James Tabor - Francis Bacon - Friedrich Nietzsche - Pilate: The Man Who Killed Christ? TV - Matthew 27:2&11-24 - Mark 15:1-15 - Luke 23:3-7&11-25 - Acts 13:28 -
If you just put the Gospels in a kind of chronological order it’s actually layered. You can just peel off the layers like a sort of forensic investigation. At the bottom you’ve got that core story of Mark – Mark was our earliest Gospel ... Matthew who writes next has ratcheted it up considerably – Pilate washes his hands; his wife has a dream; Jesus is a righteous man; don’t bother him. And the Jews take on the guilt. And then you go to Luke – it’s the Mark story but it’s amped up, and it’s getting louder and louder. And the basic idea is Pilate was just an innocent bystander, an unnecessary part of the story. And then John – he has them almost having a philosophical discussion. We are removing completely I think out of the realm of just straight history. Professor James Tabor
‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Francis Bacon, Essays: Of Truth, 1625
One does well to put gloves on when reading the New Testament. In the entire New Testament there is only one solitary figure one is obliged to respect: [Pontius] Pilate, the Roman Governor. Friedrich Nietzsche
In 26 A.D. a soldier called Pontius Pilate was sent to Judea to impose order in a troublesome Roman province. He policed a volatile people for ten years suppressing uprisings and crushing riots. Pilate: The Man Who Killed Christ? Channel 4 2008
This version of the trial ignores the realities of Roman rule in Judea, turning a blind eye to Pilate’s own motives for disposing of Jesus. Does the Gospel truth miscast Pilate as a weak ruler? ibid.
Yet the accepted account of the gospel absolves Pilate of real blame. ibid.
The Romans had reasons of their own for killing Jesus. ibid.
Jesus wasn’t the first so-called Messiah; Josephus lists several men before him. ibid.
Jesus the King of the Jews – it was a direct challenge. ibid.
Pilate had even more to gain from this trial: he could use it to strengthen his authority over the Jews. ibid.
The picture in Josephus of a strong no-nonsense prefect. ibid.
And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?
And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Matthew 27:2&11-24
And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.
And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto them, Thou sayest it.
And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.
And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee.
But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.
But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
And they cried out again, Crucify him.
Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. Mark 15:1-15
And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
(Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. Luke 23:3-7&11-25
And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. Acts 13:28