What Is the Significance of the Fish Symbol?

By Wayne Jackson

“I have seen the small emblem of a fish on many cars. Sometimes the name ‘Jesus’ is enclosed; sometimes there are foreign letters. Now I am seeing the same fish-sign with the name ‘Darwin’ within. What is the significance of this?”

The fish became a symbol for Christianity in the early days of the post-apostolic church. It frequently is found carved on the walls of the catacombs beneath the ancient city of Rome.

The Greek word for “fish” is ichthus, and each letter represented a word, namely: i (Iesous—Jesus), ch (Christos—Christ), th (theou—of God), u (huios—son), s (soter—savior). The fish thus became sort of a code word during times of persecution by which believers expressed the conviction: “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Savior.”

In the “Darwin” symbol, you will notice that tiny feet have been added to the fish image. This is designed to suggest that fish evolved into walking creatures. It is not difficult to detect the philosophy of those who display this emblem.

This new symbol is quite revealing. First, it suggests that the displayer dishonors the Creator and the Bible, and that he has contempt for Jesus Christ. Second, it reveals that the owner is ignorant of the genuine facts of science. Third, the symbol demonstrates that the growing influence of creationists has greatly irritated evolutionists. Creation science has made tremendous headway in recent years. Let us continue to press the battle.

Perhaps it is unnecessary to mention that the Christian’s teaching and example are really all he needs to demonstrate his faith. When we really “live” our convictions, that will be observed by our contemporaries.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.