Etymology and OriginsFurther information: Chrism and Christian (word) See also: Holy Name of Jesus
The word Christ (or similar spellings) appears in English and most European language, owing to the Greek usage of Christós (transcribed in Latin as Christus) in the New Testament as a description for Jesus. Christ has now become a name, one part of the name "Jesus Christ", but originally it was a title (the Messiah) and not a name; however its use in "Christ Jesus" is a title.
In the Septuagint version of the Hebrew Bible, the word Christ was used to translate into Greek the Hebrew mashiach (messiah), meaning "anointed." Christós in classical Greek usage could mean covered in oil, or anointed, and is thus a literal translation of messiah.
The spelling Christ (Greek Genitive: τοῦ Χριστοῦ, toú Christoú,; Nominative: ὁ Χριστὸς, ho Christós) in English was standardized in the 18th century, when, in the spirit of the Enlightenment, the spelling of certain words was changed to fit their Greek or Latin origins. Prior to this, in Old and Middle English, the word was usually spelled Crist the i being pronounced either as /iː/, preserved in the names of churches such as St Katherine Cree, or as a short /ɪ/, preserved in the modern pronunciation of Christmas. The spelling "Christ" is attested from the 14th century.
In modern and ancient usage, even within secular terminology, Christ usually refers to Jesus, building on the centuries old tradition of such use. Since the Apostolic Age, the use of the definite article before the word Christ and its development into a proper name signifies its identification with Jesus as the promised Jewish messiah.
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Famous quotes containing the words origins and/or etymology:
“The origins of clothing are not practical. They are mystical and erotic. The primitive man in the wolf-pelt was not keeping dry; he was saying: Look what I killed. Arent I the best?”
—Katharine Hamnett (b. 1948)
“The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow the order of things.”
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