Ankh meaning in Christianity

Ankh meaning in Christianity

 The Ankh is an Ancient Egyptian symbol that functions as both a symbol of life (breath of life, gift of life, back to life), fertility and immortality (life after death).

All ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses of kemet are depicted in ancient egyptian art. The Ankh cross, used by Anubis, Protector Egyptian god of the underword, is the symbolic of the deceased ressurection and the rebirth of the souls in front of Isis and Osiris, feminine and masculine mythical . God Horus is the personification of the his ressurected deity father Osiris by the mother-goddess Isis. 

The meaning of the Ankh is not completely portrayed, and still have mysteries,but it appears to mean “striving” or “working toward” something. Christians who wear ankhs on the soles of their feet signify self-righteousness or holy work. 

This means that Christians who have studied the teachings of Jesus are working toward moral perfection through their walk with God. Ankhs are worn on the soles of the feet as a sign of self-righteousness or holy work.

Follow this guide to know what the meaning of the Ankh is in Christianity, from true Christians to weirdos and believers in God. Multiple interpretations of the Ankh are common.


The Egyptian Ankh cross

In Egyptian history, The Ankh is a sacred Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and number that has been part of the civilization for more than 1,000 years. It’s also one of the oldest and most important astronomical symbols in the world. The word “ankh” means “a piece of metal or stone,” which means this ancient symbol represents strong power as well as wisdom, knowledge, and leadership.

In Christianity, the ankh is considered to be a sign of Jesus Christ and His promise of eternal life. In doing so, we are also reminded that there are many other ancient symbols in our world that have meaning beyond what they can mean in Christianity 

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From Egyptian mythology to Coptic churches

The ankh cross, sometimes also known as the kemitic ankh, is formed by a capital "T" with a circle on top. Others will describe it more as a basic Christian cross, its upper branch having been replaced by a circle.

In addition to the question of its description, how the ankh cross came to be is also open to debate. Some archaeologists and historians believe that it could represent the path of the sun on the horizon, or the strap of a sandal, or even the combination of simple symbols associated with male and female genitalia.

Whatever the case, there is a good chance that the ankh crosses originated in a pre-Christian pagan egyptian culture: ancient Egypt. The ankh cross is most likely related to hand mirrors, which were very popular accessories during the time of the pharaohs and rich in symbolism.

For Ancient Egyptians, the word ankh can be translated as "life" or "mirror". There is therefore a strong possibility that the ankh cross has a significance that predates Christ. At this level, all interpretations are allowed ...

It does not matter in the end! The fact is that this symbol has long been recovered by the Coptic Christian Church which has attributed to it all the symbolism of the Holy Cross. 

This will probably not please a Catholic, and even less a Protestant, but its religious meaning is no less pious. 

Don't worry: as long as you give more weight to its present meaning than to its past, there is no reason why the ankh cross cannot serve as an object of piety like any other cross.


The Coptic cross

The Coptic cross:  Ancient roots very christian

The Coptic religion is a branch of Eastern Catholicism mainly present in Egypt and the Middle East.

It is different by particular rites, which culturally are very close to the oriental and Arab traditions in general and therefore very different from what we can see in the rest of the world. The symbols it uses are also different. 

The Coptic cross is a wonderful example.

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Coptic cross history

From the life of the deities to life in Christ

this symbol had an unusual destiny when Egypt became Christian. The ecclesiastical author Sozomen († around 450) reports that when Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria destroyed the great temple of the god Serapis in 391 in order to exalt the victory of Christianity over paganism, a few walls remained on which were represented the ânkh cross. The Christians saw in this a sign: in fact, did not this cross, which represented life for their ancestors, resemble the cross of Christ, the instrument of the triumph of life over death? There was an analogy there that the ankh crosses having escaped as if by miracle from the ruin of the Serapium invited to exploit.


This is how the Copts, Christians of Egypt, adopted the Pharaonic cross as a Christian cross. A rare example of transmutation of a symbol of one religion into another. In a certain way, the Church of Egypt assumed the seductive idea that God may have communicated to men bits of the Revelation before the coming of the Son into this world. Mysteriously, Pharaoh's people knew that the cross was the source of life. In the early Christian centuries of Egypt, the ankh cross was often depicted on cloth or funerary stelae, occasionally alongside other forms of the cross more common in the rest of the Christian world. But after the Arab conquest in the 7th century, its use gradually disappeared.

Today, only Copts who are interested in pharaonic antiquity still use the symbol of the ankh cross. In common use, the crosses that Christians in Egypt wear or tattoo themselves with have a great variety of forms, but they are very different from the ânkh cross. Very popular is the "monastic" cross woven from red and black leather, with four branches each ending in three circles, so that the whole symbolizes the twelve apostles surrounding Christ. 

Coptic church man


The Coptic cross: A symbol of life in the east

The Coptic cross is known to have been used in manuscripts and illuminations are many forms. One of the most famous resembles a pagan symbol of ancient Egypt: the cross of the Ankh.

In fact, some Christians have a long history, some of whose roots may lie in the religions that preceded Christ.

Because some pagans who had not yet had the chance to be evangelized still had a desire to meet God, some analyses and ways of seeing the world may be common with Christians.

Some see it as a symbol of life and renewal. The message would then be that of a new spiritual life offered by the death of Jesus on the cross.

For others, the Coptic cross shows us by its circle that God has no beginning and no end. It may, for example, remind us of the meaning of "alpha and omega".

In short, far from being a pagan symbol, the Coptic cross is a real subject of study that fascinates many Christians throughout the world.

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The Ethiopian Cross: The originality of the origins of Christianity


As a representation and reminder of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the cross is the universal symbol of Christianity, regardless of the branches we are talking about. The message of the Ethiopian crosses is therefore not fundamentally different from that of other crosses.

A few years after the death of Christ, the apostles spread the news of the Gospel to the four corners of the known world. Ethiopia was one of the first countries to be converted and to recognize the one God. The Ethiopian cross therefore tells us a lot about the history of an early Christianity that remained relatively pure.

In a short period of time, the religion took an important place in this African country, a place that has been maintained until today. Egypt also had Copts, as did the Byzantine Empire, but Ethiopia clearly stands out.

The Ethiopian Church has thus developed, over several hundred years, its own liturgy, a particular educational system, a monastic tradition unique in the world... In short, it has set itself apart from the rest of Christianity. Of course, this can also be seen in the Ethiopian cross.

As a general rule, the religious art on temples and statues of the country is distinguished by a richness and very sophisticated ornaments. Thus, the Ethiopian cross is often composed of complex geometric patterns. The materials chosen will be gold and silver and the ceremonies that will use it will consist of sumptuous processions.

In short, even if the kings and rulers of Ethiopia have sometimes relied on the symbol of the Ethiopian cross to establish their power, the fact is that the faithful have tried to stay as close as possible to the original message of the Gospels.

Thus, even if there may have been political messages behind it, the Ethiopian cross has remained synonymous with a moral order that God has shown us. In a modern society that tends to take us further and further away from the morality that the Christian religion brings us, the Christian cross is a very precious cross.

egyptian coptic chistianity

Facts Resume

  • This strong symbol in Egypt is also present in Provence since the most remote times.
  • The Ankh Cross has even entered modern civilizations through music, cinema, comics...
  • This strong symbol in Egypt is also present in Provence since the most remote times.
  • The Ankh Cross has even entered modern civilizations through music, cinema, comics...
  • Ânkh is the Egyptian hieroglyph which means "Life". Its origins are unknown.
  • A majority is in favor of the ankh cross as a symbol of the river Nile (bar of Upper Egypt and the course of the Nile) and its delta (loop).
  • As for the Latin cross, the vertical axis could symbolize the divine dimension and the horizontal axis the physical axis.
  • More disputed hypotheses associate it with a stylized uterus, the vertebra of an ox or the strap of a sandal...
  • Ânkh is an attribute of the Egyptian gods who are represented holding it by the buckle or carrying one in each hand with the arms crossed on the chest.
  • The Ankh is to be compared to the "Mirror of Venus" (circle surmounting a cross)
  • The ankh cross symbol of the Coptic Church.
  • The Romans call it the cruz ansata or ankh cross.
  • The ankh cross is used in Coptic churches.
  • The Copts, Christians of Egypt.
  • The Church of Alexandria of the evangelist Mark, is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world.
  • The Coptic Church has its own rite and represents the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
  • Like all Eastern Christians, the Coptic Church suffers from radical Islam.
  • The ankh cross governs the world from creation to death, and beyond death into eternal life.
  • It is only with the peace established by Emperor Constantine I, in the 4th century, that the Cross begins to develop as a Christian symbol outside Egypt.
  • The Chrisitan Cross is the source of eternal life like Ankh.

Christian cross Egyptian ankh 


In the ancient Mediterranean world, ancient egyptian religion is at the same time a set of practices indispensable to both public and domestic life, a permanent reference to another familiar world and a possible recourse in all the uncertainties of life. Polytheism offers such a variety of solutions to all these problems that it hardly fits into a defined framework. It is characterized more as a state of mind, as a mode of perception of the divine, as a therapy for individual and collective tragedies, than as a system of beliefs. 

However, Christianity, which originated from the Jewish system of worship, illustrates another aspect of religion with defined convictions, precise moral requirements and a glorious hope sent back to another world. The incompatibilities are obvious and the reciprocal rejection obvious.

As an exclusive monotheism, Christianity is in competition with pagan cults which can accommodate multiplicity. In a very lively polemic, it attacked all these religions. The Christians denounced their inefficiency, immorality and all their inconsistencies with great insistence in an impressive mass of writings. This opposition, constantly reaffirmed, maintains a noisy debate where rhetoric is not absent. This confrontation conceals more subtle phenomena which are the result of discrete assimilation. The very real religious requests which found an answer in paganism are now satisfied in Christianity...

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