As each Christmas season arrives in the US, our culture faces an ever-evolving posture towards embracing the religious roots of the holiday. While many businesses and organizations are slowly migrating away from the use of Christmas in public and commercial communications, there are still plenty that continue to acknowledge the traditional title.
However, one alternative title, “Xmas” still sparks controversy. The use of “Xmas” is often described by Christians as culture’s continued attempt to sanitize Christmas of its faith-filled meaning. To remove “Christ” from the title completely seems to fit this narrative, but a quick look at history clearly reveals that “Xmas” isn’t a removal of Christ at all. It’s the opposite.
First, we observe the meaning of the letter “X.” In Greek the word “Christos” meaning Christ is Χριστός. You’ll notice the “X” (chi in greek) is the first letter of this word.
Next, we’ll explore how Χριστός became abbreviated to simply “X.” The shorthand for Christ became popularized in the early fourth century by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great according to Vox. Historians account in a battle against Maxentius, Constantine was given a vision from God to create a military banner bearing the first two letters of Christ (chi and rho) thus becoming the abbreviation of Jesus Christ.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Chanshi Chibwe