PILATE – Encyclopedic Dictionary of Bible and Theology

Pilate (gr. Pilatos. “armed with a dart”: lat. Pilatus). Pontius (Gr. Póntios) Pilate, Roman procurator* of Judea (c AD 26-36). Secular writers do not present it very favorably. Philo says that he was “of an inflexible nature and, due to obstinacy, hard”. He frequently clashed with the Jews, offending their religious sentiments by foolish acts. He once had his soldiers march to Jerusalem carrying banners with images of the emperor. On another occasion, he placed golden shields with the emperor’s name engraved on them in Herod’s ancient palace. In both cases he was forced to remove the offending objects by the stubborn resistance of the Jews. In the 2nd case, a direct order from Tiberius, in response to a request sent to Rome by the Judean nobility, forced him to obey. The Jews were especially shocked when he used money from the temple treasury to pay for an aqueduct being built to bring water to Jerusalem. Opposition to his embezzlement of sacred money was met with merciless cruelty. Later, he massacred many Samaritans who were foolishly following an impostor who had promised them sacred golden vessels, supposedly hidden by Moses on the top of Mount Gerizim. The Samaritans complained of this unnecessary cruelty to his superior, Vitellius, the legate of Syria, who ordered Pilate to go to Rome to justify his conduct to the emperor. At the same time he appointed a new procurator over Judea. Before he reached Rome Tiberius died, but Pilate is said to have been exiled to Vienne on the Rhône in southern Gaul (now France) anyway, and then committed suicide. 412. Dedication inscription to Pontius Pilate from Caesarea. The Gospels mention Pilate mainly in connection with the trial of Jesus; at that time he was in the middle of his administration. Knowing that he was extremely unpopular, he was anxious to please the Jews in something that cost him nothing, even though he realized that the accusations against Jesus were false. Other historical events mentioned in the Gospels in connection with his name are in harmony with Pilate’s character, as described by historians of his time. The enmity between him and Herod Antipas (Luk 23:12) can be explained by supposing that the latter would have signed the petition mentioned above, which was sent to Tiberius; or that Antipas was incensed that Pilate 933 had killed Galilean subjects as they offered sacrifices, presumably in Jerusalem (13:1, 2). Apocryphal Christian literature contains several Acts of Pilate, but all are spurious and without historical value. This is also true of his supposed report to Tiberius of the condemnation of Jesus, which is clearly a forgery. During excavations of a Roman theater in Caesarea, led by A. Frova in 1961, a fragmentary Latin inscription was discovered mentioning tius Pilatus, ectus Iudae, “Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea”, as the one who built a public structure called Tiberieum in honor of Emperor Tiberius. As this is the first mansion of Pilate as governor of Judah from neither Jewish nor Christian sources, the discovery is of great value, because the veracity of the Gospels regarding their information about Pilate had been frequently questioned by critics ( fig 412). Bib.: Philo, EG, 38; J. Vardeman, JBL 81 (1962):70, 71.

Source: Evangelical Bible Dictionary

Fifth procurator, or representative of the government of the Roman Empire in Palestine (AD 26-36), the only Roman official to mention the Apostles’ Creed. All four Gospels, especially John’s, extensively recount the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate is also mentioned in Acts (Acts 3:13; Acts 4:27; Acts 13:28) and in 1Ti 6:13.

The Romans had many governors like him in the provinces, which was part of the reason for their success in governing them. Judea had a series of these lesser rulers, before and after Pilate. Generally, they were in charge of taxes and economic matters, but governing Palestine was so difficult that the procurator of that region was directly responsible to the emperor and also had supreme judicial authority, such as Pilate exercised in relation to Jesus. The territory he was in charge of included Judea, Samaria, and ancient Idumea.

Pilate never really understood the Jews, as his frequent brusque and foolish reactions reveal. The Jewish historian Josephus tells us that he immediately offended the Jews by bringing the “scandalous” Roman customs into the Holy City. On another occasion, he had gold shields bearing the names and images of the Roman gods hung in the temple. He once appropriated part of the temple taxes to build an aqueduct. To this must be added the horrible incident mentioned in Luke 13:1 in connection with Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with the blood of their sacrifices, which no doubt means that the Roman soldiers had killed these men while they were sacrificing on the ground. Holy place. These terrible events apparently do not agree with Pilate’s role in the trial of Jesus, in that he was like clay in the hands of the Jews, but the explanation may lie in the fact that at that time the governor feared the Jews more by their frequent complaints to Rome.

According to his custom, Pilate was in Jerusalem to maintain order during the Passover festival. The place where he usually lived was Caesarea. After the Jews had condemned Jesus in their court, they brought him early in the morning before Pilate, who was surely residing in Herod’s palace near the temple. It is surprising that he granted them an audience at such an early hour (John 18:28). From the beginning of the hearing, Pilate was tormented by having to choose between offending the Jews or condemning an innocent man, and beyond simply acquitting him, he tried every possible means to set Jesus free.

According to Josephus, his political career ended six years later, when he sent soldiers to Samaria to suppress a harmless religious revolt, and in that suppression many innocent men died. The Samaritans complained to Vitellius, legate from Syria, who sent Pilate to Rome. His friend, the Emperor Tiberius, died while he was on his way, and from then on Pilate’s name disappears from Roman history. The historian Eusebius notes that soon after, † œtired of misfortunes †, he committed suicide.

Source: Hispanic World Bible Dictionary

†¢Pontius Pilate.

Source: Christian Bible Dictionary



see, His full name was Pontius Pilate (Mt. 27:2). Pontius, in lat. “Pontius” indicated his relationship, by descent or adoption, to the “gens” of Pontii. Pilate could derive from “Pilatus”, armed with a “pilum”, or javelin; he could also come from “Pileatus”, wearing the “pileus”, felt cap, emblem of freedom, reserved for the freed slave. Fifth procurator of Judea, from the dismissal of Archelaus by Augustus, in the year 6 AD (see PROCURATOR). Through the influence of Sejanus, he was appointed procurator of Judea by Tiberius, about AD 26, to succeed Valerius Gratus. He came to Judea the same year as his nomination. His wife accompanied him (Mt. 27:19). For a long time Roman law did not allow a governor to take his wife to an unpacified province, but Augustus did allow it (Tacitus, Annals 3:33). Contrary to the policy of the preceding procurators, Pilate sent a military detachment to Jerusalem bearing his banner. He ordered that the city be entered at night, with banners bearing silver eagles and small images of the emperor, to provoke the Jews. A good number of them went to Caesarea, the residence of the procurator, to demand the removal of the banners. Pilate tried to intimidate them, but seeing that they were willing to be slaughtered en masse, he finally agreed to his request (Ant. 18:3, 1; Wars 2:9, 2 and 3). He later took from the Temple treasury the sacred money (corban), to be used for the construction of an aqueduct to bring water to Jerusalem from the mountainous regions south of the capital. The secular use of money consecrated to God provoked an uprising. When the procurator arrived in Jerusalem, the Jews besieged his court. Pilate, already aware of the rebellion, mixed disguised soldiers into the crowd, hiding clubs and daggers. When the agitation reached its climax, Pilate gave the signal expected by the soldiers. Numerous Jews were killed or run over by the crowd fleeing. There does not seem to have been another sedition. Pilate finished the aqueduct, but it was made hateful to the Jews (Ant. 18:3, 2; Wars 2:9, 4). When he was in Jerusalem, he stayed in Herod’s palace. He then had some gold shields hung, covered with idolatrous inscriptions relating to Tiberius, though without the effigy of the emperor. The people begged Pilate in vain to remove them. The nobles of Jerusalem then sent a petition to Tiberius, who ordered the procurator to bring the shields to Caesarea (Philo, “Legat ad Gaium”, 38). A letter of Agrippa I, quoted by Philo, presents Pilate as a man of inflexible character, as implacable as he is obstinate. Agrippa feared that the Jews would accuse Pilate before the emperor of corruption, violence, outrage against the people, cruelty, continual executions without trial, and senseless atrocities. Pilate was procurator when John the Baptist and Jesus began their ministries (Luke 3:1). The procurators of Judea usually went to Jerusalem on the occasion of the great festivals, during which crowds of Jews gathered. It is possible that it was during one of these solemnities that Pilate spilled the blood of some Galileans in the area of ​​the Temple where the sacrifices were offered (Luke 13:1, 2). The Galileans were prone to getting excited during festivals (Ant. 17:10, 2 and 9). Those executed by Pilate had surely tried to start an uprising. No doubt such a summary execution of some of his subjects would infuriate Herod Antipas; Whatever the cause of the enmity between him and Pilate, Herod’s rancor was appeased when the procurator recognized the tetrarch’s jurisdiction in matters concerning Galileans (Lk. 23:6-12), which happened when there was the trial to the Lord Jesus. Pilate’s career and the way he treated Jesus reveal his character: worldly, willing to judge fairly as long as it did not involve any personal inconvenience. Willing to commit a crime that would benefit him, and without concern for his duties, but for his interests. Having proclaimed three times the…

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