Five Things You (maybe) Didn’t Know About Pontius Pilate

Beyond his Holy Week famous and oft-quoted line (slightly paraphrased), “I wash my hands of the whole thing,” how much do you really know about Pilate? Here are five things you may not know about the man who sent Jesus to his death.

One: Pilate’s wife, Procula, is a canonized Saint in the Orthodox Church. The basis of this canonization is mainly found in Matthew 27: 19, in which she shared with her husband a dream about the innocence of Christ.

Two: Pilate lost his position after massacring a group of Samaritans as Rome feared his presence would encourage further insurrection

Three: The early commentators of scripture assert that Pilate knew that Christ was innocent, but Pilate caved in to popular opinion, ambition and peer pressure. Detractors from this view say that Pilate was a ruthless tyrant who did exactly as he pleased and certainly wasn’t going to be influenced by a bunch of Jews. A definitive depiction of Pilate is still a matter of debate.

Four: There’s a stone that dates back to the first century found by archaeologists in the early sixties aptly named “the Pilate Stone” that has a partial inscription about Pilate on it. This firmly places Pilate as an historical figure beyond what we know about him from scripture. 

Five: Early Christian historian Eusebius claims that Pilate fell out of favor in the reign of Emperor Caligula and was exiled to Gaul where he committed suicide.

Five things you (maybe) didn’t know about Pilate. You can read more about Pilate in all four Gospels,  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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