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Christian Symbol: The Anchor

What does this Christian symbol mean? 


​The Anchor was used very early on in the life of the Church. Some believe that the anchor was used as a sort of secret substitute for the cross in early Christian symbolism.

This "Crypto-Cross" symbolism is more easily seen in images like the one below, in which a fish is actually placed on the anchor, evoking images of the crucifix.

Other interpretations of the anchor hold that it symbolizes steadfast hope. This understanding is taken from Hebrews 6.19-20

Where can I find this Christian symbol?

The anchor was a fairly popular Christian symbol at one point, and can be found often in stained glass and carvings, especially in older and more ornate churches. The anchor isn't used as frequently in newer imagery, which prefers to use variations of the actual cross. 

Free Bible Study on the Anchor?


Read Psalm 33.

Why does the Psalmist place hope in the Lord? In what ways does the hope of the Psalmist fit with the image of an anchor? What image would fit better?

In what ways does the image of the anchor correspond well to hope in your life? What image would be a better fit for you?

How to preach with the Christian Symbol of the Anchor:


The anchor can be a great image to use anytime you preach about hope. It could also be easily connected to the Calvary cross.


The dual interpretation of hope and cross opens up avenues to preach about our hope in the cross, and to explore whether there is really a distinction between the two interpretations.


When would this symbol fit in the liturgical calendar?


The anchor is another symbol that is easily used at various times. Due to its versatility, and the two interpretations, it could easily be placed anywhere in the season of Easter or in ordinary time.