© 2018 Stuff You Missed

In The Bible...In Church History

Stuff You Missed

In the Bible

In Church History

The Symbol of the Cross & The Religious Imagination

February 19, 2018




The symbol of the Cross is fixated in the imagination of western culture, but its orgins are not what we think they are.  What if I told you...


  • The Cross was not the symbol of Christianity for the first 300 years after Christ… 

  • The Cross as a literal symbol was non-existent those 300 years… not in artwork, not in mosaics, not in places of worship, not anywhere…

  • That a majority of Jews worldwide, see the Cross as a symbol of anti-semitic hatred...

  • The Cross as a symbol of Christianity was popularized by the Roman Emperor Constantine with his vision on the Milvian Bridge…


Have I whetted your appetite yet?  Did I get your curious quotient up?  Are you ready to learn some amazing facts of history that shed light on a symbol we thought we knew?  Let’s see some of the stuff we missed in church history regarding the symbol of the cross.



Examples of the other two primary symbols of Christianity that were used in the first three centuries of Christendom: (Definitions below are a general summary from Wikipedia)



Ichthyic (ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys),  is an acronym/acrostic[9] for "Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ" (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr; contemporary Koine [ie̝ˈsus kʰrisˈtos tʰeˈu (h)yˈjos soˈte̝r]), which translates into English as "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour".




The Chi Rho (/ˈkaɪ ˈroʊ/; also known as chrismon or sigla[1]) is one of the earliest forms of christogram, formed by superimposing the first two (capital) letters—chi and rho (ΧΡ)—of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ(Christos) in such a way that the vertical stroke of the rho intersects the center of the chi.[2] The Chi-Rho symbol was used by the Roman emperor Constantine I (r. 306–337) as part of a military standard (vexillum). Constantine's standard was known as the Labarum. Early symbols similar to the Chi Rho were the Staurogram and the IX monogram.


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