IKKTHUS is a global faith community committed to sharing the uncompromised message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

fish

The name IKKTHUS is derived from the symbol that early Christian believers identified themselves, that of the FISH, which is Greek is ICHTHUS spelled: Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma). That is an acrostic which has many translations in English. The most popular appears to be “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior

Clemens was a Greek theologian and noted that letters of the Greek word for fish, ΙΧΘΥΣ, pronounced ICHTHUS, made the following neat little acrostic: 

Ι (Iota)
Ιησοῦς
Χ (Chi)
Χριστός
Θ (Theta)
Θεος
Υ (Upsilon)
Υἱός
Σ (Sigma)
Σωτήρ
Iesous Christos Theou Yios * Soter
Jesus Christ God’s Son Saviour
(* pronounced Iios
with emphasis on the ‘o’)

So in addition to the simple and easily recognizable symbol, there is also a motto that describes Jesus as Christ, God’s Son, and Savior.

ICHTHYS

This use of the fish might also have been partly a protest against the Pagan emperors of the time, who named themselves Theou Yios (God’s sons), which appears on Alexandrian coins minted during of the reign of Domitian, 11th Emperor of the Roman Empire, 81-96 AD.

The fish outline is a symbol that many early Christians adopted. Fish were often mentioned in the Gospels. Jesus’ earthly ministry was associated with fish: he chose several fishermen to be his disciples and declared he would make them “fishers of men.”

Early Christians needed no reminder of how Jesus died; they saw it in its most hideous form all too frequently. Even in the fish symbol, we can see an X-shaped cross in the tail.

As in the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, the fish is a symbol of baptism and as such, an appropriate symbol for Christians to adopt. Fish swim in deep water yet do not drown; indeed, they need to be immersed in water in order to survive. Similarly for us to survive spiritually, we need to be baptized by immersion into the waters of Christ’s love, the love He showed by dying on the cross.

Some Gospel verses which mention fish are:

bullet Mark 1:17: “Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
bullet 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.”
bullet Matthew 14:17: “And they said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.'”
bullet Luke 5:6: “And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.”
bullet Luke 24:42: “So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.”
bullet 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.”
bullet 1 Corinthians 15:39: “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, and another of birds.”

After Christ’s Crucifiction His followers were persecuted and the fish symbol was used as an identifying symbol that fellow Christians would recognize, but others would not. Therefore Christians could connect with each other through a secret code, such as a fish symbol, without revealing themselves to the oppressors.

The fish would not be an obvious Christian symbol to persecutors. It is said that during the persecution of the early Church, a Christian meeting someone new would draw a single arc in the sand. If the other person was a Christian, he or she would complete the drawing of a fish with a second arc. If the second person was not a Christian, the ambiguity of the half-symbol would not reveal the first person as a Christian.

Help support the ministry of IKKTHUS.  Give generously today!



Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter

* indicates required



View previous campaigns.