The Cross Inscription

The Bible says that an inscription was placed above the head of Jesus on the cross. This image is a reconstruction of the inscription written by the Romans over the cross of Jesus in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.

John 19:19, 20 "And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, 'JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.' Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek."

The Romans placed a large inscription over a crucified criminal who was being executed. The execution took place in a very public area for everyone to see. This would of course deter people from any sort of rebellion against the Roman Empire. The Bible says that the inscription was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Hebrew during the time of Jesus was a Jewish dialect of Aramaic and was referred to in the Gospels as “Hebrew". Religious and educated Jews wrote and spoke Hebrew in it’s purest form. Everyone could clearly see the crime that Jesus was being condemned for because of the 3 languages. The common person, the rabbis, the religious leaders, the Romans, the educated and uneducated Jews, and the Hellenized cultures who spoke Greek including the Jews of the Diaspora would come to Jerusalem for the Passover. The exact writing on this inscription image is from the Hebrew found on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and from Greek and Latin discovered on the walls of Pompeii.

Scriptures about the Cross

John 6:17 - and after getting into a boat, they [started to] cross the sea to Capernaum. And it had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.

John 19:17 - They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.

John 19:19 - And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, "JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS."

John 19:25 - Therefore the soldiers did these things. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:31 - The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high [day]), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and [that] they might be taken away.

Acts 2:23 - this [Man], delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put [Him] to death.

Acts 5:30 - "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.

Acts 10:39 - "And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.

Acts 13:29 - "And when they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.