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INRI

The recessed and dramatic crucifixion sculpture in the apse of l’église Saint Roch in Paris. The “INRI” on the sign above the head of Christ stands, of course, for “IESUS NAZARENUS REX IUDAEORUM” (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews). Acronyms in Latin and especially Greek were important to the early Church as means to communicate spiritual ideas without attracting the unwanted attention of imperial Roman persecutors. For a fascinating discussion of this, visit http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/INRI

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