Cover image for Pontius Pilate in history and interpretation
Pontius Pilate in history and interpretation
Bond, Helen K. (Helen Katharine)
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 249 pages : map ; 22 cm.
General Note:
Based on the author's thesis (doctoral)--Durham University.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS122 .B66 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This study reconstructs the life of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor responsible for the execution of Jesus. The first section provides the historical and archaeological background. The following chapters look at six first-century authors: Philo, Josephus and the four gospel writers. Each chapter asks how Pilate is being used as a literary character in each work, why each author describes Pilate in a different way, and what this tells us about the relationship between each author and the Roman state.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Bond (Univ. of Aberdeen) offers a first-rate quest for the historical Pontius Pilate, the prefect of the imperial Roman province of Judea from 26 to 37 CE who sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. The quest examines biblical and nonbiblical sources: Philo, Josephus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It concludes with a brief assessment of the historicity of the pertinent events represented by the Gospel narratives, particularly the trial of Jesus. Bond argues that the first-century writers on Pilate allowed their own social and political situations to influence their portraits of Pilate, and that the historical evidence from the relevant sources does not support a theory of a "progressively friendlier" Pilate. Bond concludes that Pilate was confronted with the trial of Jesus because the latter was accused of claiming to be King of the Jews, and that Pilate handled the matter in terms of a routine crucifixion of a political agitator. The book is thoroughly researched, lucidly written, and well organized; it will be a standard historical work on Pilate. Recommended for any library supporting Greco-Roman history and New Testament studies. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and researchers. P. K. Moser Loyola University of Chicago

Table of Contents

1 Pontius Pilate and the Roman Province of Judaea
2 Pilate in Philo
3 Pilate in Josephus
4 Pilate in Mark's Gospel
5 Pilate in Matthew's Gospel
6 Pilate in Luke/Acts
7 Pilate in John's Gospel
8 Historical events behind the gospel narratives