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Such expressions as , or "peace be with you" speak to the hope Christians felt in their anticipation of heaven.

Archaeologists found about 70 examples of these kinds of messages in one cemetery alone.

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But where did Christians get the idea to use an anchor in the first place?

The anchor appeared as the royal emblem of Seleucus the First, king of the Seleucid dynasty established after Alexander the Great's campaigns.

Tradition holds that the sea then receded three miles to reveal Clement's body buried by angels in a marble mausoleum.

This is hardly a believable tale, but the story of Clement's martyrdom clearly inspired the persecuted Church. Scholars have found only a few examples dating as late as the middle of the third century, and none after 300 A. Their most common explanation is that as the Empire went from persecuting the Church to sponsoring it, Christians no longer needed secret symbols to identify themselves.

Seleucus reputedly chose the symbol because he had a birthmark in the shape of an anchor.

Jews living under the empire adopted the symbol on their coinage, though they phased it out under the Hasmonean ruler Alexander Jannaeus around 100 B. An even stronger explanation can be found in church history. D., the emperor Trajan banished the fourth pope, St. When the pope converted the people there, Trajan ordered that Clement be tied to an iron anchor and drowned.

There is plenty of stuff about God's will for his people, God wanting good things for you, and God's ultimate plan.

Nowhere, however, does it say that God picked out a spunky brunette whom he's waiting to spring on you at the right moment. When it comes to God, I'm pretty careful about saying what he does or doesn't do.

He says that God joins the relationship between a man and a woman at the point of marriage.

Before that, the couple has to take the initiative.

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.