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The Meaning of IHS (Split from "Black Pope" Thread at OP's Request)

Discussion in 'Traditional Adventists' started by honorthesabbath, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    Can you show any instances where this was used conclusively by any denominations other than those of Catholic origin? Do you have any cites where the use of these initials where in respect to the actual scriptures or any letters of the early church?
     
  2. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    Do you have any proof that Lutherans or Methodists use these initials in any way?

    It didn't take me long to find out about Lutherans and what symbols the venerate in some instances:

    Lutheran Symbols and Crosses

    Funny, but they don't seem to venerate or accept this one as theirs however:

    [​IMG]

    IHS / JHS - The most common Christogram is IHS or IHC, derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus. Because the Latin alphabet letters I and J were not systematically distinguished until the 17th-century, JHS and JHC are completely equivalent to IHS and IHC.

    Just because someone thinks avacados come from apple tress doesn't mean it's true does it?
     
  3. Sophia7

    Sophia7 Tall73's Wife Supporter

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    Here is a section from the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge:

    [​IMG]

    I never said that the Bible endorses the use of the symbol, but this quote shows that the monogram was used early in Christian history in reference to the name of Jesus.
     
  4. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    Nothing concrete there with respect to widespread use by Protestants as you mentioned previously.

    Also, I wasn't looking for Biblical "endorsement" I am looking for specific use of these letters to communicate in some way a constant reference to Jesus. Do you have anything that shows common usage of these letters with respect to referring to Jesus in any book, manuscript, communication?

    Or is it, as I suspect, that these letters are ONLY used as symbols which have, as it has been clearly shown, a rather dubious and nefarious pagan history?
     
  5. Sophia7

    Sophia7 Tall73's Wife Supporter

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    I visited a Methodist church at Christmas time, and they had a Chrismon tree with lots of different symbols on it, including IHS. The pastor explained the meaning of them to the kids. Here is a quote from an article that I found, describing something similar at a United Methodist church (not the one that I visited):
    Unlike the Christmas tree, which traces its origin to pagan roots, the Chrismon tree is a Christian newcomer.

    Its handmade ornaments depict ancient symbols of Christianity. Some of these are monograms. IHS is the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek. The primary color of Chrismons is the litigural colors of Christmas — white or silver and gold—to symbolize the purity and majesty of Jesus.​
    Here are a couple more examples of IHS usage in Methodism:

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...icial%26sa%3DG
    http://tumcsa.org/colors.htm

    Here are a couple of examples from Lutheranism:

    http://www.christlutheranlasvegas.org/windows.htm
    http://www.atonementlutheranchurch.com/Data/history_txt.htm

    Lutherans do not "venerate" symbols.
     
  6. Sophia7

    Sophia7 Tall73's Wife Supporter

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    The encyclopedia refers to the earliest documented usage in Christianity, before there were any Protestants.

    The other links that I provided show that the symbol is used widely in Lutheran and Methodist churches today. It is used in Anglican churches as well. Also, here is an example from a Baptist church:
    http://www.cs.wayne.edu/~jcc/RoyalOak/ihs.html

    Of course they are used as symbols. No one is disputing that. You haven't proven that they have a "dubious and nefarious pagan history," however.
     
  7. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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    The use of shortening was known. For instance in Eastern Christianity they used a different shortening IC XC

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ci...ts=dwiKE0Nuqq&sig=kn4ocgG6xYUcza2zlmwqFD4cg_w

    An icon of Christ with the shortening:
    [​IMG]

    As RC noted the IHS is associated with the symbol of the cross in the inscription from the catacombs:

    [​IMG]


    It seems to be referring to the cross event. This does not suggest pagan origins.



    A transliteration is just reproducing the sounds in another language. The letters are Latin, and then transliterated again to English.

    So it is not at all unusual that they would transliterate into the language they use. Here again is an earlier section describing this possible process:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christogram

    In the Latin-speaking Christianity of medieval Western Europe (and so among Catholics and many Protestants today), the most common Christogram is "IHS" or "IHC", derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, iota-eta-sigma or ΙΗΣ. Here the Greek letter eta was transliterated as the letter H in the Latin-speaking West (Greek eta and Latin-alphabet H had the same visual appearance and shared a common historical origin), while the Greek letter sigma was either transliterated as the Latin letter C (due to the visually-similar form of the lunate sigma), or as Latin S (since these letters of the two alphabets wrote the same sound). Because the Latin-alphabet letters I and J were not systematically distinguished until the 17th century, "JHS" and "JHC" are equivalent to "IHS" and "IHC".

    RND's earlier argument that the Greek spelling of Jesus' name showed that it was impossible was wrong due to him confusing an ε with a η. So given that they did use shortenings, we have inscription evidence associating it with the cross event, and it could have been a Latin transliteration from Greek I would say it is a viable theory for the origins of the inscription. But there is more evidence that I cite below in the next couple of posts.
     
  8. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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    Apparently more than one Greek manuscript of the Bible did abbreviate Jesus' name in this fashion:

    [​IMG]

    http://books.google.com/books?id=zp...X5N&sig=MQDwpWsGSFExoXQa9zJ9H4WkwLc#PPA860,M1

    Page 860
     
  9. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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    More discussion of this from a work entitled:
    Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography
    By Philip Comfort


    http://books.google.com/books?id=m-...ts=W-gdiBzZER&sig=eubrbG4jZ74SEGiGvFEj9iddC3s





    This is really some fascinating stuff. I copied a few excerpts and you can read the rest in the book itself in the link.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    So we have this usage of abbreviation present in biblical manuscripts at an early time.
     
  10. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    These papyra are from the 3rd Century and 4th century. I guess to some that's early Church history, not to me because it's still close to 300/400 years after the original letter were produced.

    Chester Beatty Papyri

    The only thing I see here is that it may have been common practice for some scribes to abbreviate certain words. This does not lead me to believe that it became common practice by churchgoers and the Church in general to refer to Jesus by initials. Also of note is that I don't see IHS specifically referrenced.
     
  11. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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    RND, try reading this again:

    In the Latin-speaking Christianity of medieval Western Europe (and so among Catholics and many Protestants today), the most common Christogram is "IHS" or "IHC", derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, iota-eta-sigma or ΙΗΣ. Here the Greek letter eta was transliterated as the letter H in the Latin-speaking West (Greek eta and Latin-alphabet H had the same visual appearance and shared a common historical origin), while the Greek letter sigma was either transliterated as the Latin letter C (due to the visually-similar form of the lunate sigma), or as Latin S (since these letters of the two alphabets wrote the same sound). Because the Latin-alphabet letters I and J were not systematically distinguished until the 17th century, "JHS" and "JHC" are equivalent to "IHS" and "IHC".

    They were simply different transliteration schemes of the same Greek abbreviations.
     
  12. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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    P 64 , P32, P67 , P46, p66 are said in the book to contain these sacred name abbreviations. They are dated around 200. Some are closer to 250 and some right around the time of 200. So at most they are about 150 years after John passed off the scene, and some as early as 100 years since.

    P90 also contains them and is dated to the second century. Some date it to 150, or just 50-60 years after John passed off the scene. It contained portions of John's gospel.

    The author of the book I cited above believed the naming convention itself derived from the first century.

    But of course, all that is not the point. The point is that these abbreviations were found in christendom and even in the biblical manuscripts, which you said was not true.
     
  13. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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    Barnabas referenced a shortened form in his epistle. We also referenced the use of initials by the eastern church in icons, etc.

    But it was your question if it was in the Bible or used by early Christians. It clearly was in the biblical manuscripts, which are an example of early Christian writings.
     
  14. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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  15. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    Schemes. That seems to be in order.

    Tall, I was referring specifically to what you posted. There is nothing mentioned regarding IHS in it anywhere.
     
  16. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    According to the information provided in the link I cited the texts are 300 to 400 years old. Do you have anything that you could post that is contrary to the link I provided Tall?
     
  17. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband

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    IE...you still don't understand transliteration or simply don't want to address it.


    So in the IHC example in what I posted, what do you think the C represented?
     
  18. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    I'm sorry, but is the Epistle of Barnarbas part of the New Testament or was it rejected for publication and inclusion in the Bible?

    Yes.

    Approximately 300-400 years after the original letters where written. Now, regarding my point it is simply this, nothing you have pointed out confirms that it was common practice to refer to Jesus in any way regarding just three letters. Nothing.
     
  19. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    Do you have anything specific to IHS? That's the question. I certainly understand the aspect of translitteration, but I should remind you Tall that it was posed that this is common practice outside of the Catholic church, by early Protestants, and that referring to Jesus with the letters of IHS is a common practice.

    Nothing you have shown so far leads me to conclude that it wasn't.


    In which language? Latin? Greek? Chinese? There is no here is no "C" in the Greek.
     
  20. RND

    RND Senior Veteran

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    No doubt Tall, and that is not in dispute. What is in dispute is the contention that this was common practice to refer to Jesus this way. I understand that certain scribes may have used "shorthand" in their work. What no one is stating is clearly is how, when, where or even if this became comman place amougst any other religious order other than the Catholics.
     
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