What does INRI stand for?



“And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” – John 19:19

Pontius Pilates inscribed the INRI acronym above Christ after he was placed on the cross. These letters are the initials of the latin phrase “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum which translates to Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. He also inscribed the same phrase in Greek and Hebrew.

These four letters were used by early Christians as a symbol of their faith and can be found in lots of early art work.

The following verses from John 19 offer a bit more context for what happened after Pilates inscribed INRI on the cross:

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.”

The first biblical use of the phrase “The king of Jews” happens in Matthew 2 in the following two verses:

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”

So now you know what the letters mean the next time you see them!


Now that you know what INRI stands for, you can wear your knowledge (and your faith) with pride with one of these nice INRI necklaces.

This striking stainless steel necklace has a 24 inch chain and a very nice design.

Next up is a black stainless steel St-Benedict cross. Subtle and dark.

And here we have an eye catching gold INRI cross.

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