Saturday, December 25, 2010

Xmas is NOT necessarily disrespectful of Christ

I have recently seen several examples of people objecting to Xmas as the abbreviation of Christmas. They seem to believe that the use is an attempt to "cross out Christ," or disrespect Him in some way. A brief look at the history of Xmas as an abbreviation is useful here.

X (Chi) is the first letter of Christ's name in the Greek alphabet, in which much of the New Testament was written. X (chi) makes the ch- sound.

The second letter is rho, which looks like P. It makes the r- sound.

You will often see the X and P combined into a monogram for Christ in Christian churches. Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period. Published examples date from 1753. It is not approved for formal writing, but has a very long and respectful history in informal writing (letters, memos, and notes).

I don't use Xmas except when I am making notes in my theology classes, but I do not regard its use as wrong. I use X for Christ, and Xian for Christian. It is NOT an attempt to diminish Christ in most uses. X has a long history among Christians as the initial for Christ.

Christians today are facing real persecution in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Sudan. We need to concentrate on REAL persecution and REAL attempts to diminish or insult Christ and His church and people. Excoriating people who are using an historical and respectful abbreviation is a waste of our time, and an injury to our cause.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN to that! I trust you had a wonderful Christmas celebration. Good to hear from you again on your blog. Happy New Year also full of blessings!



About Me

Jacksonville, N.C., United States
Retired teacher, motorcyclist, member of the Patriot Guard Riders, the Christian Motorcyclists Association, and the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club.