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Pontius Pilate

Even though there is a lot of doubt that the Good Friday story really happened — or that  the Jesus, as described in the Christian Bible  really existed, there seems to be no question in the minds of historians that a lot of the actors of the time were, in fact, real people.  Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, King Herod, etc., really were people who lived about 2000 years ago.  We know of these people because of the various sources that historians had.  For example, there are Jewish writings about Pilate (they didn’t like him very much).  There are Roman writings and records, as well.  There is the record of his trial in Rome from different sources.  There are records of what he did (many executions) from many sources.  Just like Julius Caesar or some of the other Roman kings, there is no question that Pilate existed.

There are enough engravings in the temples to leave us to believe that King Herod really existed.  There were many Jewish writings as well as Roman writings to leave no doubt in our minds.

Same with Caiaphas.  He was a Jew and priest in the temple.  He was appointed by Rome and was clearly their puppet.  The Jews hated him but as long as Rome liked him, he was OK.  Again, lots of writings, engravings, etc., from many sources.

Contrast this with Jesus.  You don’t find Jewish writings about him — though they did write about other “messiahs”.  You don’t find any of Jesus’ writings.  You don’t find any writings about any of the miracles that he performed (other than in the bible).  It goes on and on.  Wouldn’t it seem that if there was a Jesus who raised the dead, this might be a reoccurring  theme in many Jewish writings?   After all, he was a fellow Jew.  What about turning water in to wine at a wedding party, surely there were a few people who might have noticed and been suitably impressed — and, maybe, told their friends or wrote about it?  The Jews were treated very harshly by the Romans and, as religious people, they were desperate to find a messiah.  They found many.  There were none, however, that matched the description of Jesus.  When something so extraordinary was supposed to have happened,  it is up to the proponents to prove it happened rather than ANYONE to prove that it DIDN’T happen.

But, let’s get back to Pontius Pilate.  Most (but not all) creditable historians tell us that there are absolutely enough writings in Israel as well as Rome to indicate that this was a flesh-and-blood human.  In the year 37 Pilate was recalled to Rome.  He was charged for acting a bit too much like a king — rather than a representative of a king. Under his administration of Judaea  a lot of people were crucified and there was indication that they did not receive fair trials.  Rome had laws and they MUST be obeyed.  Pilate’s job was to enforce Roman Law – not to create his own.

Pilate was put on trial and found guilty of abuse of authority.  He was  busted in rank, made into a lowly foot-soldier and ordered to join the Roman Legion in Gaul (France).  He did so, and needless to say, was not a happy person after having lived like a king for so long.  The story goes that about a year or so later his depression got the best of him, and he committed suicide.

He didn’t kill a god, he simply had fallen from a position of living like a god, and could not handle it.  It was probably not the first time that something like that had happened and, it was clearly not to be the last.

[Note:  I know that my narration does not exactly follow the story in Wiki.  Though I put great faith in Wiki, there are areas where it does not measure up.  The story of Pontius Pilot in Wiki appears to be taken right out of the bible,  There are much better and more scholarly sources.]

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5 comments on “Pontius Pilate

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