The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
INRI: The Inscription Explained
"Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Iudaeorvm"

There are many crucifixes that bear the initials INRI above the head of Christ. INRI was not the actual inscription, but is a acronym for "Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Iudaeorvm." The sign was known as a titilum, or title, and was used to describe the crime of the accused.

On certain depictions of the Crucifix, both sculpted and pictorial, especially as related to the Catholic religion, one may see a stylized plaque or parchment with the letters INRI just above or below the figure of Jesus Christ. In some cases, these letters may be carved into the cross. 

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.' 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." 

Latin for "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" is "Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Iudaeorvm" and the acronym for this title is INRI. Latin uses the letter "I" instead of the English "J", and "V" instead of "U" (i.e., Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum). The English translation is then "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, "Write not, 'The King of the Jews;' but that he said, 'I am King of the Jews'." Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."

Pilate was loathe to crucify Jesus without some strong justification. The one he used was the standing Roman treaty with the Jews which allowed them self-government. When it was 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 that he claimed an illegitimate title. However John 19:21-22 states that Pilate rejected the charge that Jesus was crucified because he falsely claimed to be king and instead stated that the reason Jesus was crucified was because he was the King of the Jews. Thus, Pilate personally was convinced that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. This is further corroborated by the Eastern Orthodox Feast of Saint Pontius Pilate on June 25 since early church histories state that after converting to Christianity, Pilate himself was martyred by double crucifixion. 

Masonically INRI is read: "Igne Natura Renovatur Integra". The regeneration of nature by the influence of the sun symbolizes the spiritual regeneration of mankind by the sacred fire (truth and love) of Masonry, a purely naturalistic institution. 

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), rather than on the Latin text. 

The Jesuit Order, otherwise known as the Society of Jesus (S.J.), is the military enforcement arm of the Catholic Church. On the Jesuit flag is written the words, IUSTUM, NECAR, REGES, IMPIOS or, "It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical kings, governments, or rulers."

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INRI: The Inscription Explained