Symbols in Christianity
Christianity has always incorporated symbols - that is, visual representations and signs - into its practice, as valuable expressions of truth. The depiction of an important element of the faith, by means of an animal or color, for instance, can be powerful and encouraging. What words cannot say, sometimes symbols can. While Christians are known for being people of faith, the religion has produced some of the most beautiful art in history. Whether they be carved on first-century tombs or tattooed on twenty-first century bodies, symbols matter in the Christian religion.
Christians believe that God created human senses - sight, touch, taste, sound, and smell. Of course faith is of utmost importance in Christianity, but the physical abilities God gave people aren't unimportant. It is helpful to understand that the Christian worldview doesn't teach that immaterial and the material are in competition with each other or opposed to each other. in fact, faith experiences can be supported by a sensory experience such as when the Apostle Paul laid hands on people when he prayed for them (Acts 19:4-6).
Stars in the Bible
A star is a logical symbol to be used in Christianity. The Bible teaches that God is the creator of not only the earth, but also the "heavens."
Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In context, "heavens" doesn't refer to a place in the afterlife, but to various celestial bodies, such as moons, planets, comets, galaxies, and stars, like the sun.
According to the Bible, stars were placed in the sky by the direct hand of God (cf. Psalm 8:3) and God has given them all a name, "He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names" (Ps. 147:4).
As beautiful aspects of God's creation, celestial bodies, like stars, encourage people to worship God, according to Psalm 148:3, which says, "Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!"
Furthermore, God has used stars to communicate to people in the past, such as at the time of Christ's birth, as recorded in Matthew 2:2, when the visiting wisemen ask, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
What is the meaning of the 4-point star in Christianity?
The four-pointed star symbol in Christianity is usually styled to resemble a cross.
Also known as the Star of Bethlehem or natal star, this star represents both Jesus' birth and the purpose for which he was born.
It is used especially for church decoration during the Advent and Christmas seasons.Related Bible Verses
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. (Numbers 24:17, NIV)
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." (Matthew 2:1-2, NRSV)
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. (Matthew 2:7-10, NRSV)See also: 5-point star, 6-point star (right), 8-point star (right), and 9-point star, and 12-point star. References
- Most color illustrations on this page are the work of Walter E. Gast.
- Carolle E. Whittenmore, ed., Symbols of the Church.
- W.E. Post, Saints, Signs, and Symbols.
- George Wells Ferguson, Signs & Symbols in Christian Art.
- Frederick Rest, Our Christian Symbols.