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

Beyond his famous and oft-quoted line (slightly paraphrased), “I wash my hands of this 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.

  1. Pilate’s wife, Procula, is a canonized Saint in the Orthodox Church. The basis of this canonization is mainly found in Matthew 27: 19, which she shared with her husband a dream about the innocence of Christ.
  2. Pilate lost his position after massacring a group of Samaritans as Rome feared his presence would encourage further insurrection
  3. The early commentators scripture assert that Pilate knew that Christ was innocent, but Pilate caved in to popular opinion, careerism, 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.
  4. 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. The firmly place Pilate as an historical figure beyond what we know about him from scripture. Ok, I use the word “firmly” loosely, because with all Biblical interpretation and scholarly finds there is always someone who has a different opinion as to its meaning and/or importance.
  5. 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.

There you have it. You can read more about Pilate in all four Gospels,  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

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