Listen Live
    Jesus

    New Theory Challenges the Mystery of Jesus' 'Middle Name'

    CC0
    Society
    Get short URL
    13156
    Subscribe

    If the new hypothesis is to be believed, it all comes down to "ignorant Americans" with little knowledge of the Greek alphabet coming in contact with Christian monograms.

    A bold new theory that was recently published online offers an answer to the origins of the phrase "Jesus H. Christ" and the meaning of the letter "H" in this particular version of God's name.

    The theory, first posted on Q&A website Quora by Spencer Alexander McDaniel, claims that the misunderstanding essentially stems from the Christians' use of monograms used to spell Jesus' name without writing it fully.

    The monogram in question, “IHC', the author notes, is comprised of the first three letters of the Greek spelling of the word "Jesus".

    A medieval-style version of the IHC (or JHC) monogram of the name of Jesus (i.e. the traditional Christogram symbol of western Christianity), derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, Iota-Eta-Sigma (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), with the Greek letter sigma equated to Latin-alphabet C due to the common lunate form of sigma (i.e. IHCOYC)
    A medieval-style version of the IHC (or JHC) monogram of the name of Jesus (i.e. the traditional Christogram symbol of western Christianity), derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, Iota-Eta-Sigma (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), with the Greek letter sigma equated to Latin-alphabet "C" due to the common "lunate" form of sigma (i.e. IHCOYC)

    "At some point, however, presumably sometime in the early 19th century, ignorant Americans who were accustomed to the Latin alphabet and who knew nothing of the Greek alphabet mistook the letters of the IHϹ monogram for the Latin letters J, H, and C", the author postulates.

    And while they apparently decided that "J" and "C" stand for "Jesus" and "Christ" respectively, the meaning of the letter "H" seemed to elude them.

    "Apparently, some people just concluded, 'Hey, I guess H must be his middle initial!'" the theory's author remarked.

    Noting how the phrase "Jesus H. Christ" then became "somewhat of a joke" and was used as a mild expletive, he also recalled one of the earliest instances of its use, found in the autobiography of Mark Twain himself.

    Describing his work as a printer's apprentice, Twain mentions how he was tasked with printing pamphlets for evangelical preacher Alexander Campbell, the leader of the "Restoration Movement".

    And when the printer accidentally dropped a few words, he decided to fill in the missing words by abbreviating "Jesus Christ" as "J.C.", rather than resetting whole three pages of text.

    Rev. Campbell, however, insisted that one must not "diminish" the name of the Lord and had the printer reset the text, which prompted the annoyed printed to spell the Saviour's name as "Jesus H. Christ".

    Related:

    What's Your Beef with Right-Wing Christian Movies?
    Archaeologists Unearth OLDEST Christian Church Outside Egypt’s Alexandria
    Tags:
    theory, origin, name, Jesus Christ
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik