Monday, December 30, 2013

EDM 166 - A Fish

I studied Koine Greek for two years in college. I loved it! My favorite part was that you had to learn a completely different alphabet first, and from there, it all seemed like decoding messages from another world. 

That's sort of what the ichthus (ιχθυς) was originally. It was code. More precisely, it was a symbol of a word, which was a symbol for a group (Christians) that needed a way to communicate secretly in plain sight of the hostile, Roman Empire. It was brilliant. "Ichthus" is the Greek word for "fish," and the letters in the word form an acrostic for the names: Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior.

I find it intriguing that the earliest Christians set the precedent for abbreviating "Christ" with "X," which is not an English "x," as some assume today, but rather the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter in Christos (Χριστος).

There ya go. Lesson over. If I messed up with any of that, please keep in mind that I studied Greek over 30 years ago, and I forget στθφ (stuph, because there's no "f" in Greek). Oh, and I also love Roman numerals, so I included them in this piece. It looks like another ancient code. Such fun!
EDM 166 - A Fish; 3x3" watercolor

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