Pontius Pilate: A Biographical Study

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Unfortunately, many New Testament characters are often overlooked by the casual reader, yet the manner in which these characters are depicted can offer valuable insight into appropriate Christian conduct, ethics, and morality. Seeking to underscore this point, this biographical study will examine the life of Pontius Pilate, contrasting his comportment with biblical doctrines and deriving practical application principles. Accordingly, the examination will demonstrate that historical documents portray Pontius Pilate as a tyrannical political figure, more concerned with personal accomplishment than truth, justice, or theological understanding, thereby providing a cautionary tale for contemporary Christians in America.
Consulting the
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Disclosing the truth of God, of salvation and of judgment, was the principal way of making subjects, of exercising his saving kingship. Similarly, only those who are rightly related to God, to the truth itself, can grasp Jesus' witness to the truth (cf. 3:16-21). Everyone who is on the side of truth (lit. 'who is of the truth') listens to Jesus (cf. 10:3, 16, 27). If Jesus' kingship is indistinguishable from his testimony to the truth, and if his followers are characterized by allegiance to his testimony rather than by violent upheaval, Pilate is forced to recognize that Jesus is the victim of a Sanhedrin plot. Moreover, there is an implicit invitation in Jesus' words. The man in the dock invites his judge to be his follower, to align himself with those who are 'of the truth'. Jesus is not dangerous; he may also be getting under Pilate's skin. Either way, Pilate abruptly terminates the interrogation with a curt and cynical question: What is truth?-and just as abruptly turns away, either because he is convinced there is no answer, or, more likely, because he does not want to hear…show more content…
Although Josephus and Philo reveal Pilate's propensity for murdering innocent noncombatants, Jesus' trial underscores his efforts to conceal his unethical escapades from superior Roman officials. Such practices represent an unambiguously dissimilarity to the attributes of God and injustice is demonized throughout the Bible, especially in Deuteronomy, where we discover the passage, "Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow" (27:19). In fact, God is commonly represented as a righteous Judge or King in the Bible (e.g., Psalm 7:8; 7:11; 9:4; 9:7; 89:14; 99:4), contrasting the positive attributes of the Eternal King with the morally degenerate attributes of finite rulers-such as
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