Saturday 21 January 2012

Why is the FISH a symbol of Christianity?

Before I answer this question let me say that I've always wished to swim with dolphins. But I couldn't afford such a holiday so I went swimming with sardines instead.

Now sardines are not as clever as dolphins. Why else would they get into a tin and leave the key on the outside?

Every other canned fish you buy, tuna, salmon, pilchard and so on, you have to open with a can opener. But sardines ... they have a key on the outside. Why?

Unless of course you buy those tins with a ring pull. Again, on the outside ... so the sardines can't pull the ring and get out.

Anchovies thought they'd be clever by being so salty that no one would eat them. They were wrong. They've now become a delicacy much sought after and fished than before.

And now about the original question ...

The symbol of a fish was found on ancient Christian monuments and buildings. It represents Christ.

The Greek word for "fish" is ICHTHUS.

If we take the letters of that word they provide the first letters of other Greek words.

Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour

So the symbol of the fish suggests all this to a Christian. It may well have been a secret sign used by early Christians to identify each other.


  1. You have such a great way of grabbing our attention with your humour Victor and then passing on some valuable information. I love the way you present it as it helps us remember the important lesson. Thanks so much!
    Happy weekend!

  2. Those poor sardines. Thank you for for explanation of the fish. I didn't know.

  3. Victor....You a a breath of fresh air! This is wonderful.

    God bless

  4. I just had to share this on Facebook!

  5. Hello Doreen, Beautiful Whispers of Catholicism and Daily Grace.

    Thank you so much for writing in and for your words of encouragement. I really appreciate them. Thank you too to Daily Grace for sharing this on Facebook.

    I think fish are generally stupid. They have the whole ocean to swim in and they swim into cans !!!

    God bless.

  6. I'll finish reading this post as soon as I'm done laughing at the "sardine-leaving-the-key-on-the-outside" comment.

    You are too much.

    God Bless.

  7. Hi Michael,

    Sardines aren't too clever are they?

    God bless.

  8. Victor,

    I love how your mind works. You see humour in so many different things. We remember funny stories long after the ordinary ones have faded away, so maybe I will always remember why the fish is the symbol of Christianity, though I suppose I could get in a muddle and think it has something to do with sardines and a key... Great story!

  9. Hi Sue,

    The FISH is the symbol of CHRISTIANITY because it is the KEY to Eternal Life.

    God bless you and yours.

  10. I am thinking that the way the world is going today we may well have to develop new signs to recognize each other.

    During the 200 or so years that the Japanese Shogun barred Christian missionaries from Japan, Japanese Catholics developed symbols found on their dishes to recognize fellow Catholics. A particularly clever idea was disguising statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kanon, commonly found in households. Then they also cleverly designed mirrors that reflected the cross on the wall when sunlight bounced off it. The ordinary eye saw no cross in the mirror. We should perhaps take a page out of their book.

  11. Victor,

    You are quite right!

    Thank you!

  12. Hello Barb and Sue,

    I did not know about the Japanese Catholic symbols.

    The Cross is the well-known Christian symbol. Sadly in the UK a worker wearing a chain and Cross round her neck was reprimanded and told to take it off.

    God bless.



God bless you.