Why is this important? These scribal conventions are quite unusual and deserve an explanation because they are attributed to the earliest scribal habits of Greek literature christian authors of the new testament and the "Christianised" LXX.
When did these first appear? 1st century or 2nd century? What theories are there?
Why are they almost universally deployed during the "early Christian origins" epoch?
What are the variations from universal usage? Why is this?
Did the authors of the New Testament separately use the nomina sacra, or was there a later editor?
IF THERE WAS AN EDITOR who introduced the convention of using "sacred names" .....?
This hypothesis has been proposed by a number of scholars.
If there was a later editor, who was he and when did he introduce these "sacred names"?
Why was this system followed almost universally ??
Why did the heretics also use this system well into 4th century?
Jesus and Joshua in the Series of Books (LXX+NT) have the same encrypted code name.
The multiplicity of Greek "sacred names" mitigates away from a Jewish sect
And the use of Greek "sacred encryptions" begs the question in the 21st century as to who owned and implemented the Greek de-encryption algorithm.
If the Bibles were designed to be read by readers to the illiterate, then I presume that the readers alone would have expanded out these abbreviated "sacred names" such as "Jesus" and "Christ" etc at the time they were reading the text. Would a tabulation of the "sacred abbreviations" and the full names have been maintained somewhere, anywhere? Has any such manuscript ever been found? [To my knowledge the earliest manuscripts always use the "nomina sacra"]
Some preliminary references follow ....
Nomina sacra (singular: nomen sacrum) means "sacred names" in Latin, and can be used to refer to traditions of abbreviated writing of several frequently occurring divine names or titles in early Holy Scripture, used in Greek, Latin, and Coptic manuscripts. Bruce Metzger's book Manuscripts of the Greek Bible lists 15 such expressions from Greek papyri: the Greek counterparts of God, Lord, Jesus, Christ, Son, Spirit, David, cross, Mother, Father, Israel, Savior, Man, Jerusalem, and Heaven. The nomen sacrum for mother did not appear until the 4th century AD, but all other Nomina Sacra have been found in Greek manuscripts from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD. The contractions were indicated with overlines.
There has been a dispute about the nature of Nomina sacra, whether they represent a mere shorthand or these overlined words indeed bear a sacred meaning.
Starting sometime in the 1st century AD (exact date unknown), the nomina sacra were sometimes shortened by contraction in Christian inscriptions, resulting in sequences of Greek letters such as IH (iota-eta), IC (iota-sigma), or IHC (iota-eta-sigma) for Jesus (Greek Iēsous), and XC (chi-sigma), XP (chi-ro) and XPC (chi-rho-sigma) for Christ (Greek χριστος/Christos). Here "C" represents the "lunate" form of Greek sigma; sigma could also be transcribed into the Latin alphabet by sound, giving IHS and XPS
A collation of resource notes on nomina sacra (sacred names)
•Article 01: Introduction to the subject of sacred names
•Article 02: Joshua and Jesus - the Marcellus of Ancyra Fragment 4
•Article 03: The work of a single redactor
•Article 04: Nomina Sacra in P46
•Article 05: Chi-rho and tau-rho BCE
•Article 06: Fabulating Jesus and the Coptic Nomina Sacra
•Article 07: Discussion of early Jewish and Christian Scriptural Artifacts
•Article 08: Nomina sacra used as indication of Greek numerals
•Article 09: Bruce Manning Metzger introduction to Nomina Sacra
•Article 10: Nomina Sacra: Scribal Practice and Piety in Early Christianity