I have heard [the Christian musician] Michael Card say that the anchor was a primary Christian symbol until about 400 AD. As Michael Card observes in his recent album, : "The first century symbol wasn't the cross; it was the anchor. —Dick The anchor became a key Christian symbol during the period of Roman persecution.With him were burned all his writings, sermons, essays, and pamphlets.1525: Six thousand copies of William Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament were printed in Cologne, Germany, and smuggled into England—and then burned by the English church.
Some of the most controversial books in history are now regarded as classics.If I'm a first century Christian and I'm hiding in the catacombs and three of my best friends have just been thrown to the lions or burned at the stake, or crucified and set ablaze as torches at one of [Emperor] Nero's garden parties, the symbol that most encourages me in my faith is the anchor.When I see it, I'm reminded that Jesus is my anchor." Christian use of the anchor echoed Hebrews : "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (NIV) Epitaphs on believers' tombs dating as far back as the end of the first century frequently displayed anchors alongside messages of hope.Constantine's conquering cross replaced the anchor as a source of encouragement to believers in troubled waters., or "in the Lord"—which disappeared as Christians chose Latin over Greek as their primary language.Whatever the case, the anchor did not reappear until the 1600s, when it experienced a two-century renaissance, particularly as a symbol engraved on tombs.