As the holidays near, it is important to remind ourselves of what we are really celebrating. Christmas day is symbolically the birthday of Jesus Christ, who according to the Christian Faith, died for our sins to be forgiven. Jesus is an important figure today regardless of what faith you may follow. However, aside from his crucifixion, many don’t know much about the meaning of word “The Mystical Christ“.
In order to know the origin of a word, it is important to study its etymology and gradual cultural changes in meaning and pronunciation. For example, the word “dis” is shortened slang for disrespect. I’ve even seen news reporters now using the word. However, if someone simply heard the word without knowing it was short for disrespect then they would have a difficult time making sense of the slang. First, we must remind ourselves that Jesus Christ was not actually his name or surname. Christ is actually a title. So it should be rendered as “Jesus the Christ” similar to “Obama the President” or its reciprocal which was actually commonly used historically as “Christ Jesus;” the same way as you might say “President Obama” or “Dr. King.”
Let us also be reminded that none of these biblical figures actually spoke English. Jesus spoke Aramaic, a Semitic language belonging to the Afroasiatic language family, which includes about 375 living languages from Africa to the Middle East. The Semitic language is a subset and includes the Canaanite languages of Hebrew, Phoenician and Arabic. The word Christ in its original context doesn’t directly have anything to do with “Savior.” Christ most directly comes from the Greek word “Khristos” or in Latin “Christus” which both essentially mean, “covered in oil.” In the Septuagint, the early version of the Hebrew Bible, Khristos replaced the word Messiah, which means, “anointed.” In the Hebrew rituals followers were anointed with holy oil. Some also believe that the word “Christ” most directly comes from Kemet/Egypt from the word “Karast” or “Krst” which was an anointing oil used during the process of mummification. But it is my assertion that even the Egyptians were influenced by another culture which I shall elaborate on.
Some may stop here and be satisfied with this explanation for the word Christ. But let’s ask ourselves, if Jesus had the title “Christ,” supposedly as a honorific title of distinction to separate himself from ordinary mankind, then how is it the word existed prior to him? If he were meant to carry a special designation that the rest of humanity is unable to obtain shouldn’t there have been another word created after his birth or death to signify him as an exception? Clearly there must have been others given the title of Christ before him in order for the word to even have existed. For example, if an alien landed on our planet and had never seen water before chances are they wouldn’t have a word for it. They would have to either adopt our word for it or make up their own. And yet because we do have water we have many ways to not only describe it in its many forms but to even describe how it flows as witnessed on any garden hose nozzle – “mist, spray, shower, jet, stream, soak” etc but it is difficult to see how you get the word “Khristos” from the word “Messiah.”