The definition and the meaning of the Christian Symbol or Icon in early religious art forms. A Catholic sign or icon, such as the Ankh, is an object, character, figure, or color used to represent abstract ideas or concepts - a picture that represents an idea. A religious icon, such as the Ankh, is an image or symbolic representation with sacred significance. The meanings, origins and ancient traditions surrounding Christian symbols date back to early times when the majority of ordinary people were not able to read or write and printing was unknown. Many were 'borrowed' or drawn from early pre-Christian traditions.
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The ankh is the Egyptian hieroglyphic character that means life or living. Ancient Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand with their arms crossed over their chest. It is also known as the Egyptian Cross, or as crux ansata, Latin for "cross with a handle."
The ankh appears frequently in Egyptian tomb paintings and other art, often representing deities of the afterlife. An ankh was often carried by Egyptians as an amulet, either alone, or in connection with two other hieroglyphs that mean "strength" and "health." Mirrors were often made in the shape of an ankh.
Over time the ankh has come to symbolize life and immortality. In Egyptian art, gods were sometimes portrayed touching a mortal with an ankh, symbolizing conception, or conferring the gift of life on a dead person's mummy. Its key-like shape encourages the belief that it unlocks the gates of death, and it is viewed this way by the modern Rosicrucians and other hermetic orders. Coptic Christians have used it as a symbol of life after death."
"Should a Christian believer wear an ankh?
On One Hand: What the Church of Christ Teaches
Melvin Howard, an itinerent preacher/minister in the Church of Christ in Braswell, Ga., states that to wear an Ankh is the same as committing the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of material things as if they were God. Howard mentions that even wearing crosses and crucifixes is a form of idolatry.
On the Other: Catholic Church's Perspective
Fr. Friedricks from St. Catherine's in Warwick, Rhode Island, says there is nothing wrong with wearing ankhs. Since the four-point cross we know today is derived from the three-point ankh and the word ankh derives from the Egyptian word for life, it is symbolic for the love of life the Catholic Church promotes"
"The Ankh Cross is an ancient Egyptian symbol for life, combining the feminine circle and masculine staff to form the whole. It was adapted by early Christians because of its resemblance to the cross. In a modern context, the anke illustrates the renewed emphasis upon including both the divine feminine as well as the masculine in sacred symbols."
"The Ankh was, for the ancient Egyptians, the symbol (the actual Hieroglyphic sign) of life but it is an enduring icon that remains with us even today as a Christian cross."
One of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the ankh is a sign that means life or life giving forces. Origins of the shape may be its similarities to the shape of a sandal or a combination of male and female symbols. Prior to Christianity, the sign is combined with figures and gestures to represent life forces in different aspects, as air, water, food, plants, and sex. The symbol is often found in early Coptic art and represents the Tree of Life. In appearance, it is like a man with outstretched arms. The Coptic Church accepted the ankh as a Christian symbol as early as the fourth century. In a number of murals and carvings from the 4th to the 9th century, the ankh is shown together with a Greek cross and a Chi Rho, representing the merging of meanings. In heraldry, the ankh is the crux ansata, relating to how the ankh is often held in the hand by Egyptian figures (Latin, ansa, "handles").
Cannuyer, 46-47; Wilkinson, 168-69."
"The intention of the wearer is most important. If the wearer puts on an ankh because he worships it as a symbol, then that wearing of the ankh makes it idolatry. If the wearer puts on the ankh as a symbol of God-given life or just because he likes to wear them, then there is nothing wrong with it.
Rev. Melvin Howard from the Church of Christ in Brasville, Georgia
Fr. Friedricks from St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Warwick, Rhode Island
Is the ankh cross a Christian cross?
The Ankh was one of the earliest forms of the Christian cross called the "Crux Ansata" or 'cross with a handle'. It was adopted by early Coptic Christians."
"Ankh - Origin of the Christian Cross traces back to Ankh in Egypt
A selection of articles related to Ankh - Origin of the Christian Cross traces back to Ankh in Egypt"
THE ANSWER IS IN MY OPINION IS YES and NO IT IS YOUR OWN PERSONAL CHOICE AND EVERYONE'S REASONS ARE THEIR OWN. Q. IS THE ANKH A CHRISTIAN SYMBOL. A. YES,HOWEVER IN SPITE OF ALL MY RESEARCH ON IT "MAN WROTE THESE THINGS AND MAN CAN WRITE ANYTHING..." MY THOUGHTS: MAN WROTE THE BIBLE.... AND IT IS NOT LOGICAL THAT ALL OF MY SOURCES COLLABORATED A CONSPIRACY ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE CROSS OR THE HISTORY OF THE ANKH. SO I AM PROBABLY NOT TAKING MINE OFF...=-) FREEDOM
THE ANKH WAS THE ORIGINAL CROSS, IT IS A HIEROGLYPH THAT MEANS LIFE. NO RESEARCH THAT I HAVE FOUND DEPICTS THIS AS A NEGATIVE SYMBOL OR EVIL IN ANY WAY.
NOT JUST MY OPINION THIS IS FACT
HAVE A BLESSED DAY.