Please tell me which of the following sentences is grammatically correct. And if both are correct then what's the difference.

  1. I am a Christian
  2. I am Christian

I know this is a very basic question but somehow I got confused here. Thanks.

  • Both are grammatically correct, and mean the slightest of different things (which hopefully someone will address in an answer). I am Muslim/I am a Muslim, I am a Buddhist/I am Buddhist fit the same pattern. But as to which you should use or which is preferred, you probably want to ask (after the grammatical clarification here) on christianity.stackexchange.com – Mitch May 23 '17 at 14:19

The word Christian has both a noun and an adjective entry according to SOED. So, if you've believed in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9), you are both Christian (adj.) and a Christian (noun).

If you want to emphasis your identity as a Christian say "I am a Christian."

If you want to emphasis your quality of life you could describe yourself with the adjective, "I am Christian."

In my experience, usually things or concepts would be modified by the adjective form. E.g. a Christian church or a Christian doctrine. And, individuals would call themselves Christians.

Google ngram of usage

Looks like less and less people are declaring themselves to be Christians since the 1860s. Interesting. Regardless, clearly the most common way of saying it is "I am a Christian"!

Incidentally, the usages in the New Testament suggest that this term was used pejoratively by those outside the faith. See 1 Peter 4:16 quoted below.

ESV 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1Pe 4:16 ESV)

Declare your identity if you've got it! Why not go all out since you will likely will be reviled anyway! Don't be ashamed!

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