Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Christian Trivia Question #11 - The Monograms of Jesus

This one is a freebie.  No question, just some info to check out (like where the "Jesus Fish" comes from:

A number of monograms of the name of Jesus have been used in Christian art and symbolism.  You may have heard of some of them:

IHS:   (or JHS) monogram of the name of Jesus (i.e. the traditional Christogram symbol of western Christianity) is derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), Iota-Eta-Sigma. There is also a variant form, IHC, using the lunate sigma (i.e. with the Greek letter sigma equated to Latin-alphabet "C" due to the common "lunate" form of sigma (i.e. IHCOYC).  I can still picture the communion tablecloth in the little Presbyterian Church I grew up in that had this monogram (IHS) embroidered in red letters on the white linen.  Never knew what it meant.

"XP" or CHI RHO:  (usually shown as the X with the "P" through the center of the X).  The Labarum or Chi Rho symbol is derived from the first two letters of the word "Christos" (ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ) in the Greek alphabet.

"IC XC":   formed from the first and last letters of Iesous and Christos in Greek (again, using the "lunate" form of the letter sigma of the Roman and Medieval periods).

ΙΧΘΥΣ:  (which literally means "fish" in Greek) consists of the initials of the Greek words Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ meaning "Jesus Christ, God's son, saviour" (thus giving rise to the Christian fish symbol).

IX: the first letters of Iesous Christos (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ) in Greek

INRI = Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews).  This comes from the sign Pilate directed the soldiers to put on the cross (John 19:19).

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