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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why do people say "Jesus H. Christ"?

: jesus h christ origin

Answer: First, it dates back to at least the late 19th century, though according to Mark Twain, it was already old in 1850. Theories:
  • "Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy name."
  • The Greek name for Jesus is Ιησούς, and the first 3 letters are transliterated as IHS, IHC, JHS or JHC.
  • IHS gave rise to the backronym Iesus Hominum Salvator (Latin for "Jesus, savior of men"), so it is plausible that JHC similarly led to Jesus Harold Christ.
  • Before an important battle in 312, Emperor Constantine saw vision of the cross in the sky and heard a voice saying that he would conquer "in this sign," in Latin in hoc signo, i.e. IHS.
And this:
The earliest writer to speculate on the initials of Jesus is the author of the 2nd century "Epistle of Barnabas" (9:6-7). ..."Learn therefore, children of love, concerning all things abundantly, that Abraham, who first appointed circumcision, looked forward in the spirit unto Jesus, when he circumcised having received the ordinances of three letters. For the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household eighteen males and three hundred. What then was the knowledge given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen first, and then after an interval three hundred. In the eighteen 'I' stands for ten, 'H' for eight. Here thou hast JESUS (IHSOYS). And because the cross in the 'T' was to have grace, He saith also three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in the remaining one the cross."
Source:, Wikipedia

The More You Know:


Katrina said...

I'm so glad I have you to look up things for me

Ariana said...

Yay!!! Kat got you to look this up! I still think his middle name is Hussein... What kind of a god would give their kid a middle name like Harold?! Pshhh. Talk about boring.

Mark T. said...

In the first place, 'Harold' is a child's humorous misunderstanding of the phrase, "... hallowed be thy name". It NEVER was intended to taken seriously!

An alternate possibility of what the "H" represents is that it's an attempt to NOT use the Lord's name in vain... As if a person STARTED to use the name, caught him (or her)self, and added the "H" as a preventative measure. Such is the way that living languages change with popular usage.

Jennifer Siple said...

Ugh its not harold it herald meaning someone who speaks word, a person who goes around telling others of news or things of the world. During that time period job titles were part of your name. Like so and so son of whoever hailing from any place. He was a herald.

Devin Ellis said...

This is stupid... They didn't have middle or last names back then. Your official title was your name and where you were from, i.e. "Jesus of Nazareth" Christ isn't anybody's last name, it's just a title. Like "doctor" "professor" "sir" etc.

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