Christian Symbolism
Meaning of Christian Symbols

This page features some of the most significant symbols that have been used to promote or symbolize Christian beliefs. Some of these crosses may also symbolize other faiths than Christian faith. Each christian symbol below contains a description and a meaning of the symbol.

 

 

 

Latin Cross Symbol

latin cross

The Latin cross is the main symbol of Christianity and is often shown with a figure of Christ attached. The cross is made up of a shorter horizontal bar intersecting a longer vertical bar above the midpoint.

Along with the Greek cross, it represents the cross of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

 

Orthodox Cross Symbol

orthodox cross

The Russian Orthodox cross consists of three bars, the lowest bar low and slanted. The top bar represents the "INRI" sign placed over Jesus' head. The meaning of the slanted bar is not known for sure, but probably represents St. Andrew's cross. St. Andrew is believed to have introduced Christianity to Russia.

 

Methodist Cross Symbol

methodist cross

The Methodist Cross relates The United Methodist church to God through Christ (cross) and the Holy Spirit (flame). The flame is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were unified by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw "tongues, as of fire" (Acts 2:3).

 

 

Lorraine Cross Symbol

lorraine cross

Over one thousand years ago, the French King Lothaire gave his name to a province in the north east of the country. The name 'Lothaire' evolved over the years to 'Lorraine'. The region has shrunk and now borders with Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany.

 

Coptic Cross Symbol

coptic cross

Old Coptic crosses often incorporate a circle, sometimes large, sometimes small. The circle was inherited from the Ankh, where it originally depicted the Sun God. For the Coptic Church, the circle represents the eternal and everlasting love of God. The Coptic cross also symbolizes Christ's resurrection.

 

Greek Cross Symbol

greek cross

The Greek cross has all four sides the same shape, the Greek Cross often suggests the Christian Church, instead of being a symbol for Christ's suffering.

 

 

 

The Dove Symbol

dove with olive branch

In Christian beliefs, a dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, this is in reference to a couple of important biblical stories where the Holy Spirit is shown as a dove descending from heaven at the baptism of Jesus. In Rome early Christians incorporated the dove into their funerary art, the image of a dove carrying an olive branch often joined by the word "Peace" was used. It would seem that the early Christians derived this symbolism from the Gospels, they combined the symbol of the dove with the symbol of the olive branch, this symbol has been used to represent peace by the Greeks and Romans.

 

Star of David Symbol

star of david

The Star of David is a well known symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism. It has the following shape, a hexagram, and the compound of two equilateral triangles. The hexagram has been used as a symbol of Judaism since the 17th century.

Also known as the shield of David, this symbol appears on the flag of the state of Israel.

 

Jerusalem Cross Symbol

jerusalem cross

The simpler form of the cross is known as the "Crusaders' Cross". The four smaller crosses on this cross are said to symbolize either the four books of the Gospel or the four directions in which the Word of Christ spread from Jerusalem. Alternatively, all five crosses can symbolize the five wounds of Christ during the Passion, the Pentateuch and, presumably, the first five Christian Churches.

 

Tau Cross Symbol

tau cross

This cross is often used during the Advent season.

As with Christianity, other ancient societies who used the "Tau" symbol also expanded upon its symbolism to include life, resurrection, reincarnation, and blood sacrifice.

 

Crucifix Symbol

crucifix

The crucifix is an image or figure of Jesus Christ on the cross. The crucifix is a cross viewed as a symbol of Jesus's crucifixion.

 

 

 

Chi-Rho Symbol

chi rho

A monogram and symbol for Christ, consisting of the superimposed Greek letters chi (Χ) and rho (Ρ), often embroidered on altar cloths and clerical vestments. The Chi-Rho symbol is often also called a Christogram.

 

 

Jesus Fish Symbol

jesus fish In the very early days of the Christian faith, it was quite dangerous for someone to announce that they were Christians to just anyone. When a man would meet another one in the road, he would draw a half arc in the dust with the end of his walking staff. If the other man was also a Christian, he would know what that meant and draw the other arc, making the shape of a fish. This way they would know they were in friendly company.

 

Praying Hands Symbol

praying hands The Praying Hands is a symbol of prayer, meditation, spirituality, and God's presence.

 

 

 

Andrew's Cross Symbol

andrews cross

The St. Andrew's cross is a cross composed of four diagonal arms of equal length. Saint Andrew was an apostle who, according to tradition, was crucified on a cross of this type.

 

 

 

 

 

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