One of the nice things about being a Minister with a Day Job is the opportunity for theological chat over the figurative water cooler. Today I was asked for the skinny on what a church acronym meant; here is the answer, with a few more reply. If you want the proper Latin or Greek behind these, I'd suggest Google-ing.
In case you find yourself in a Christian church in the next few days and you're at a lot for what some of the emblems mean. (If you know these already, just skip ahead.)
- INRI. The crime with which Jesus was charged, namely treason, for being "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." (The Is are Js, remember.)
- XP. These are the Greek letter for the "Chr" part of "Christ."
- IHS. These are the latinized version of the Greek, being "Jes" part of "Jesus."
- AW. These are really the Greek letters alpha and omega, the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, and when used of Jesus refers to him being the beginning and end of all things.