Leolaia...any chance you ran across anything further regarding the earliest use of the acrostic? As far as online quick references this page (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Biblical_Studies/Christianity/Christian_art/Primitive) has some interesting comments that would suggest the acrostic dates to about 200CE+/-. The Xtian fish was in use a century earlier and gematria is of course much older.
What is the JW view of the Ichtus (Fish) christianity symbol?
JWs demonize everything that they have not themselves made up.
So the fish has gotta be demonized, don't you think?
Certain images are central to art. There are only so many combinations. When something has an exclusively different character, such as the fish, lamb and cross, what does it matter if people of a different culture once used something similar. No one sees a double meaning to the cross -- well, maybe Madonna. I don't think pagan is a good word to refer to pre-existing traditions. They are not less valued b/c some religion just happened to outlast them. They once reigned as legitimate. I had an encounter with voodoo candles where I volunteer. It is in a high-church Anglican space. Very European but people of African and Caribean descent moved into the neighborhood. I read of this happening in Catholic churches. My first reaction was terror. Pure terror because of the Witness belief concerning demons. There is no magic that makes white, beeswax, elegant candles any more proper than voodoo candles. Voodoo is a wrong term, too. Both groups seek to reach out to their concept of God.
I was told to leave the candles unharmed. It was not easy for me but I survived. Demons did not jump into my bed and ravish me that night. When the Witnesses moved the demons out of the living room and outdoors to the bedroom, I was done with officially believing in demons.