in the link the original text by Daniele Di Luciano in Italian
In The Exodus 20,2 God reveals his name to Moses:
“I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
The very word translated with “the LORD” is the famous Tetra-gram that the Hebrews have a hard time pronouncing: “YHWH“, vocalizing it in various way amongst which “Yahweh“. The four Hebrew letters that form it are: “יהוה“, yod-he-waw-he. We shall remind you that the Hebrew is to be read from right to left.
In the Gospel according to John, chapter 19 verses 16-22, we read:
“16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20 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, and Greek, and Latin.
21 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.
22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.”
Although this text being famous, the stage in front of the crucified Jesus must of being a bit different from haw we always have imagined it. John seemingly tried to underline it but the reader not being acquainted with the Hebrew language is prevented from understanding that.
The inscription John is talking about is the famous acronym “INRI“, than until nowadays is painted above any crucifix. The acronym that stands for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum“, means exactly “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.“.
But John specifies that the inscription was also in Hebrew. Not only that: in a such important moment the gospel writer seems to stop on certain details of little importance:
- the fact that many have read that inscription because the crucifixion place was close to the city,
- the most important of priests asking Pilate to modify the inscription,
- Pilate that denies their request.
Henri Tisot, an expert of the Hebrew language, asked various rabbis to comprehend what was the exact Hebrew translation of the Latin inscription placed by Pilate. He is talking about it in his book “Eva, la donna” pages 216 to 220.
He discovered that it is grammatically mandatory, in Hebrew, to write “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.“. in a certain way and the result is “ישוע הנוצרי ומלך היהודים“. We remind you to read from right to left.
Those letters are the equivalent of our “Yshu Hnotsri Wmlk Hyhudim” spoken as “Yeshua Hanotsari Wemelek Hayehudim“.
Therefore as in the Latin you obtain the acronym “INRI“, and for the inscription in Hebrew you get “יהוה“, “YHWH“.
Here is the explanation of the reason John pays so much attention to this situation that takes place just below the cross of Jesus. In that very instant the Jews could see the men they have asked to be killed, the one that stated his is the Son of God, with the name of God, the famous tetra-gram, just above his head.
It wouldn't work right for them that the YHWH was written there, visible to all, and they tried to convince Pilate to change it. Here is where the sentence of the roman ruler "What I have written I have written" earns a much more profound significance.
Seems incredible? Think that Jesus have had a prophecy about that very moment. In John 8,28 it says:
“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he,”
By "lifting up" Jesus meant the crucifixion. "I AM" points to the name of God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3,14:
“14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.“
Translated in 2016, May 07