Friday, February 9, 2024

The Ichthys Letters: An Introduction


One of the most useful communication methods to hit the dirt running during the New Testament Era was letters. Letters were sent all over the Biblical Landscape and the message that was sent along with them was usually one of significance. Not just anyone could write either. In truth, most of the Letters that became what we know as the Biblical New Testament Narrative were not even written directly by the authors they are attributed to. 

They were written by scribes. One of the more well-known scribes was Silvanus (or as Paul called him; Silas) and he wrote the words of two of the more influential Apostles of that time, Peter and Paul. While many, including myself, attribute the letter written to the Hebrews to this man in some way or another, it is not a complete, proven fact. Another well-known scribe was a man named Tychicus. He traveled with Paul for many years and may have even traveled with him on a 4th missionary Journey to Spain. 

The Letters that make up the New Testament we refer to today are valued more today than the writers, and even the scribes, could have ever imagined and this just proves why letters still have relevance outside of that world. Many of those letters are lost in time or hidden in some forgotten family heirloom that is buried in the depths of history, but that doesn't mean they are any less important to us today or that we can't imagine what they could have etched upon their papyrus or paper. There were times when the contents of a letter written during that time impacted someone else's future so much that it completely changed their path in life. Regardless of what one may think though, letters are more of a sentimental art.

Even if you step out of the New Testament Narrative for a bit, I know—how could you even think that would be okay? Stay with me here. Throughout history, letters have been a vital form of communication. Military officials and generals have used letters to communicate battle plans and terms of surrender. Politicians have used letters to ensure their campaign comes out on top during elections. Couples who fell in love while at college or summer camp have used letters to continue their relationships. People in foreign countries have used letters to build Friendships that stand the test of time in more ways than one. Solitary monks and Religious People have used letters to share messages they believe come from the heavens with those they felt called to write to. When every other communication method fails, letters are the most likely to survive, at least in my opinion. 

This is what brings me to my Newest Project, The Ichthys Letters. This is a blog series that I will be creating from the perspective of some of the characters in The World of Kedoshim. If you have not read the introduction to this world, there is a tab at the top of this page that will take you there, or you can click this link. As many already know, I’m building a world based on the New Testament Church with the books I’m working on right now. I am so excited to share that this will tie into this blog as well. Before we get to that though, let me give you an explanation for the title. I am sure that it seems a little strange, but it will all make sense once you read the next paragraph of this introduction post. 

The Ichthys symbol is the symbol believers would use to confirm who they were during biblical times. When those who belonged to the New Testament Church met others who claimed the same faith, this is a symbol many believe that they bent down and drew in the sand. One person would draw the first half of the symbol and then the second person would finish it. This symbol was a fish. There are even people who believe that Jesus himself used this symbol when he drew a line in the sand. I cannot confirm, or deny, this of course, but the idea is that when two people wanted to ensure they were protected and could speak openly about their faith, this symbol provided that assurance. So, using this symbol while communicating what many would believe were ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’ letters is a very plausible idea. Thus, The Ichthys Letters is the title of this series.

Over the next several weeks, or whenever all of them have been written, I will start publishing these letters here. Each of the letters will continue parts of the story that have already been written and introduce characters that will show up in a future story based in The World of Kedoshim. While these letters are not meant to replace biblical content, my hope is that they will inspire others to look at scripture more for themselves. This series will be fictional but based within the context of the times to the best of my ability. As you read through them, biblical topics will be presented through the eyes of the characters in my stories. 

I can’t wait to share these with everyone. Who knows, maybe The Ichthys Letters will end up becoming its own story. Only time will tell.  The only thing I know for sure is that I’m quite about coming back to my roots, so to speak—Well, write. The first book I wrote was a book of letters and The World of Kedoshim itself was born through a few letters I had to write in college. Who would have thought I’d be back there today? 

Thanks again for visiting 'The Gathering Room' and I’ll see you in the pages. 


PS (You can find all episodes of my new Episodic Series, Finding Philemon, currently available to download at this Affiliate Link. You can also follow my author hub, Writing the Journey,  on Facebook.)

No comments:

Post a Comment