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INRI (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum)

Inscription on Jesus’ cross meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”
Common clues: Crucifix inscription; Letters at Calvary; Letters on a crucifix; Cross letters; Letters for Jesus; Inscription on the cross
Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year
Good Friday

INRI is a Latin acronym for Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (English: "Jesus of Nazareth [literally 'Jesus the Nazarene'], King of the Jews [or 'Judaeans'".)

Some Eastern Orthodox depictions of the Crucifix have a slight variation, showing instead the letters INBI, based on the Greek text of the inscription on the cross, Iésous o Nazóraios o Basileus tón Ioudaión.

On certain depictions of the Crucifix, both sculpted and pictoral, especially as related to Catholicism, one may see a stylized plaque or parchment, called a Titlulus or Title, or carved directly into the cross, with the letters INRI just above(usually) or below the figure of Jesus.

In the Gospel of John (19:19–20) the inscription is explained:

"Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews' (or 'Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews,' depending on Bible version). Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek."

As Pilate was loath to crucify Jesus without justification, he used the standing Roman treaty with the Jews which allowed them limited self-government. When the Jewish priests complained that Jesus was interfering with that self-rule by holding himself to possess authority that he lacked, Pilate challenged him to deny that he was called "King of Jews". Jesus did not deny the accusation.

Some believe that the justification for his crucifixion was his claim to an illegitimate title. However, John 19:21–22 KJV, alludes that Pilate rejected the charge that Jesus was crucified because he falsely claimed to be king and instead stated that Jesus was crucified was because he was the King of the Jews. Thus, some Christians claim that Pilate was personally convinced that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. This is further corroborated by the Abyssinian Coptic Orthodox Church Feast of Saint Pontius Pilate on June 25 since early church histories state that after converting to Christianity, Pilate himself was martyred by crucifixion.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "INRI".