What does I.N.R.I. mean?
This might sound like a stupid question, but what does INRI stand for and what does it mean?
It's not a stupid question, at all. In fact, I've probably had three dozen people email me and ask me that same question in the past few weeks.
I.N.R.I. is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase, Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum...
Ya', pretty cool sounding huh? I think so, too, I only wish I could pronounce it without sounding like my tongue was swollen from a bee sting.
That is the Latin phrase (I.N.R.I.) for "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews".
We abbreviate it because writing all of that out on little crucifixes would require a smaller font than even your computer has to offer.
More to the point, however, we read in John 19:19, that was the inscription that Pontius Pilate ordered to be written and placed in three languages - Hebrew, Greek and Latin (all three popular languages of the ancient world) - upon the cross, much to the dismay of the chief priests and Pharisees.
"Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, 'Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.' Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, 'Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews.' Pilate answered, 'What I have written, I have written.'" - John 19:19-22
Pray that verse, Pilate is saying quite a bit there.
Remember, the sign over Christ's body said "Who" He was, but it was His crucified body below that sign that proclaimed Whose He was...
Thanks for the question!
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