Re: Symbol for Christ?

Jack Kilmon (
Mon, 07 Oct 1996 10:30:07 -0600

Vanetten.Edward wrote:
> I've seen a symbol on some churches and elsewhere
> what looks like X P superimposed with rho
> larger than chi. I assume that it is a symbol
> for Christ. Anyone know the origin of that
> symbol and if it has a name?

It is called the Chi-Rho, the first two Greek letters in
XPISTOS. It's usage goes back to very early Gentile Christianity,
perhaps Antioch. There were a number of symbols for Christianity
which Christians, during times of persecution, used to recognize
one another..perhaps painting them on the lintels of their doors as
a beacon for other traveling Christians. The grape cluster, anchor,
fish (IXQUS) and lamb being a few. The ChiRho was used extensively
in Constaninian times made famous by Constanine "bridge" vision.

Jack Kilmon