10 Important Christian Symbols

Christian symbols depict important aspects associated with Christianity and Christian ideas. Given below are some symbols that are considered important in this regard.

Alpha and Omega: These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. As Christ was called the “First and the Last”, it is considered as a symbol for Christ. These letters are often combined with other Christian symbols like the Cross and Chi-rho, too.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
~ Revelation 22:13

Chi-Rho: It is viewed as the first Christian cross. The letters Chi (X) and Rho (P) are the first two letters of Christ or Christos in Greek.

This monogram, also referred to as Christogram shows an intersection of the two letters. Besides, it is attributed to the origin of the tradition involving the use of th abbreviation “X” for Christmas, Christian or Christ.

Anchor: It is an early Christian symbol that denotes hope in Christ. It combines the cross and the nautical symbols including fish, dolphin, etc. Different forms of this particular symbol appear in the epitaphs of the catacombs.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain”
~ Hebrews 6:19

Lamb: The lamb is a symbol of Christ as John, the Baptist testifies about Jesus by saying, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus Christ is the Paschal Lamb who died for the sins of others and redeemed all people.

This symbol is often used in headstones for infants as it denotes humility and innocence. When shown seated on a book or throne, it symbolizes the judgment of Christ. At times, it is depicted with a cross and gash on the side, representing the passion of Christ.

The Good Shepherd: The depiction of Christ as the good shepherd is popularly found in the catacombs.

Fish: The sign of the fish or Ichthys is quite popular among Christians. The Greek word for fish is “ichthys”.

When the phrase, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” is translated in Greek, it becomes, “Iesous Christos Theou (H)Yios Soter”, and each of the first letters of this phrase combine to form the Greek word for fish. Moreover, fish have been referred to in the Gospels a number of times.

Peacock: There is a myth that the peacock’s flesh does not decay after death. Thus, it represents immortality and is taken as a symbol of Christ and the Resurrection.

Palm: It denotes victory and martyrdoma.

Three Nails: The three nails represent the Crucifixion.

Latin Cross: The Christian Cross is a widely recognized religious symbol of Christianity. The Latin Cross or Crux immissa, in particular, is the most common form of the cross representing the cross by which Jesus Christ was crucified.

There are other forms of Cross as well, like “Crux commissa” or “thau”, “Crux decussata” or “St. Andrew’s Cross”, Crux simplex, Slavonic Cross, Greek Cross, Byzantine Cross, Maltese Cross, Celtic Cross, Peter’s Cross, Evangelist’s Cross, Jerusalem Cross, Graded Cross, Papal Cross, Lorraine Cross, and so forth.