Meaning of the Christian Fish Symbol

Did Christians adopt this sign from Paganism?


The Christian Fish Symbol (also called ‘The Jesus Fish’)

Photo ©
The fish symbol incorporated into a Cross Pattee on a mousepad

The Christian fish symbol is usually just two simple curved lines. Modern looking and sleek, often seen on car bumpers, it gives many people the impression that it’s a new symbol. In fact, its history goes back even further than the cross as a symbol used by Christians.

As early as the second century Titus Flavius Clemens (St. Clement of Alexandria), suggested that Christians identify themselves with a seal engraved with a fish or dove (Paedagogus, III, xi. See also Dove Cross.) Even before that time, inscriptions on monuments2 suggest that the fish symbol was familiar to Christians.



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