Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Christ Symbol in Ephesus, Turkey and groups we are in


Above is a photo of the pendant my friend bought for me in the ancient city of Ephesus, Turkey quite a few years ago. It makes reading Ephesians even more meaningful to me.What a thoughtful gift. We co-authored two books and she knew I attended college in Turkey so she thought of me.
Below is a photo of the Christ symbol you can see if you visit the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey.


The fish in early Christianity was a symbol for Christ.
The Greek word for fish is Ichthys and the letters for Ichthys  are the following:
If you draw each letter on top of the other you will form the symbol O with 6 lines through it, looking somewhat like a pizza that is sliced.

In ancient Ephesus Christians carved this symbol into the stone walk way which you can see today if you visit Ephesus in Turkey. This symbol is also found in Athens and other places in Greece and in Rome. It is believed that like the drawn symbol of the fish (which we still see today in places like bumper stickers) this was a way of secretly announcing that Christians were near. In the early years of the church, as in many countries today, it was dangerous to be a Christian. In fact, Paul wrote Ephesians (letters to Christians in Ephesus) when he was in prison. He was eventually executed for being a Christian. I am reading a book by N.T. Wright called "Paul for Everyone: the Prison Letters, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon".
I also read that the Greek letters of Ichthys are an acronym for Jesus Christ God’s Son Our Savior
Fun to be in a study group
A nice aspect of the women's Bible study group I attend is that I meet new people of all ages and backgrounds. This one lasts for 8 weeks and has 14 members and when it ends I will probably sign up for another study. About 50 ladies showed up so we divided into 3 groups. Isn't it fun to meet new people? And see old friends too.
Are you in a group or groups that meet locally? I know some of you are in book clubs which sound like fun. One blog friend is in a group that reads poetry out loud, that also sounds like a great activity and some of you gather to knit or do crafts, also fun.

19 comments:

donna baker said...

What an exciting life you have lived.

Ann said...

I am a leader of one of the ladies bible study this Spring at our church. Out of my table of eight--three are new to me. It is fun to meet new Christians.
Ann

Linda said...

This was fascinating! I would love to be in a group with you!

Jeanie said...

I'm in a book club and we have great discussions (not always on the book but always illuminating!). This is a most interesting post!

Mari said...

I love the necklace!
I have never seen that symbol, only the fish symbol.
I'm in a group that meets for a Bible study weekly.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Thank you for sharing these very meaningful symbols..and the wonderful necklace from Turkey/Ephesus. What a wonderful experience that must have been for you to go to college in such a place! I have never seen the round circle/pie symbol for Christ before...I love how the letters for ICTHUS make that symbol. Very interesting...and to know that was how they signaled one another that Christians were near. I love that.
We have a weekly Bible Study in our home for several couples. My husband is the teacher. We are not studying any particular book except the Bible and studies within God's Word. We do have a monthly ladies' group that meets for prayer and devotional and fellowship. I would like to expand that but it just hasn't worked out for everyone's schedules.
Your post was very interesting. Thank you for sharing all of this today.

Betsy said...

I really enjoyed your post today. I did know about the symbols and how they were a signal to other Christians, but I did not know that you went to college in Turkey. My husband has traveled extensively around Turkey for work. He’s also been to Croatia, Romania, Egypt and some other countries in that area. It’s always interesting to hear the stories he has of his travels and of the people he meets. We have a small group in our home that has met together for the last 23 years. We have three couples that have been part of the group for the entire time and others that have come and gone as people have moved into the area and then away. We are all members of the same church. Many blessings, Betsy

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Your necklace and its meaning is truly beautiful. I used to be in Bible study groups, but have not for some time now. The most beautiful symbol of a Christian to me is their love. ♥

diane b said...

Its nice that you are enjoying your group. We run a photograph group for U3A (University of the third age) We also attend a travel group too.

wisps of words said...

How interesting. Drawing the letters, on top of one another, forms the circle, with "slices."

Wanda said...

How beautiful. so lovely and so meaningful. Thanks for some of the history of the sign of the fish and the words an how they make the "pizza". Remarkable.

Kay G. said...

I know the fish symbol but the circle that looks somewhat like a pizza sliced up...the amazing thing, that has been my "doodle" for years. I constantly draw that on a piece of paper when waiting on the phone...etc. Now, it will keep me mindful of Christ. Thank you.

Kathy said...

Thanks for alerting me to this post, Terra. It is so interesting that ICTHUS equals that symbol. I wish I had known this when I taught the book of Ephesians in my Bible study last year. We have finished Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. We're going on to I Thessalonians this year. Your group is huge next to ours. We usually have 5 or 6 ladies each week. But being smaller gives us more of a chance to interact and get to know each other.

Carol Z said...

I belong to two groups, each for 20+ years. One is a bible study with members of my synagogue. We've become close friends outside of the group and spend many holidays together. I also belong to a book club.

Tanna said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Terra. I've tried to email, but it would not go through. I know you know so very well how much of a blessing good health is. Thank you again. Your Bible Study group is very blessed to have you with all your knowledge. I enjoyed learning in this post that the letters become the "secret" symbol. Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your comment onmy post today.

I belong to a Book Group run by U3A. There are only five of us and we meet in one another's houses and take it in turns to choose the book (must be available in paperback to lessen the coat) We have a month to read the book and meet on Monday mornings. The meetings last an hour and a half and we have some really good discussions and get to read books we wouldn't otherwise.
I also belong a Poetry group which is by invitation only. We always meet at the same house and there are always around twelve of us. We go round and each read our favourite poems. Depending how many are there we each read about four poems and have a brief discussion after each one - either about the language of the poem or - if none of us have heard of the poet - maybe about the background of the poet. We meet every fourth Wednesday afternoon and it is one of my favourite afternoons of the month.

37paddington said...

I am in a choir. Groups—human connection—feel like salvation sometimes.

Hulk said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Terra. I've tried to email, but it would not go through. I know you know so very well how much of a blessing good health is.

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Thistle Cove Farm said...

Ephesus was the home of my favorite philosopher, Heraclitus. He who said, "You can never step in the same river twice" and "It is what it is". The information shared in your post is most welcome; it's always enjoyable and gratifying learning more about Jesus and the early church.