Logos (symbols) with Meaning (That We Never Even Noticed)
Cross and crucifix
Alpha and Omega
Chi Rho: is one of the earliest cruciform symbols used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters of the word “Christ” in Greek, chi = ch and rho = r. Although not technically a cross, the Chi Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ. The earliest evidence of the Chi Rho symbol is Constantine’s use of it on the labarum, the imperial standard, in the early 4th century CE. Lactantius, a 4th century Christian apologist, reports that on the eve of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE, Constantine had a vision of God in which he was commanded to mark his men’s shields with the Chi Rho symbol. After Constantine’s success at the Milvian bridge, the Chi Rho became the official imperial insignia. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence demonstrating that the Chi Rho was emblazoned on the helmet and shield of Constantine as well as those of all of his soldiers. Coins and medallions minted during Constantine’s reign also bore the Chi Rho. By the year 350 CE, the Chi Rho began to be used on Christian sarcophagi and frescoes. [A.E.M.]
The Staurogram (from the Greek σταυρός, i.e. cross), also Monogrammatic Cross or Tau-Rho symbol, is composed by a tau (Τ) superimposed on a rho (Ρ). The Staurogram was first used to abbreviate the Greek word for cross in very early New Testament manuscripts such as P66, P45 and P75, almost like a nomen sacrum, and may visually have represented Jesus on the cross. Ephrem the Syrian in the 4th-century explained these two united letters stating that the tau refers to the cross, and the rho refers to the Greek word “help” (Βoήθια [sic]; proper spelling: Βoήθεια) which has the numerological value in Greek of 100 as the letter rho has. In such a way the symbol expresses the idea that the Cross saves. The two letters tau and rho can also be found separately as symbols on early Christian ossuaries. The Monogrammatic Cross was later seen also as a variation of the Chi Rho symbol, and it spread over Western Europe in the 5th and 6th centuries.
Ichthus: (ikh-thoos) or Ichthys: Is the Greek word simply meaning “fish”. The Greek spelling for ichthus is — Iota, Chi, Theta, Upsilon, and Sigma. The English translation is IXOYE. The five Greek letters stand for the words meaning, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” The Greek rendering is, “Iesous Christos, Theou Uios, Soter”. This symbol was used primarily amongst Christians of the early church years (1st and 2nd century A.D.) The symbol was introduced from Alexandria, Egypt; which at the time, was a very heavily populated seaport. It was the port in which many goods were brought over from the European continent. Because of this, it was first used by the peoples of the sea as a symbol of a familiar deity, in this case, Jesus Christ.
Chalice Symbol: The philosopher A.N. Whitehead said that real symbols have the power to change history. The history of the chalice symbol is significant. It began by representing the religious courage of Jan Hus, a 15th century Czech priest, who was martyred for offering communion to his congregants in defiance of the Roman church, which reserved the sharing of wine to priests only. He was burnt at the stake for this act, and Unitarians too have a history of being persecuted for innovative and democratic deeds in religion.
Lamb: The symbol of Christ as the Paschal Lamb and also a symbol for Christians (as Christ is our Shepherd and Peter was told to feed His sheep). The lamb is also a symbol for St. Agnes (Feast Day 21 January), virgin martyr of the early Church.
Α Ω: The use since the earliest Christianity of the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha (α or Α) and omega (ω or Ω), derives from the statement said by Jesus (or God) himself “I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13, also 1:8 and 21:6).
Latin Cross: Also know as the Protestant Cross and Western Cross Latin cross. The Latin cross (crux ordinaria) is a symbol of Christianity even though it was used as a pagan symbol for millennia before the foundation of the Christian Church. It has been found in China and Africa. It appears on Scandinavian Bronze Age stones depicting the hammer of Thor, their god of thunder and war. It was regarded as a magical symbol. It brought good luck and diverted evil. Some people interpret rock carvings of the cross as a solar symbol, or a symbol of Earth with its points representing north, south, east, and west. Others say it represents the human form.
Tau Cross: After his commission at the foot of the San Damiano Cross, Saint Francis chose a more ancient symbol of redemption as his standard: the Tau cross. In commenting on the scriptures of Israel, the early Christian writers used its Greek translation, the Septuagint, in which the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the tau, was transcribed as a “T” in Greek. Prefigured in the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, then, the stylized Tau cross came to represent the means by which Christ reversed the disobedience of the old Adam and became our Savior as the “New Adam.”
IH Monogram: The first two letters of the name of Jesus in Greek, iota (Ι) and eta (Η), sometime superimposed one on the other, or the numeric value 18 of ΙΗ in Greek, was a well known and very early way to represent Christ. This symbol was already explained in the Epistle of Barnabas and by Clement of Alexandria. For other christograms such as IHS, see Article Christogram.
IX Monogram: An early form of the monogram of Christ, found in early Christian ossuaries in Palestinia, was formed by superimposing the first (capital) letters of the Greek words for Jesus and Christ, i.e. iota Ι and chi Χ, so that this monogram means “Jesus Christ”.:166 Another more complicated explanation of this monogram was given by Irenaeus and Pachomius: because the numeric value of iota is 10 and the chi is the initial of the word “Christ” (Greek: ΧΡΕΙΣΤΟΣ [sic]; proper spelling: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ) which has 8 letters, these early fathers calculate 888 ((10*8)*10)+((10*8)+8) which was a number already known to represent Jesus, being the sum of the value of the letters of the name “Jesus” (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ) (10+8+200+70+400+200).:169–170
Dove: The symbol of the Holy Ghost and used especially in representations of our Lord’s Baptism and the Pentecost. It also symbolizes the release of the soul in death, and is used to recall Noah’s dove, a harbinger of hope.
Rose: The Holy Faith, Our Lady, martyrdom, the secrecy of penance. Five roses grouped together symbolize the 5 Wounds of Christ.
Anchor: Is found in the first century cemetery of St. Domitilla, the second and third century epitaphs of the catacombs, and especially in the oldest parts of the cemeteries of Sts. Priscilla (about 70 examples in this cemetery alone), Domitilla, Calixtus, and the Coemetarium majus. See Hebrews 6:19.
Jerusalem Cross: Also called the “Crusaders’ Cross,” it is made up of 5 Greek Crosses which are said to symbolize a) the 5 Wounds of Christ; and/or b) the 4 Gospels and the 4 corners of the earth (the 4 smaller crosses) and Christ Himself (the large Cross). This Cross was a common symbol used during the wars against Islamic aggression.
Baptismal Cross: Consists of the Greek Cross with the Greek letter “X”, the first initial of the title “Christ,” this Cross is a symbol of regeneration, hence, its association with Baptism
Peter’s Cross: Named so because when Peter was to be martyred he chose to be crucified upside-down out of respect for Christ, the upside-down Latin Cross has become his symbol and, thereby, a symbol of the papacy. Sadly, this cross has been co-opted by Satanists whose purpose of “inverting” Christianity (e.g. as in their Black ‘Masses’) is expressed by taking the Latin Cross of Christ and inverting it.
Patriarchal Cross: A double cross, with the two crossbars near the top. The upper one is shorter, representing the plaque nailed to Jesus’ cross.
Cross Crosslet: This heraldic cross is made from four Latin Crosses arranged at right-angles to each other, with their tops pointing north, south, east and west, traditionally thought to represent the message of the cross going out to the four corners of the earth. The Cross crosslet, like the Jerusalem Cross, is a symbol for world evangelism of the Gospels, which gives an alternative name: Mission Cross. Another common interpretation is that it represents the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Borromean Rings This represent the trinity. There are many symbols of the trinity in Christianity. The Borromean Rings are three interlocking circles that symbolize the Christian trinity. The word “trinity” comes from the Latin noun “trinitas” meaning “three are one.” The trinity represents the belief that God is one Being made up of three distinct Persons who exist in co-equal, co-eternal communion as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Horn – This Christian symbol represents God’s power. Being the principal means of defense as well as attack that most animals are endowed with, the horn is symbolic of dominion, power, triumph, fierceness, strength, intelligence, dignity, prosperity and glory. A horn with oil is representative of David being anointed as the King and the seven horns of the Ram stand for the conquering of Jericho (Joshua) by the Israelites.
The word is also used in several popular expressions whose meanings have religious connotations. For instance, the phrase ‘horn of plenty’ denotes the Almighty’s generosity; and ‘horn of salvation’ refers to Jesus Christ and is representative of a strong saviour.
Sources: en.wikipedia.org and ancient-symbols.com| back to the Homepage