CHRISTIANS HAVE USED THE FISH SYMBOL — also known as the Fisher of Men, ichthys (ixthus, icthus) symbol — since the first century.
The meaning of the word and symbol is very clever. The word ichthys means fish in Greek, but the letters are also the initials of five Greek words that mean “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” (Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter).
Jesus Christ told His disciples in Matthew 4:19: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” As the early Christians followed Christ’s command to follow Him and lead others to the Lord, the fish symbol became a natural extension of Christ’s command and also a way to recognize and identify others who knew the symbol’s meaning.
The fish outline is a logical symbol for the early Christian church to adopt. Fish are often mentioned in the gospels. This is what one would expect, if Jesus did most of his teaching in the Galilee. The synoptic gospels state this, although the Gospel of John denies it. Fish were a staple in the diet of Galilee.
Mark 1:17: “Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
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