What was written on the sign on the cross?

What was written on the sign that was hung on the cross above the head of Jesus?

Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19

  1. (Matthew 27:37) - "And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS."
  2. (Mark 15:26) - "And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS."
  3. (Luke 23:38) - "And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."
  4. (John 19:19-20) - "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20This 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."

The Inscription above the cross of Christ was written in four different languages:  Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Latin.  We see this when we look at Luke 23:38 and John 19:20.  Luke 23:38 clearly states it was written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.  In John the word for "Hebrew" is hebraisti.  John 19:20 uses for this the adverbial form Hebraisti, which in gospel usage did not mean "in Hebrew" but in the Jewish dialect of Aramaic.  We know this because wherever Hebraisti is used elsewhere, as in John 5:2; 19:13,17; 20:16, the word is given in its Aramaic form, transcribed into Greek letters."1


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  • 1. Archer, Gleason, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, p. 346.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.