What Does IXOYE Mean?

The fish is an ancient Christian symbol known from the first century catacombs in Rome. The first literary reference to a fish as a Christian symbol is from Clement of Alexandria (born c. 150) in Paedogogus, III, xi. During times of persecution, early Christians would scratch a fish symbol on the ground as a means to distinguish friend from foe.

This Christian symbol was created hundreds of years ago due to the threat of death when the church was under intense persecution. A believer would draw half of the fish in the dirt and another would complete the drawing in order to communicate their shared faith. Christians are still dying for the faith, and the fish is still used to communicate our faith to each other and to the world.

The symbol itself may have come from the miraculous story of the loaves and fishes (John 6:1-13) or from the meal of fish Jesus shared with His disciples at the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection (John 21:1-13). I prefer, however, the interpretation that it came from the story of the coin found by Simon Peter in the mouth of the fish (Matthew 17:24-27). The story may be seen as a metaphor for the free gift given to us by Jesus through his atoning death – our salvation.

The Greek word within the fish is ICHTHUS, which means “fish” in Greek. It’s also an acronym for the phrase Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.






Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “The Lord saves”

Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. Jesus was the Christ, or the Messiah, promised to Israel and to the world.

Jesus is God

Jesus is also the Son of God

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world

Matthew 1:20-21

Matthew 16:13-20

John 1:1-4

John 1:32-34

Romans 10:9-10