I have been talking about how Pontius Pilate becomes increasingly innocent over time in Christian accounts of the death of Jesus.  One of my arguments is that the motive behind this exoneration of the Roman governor is an attempt to blame “the Jews” for killing their own messiah.  This exoneration increases over time and after a while stops being at all subtle.

Check out this non-canonical account that allegedly gives Pilate’s own version of the matter.  This is in an apocryphal text called the Anaphora Pilati (= The Report of Pilate – a report he allegedly sent to the emperor Tiberius).  You can find this text in the book I co-edited with my colleague Zlatko Pleše, The Other Gospels.   Here is the introduction taken from there and my translation of the text itself (it’s preserved in Greek)




The “Report” of Pontius Pilate to the Emperor Tiberius (the “Anaphora Pilati”) relates the events of Jesus’ trial, death, and resurrection from the perspective of the Roman governor.  We learn that despite his many divine deeds, Jesus was condemned by the Jews, who compelled Pilate to have him crucified.  But in the presence of many supernatural signs, Jesus was raised from the dead, leading to the damnation of his Jewish opponents. The obvious motives behind the account are to celebrate Jesus’ miraculous character, to exonerate Pilate for his death, and in so doing to inculpate the Jews.

The first half of the document…

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