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  early christian graffiti

Where does the name Christian come from?

Who started the name? Was it Jesus' followers or others?

It seems to have been a nickname – Christianoi, ‘the people belonging to Christ’. At the beginning Jesus’ followers were mostly Jews. People did not notice any difference – they were just another sect.

But within a few years they began to share their experience with non-Jews and in the city of Antioch (the third largest in the Roman Empire) significant numbers began to follow Christ. Now they came from different cultures and faith backgrounds. People noticed them and gave them a nickname. Gradually the nickname stuck and became the most common name.

But this name was not essential. Usually Jesus’ followers were called disciples, or believers, or brothers.

So the word Christian simply means ‘somebody who follows Christ’. It did not originally mean ‘somebody from a particular country or community’. But over 20 centuries it has acquired a lot of historical and cultural connotations.

That’s why many today prefer to call themselves followers of Christ, in order to emphasise that you can follow Christ without changing your culture, because Christ is for people of all cultures. They don’t reject the name ‘Christian’, but they acknowledge that it needs to be properly understood.

The book of Acts in the Bible contains the first reference to the word ‘Christians’. It says that in the town of Antioch, ‘a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord… The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch’ (Acts 11:21 and 26).


Comments

the word Christ is from the Greek word Christos ‘‘the Greek god’’ who was worshiped on sun’s day and these sun worshippers does exist even to day the have their meeting on Sunday.
Jews was waiting for Messiah ‘‘the anointed’’ who was the son of God so since the new testament was translated by Greeks then,those people who translated to other languges they never change the names to other languages like Christ and Petros and if you can read to John1:40-42 you will that they were in other language Greek and you can google search this coz when Messia was here on earth the name Christians never appear and even him never called his desciple that ‘‘Christians’’

Bulelani, Sat 1 Feb, 11:58

the name Christ is a Greek name from Christos the Greek god they worshipped sun and they had a day of worshipping a sun and even today they exist is on Sunday….the Jews knew Messia ‘‘the annointed’’ so this means the new testament was translated by Greeks John1:40-42 proves that it is Greeks.Thank you!

Bulelani, Sat 1 Feb, 08:42


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Left: An early Christian symbol, seen here in Roman graffiti, contains the name of Christ in a circle.

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