I.N.R.I. is the sign over Jesus' head


Pilate supposedly had Jesus nailed to the cross to die, both to keep within the Roman law and to placate the Jews who wanted Jesus out of the way permanently.  If the unlikely story is true then is it any wonder if people started lying that Jesus came back from the dead??!


The letters I.N.R.I you see on crucifixes signify Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.


The Gospels state that this sign was placed above Jesus’ head on the cross in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.


I don’t believe that.  Even the gospel says the Jews told Pilate to write that the man said he was king of the Jews.  If Pilate wrote a sign then that is probably what he did write!!


If Pilate wanted to keep the peace and was afraid to offend the emperor who demanded that all kings and would-be kings be squashed underfoot like the gospels say he would not have put up such a sign. It is dangerous to admit there is a royal line. It would mean that Jesus’ nearest relation would be the new King of the Jews. Pilate would have written, “This man lied saying he was king of the Jews”, if he could have put up a sign at all which is doubtful if Jesus had lots of angry followers and when many believed Jesus was a king before they could again even if he was not one so this claim of Jesus’ was best forgotten about. If they were all scared of Jesus’ fans instigating a riot like the gospels say then why was Jesus nailed near the city with that sign up? A gang could have went and pulled him down. It is hard to believe that there was a sign. Matthew says that the Jews were able to boss the Romans about to tell lies about the empty tomb so it would be improbable if they let that sign stay up at all. There would only have been a sign if Jesus was secretly crucified. But then there would have been no need for it and it wouldn’t have been erected!


The sign would have been invented if people believed or knew that Jesus had been executed anonymously to silence those who were unconvinced that Jesus was crucified so it stayed in the story when the version that claimed it was a public execution emerged.


We are told Pilate wrote it himself and was defiant when the Jews asked him to take it down and put up another one. He said that what was written down was written down meaning that he would not retract what he wrote for it was true. He did not speak like somebody that didn’t write it personally. When the gospel and Pilate both say he wrote it, it is not sensible to say that they mean he told a secretary to write it for there is no need for that idea. The gospels were written for simple people. He would have written it personally when the Jews came to him to complain. And they would not have been allowed to see him if the secretary had done it but they would have gone to the secretary and the secretary would have had a word with Pilate if necessary. He had the time to write it himself.


Pilate did not put the sign up in mockery for the Gospels allege that Pilate asked Jesus in John if he was a king and Jesus said yes and Pilate took his word for it and told the Jews he could not kill their king. This is incredible for you need documents to prove it and Jesus had none. Pilate would not have been that stupid. He would have been sacked for that. The gospels would say if Pilate did more than just take Jesus’ word for it.


Mark states that the charge against Jesus was his being king (Mark 15:26) and so does Matthew (27:37). The authorities would have served their own interests far better by charging him not with being a king which cannot be proved but by charging them with claiming to have been a king. The king material is supposed to be too controversial and embarrassing to have been invented which is nonsense and would depend on the sensibilities of the audience the stories were meant for. The early Christians had to say that Jesus was a king even if he never said he was for they needed to say he was the Jewish Messiah predicted in the Old Testament which was their Bible. It could be that a man thought to have been crucified and showed up after his “death” and disappeared again and all this stuff was read into his alleged resurrection from the dead.


The silly Carsten Thiede has claimed that a piece of wood in a Church in Rome which has a part of the inscription about Jesus is genuine and is not a medieval forgery. He thinks Helena, the mother of Constantine, brought it back from Palestine with the true cross. The lettering allegedly matches the first century but this is hotly disputed. Helena and Constantine wanted to unite the Roman Empire under Christianity and spread that faith and so they would have had to resort to fraud if they could not find the relics with which to do this. She found three crosses buried in Jerusalem and she worked out which one was the cross of Jesus by putting a sick person near it and the person got cured. First the gospels say that Jesus was nailed to a tree so the cross bar was nailed to a tree or tied to it and would have been taken down for somebody else to carry it after Jesus was removed from it. There were no crosses to bury.


And why bury all three? Why bury any? The Jews and Romans would not have allowed it for they wanted no Jesus cult. The same crosses were used again and again with the upright post remaining to take the crossbar.


Hebrews write from right to left and the Greek inscription on the sign does the same though it should have been written from left to right. Thiede claims that a Jewish scribe wrote the sign and made this mistake. First of all nobody would have been stupid enough to employ a man that stupid for such an important job. Secondly, it would have been checked before it was put on the cross for these things were serious. Thirdly, Pilate wrote it himself personally and would not have made an error that a schoolboy would not have made. Fourthly, there is no evidence that anybody took the sign after Jesus died. Fifthly, the most likely explanation for the letters going the wrong direction is that the author could not read but could engrave and was relying on dictation and a book of letters and the person doing the dictating could not read either.


All that exists in favour of the title is that it writes in a different order of languages from the gospel of John which alone lists the languages when you would expect a forger to retain the order. But John only said he was listing the languages not their order.


And John gives a longer title than the rest of the gospels which say “The King of the Jews” or “Jesus king of the Jews”.  John says, “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews”. It is three against John who gives the longer title. Stories get more window dressing as they are passed on so it is no surprise that the longest title appears in John’s gospel. The title or titulus of Thiede has the same words as John which probably indicates inauthenticity. The fact that it was engraved does not bode well for authenticity for it was only necessary to write on it and engraving was slow.


The title was made of walnut and walnut is available all over the Mediterranean countries so it was easy enough for Constantine or Helena to have had one made and made to match ancient scripts of which they had plenty of samples.


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