Latin/INRI

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Question
Does the N in INRI stand for Nazareus or Nazarenus?

Answer
Hello,

The N in INRI, which are the initial letters for the Latin title that Pontius Pilate wrote over the head of Jesus Christ on the cross, stands for “Nazarenus”, as we read in the Latin text of John 19:19:“Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum”(Bible Vulgate, i.e. a late fourth-century Latin translation of the Bible made by St. Jerome and known as “Vulgate”, meaning “version commonly used”).

The Latin term  “Nazarenus” corresponds to the ancient Greek Ναζωραῖος (transliterated as “Nazoraios”) which in Latin is also written as “Nazaraeus” or  “Nazareus”, as we read in e.g. Matthew 2:23, though the most common form is just “Nazarenus” (literally, “Nazarene”, i.e.  an inhabitant of Nazareth,  a city of Galilee, where Jesus lived before His ministry).

To conclude, the N in INRI stand for “Nazarenus”, according to John 19:19-20 where the apostle John wrote: ”Scripsit autem et titulum Pilatus, et posuit super crucem. Erat autem scriptum: Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum. Hunc ergo titulum multi legerunt Iudaeorum, quia prope civitatem erat locus ubi crucifixus est Iesus; et erat scriptum hebraice, graece et latine”
(And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.This title then read  many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin).

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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