Christianity: history, origin and symbols –

Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in the world, with more than 2 billion followers. The Christian faith centers on beliefs about the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although it began with a small group of adherents, the spread and adoption of Christianity throughout the world is considered by many historians to be one of the most successful spiritual missions in human history. So let’s see what the origin and history of Christianity and also what its symbols are.

Christianity: history and origin

Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem of Judea, to a woman named Mary. He was baptized by the preacher John the Baptist, who proclaimed the word of God. He recognized in Jesus the Messiah announced by the tradition of Judaism. About thirty years old, the same Jesus became an itinerant preacher, healing the sick and performing miracles while the center of his preaching announced that with his coming to this world, the Kingdom of God had come to this world. He thus attracted the wrath of the political and religious authorities of the time who had him arrested and sentenced to death. Around the year 30, Jesus was crucified by order of the prefect Pontius Pilate.

our calendar, and the so-called Christian era begins with the year of Christ’s birth.

The birth of Christianity

A few days after the death of Jesus, his disciples announce his resurrection and recognize him as the son of God, savior of humanity. According to the Bible, he lives another forty days with his disciples before ascending to heaven. Their disciples continue to transmit the teachings of Christ and give birth to a new religious movement: the Christianity. That term comes from the word Christ, a title given to Jesus and what does the Messiah mean in Hebrew, the one sent by God to save the world.

The twelve apostles, who are the twelve closest disciples to him, scatter to announce the Gospel, to spread the Good News of the salvation given by God in his Son, Jesus Christ. the missionary Paul of Tarsus, considered the thirteenth apostle by Christian tradition, goes to meet Jews and pagans to bear witness to his faith in Jesus Christ, to whom he himself has been radically converted.

The spread of Christianity

The Christianity spread little by little in the Roman Empirealthough Pablo is assassinated there and the christians are persecuted by the Romans. The disciples of Jesus, more and more numerous, spread the Christian faith to the East during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, while, in the Roman Empire, repression continued. In the fourth century, the situation was reversed: Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, who was eventually decreed the state religion by Emperor Theodosius with his edict of Thessalonica in 392.

The evangelization then continued throughout the centuries, from the Germanic peoples to the Anglo-Saxon countries and then along the Silk Road, until reaching China and India. In the fifteenth century, evangelization reaches America.

The founding texts

Written over several centuries, The Bible is the Holy Book of the Jews on which Christianity will also be founded with writings that will come after the advent of Jesus Christ. For Christians, it consists of what will later be called the Old and New Testaments.

The Old Testament tells the story of the Jewish people. Written mainly in Hebrew, it brings together all the religious texts prior to JC It includes the five books of Moses called “Torah” in Judaism, the prophetic books and other writings. But not all of them are considered “canonical”, that is, sacred, according to religions. They are then said to be apocryphal, which means that the authenticity is considered uncertain.

The New Testament, written between AD 50 and 150, records the life of Jesus and the fundamental principles of Christianity. Written in Greek, it consists of the Gospel received in the form of four stories that bear the names of the authors that are recognized (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), the Acts of the Apostles, the 13 epistles attributed to Saint Paul, the letter to the Hebrews, whose author is unknown, the seven so-called catholic epistles (in the sense of universal) attributed to Saint Peter, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Jude and the Apocalypse of Saint John.

symbols of christianity

There are several symbols that Christianity has. Some of the first and main ones are these that we can see below:


Certainly one of the oldest symbols of Christianity is the so-called FISH (or ICHTHYS). It appears in some very old inscriptions and monograms and its origin is attributed to the transcription from ancient Greek to Latin of the initials of the words of the following Greek phrase: »Ίηδοΰς Χριοτός Θεού Υισς Σωτηρ» (Iesùs CHristò THeù HYiòs Sotèr), which translated to Spanish it becomes “Jesus Christ Son of God Savior.” Given its simple graphic execution, it was one of the methods to recognize oneself among Christians during the period of imperial persecution between I and IV

A Christian who wanted to make sure that another belonged to the same faithtraced the upper arc of the symbol and waited for the other to complete it with the lower arc to be recognized as a follower of the same religion.

Other reasons are attributed to the symbolism of the “Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes”, and to the Gospel passage in which Jesus tells Simon: “Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching men”.


This symbol, which is represented above in three derived forms, is called “MONOGRAM OF CHRIST”, or “CHI – RHO”, a name generated by the two Greek letters that make up the symbol: the “X” (in Greek “chi”). and the “P” (in Greek “rho”) representing the initials of the word “Χριοτòς” (khristòs) which in the ancient language meant “anointed one”, word used to identify Jesus. Later, two other Greek letters were added to the original symbol, the «»; Alpha and Omega that, first and last letter of the Greek alphabet, They represent the beginning and the end of creation.


This symbol has been used by the Catholic Church since the early Middle Ages to identify Jesus , Iesus (in Latin) or Ι ησΰς (in Greek). The use of it was then widely spread by Saint Bernardino da Siena, who in the 14th century proposed it for his veneration as a sacred iconography that enveloped him in sunlight.

The meaning can be interpreted with the abbreviation of the initials of the Latin phrase “Jesus Hominum Salvator” that translated It means “Jesus Savior of Men”.


The cross, during the first decades of Christianity, was certainly not considered one of the symbols of religion because, being still used as an instrument of capital execution, it would have been a bad omen. The first historical information on the use of the Cross as a symbol dates back to a pagan Babylonian sun-god, and the earliest known images in the West are found on some Roman coins from the 1st century BC. The symbol is also known in the Hindu and Buddhist cultures of India and China. For Christianity, the cross began to appear in some churches in the middle of the third century, but it was only under Constantine I.

The Christian religion now proposes the cross as the main symbol because it represents the Redemption that Jesus Christ with his death, indicated to believers as a way to reach eternal life after earthly death.