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Cross Symbol

Its intersecting bars suggesting interaction and relationship, the cross has long been used as a religious symbol. It is best known as the symbol of Christianity, but the cross was also used both before and after Christianity in other religious systems.

The Cross as Christian Symbol

The cross is one of the earliest and most widely used Christian symbol. In the most broad sense it symbolizes the religion of Christianity. More specifically, it represents and memorializes Christ's death by crucifixion on a cross.

A great variety of crosses has developed throughout Christian history, some with specific symbolic meaning and others that have simply become culturally associated with certain groups.

The simplest and most common cross is the Latin cross. It may not have come into use until the 2nd or 3rd century. The empty cross, usually favored by Protestants, reminds Christians of the resurrection, while the crucifix, with Jesus on it, favored by Catholic and Orthodox churches, is a reminder of Christ's sacrifice.

  • baptismal cross

    The baptismal cross has eight points, symbolizing regeneration. It is formed by combining the Greek cross with the Greek letter chi (X), the first letter of "Christ" in Greek. full article →
  • budded cross

    The budded cross is a common decorative form of the Christian cross. Its trefoils represent the Trinity. full article →
  • Celtic cross

    The Celtic cross is distinguished by a circle around the cross bar and intricate designs throughout. full article →
  • conqueror's cross

    The conqueror's cross or victor's cross is a Greek cross with the first and last letters of "Jesus" and "Christ" on top, and the Greek word for conquerer, nika, on the bottom... full article →
  • cross of St. Peter

    An inverted cross symbol is the cross of St. Peter, who, according to tradition, was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die the same way as Christ... full article →
  • Greek cross

    The Greek cross, with arms of equal length, is the most ancient form of the cross symbol. full article →
  • Latin cross

    The simplest and most common cross symbol used in Christianity is the Latin cross. It may not have come into use until the 2nd or 3rd century... full article →
  • papal cross

    The papal cross is the official symbol of the papacy, and may be used only by the Pope. The three bars of the cross most likely represent the three realms of the Pope's authority: the church, the world, and heaven. full article →
  • Russian Orthodox cross

    The Russian Orthodox cross consists of three bars, the lowest bar low and slanted. The top bar represents the "INRI" sign placed over Jesus' head... full article →
  • triumphant cross

    The triumphant cross with orb represents Christ's reign over the world. It is often shown atop Christ's scepter in Christian art. full article →

Article Info

Title Cross Symbol
URL www.religionfacts.com/cross
Short URLrlft.co/1470
Published
UpdatedNovember 20, 2016
MLA Citation“Cross Symbol.” ReligionFacts.com. 20 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 10 Dec. 2016. <www.religionfacts.com/cross>

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