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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Does Xmas Take Christ Out of Christmas?

Xmas vs. Christmas : Xmas isn't the work of the devil. I grew up under the assumption that spelling Christmas as "Xmas" was a way of naming the holiday separate from its religious beginnings. I always kinda hated it, thinking that people were so averse to religion that they were x-ing out Christ's name.

Here's the Explanation....

The fish, Greek
ichthys (ixquj), is a symbol for Christ which has been in use since the days of the early church. In Greek, it is an acronym for Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior:

Jesus - I h s o u V

Christ - C r i s t o V

God's - Q e o u

Son - U i o V

Savior - S w t h r

Frequently Christians were forced to worship secretly. The fish symbol served them well in difficult times because it generally would go unnoticed by a foe of Christianity when Christians used it to communicate. Placed outside a Christian's home, this symbol would announce silently that Christian Communion was to be observed secretly there that night. Artistic forms of the fish frequently decorated the Roman catacombs where Christians were forced to meet during persecution.

Notice that X was the first letter in the word that was Greek for Christ. In the fourth century, copies of the scriptures had to hand written. Commonly used terms were abbreviated using the letter abbreviation. The original four gospels were written in Greek and so the abbreviation of X for Christ remained.

So the next time you see the X used in Christmas instead of Christ, instead of being upset and feeling like it is an effort to take Christ out of Christmas, be reminded of early Christians trying to worship their Savior and later by people trying to speed up the process of making more copies of the scriptures.

6 comments:

JFS said...

I did not know the explanation of the letter X. That is why I love the Internet. When used properly people have the chance to find out many truths they might have otherwise never known. Thanks for posting this article.

WHITEShadow said...

I don't know it either until I have learned this information. Before, I felt bad to see people writing x instead of Christ, I thought that was a total blasphemy and I'm sure most of the people who are using the abbreviation don't know it either, some are using it for convenience since it takes less time and easier to write an X but either way we should think of the purpose of what we are writing.
Thanks for stopping by.

bingkee said...

Inever knew about this. Thanks for the info .

Aldhis said...

I know about the X, but I just knew about the 'fish' in Greek. Thank you for adding my knowledge.

WHITEShadow said...

Dear Bingkee and Aldhis: Isn't that great to know all this. I think blogging is great, the knowledge sharing have no boundaries.

Maria said...

Me, either I know about the X. But I don't know the original story of the "Fish" in Greek. Amazing how we learn from our fellow blogger's. Thanks for posting.