” while sacrificing his life for the human beings. Also, he then rose from the dead with his glorified body and wounds having conquered the powers of evil.

Thus, despite the existing biological inaccuracies, Christians view the peacock as a religious symbol.

Christianity symbol FAQs

1.   Why are symbols important in Christianity?

Ans: The use of symbols is common in almost all religions. Likewise, christians also used a variety of symbols since the early centuries. Artists mainly use them in religious works of arts. In fact, these symbols make the worshippers feel closer to God.

2.   What is the main symbol of christianity?

Ans: The Cross is the most important symbol of Christianity. It commemorates Jesus’ death on the cross and thus the central event of the Christian faith. On the one hand, the cross represents the sacrificial death of Jesus, but at the same time it symbolizes his resurrection from the dead.

3.   What are the three main symbols of christianity?

Ans: Although christianity uses many symbols in general, there are three most important ones. Firstly, the cross has the utmost significance. Secondly, the fish is a common symbol of christianity and represents trinity. Finally, the third symbol is the Greek letters alpha and omega. We have discussed these symbols in detail in the earlier sections.

4.   What does a key symbolize in the Bible?

Ans: Traditionally, a key symbolizes teaching authority among christians. For example, Christ entrusted St. Peter and his family members with teaching authority over the new house of david. In fact, St. Peter was the bishop of Rome.

5.   What is the hearth of Christianity?

Ans: The religion of Christianity began in Jerusalem, making Jerusalem the cultural hearth of the religion. After starting in Jerusalem, Christianity spread through the region by hierarchical diffusion.

6.   Is christianity monotheistic?

Ans: Unlike hinduism, christianity and islam are monotheistic. That means that these religions believe in the presence of only one God. They also do not believe in forms of idol worship.

7.   Why is the Star of David important?

Ans: The star of David emerged as an important symbol of the jews. The jews  slightly altered the cross worn by Christians.  Also, it was a simple emblem of Judaism.

8.   How is the Star of David in use today?

Ans: By the end of the First World War, the Star of David had become an internationally accepted symbol for the Jewish people. In   fact, one could also see it on the gravestones of the martyred Jewish soldiers. Today, the national flag of the  State of Israel uses the star as the central symbol.

9.   Why is the crucifix a symbol of Christianity?

Ans: Jesus died on the cross and the crucifix reminds the Christians of Jesus’ sacrifice. They also believe that this act of Christ, brought redemption to human race. Apart from the cross, the crucifix might also have a figurine of Jesus nailed to the cross.

About the author: mike

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