Pontius Pilate the Man with the Great Struggle

 

I have a weird collection of books one is called “the Lost books of the Bible and the forgotten books of Eden”. I do not hold them to be equal to the Holy Bible or to be lost books of the Holy Bible. However I do think they are interesting and can shed some light on the way people thought in ancient times. In this book there is a supposed letter between Herod and Pontius Pilate, the letters occur in a Syriac manuscript dating around the time of the sixth or seventh century and is held at the British museum. This may or may not be genuine, I read somewhere that these letters came from the library of Pontius Pilate, I really don’t know. The reason why I am even writing about it is because I think the writer (whether it was Pilate himself or not) pin pointed Pilate’s feelings correctly on the matter of Jesus’ crucifixion. So here is the letter (note this is a letter between Emperor Tiberius and Pilate and is just a response from Pilate and not the entire dialogue between him and the Emperor.

 

THE EPISTLE OF PONTIUS PILATE

Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar the Emperor – Greeting:

UPON Jesus Christ, whom I fully made known to thee in my last, a bitter punishment hath at length been inflicted by the will of the people although I was unwilling and apprehensive. In good truth, no age ever had or will have a man so good and strict.

But the people made a wonderful effort, and all their scribes, chiefs and elders agreed to crucify this ambassador of truth, their own prophets, like the Sibyls with us, advising the contrary; and when he was hanged super- natural signs appeared, and in the judgment of philosophers menaced the whole world with ruin.

His disciples flourish, not belying their master by their behavior and continence of life; nay, in his name they are most beneficent. Had I not feared sedition might arise among the people, who were almost furious, perhaps this man would have yet been living with us. Although, being rather compelled by fidelity to thy dignity, than led by my own inclination, I did not strive with all my might to prevent the sale and suffering of righteous blood, guiltless of every accusation, unjustly, indeed,
through the maliciousness of men, and yet, as the Scriptures interpret, to their own destruction.

Farewell. The 5th of the Calends of April.

Now after you read this doesn’t this sound like what we read in the Four Gospels. In the Gospel of Matthew 27:11-14 we see that Pilate investigated him to see if he had done any wrong. In verse 19 Pilate’s wife tells him not to have anything to do with this man because of the dreams she was having. Verse 23 Pilate asks the Jews “Why? What crime has he committed?” verses 24- 26 Pilate sees that an uproar is coming and can get worse so he has Jesus flogged and led to be crucified. Mark tells the same story in chapter 15. In the Gospel of Luke verses 4; 13-16; 20-22 we see Pilate wanted to find a way to release Jesus, he examined Jesus and found no fault, he was hoping that if he would punish Jesus it would satisfy the people, but it doesn’t work the people still want Jesus crucified. Once more we see Pontius Pilate trying to let Jesus go in the Gospel of John 18:29- 38. According to Holy Scripture Pilate was afraid, and when he heard the Jews say: “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 19:8 says “when Pilate heard this he was even more afraid” Pilate really saw no fault in the Lord Jesus and tried to have him set free, but the people were to demanding, so Pilate not wanting a riot handed him over to be crucified. I peronally think this sheds some truth as to what may have been going on in the mind of Pntius Pilate, though we know Jesus had to be crucified for our sins and resurrected to give us life.  

Hear are the scriptures that speak on this matter. (Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15; Luke 23:4-24; John 18:29-19:16)

Hope you enjoyed this 🙂

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3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, History, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Pontius Pilate the Man with the Great Struggle

  1. Michael J. Phillips

    This is interesting. I have often wondered what exactly Pilate was thinking. Did he really have a clue about who Jesus was? How much knowledge of Jesus did he have before the trial? Did he really want to let Jesus go, or was he just covering his tail? Either way, this letter appears to echo the sentiments of the gospels.

  2. Cory D. Davis

    I am with you on this one. I would be very skeptical of the authenticity of this missive, but it is very compelling to think of Pilate as having these thoughts. As I have said before, “Every man wishes he were a philosopher.” (Actually an Angelo original.)

  3. Yes, it must have been a tough decision to kill Jesus and as Roman soldier Pilate must have wondered about his spiritual power.

    I also find the Gnostic Gospels very interesting with the focus on gnosis – self-knowledge. This is what Luther and Descartes talked about that we have a direct route to God within us.

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