The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships.

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What species of flower might Jesus have been referring to when he said, “Consider the lilies”? [migrated]

When Jesus spoke of 'wheat and weeds' we understand the species of weed he was likely referring to was a poisonous look-alike to wheat. That is very significant! In a personal project I am doing, I ...
6
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1answer
106 views

When was the number of the beast, 666, first identified as referring to Emperor Nero?

The belief that the number of the beast in Revelation, 666, refers to Nero is a common theory now. When was this identification first suggested?
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37 views

What is the Christian symbol of the unicorn, and what does it suggest? [duplicate]

What is the Christian symbol of the unicorn, and what does it suggest? I have seen it in the seals of certain churches.
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2answers
223 views

Is the Holy Spirit the 'Seven Spirits' in Revelation 1:4? [duplicate]

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus ...
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2answers
200 views

Why did this Early Version of the Watchtower Magazine include Crosses, and what do these other Symbols on the Magazine Represent?

The following is "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, October 1, 1907." I was under the impression that symbols (especially crosses) were not allowed in the church. "Jehovah's ...
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1answer
89 views

How did the Roman Punishment “cross” became a holy symbol to Christians? [duplicate]

The Romans used the cross as punishment to those who didn't follow Roman laws & principles. How then did the Roman punishment "cross" became a holy symbol to Christians?
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1answer
165 views

What is the significance of what Jesus ate after his resurrection?

Is anyone aware of any special symbolic significance of Jesus eating specifically fish and honeycomb while showing his disciples he was not "a spirit", when he appeared to (and somewhat scared) them ...
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1answer
145 views

What is the significance of colour purple in the robe that Jesus was made to wear?

Was there any significance to the colour purple, as described by the evangelists while mentioning the robe that Jesus was made to put on before His crucifixion? Both John 19:2 and Mark 15:7 mentioning ...
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1answer
3k views

Hearing Bell sounds - What does the Bible say about bells? [closed]

Recently I have been hearing a lot of bell sounds, more than ever. I've been sitting downstairs studying near the window and I'd hear some short term bells, maybe 3 dings, and some which last up to 10 ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the meaning of the large statue of a pine cone in Vatican City?

What is the meaning of this statue in Vatican City?
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2answers
134 views

Blessings of the Priest [closed]

Is there a list of objects that must be blessed by a priest for a variety of purposes? Example: religious coins, saint necklaces, anniversary gifts given to or from someone etc.
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2answers
858 views

When did the “upside down cross” become a symbol of anti-Christianity?

When did the "upside down cross" become a symbol of anti-Christianity? I can find no mention of it in the Bible. However there is, in Christian history, the story of Peter's execution – which really ...
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1answer
102 views

Is it known when and why Christians began to sign themselves and impart blessings with the Cross?

Among the Christians who make the sign of the cross [cf. this @fredsbend's answer], is it known when and why Christians began to sign themselves with the Cross? The best answer will also include when ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the meaning of 'the Sun and the Moon' in Joseph's dream?

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told ...
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5answers
4k views

What is the significance of Jesus' spitting on the ground in the book of John?

Why does Jesus spit on the ground and make clay to anoint the blind man's eyes? What does this represent? Is the need to wash the anointing off significant? John 9:6-7 NIV After saying this, he ...
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1answer
131 views

Do the angels in Ezekiel 1:10 represent the 4 aspects of creation according to evangelicals?

Ezekiel 1:10 tells of the heavenly creatures with the faces of humans, eagles, lions, and oxen: As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on ...
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1answer
109 views

Is this a christian symbol?

Can someone tell me which sect this comes from, if any? It's from the back of a book or folder used by an Officiant in a wedding video. Thanks!!
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1answer
1k views

Why are babies dressed in white during a Roman Catholic christening?

Why are babies dressed in white during a Roman Catholic christening (aka baptism)? Is the color symbolic or anything? Can any other color be worn? Similarly, are there some sort of color restrictions ...
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1answer
760 views

What does this Catholic symbol mean?

I have this symbol over the entrance of my apartment. I have been told it is a Catholic symbol, and the owner of the flat is probably Catholic since it is the dominant faith here. Searching on Google ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the reason and meaning of the symbols on the garments worn by Temple-worthy LDS members?

I understand that the sacred garments worn by temple-worthy LDS members include symbols of 1) the square, 2) the compass, and 3) the navel mark, and 4) the knee mark. I know that some of the symbols ...
5
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1answer
395 views

Why do Carmelite nuns change headwear?

In this movie regarding the life of St. Therese of Lisieux, the girl who wants to become a saint, there is a scene wherein she changes the color of her clothing and headdress after participating some ...
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1answer
9k views

What is the significance of a double cross?

What is the significance of a cross with two cross-bars to Christians? Does it carry different symbolism than a normal cross?
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3answers
11k views

What does “therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” mean?

In Matthew 10:16 we read: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. (NIV) What does "be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as ...
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3answers
1k views

What is so special about a fig tree. Is it the tree of life? [closed]

The fig tree is used many times in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Why? What is so special about them that the Bible is not or is telling me? Is there any other kind of tree that is more used? ...
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3answers
1k views

According to the LDS church, why was Jesus Christ born when he was born?

Why was Christ born when he was born? Why not earlier? Why not later? Does the time period of his life have a symbolic or practical importance? I am not aware of any reason why Christ needed to live ...
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4answers
1k views

Is the beast of Revelation 13 the same as the beast of Daniel 7?

There are several similarities between the Beast described in Revelation chapter 13 and the one described in Daniel chapter 7. Rev 13:1 and 2 KJV And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw ...
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2answers
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What is the symbolism of the Peacock?

In some churches I have seen, the peacock is used in furniture or other similar items: It can also be seen in some Iconography and decoration: I was just wondering what the symbolism of the ...
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3answers
3k views

What is the “veil” that covers the heart when the Old Testament is read?

2 Corinthians 3:13-18 (NIV) We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made ...
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3answers
540 views

Who symbolizes Christ in J. R. R. Tolkien's “The Lord of the Rings”?

I have long been a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien, and have enjoyed his works from an early age. I am aware that he was raised by a Roman Catholic priest, and remained a deeply religious man his whole life. ...
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3answers
6k views

Nuns wearing wedding bands?

On a recent trip a nice nun took a picture of my family. I noticed that the nun was wearing a wedding band on her left hand. I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that nuns are considered ...
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2answers
726 views

Why are many protestants hesitant of the reappropriation of symbols?

There are many symbols in Christianity that were, well, borrowed from paganism. Over the last 200 years the history is rich with the reappropriation of pagan symbols to have Christian meanings and ...
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2answers
21k views

What is the purpose and meaning of the Christian Flag?

Many of you have probably seen the Christian flag: a white flag with a red cross on a blue corner. It's a staple of some churches and many Christian schools. Do the colors have specific ...
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1answer
600 views

Does purgatory have a symbol?

I haven't found it on the internet. Are there any symbol for purgatory, or related to purgatory?
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2answers
413 views

Do Christians have secret handshakes?

Did Christians ever come up with "secret" ways of knowing who other Christians were? I don't mean exactly a handshake, because I get that sometimes people don't (or can't) shake hands. Seems like it ...
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4answers
266 views

Relevance of the word 'ICTHUS'

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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2answers
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The unicorn as a Christological figure

This isn't so much a question about theology or denominational teachings as Church history. In an answer to a question on another StackExchange site, someone posted this: I am an Art Historian, ...
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1answer
724 views

How widely used is “beehive” imagery?

The LDS church uses the imagery of a beehive to represent the way the church [should] function. Notably lacking any sign of the cross or other usual Christian symbology in the temple, the main pulpit ...
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2answers
223 views

Why is the fish often used as a symbol of Christ?

In the United States, you've probably seen it. Many Christians like to put a fish on their cars to show their faith. What is the origin of this symbol?
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3answers
610 views

What is the reason for the absence of the Cross as a symbol in the LDS Church?

As I was looking at some references for this question dealing with the usage of the inverted pentagram in the LDS Church and particularly on the Temple in Salt Lack City, I came across an article that ...
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3answers
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What is the significance of the inverted pentagram symbols on the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City?

The Temple in Salt Lake has several inverted pentagrams as decorations. (To see a few, just google "lds temple salt lake inverted pentagrams" and click on images. Or click here) According to ...
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2answers
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What is this symbol (cross with P loop atop)?

I have seen in a church a cross with a loop off the top that makes the vertical look like a P. Does this symbol have a name? What is its meaning? From what does it derive? Can you supply any more ...
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13answers
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What is the significance of water from Jesus' side?

John 19:34 "one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water." I know this is supposed to be something great as in the next verse the apostle ...
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4answers
720 views

Was the serpent in the wilderness a foreshadowing of Jesus?

The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the ...
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6answers
687 views

Christian significance of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis putting “heaven” across the sea?

It is interesting that both of the most prominent Christian fantasy authors (not as in "Christian Fantasy" but Christians who wrote fantasy) put paradise across the sea. I realize that Tolkien's ...
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1answer
706 views

Counterarguments to “Numerology”?

Background: I am interested in learning more about numerology. In this post I am specifically interested in the arguments used by those who reject this doctrine. My current impression of what ...
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2answers
180 views

Can indirection bring us closer to Christ?

Peter's excellent blog posting pointed to a movement I'd never heard of before: Militia of the Immaculata (MI). In the process of figuring out what it might be, I read this important qualification: ...
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3answers
401 views

What's the deal with oil?

If you look across the Bible, there are many instances where oil is used. The anointing of Saul and David; Jacob pouring oil over the rock where he had his dream of the staircase to heaven(?); Maria ...
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4answers
3k views

What symbols are unique to the various denominations? [closed]

In reading the meta discussion about what logo should be used for Christianity.SE, I got to wondering what symbols are unique to various denominations. Note: I'm not looking for symbols which are ...
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5answers
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Why the difference in depiction of the cross between Catholics and Protestants?

As I understand it, Roman Catholic crosses have Jesus hanging on them, but Protestant crosses do not. I understood that Protestant crosses do not because they want to focus on the Resurrection, not ...