Theory claims to explain the origin of the phrase 'Jesus H. Christ'

  28 June 2019    Read: 766
Theory claims to explain the origin of the phrase

An online theory claims to have solved the misunderstood beginnings of the phrase 'Jesus H. Christ' and where the 'H' came from.   

The confusion is believed to have stemmed over the reading of an ancient monogram - where initials are woven over one another to create a motif.

Posted by site MentalFloss it claims to clear-up the error and reiterate that 'H' is not the initial of the Lord's middle name, as some would believe.

It states that the misunderstanding is from monograms used by the faith to write the Jesus' name without having to spell out the letters.

One lesser-known example for the shortening was 'IHC,' a Latin abbreviation of the Greek spelling for Jesus, using the first three letters of the word Ἰησοῦς.

As centuries went on, the letter 'I' was confused for a 'J' and then, the incorrect 'J' from 'JHC' was justified as standing for Jesus, and the 'C' for Christ.

Without an explanation for the 'H' many were then led to believe that the letter must be the initial for his middle name.

Since then, references have emerged to 'Jesus H. Christ,' typically used as a joke or as an expletive, to online uses and more.

One example of the usage, stems from American author Mark Twain's autobiography, from his childhood while working as a printer's apprentice.

Named Samuel Langhorne Clemens then, young Twain was employed to print pamphlets of the sermons of Reverend Alexander Campbell.

After setting three-pages of text, Twain noticed that the printer had dropped letters and decided to avoid having to restart it all, that he would abbreviated Jesus Christ to 'JC.'

But Rev. Campbell did not agree, furiously telling Twain to never 'diminish' the Lord's name - forcing him to reset all the text.

In a bid to strike back at his mentor, instead of writing Jesus Christ, Twain instead changed it to Jesus H. Christ.


The Daily Mail

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