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Christianity and the fish symbol

Discussion in 'Young Adults' started by Pseud, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Pseud

    Pseud Jesus Geek

    Why is the symbol of a fish (at least, I'm pretty sure it's a fish) a symbol for Christianity?

    I'm not sure, but is it maybe something to do with the feeding of the five thousand?
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. ej

    ej hopeless romantic

    I know... well, I knew, but I can't quite remember...

    It's something to do with the Greek letters which stand for 'Jesus, God's son, Saiviour of the World' and was used as a symbol to represent JEsus.

    Grr, I want to find out again now..!
    I'll let you know as soon as...
  3. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

    It was a symbol early Christians use to tell one another a part from pagans
  4. ej

    ej hopeless romantic

  5. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

    The fish's first known use as a Christian religious symbol was sometime within the first three centuries AD. Christians began using the Greek word for "fish" as an anagram/acronym for "Jesus Christ God's Son, Savior." More about this later.

    The fish outline is a logical symbol for the early Christian church to adopt. Not only was fish a common food of the day, it was also used by Jesus during His ministry.

    Mark 1:17 "Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
    Matthew 12:40 "...Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
    Matthew 14:17 "And they said to Him, 'We have here only five loaves and two fish.'"
    Luke 5:6 "And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking."
    Luke 24:42 "So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb."
    John 21:6 "And He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.' So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish."

    A 'fishy' tale?
    In the years following the ascension of the resurrected Jesus to heaven, the

    Christian church grew rapidly. Christians soon found themselves to be the subjects of persecution by both the Romans and the Jews.

    In many locales, it became dangerous to be known as a Christian. Thus, when two strangers met and thought maybe they were fellow believers, one of them would draw, on the ground, the upper half of the fish symbol.


    Recognizing the symbol, the stranger would add a second curved line and complete the drawing of a fish.


    It is a very simple shape to draw - just two curved strokes. It could be drawn quickly, and erased just as quickly if there was no sign of recognition on the part of the stranger.
  6. Pseud

    Pseud Jesus Geek

    Hey guys,

    That's great, thanks!

  7. In need of god

    In need of god Member

    strange, how come my jewish friend has that symbol on her car and it says "gentile" inside of it. But she's not a christian at all nor believes in jesus. I'm confused
  8. usadingo

    usadingo Member

    I'm surprised no one noted that when Christians met in private, the fish often was drawn on places as a pointer to where the meeting was. It was a sign of direction as well.
  9. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

    My guess it would be a sign of disrespect to us Christians.
  10. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

    The Christians in Biblical times met together secretly, because of persecution. In order to identify each other as believers they would draw the sign of the fish.. or the Icthus... in the sand.. and they would then be able to enter the house where the bible study was taking place.
  11. SonWorshipper

    SonWorshipper Old Timer

    Check it again, it more than likely does not say Gentile, but Gefilte, as in Gefilte Fish, a fish eaten by many Jews around the world, especially during Passover.

    She is probably just having a statement that says she is not Christian but Jewish, nothing wrong with that Jeffrey, don't assume.

    It is a lot better than the Darwin ones or worse that I have seen the Atheists use.[​IMG]
  12. mountaingoat

    mountaingoat Member

    Thats so cool, gotta use that!!!

    I mean the fish pointing a direction not the aethies or jewish fish...
  13. KristiXP

    KristiXP The fun in my life...My Boys! <img src="http://www

    I have one on my car! I noticed the other day that a kid infront of me had quite a few on his car, plus a cool cross hanging on his rearview mirror. I thought that was pretty cool, seeing other Christians out there letting the world know they are Christians in the smallest way that counts a lot.

    Ok, it's early, I have class in a couple hours....If that didn't make sense then would you mind buying me a hot chocolate? :)
  14. SqueakyGerbil

    SqueakyGerbil Regular Member

    Here I have been wondering about that for weeks and no one I asked knew the answer and the answer was here.
    Thanks for explaining it!!!
  15. heckubus

    heckubus New Member

    The Greek word for fish is IXQUS. It is actually an anagram for Iesous, Christos, Theos, Yios, Soter. It means Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior. The fish is found in early christian art because of this fact. It was later used to distiguish others with the symbol. Some other interesting christian symbols one might want to look at is the peacock, the wreath, and the vine. If you want to know the meaning you can e-mail me at [email protected]
  16. DudeForChrist

    DudeForChrist A Dude All For Christ!!!!

    Jews.....have never liked Christianity. They said Jesus was speaking blasphemy way back when. Unfortunately, they are still waiting for the Messiah to come, although he already did.(says thanks to God silently) As for the fish, I have to agree with someone who posted earlier. It's probably a sign of disrespect, although I wouldn't know for sure, since I don't think I know any Jews (maybe I do, I don't know). Hoped I helped somewhere :cool:
  17. RadG

    RadG <img src="http://www3.christianforums.com/images/s

    With this I mean no disrespect to the Jews but their beliefs seem strange to me. I mean I used to believe that all Jews believed that a Messiah was comming but was not Jesus. Then I learned of Messionic Jews(sp?) who are the Jews that have believed that Jesus was the Messiah and are the closest to Christians then I also have met a Jew who was raised to believe that there is no Messiah never was and never will be. So to me it seems hard to try to realize what is going on in some of their heads.

    RadG :cool:
  18. Snowhite

    Snowhite Guest

    I've read before that crossing our fingers (now considered for luck) was originally a sign of the fish, that meant a person was praying. Could also have been identification between pursecuted Christians...I can't remember where I read that, though...
  19. pentecostal girl

    pentecostal girl Senior Member

    In the bible God calls us fishers of men. In other words Christian go fishing for lost souls. That to me is what the fish symbol stands for. So next your church goes our ministering to people. YOu can tell your church your going fishing! lol ( I know it sounds corny!)
    God Bless
  20. seangoh

    seangoh Veteran

    Well, going fishing can be an indication of one's understanding in the christian faith too. if that guy doesn't know what you're saying, then he's out. :)