She's the one.
I'm surprised this topic didn't get any bites. I expected there would be lots of replies with various thoughts expressed. But that's just the way it goes, I guess.
The idea of a formalized code in the writings of "pastors" to their congregations just doesn't jell in my mind. Maybe the Old Testament writings ....... but not the new. That's why I couldn't get turned on by Thiering's theory.
When Mondo wrote "God=X" and I played with that a bit it suddenly struck me that the sign of the Fish DID contain a secret between Christians and was coded ........ and then it suddenly struck me that these early Christians almost certainly would have developed their own lingo to protect themselves from spies and insincere busybodies.
In turn, I immediately thought of Paul and all his talk of being foolish and appearing to be foolish and when I did a word search on that, it linked to tongues!
Certain terms which are nigh-hallowed to Christians today, might very well have been esoteric expressions that meant something quite different to the folks who wrote those epistles.
One should always bear in mind that the epistles weren't written for posterity. They weren't intended to be study guides or instructions for future generations to become Christians. They were informal communiques between members of the time and for that time only.