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Old October 30th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #1

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Pontius Pilate


Pontius Pilatus - known by his anglicized surname Pilate - has gone down in history as the Roman governor who allowed the execution of Jesus of Nazareth.

Several pieces of 1st Century literature in addition to the gospels mention Pilate - these include the writings of Josephus and Philo. There is also a minute amount of epigraphical evidence, attesting to a Pontius Pilatus serving as the Roman praefectus in the province of Iudaea c. 26 - 36 AD.

Some Christian and Jewish traditions have demonized Pilate, others have portrayed him in a sympathetic light. The gospels make it seem that Pilate did not see anything wrong with Christ, but was too indifferent or too fearful of stirring up a rebellion to act on his behalf, and thus handed him over to the mob. Contemporary Jewish literature - Josephus, particularly - paint a picture of Pilate as cruel and corrupt man with a stubborn prejudice towards Judaism.

Pilate's fate, like his character, is a mystery. Lucius Vitellius, governor of Syria, is believed to have removed him from office c. 36 AD. Tradition claims that Pilate fled to Gaul in shame, where he commited suicide, possibly from guilt for having executed an innocent man. Later traditions claim the opposite, that Pilate and his wife (allegedly named Claudia Procula) converted to Christianity, and that their crippled son was healed when they prayed to Christ.

Is there anything we can know about Pilate for a fact, besides a single inscription from Caesarea Maritima, and what the gospels say about him?
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Old October 30th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #2

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Re: Pontius Pilate


Pilate's nomen - Pontius - was a common Samnite name. I'm inclined to think that he hailed from a well-to-do Samnite family.

His cognomen Pilatus may mean "javelin".
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Old October 30th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #3

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Re: Pontius Pilate


As far as I know, that stone is the only thing that states that a man by that name ever lived.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #4
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Re: Pontius Pilate


Weren't there some coins from the relevant period and region found with what might be his name on them? Other than that the dedication engraved on the stone I am not aware of any historical or archaeological evidence.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 03:23 AM   #5

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Re: Pontius Pilate


never seen or heard an actual evidence of his existance... Besides in the bible which can be a bit hazy on the details....

Thanks
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Old October 31st, 2010, 03:41 AM   #6

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Re: Pontius Pilate


I can't imagine he fled to Gaul in shame of executing an innocent Jew. I doubt he would have given a damn, its their problem, not his.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 06:24 AM   #7

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Re: Pontius Pilate


I have to agree with Sargon !! I dont think he would have given a damn about executing Jesus, besides he probably didnt consider him innocent anyway!! The incident in the Temple with the money lenders sealed his fate!! Not to mention the fact that when he entered Jerusalem he did so in a very provocative and purposeful manner!! Deliberatly invokeing the myth that if the Jewish people had been Pious and godfearing the Messiah would arrive as a great warrior Prince in the same vain as King David, if they hadnt then he would arrive humble riding upon a donkey!! I think he was hoping to incite a revolt amongst the mass of people who had arrived for Passover!! When this didnt materialise he went to the Temple and tried again to incite a reaction but to no avail!! None of this would have been lost on Pilate who was very concious that Passover was a dangerous time for the authorities!!

On the subject of coins i have actually handled one form Pilates tenure as governor!! My Lecturer had one from Pilates time and another minted during by the Jewish rebels in 60's AD. The former bears no image of the Emperor in keeping with Jewish sensibilities at the time. It was fascinating to touch something with such historical significance.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 06:35 AM   #8

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Re: Pontius Pilate


Ah, these Scots!!

http://www.sacredconnections.co.uk/h...tiuspilate.htm
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Old October 31st, 2010, 06:38 AM   #9

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Re: Pontius Pilate


Yup, that's it. Pontius Pilate wasn't a Samnite, he was a Scot. Thread over!
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Old October 31st, 2010, 06:42 AM   #10

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Re: Pontius Pilate


I first guessed he was my country men as a Pontus guy of Anatolia.
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