Saturday, November 22, 2014

Who Put the X in Xmas?

Patricia KingA Note from Patricia King: Have you ever wondered where the term "Xmas" came from? Do you believe that someone who wanted to take "Christ" out of Christmas created it? Then read this article by our own Rob Hotchkin. You may be very surprised to find out what that X in Xmas really stands for, and why we at XP Ministries find the historical abbreviations "X" and "XP" to be very interesting and Christ-honoring.
Patricia King
XP Ministries (Extreme Prophetic Ministries)

                                                                       Who Put the X in Xmas?
Rob HotchkinAs the Christmas holiday is fast approaching, an annual event is beginning to take place. And no, I don't mean the exchange of presents, roasting chestnuts on an open fire, or office parties. I mean the rallying cry of many who say, "Let's keep 'Christ' in 'Christmas!'"

This time of year is a wonderful opportunity 2 C the whole world rejoicing over how our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ manifested in the earth so all people could be restored 2 relationship with our Heavenly Father. And just as when the wise men came 2 focus on the newborn Savior and lavish Him w/their attention and gifts, I believe w/all my heart that Jesus Christ should be the focus of the Christmas holiday today. I enjoy all the decorations, all the carols, and yes, even all the gifts. But I C each of them simply as an opportunity 2 celebrate Him who has given the greatest gift of all – our salvation! He is worthy of all worship. Christ is truly the reason 4 the season!

Having said all that, u may be surprised that I occasionally have abbreviated Christmas by writing "Xmas." Recently I wrote a promo email 4 our ministry making mention of "Xmas." Some wrote responses 2 let us know that they did not appreciate the use of the abbreviation "Xmas." In their mind, it took the "Christ" out of "Christmas." I love and appreciate anybody who is willing to stand up for our Jesus, so I was grateful that these folks took the time 2 share their concerns. You may be one who also feels that the abbreviation "Xmas" is a secular attempt 2 take "Christ" out of Christmas. But u know what? The term "Xmas" seems 2 have an origin that is actually all about Christ.

Xmas is All About Christ
The third century Church used the Greek Letters Chi ("X") and Rho ("P") – the first 2 letters in the Greek speaking of the word "Christ," and sometimes "X" by itself 2 represent Christ. In religious art of the Renaissance and Medieval periods it was quite common 2 C these intertwined letters "X" and "P" in
paintings of Christ. It is believed that this is the origin of the use of the letter "X" in "Xmas."  Online encyclopedia articles explain more:
The word "Christ" and its compounds, including "Christmas," have been abbreviated in English 4 at least the past 1,000 years... "Christ" was often written as "XP" or "Xt"... This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ and ρ used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek 4 "Christ"), and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ. The labarum, an amalgamation of the 2 Greek letters, is a symbol often used 2 represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches. 
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and the OED Supplement have cited usages of "X" or "XP" 4 "Christ" as early as 1485. The terms "Xpian" and "Xtian" have also been used 4 "Christian." The dictionary further cites usage of "Xtianity" for "Christianity" from 1634. According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, most of the evidence for these words comes from "educated Englishmen who knew their Greek."
The historical use of "Xmas" then seems 2 have been 2 represent and even recognize Christ as the focal point of Christmas – since anyone who would have used the term "Xmas" would have known Greek and known the "X" was 4 "Christ," not a secular replacement 4 Him. So the "X" in "Xmas" was not an attempt 2 take Christ out of "Christmas," but simply another way of honoring and recognizing Him. The challenge, however, comes in these modern days when the term "Xmas" is still used even though not everyone is aware of the Greek roots of the usage of "X, "XP," and "Xt" 2 represent "Christ."

I love Christ. And I love having Christmas be all about Him – the Savior, King, and Lord of all! I say let's keep "Christ" in "Christmas" – and in "Xmas" – by keeping Him in our hearts and our minds as we share His love, light, and truth w/all those around us!

Enjoy celebrating Him 2 the fullest this holiday season. A Merry "Christmas," "Xmas," and even "XPmas" 2 u all!

Robert Hotchkin
XP Ministries (Extreme Prophetic Ministries)