Extreme Ankh-tion
Monday September 15th 2008, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Books,Patristics

Last week I was on Chuck Neff’s “Searching the Word,” on Relevant Radio, talking up my new book, Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols. Chuck took a special interest in my chapter on early Christian use of the Ankh, or crux ansata (cross with a handle). Since the time of the Pharaohs, Egyptians have used the Ankh as a symbol of everlasting life. An emblem of the Nile River god, the ankh represented the “key” he used to unlock the floodgates for the annual fertility of the land. Later, for Coptic Christians, it represented the cross of Christ, the key that released the baptismal flood upon the entire earth.

Anyway … I got an email from my old buddy Andy Owens, a great financial whiz, who’s now living and banking in Chicago. And he says: “I’m listening to you now on Relevant Radio discussing your new book. I’m going to mass-produce and sell ‘Ankh if you love Jesus’ bumper stickers. You want in? We’ll make $100s.”

Well, no one ever went broke by taking Andy’s advice. (I’m sure Lehman wouldn’t listen.) So I’ll see you at the country club. I’ll be wearing my Ankh.


6 Comments so far
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Isn’t “ankh) part of King Tut’s name? TutANKHamen? I heard that somewhere.

BobAnkhPegritz, nephew of my Ankhle Raymond

Comment by Bob Pegritz 09.16.08 @ 9:19 am

I think you’re ankh to something, Bob.

Comment by Mike Aquilina 09.16.08 @ 9:23 am

O my goodness … what have I started?????

Comment by Andy Owens 09.16.08 @ 10:16 am

Andy, you’ve started a new field: ankhology.

Comment by Mike Aquilina 09.16.08 @ 10:20 am

Yes, the ankh is the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic logogram for life. That is, the Egyptian word for life is actually ankh, and the symbol thus represents life iconographically. It’s everywhere in Egyptian art. You’ll often see the ankh being held to the lips of a pharaoh by a god, indicating such-and-such god has given life to such-and-such pharaoh. That the Copts appropriated the ankh for their form of the Cross is perfectly fitting, as it is, of course, the Lifegiving Cross.

Comment by Kevin P. Edgecomb 09.16.08 @ 5:45 pm

I so appreciate your sense of humor. Very funny. Very, Very funny. All I could think of though were your girls and how they probably don’t think the same way about Dad’s sense of humor!

Comment by Christina 09.16.08 @ 11:32 pm



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