I would like to know the meaning and the importance of the word 'ICTHUS' among Christians. I have learned that this is some sort of symbol. Can anyone help me on this?
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The word means "fish" in Greek. The symbol of the fish was often used in the early church to distinguish believers from unbelievers where persecution was an issue. When meeting another person, one Christian would draw one arc, and if the other person completed the drawing of the fish by adding another arc, then the Christian would know that he or she was in the presence of another believer. In other words, it was a low key way to identify each other, reducing the risk of being found out as a Christian where to be found out may have cost them their lives.
You can read more about the term here:
Entry from The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed.):
SOURCE: F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. rev. (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 617.
Additional Resources: J. B. *Pitra, OSB, Spicilegium Solesmense, 3 (Paris, 1855), pp. 499–543 (‘ΙΧΘΥΣ, sive de Pisce Allegorico et Symbolico’); G. B. *de Rossi, ibid., pp. 545–84 (‘De Christianis Monumentis ΙΧΘΥΝ exhibentibus’); H. Achelis, Das Symbol des Fisches and die Fischdenkmäler der römischen Katakomben (Marburg, 1888); R. Pischel, ‘Der Ursprung des christlichen Fischsymbol’, Sb. (Berl.), 1905 (1), pp. 506–32; C. R. Morey, ‘The Origin of the FishSymbol’, Princeton Theological Review, 8 (1910), pp. 93–106, 231–46, and 401–32; 9 (1911), pp. 268–89; 10 (1912), pp. 278–98. I. Scheftelowitz, ‘Das Fisch-Symbol im Judentum and Christentum’, Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, 14 (1911), pp. 1–53. F. J. Döger, ΙΧΘΥΣ (vol. 1, RQ, Suppl. 17; 1910; 2nd edn., Münster i.W., 1928; vols. 2–5, ibid., 1922–43). L. Werhahn Stauch, ‘Christliche Fischsymbolik von den Anfängen his zum thohen Mittelalter’, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 35 (1972), pp. 1–68. R. St J. Tyrwhitt in DCA 1 (1880), pp. 673 f, s.v., and pp. 625–8, s.v. ‘Eucharist (in Christian Art)’; F. Cumont in PW 9 (pt. 1; 1914), cols. 844–50, s.v. ‘Ichthys’; H. *Leclercq, OSB, in DACL 7 (pt. 2; 1927), cols. 1990–2086, s.v. ΙΧΘΥΣ; J. Quasten in NCE 5 (1967), pp. 943–6, s.v. ‘Fish, Symbolism of’; J. Engemann in RAC 7 (1969), cols. 1021–97, s.v. ‘Fisch, B. Christlich’.
ΙΧΘΥΣ means fish in an old form of Greek. It now primarily refers to a particular Christian fish symbol. From Wikipedia:
The word itself has symbolic meaning, though. Saint Augustine gives the following symbolic explanation in City of God:
For the symbolic meaning of fishes and the "fish symbol", you could ask: