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OWLS and INRI


Guest StSean

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hey all!

while watching "owls" recently, i heard peter watts say (about the true cross), "Beneath what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, [Helena of Constantinople] foundthree crosses, two marked 'thief' and one 'INRI' – 'one to be mocked orhumiliated.'

i've asked friends who are priests but haven't been able to come upwith anything that would lead people to think that "inri" meant "to bemocked or humiliated", whether as an acronym or as a complete word itself. does anyone know where that idea came from? is it gnostic? mythology? a brave new idea? i know"millennium" takes creative license with biblical interpretations, but there's usually abasis for them.

thanks for any info you can pass along!

sean

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Hey St Sean!

Welcome to TIWWA, it's a pleasure to have you along for the ride.

I'm surprised your priest friends couldn't offer you a little clarity but Peter was indeed right in what he says albeit the dialogue is a little confusing. He isn't talking about the literal meaning of INRI (Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm) rather the spirit in which that title was bestowed upon Chris by Pilate. Pilate did not choose that inscription as mark of respect or because he recognised Christ's claim to that title but as an attempt to further mock and humiliate the dying Christ who hung on the cross. Think of it in the same vein as a world famous boxer easily defeated in a match and someone proclaiming 'that's the world's greatest boxer' - bad analogy I know but you get the gist.

So Peter was right, the INRI inscription was an attempt to mock and humiliate Christ even though that wasn't its literal meaning.

Eth

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Eth, I think you are right, but you did not go far enough. Consider that Jesus was seen by the Roman authority as a threat to the Roman orthodoxy (guards were even posted at the tomb, to prevent the corpse from being tampered with, or removed by his followers). It was an insult to Christ for certain, but it was also the iron fist of the local government trying to establish their own superiority. It in effect warns that the leader of the Jews is dead, yes, and if their king could suffer this fate so could any of them.

This is an early stage for further Christian persecutions (yup it gets worse!). In less than a century, Nero would be killing Christians in ways that are a bit too stomach churning for this forum. The treatment of Jesus on the cross was in part an attempt to put down a supposed insurrection. The hope was that by making Jesus a joke it makes the ethical heterodoxy he promulgated a joke as well.

We live in a world where too many people won't go far enough... won't do what they know is right... what they believe. I don't know how or why it got this way but the world has become so complicated, to involve yourself in someone else's problems is to invite them needlessly on yourself. ~ Frank Black

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Hi Sigil,

Evidently your understanding of the events if far superior to my own as I have only a working knowledge of Christianity and its stories and usually rely on Darlene for a more thorough interpretation of events. However, the OP only asked in what context Peter had used a particular explanation of the meaning of INRI and to answer that I felt it was only necessary to offer and brief overview of events in order to understand what Peter was referring to. I concur, however, that there was much more to the events as you describe them but to understand that particular episodic reference I'm not convinced itis necessary to know them.

If that makes any sense at all :)

Eth

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  • 8 months later...

Hey St Sean!

Welcome to TIWWA, it's a pleasure to have you along for the ride.

I'm surprised your priest friends couldn't offer you a little clarity but Peter was indeed right in what he says albeit the dialogue is a little confusing. He isn't talking about the literal meaning of INRI (Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm) rather the spirit in which that title was bestowed upon Chris by Pilate. Pilate did not choose that inscription as mark of respect or because he recognised Christ's claim to that title but as an attempt to further mock and humiliate the dying Christ who hung on the cross. Think of it in the same vein as a world famous boxer easily defeated in a match and someone proclaiming 'that's the world's greatest boxer' - bad analogy I know but you get the gist.

So Peter was right, the INRI inscription was an attempt to mock and humiliate Christ even though that wasn't its literal meaning.

Eth

Nice latin!

Those pesky Romans would do anything to subdue the Jewish people, even before they attacked Jerusalem some 40 years after this and took out the temple.

I had forgot about the context of Peter's statement, but it does make historical sense. Even though season 2 had a more mysterious or ominous tone to it, little comments like this one helped put more "real world" sense into the episode. I like Glen Morgan's comment about how he based the Millennium group on real world secret societies, though they, too, can be vague and ominious!

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