In many churches we can find the symbols of a fish, a pomegranate, and a phoenix. Christianity and fish are linked. The Greek word for “fish” is ΙΧΘΥΣ. From this, Christians made an acrostic: Ιησους Χριστσς Θεου Υισς Σωτηρ, i.e., Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. Christ fed multitudes with fish, and he called his disciples, “fishers of men”. If a Christian met a stranger, he might draw an arc representing half of a simple fish symbol. If the stranger drew a second arc (completing the fish), both believers knew they were in good company. The pomegranate as a Christian symbol is derived from the myth of Properspina who was fed six pomegranate seeds by Pluto, forcing her to live six months each year with him. Christians adopted Properspina’s return to earth each spring to represent Christ’s resurrection. The explosion of seeds from a cut pomegranate is likened to Christ bursting from the tomb. The phoenix myth was also used by Christians. Every 500 years, the single existing phoenix built a nest, set it aflame, and perished in the flames. Three days later, another phoenix would rise from the ashes. The parallel to Christ’s resurrection are obvious.
~Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.