Because of persecution, early believers lived in fear. When two people met one of them would draw an arch with his foot or finger on the ground. If the other person was a Christian, he would draw the bottom half, making the symbol of a fish. Then the other person would print the first of five Greek letters inside the fish. After writing the letter “I,” the first person would write the letter “X,” then the other person would write the “O” and so forth, until they spelled the word “IXOUS” inside the fish symbol.
The Greek word IXOUS (pronounced “ichthus”) means “fish,” but the early Christians gave the Greek word for “fish” a greater meaning.
I (iota) represents Iesous, which is Greek for “Jesus.”
X (chi) stands for Xristos, meaning “Christ.”
O (theta) is Theos, which translates “God.”
U [Y] (upsilon) represents Huios translated “Son.”
S [E] (sigma) stands for Soter, meaning “Savior.”
So the next time you see the sign of the fish remember that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, our Savior.