Monday, August 15, 2011

What do the letters I.N.R.I. on the crucifix mean?

In St. John's account of the passion, he tells us that Pilate wrote an inscription to hang on Jesus' cross. It was not un-heard of in the ancient world for the most notorious criminals to have their offense published as they were being put to death; I suppose that it served as a warning to others about the consequences for certain actions.

John tells us further that the inscription (in Latin the word is "titulus") was written in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, which were the prevalent languages in Jerusalem at that time. The letters I.N.R.I. represent this titulus, but on the part that was written in Latin. If the words were spelled-out it would read "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Ludaeorum" or in English "Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews". The letter "j" does not exist in Latin, so the letter "I" is used in it's place but with the same sound.

According to tradition, the board on which the inscription was written was recovered by St. Helen in the fourth century during her trip to the Holy Land and is now kept in the Church of the Holy Cross in Rome.

Now you know!

submitted by: Robert's Heirloom Rosaries

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