Is the Bible symbolism

Christian symbols: origin and meaning

Christian symbols have important meanings for Christians. They are part of our identity and reflect important virtues and narratives of our religion. Whether in church, as chain pendants or stickers on our car: Christian symbols remind us of Jesus Christ and at the same time they serve to make us recognizable as Christians. But what Christian symbols are there? And what do the Christian symbols fish, ship or tree mean?

Christian symbols from A-Z

Alpha and Omega

The alpha (A) is the first, the omega (Ω) the last letter in the Greek alphabet. The two symbols therefore stand for the comprehensive greatness and omnipotence of God. It says in the Bible
Jesus says: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Revelation 22:13)
Alpha and Omega also stand as symbols for the fact that God accompanies every person's life from beginning to end. God is God through all time and will remain God.


The anchor stands for hope, confidence and the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. In port it secures the place of the ship, on the high seas the anchor offers security. Like an anchor, God also gives security to our lives. Even death will not break our covenant with God. The anchor therefore also symbolizes the hope for heavenly bliss. Due to the cross-shaped anchor shape, the anchor is also a symbol of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The anchor is a powerful symbol that is often used together with a cross and a heart to symbolize the Christian virtues of faith, love and hope.


The tree stands for new life force, growth, support and blessing as well as for the cycle of life. While the green leaves grow in spring and the tree comes to life, the leaves turn brown in autumn, symbolizing dying and death. Like the tree, life is also subject to constant change. Popular Christian gifts are, for example, bronze crosses or cross pendants with a tree motif. The cross stands for hope, the tree for life.

Praying hands

Two hands, placed or folded, symbolize praying to God.

Fire flame

The flame is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The origin of this symbol is the Acts of the Apostles (2.1-4). Accordingly, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples in the form of flames. The disciples then preached the good news of Jesus Christ.


The fish is one of the oldest symbols in Christianity. Like the PX symbol, the fish was also a secret identification symbol in times of Christian persecution. Today it is mainly used as a declaration of belonging to the Christian community. The origin of the fish symbol is in the name. In Greek, “fish” means ICHTHYS. The individual first letters can be the creed I.ESOUS CHRISTOS THEOU YIOS S.Shape OTER. That means "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior". So the fish represents Jesus. Today you can often see the typical fish symbol as a sticker on cars, as a key ring or as a pendant.


The rooster is a symbol of vigilance and loyalty. It is intended to serve as a reminder for Christians to stay close to Jesus Christ in faith and to guard against evil. In addition, the rooster serves as a symbol of repentance and conversion. The symbolic meaning of the rooster arises from the slander of Jesus Christ. After Peter denied belonging to Jesus three times, Peter heard the cry of a rooster and remembered that Jesus had announced his denial:

"Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times" (Matthew 26.75).

He becomes aware of his guilt and starts to cry.


The deer serves as a symbol for those who seek God.

"As the deer longs for fresh water, so my soul, God, longs for you" (Psalm 42: 2).


The shepherd is one of the oldest names for Jesus Christ and symbolizes the caring and merciful God. Jesus says himself "I am the good shepherd" (John 10: 11-14), but especially God's care is expressed in Psalm 23:

A psalm of David. The LORD is my Shepherd, I will want nothing. He grazes me on a green meadow and leads me to the fresh water. He refreshes my soul. He leads me on the right road for his name's sake. And if I already wandered in the dark valley, I fear no misfortune; for you are with me, your stick and staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the face of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil and pour me full. Goodness and mercy will follow me all my life, and I will abide in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23: 1-6)

The agency of the rough house has a very special connection to Psalm 23: It was the agency's first printed work and is still published today as a meditation. The shepherd also appears in biblical Christmas stories. In it, angels bring the good news to the shepherds that Jesus Christ was born. Therefore, shepherds are often part of the Christmas decorations and can usually be found as figures in the Christmas cribs.


The monogram JHS stands for the name "Jesus Christ". The three letters are the first, the middle and the last letter.


The cross is the central symbol of Christianity because it commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection. It stands for the suffering and Serbs of Jesus Christ, but also for redemption and hope. The cross is probably the most frequently used Christian symbol: You can find it in every church, on various Christian occasions, as an ornament or on the top of a mountain.


The lamb symbolizes both Jesus Christ and believing Christians. John the Baptist called Jesus Christ the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29). Jesus himself, like a lamb led to the slaughter, took sin and guilt upon himself in order to redeem people. In connection with Jesus as shepherd, the lamb also serves as a symbol for the believers.


In the Christian faith, the light of the burning candle stands for the presence of God. In the Bible the light is used as a sign of hope, because the light is in contrast to the darkness. Candles and candlelight play a major role in worship and other Christian rites. There are, among other things, christening candles that accompany the person to be baptized for a lifetime, wedding candles and mourning candles. A large selection of candles for various Christian occasions and birthdays can be found in our Christian online shop.


The connected letters X and P are among the oldest symbols of Christianity. Especially during the persecution of Christians, the symbol served as a secret identification mark and reminded Christians of their strong Christian community. PX can also be read as PaX, which means peace. The letter combination was derived from the word Christ. The first two letters “CH” is a letter in Greek that looks like our Latin X. The third letter “R” looks like our Latin P as a Greek letter. This resulted in the character for PX.


The rainbow is a symbol of peace and connectedness. It stands for the bond between heaven and earth and between God and man. This symbolic meaning is also borne by the story of the Flood: At the end of the Flood, God lets a rainbow appear in the clouds.


The ship symbolizes the Christian community as well as the Christians themselves. With the ship the congregation travels together through the sea of ​​time. The shape of the mast symbolizes the cross, which gives strength and consolation on rough seas. Like the ship with the cross, man with faith at his side also finds his way through stormy life. In this sense, the sea represents the threat of sin and death. Noah's Ark is named as the model for the symbol of the ship.


When Jesus was baptized, he saw
"That the sky opened and the spirit descended on him like a dove" (Mark 1:10).
The dove therefore symbolizes the Holy Spirit. Besides, the dove is also a symbol of peace. When the flood sank, Noah sent a dove. This came back with a green olive branch in its beak, so that Noah knew that the flood was over (cf. Genesis 8: 10-11). The dove as a symbol of peace is still often depicted with an olive branch in its beak.


The water stands for purification and purity as well as for the beginning of all life. Water is an important symbol, especially at baptism, because symbolic purification creates the conditions for acceptance into the Christian community. Water is therefore a popular motif for baptism candles, baptism certificates or baptism cards. However, water does not only play an important role in baptism. According to the biblical book of Genesis, God had Noah built an ark to save Noah and his family and animals from a flood. He did this to rid the world of all evil. Through this deluge, which destroyed all evil, a new life on earth became possible.


The vine serves as a symbol of the bond between Jesus Christ and the believers.

"I am the vine, you are the branches" (cf. John 15,5)

says Jesus to his disciples. The vine is also a symbol of the wine of the sacrament.

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