Let’s Keep the X in Christmas


Every year about this time I hear about the so-called “war on Christmas.”  The problem is people mistake an attack on an American tradition as an attack on real Christianity.  Somehow greeting people with “seasons greetings” or “happy holidays” has risen to the level of an attack on the deity of Christ or the historicity of the resurrection.

Along these lines, many would have me believe there is an actual attack on Christ, a real attempt to stamp out the real reason for the season.  How many times do we see references to “Xmas”?  Are people just lazy?  Is this a conspiracy to keep people from remembering this holiday is about Jesus and His mission of redemption?  Or, is there more to the story?

Well, R.C. Sproul reminds us that there is, indeed, more to the story.  He writes,

“First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.”

I would encourage you to read the rest of Dr. Sproul’s article – What Does the X in Xmas Mean?  It’s incredibly helpful and informative.

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