Was Pontius Pilate REALLY such a Bad Guy?

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Pontius Pilate as depicted by Giotto
Pontius Pilate as depicted by Giotto

This obviously was inspired in some way by good friday a couple of weeks ago, but really it’s actually something that had been of interest to me since I was a kid and I was reminded on good friday that nothing has really changed. The question “Was Pontius Pilate really as bad as he is popularly portrayed?”

1.He said he knew not what crime Jesus commited. (“I find no reason to condemn this man”)
2.He sent Jesus away to Herod to avoid persecuting an innocent man
3.When Jesus was returned to him he said “you brought this Man to me……I have not found Him guilty of any crime you accuse Him of…I will have Him whipped and let Him go.
4.After much pressure he decided to bring up the barabbas choice and was asked by the crowd to free barabbas…
5.After that he appealed again to the crowd because he wanted to free Jesus, but they asked for his crucifixion
6.He washed his hands to free himself off any injustice…(for himself of course because that doesn’t mean much to us)
Now I’m not trying to say what he did was right but consider the circumstances…

1. He was not a believer in their religion…He was simply told that this Man broke some laws and deserved to die
2.He tried to give Jesus a chance to defend himself and got no response(Note that I do not disagree with Jesus’ decision not to speak… pls oh)
3.He offered a brigand in exchange in the hope that he’ll satisfy the crowd but that failed
4.He had a massive crowd to please… His people, his duty.

He was in some kind of a fix here… Every leader has his/her people to please at hand. He didn’t believe this was someone special yet he tried not to kill an innocent man.

Coming to present day; Think of how many innocent people are sentenced to death recklessly… Our legal system sef is similar to that. Someone’s fate is based on the crowd (we call it the jury), the crowd decides all (election ,or democracy). The people tend to have the final say…and a leader always tries to satisfy them or else kasala go burst. My main point is the chief priests and the crowd are much more to be blamed for the crucifixion of Jesus than Pontius Pilate, but we always say “…He suffered under Pontius Pilate…” and all. He was not such a bad guy… He didn’t do the most courageous thing (step up for what he believed in, but he did what most would’ve done – go with the Crowd. Thoughts

6 COMMENTS

  1. Mehn I was thinking the same thing as Easter service ensued in weeks past. Although I don't think that what he did was exactly right, Pilate was acting in accordance with what we refer to these days as a co-signer. He did not necessarily condemn Jesus, but he took the passive route. The truth is I believe that he could have exercised enough power to make it happen, but for those who are believers, had it not been Pilate it would have been someone else who turned Jesus over or betrayed him. His own disciple denied him 3 times after Jesus had warned him o…ehay. That is like your father saying son I dey flog you if you taste this pepper soup (traditional Nigerian dish), before you wash your hands. History was written well before the incident.

  2. Nice one. like you i had always wondered about the classification of PP as a 'bad guy'. Let me share my thoughts: first, the arrest of our Lord JC was carried out at night under the cover of darkness. i strongly believe that He could not have been arrested during the day… the peple would have rioted! so it had to be done sharp sharp, under-g like so as to get a quick guilty verdict and then the death sentence before the people knew what hit them! second, PP had en 'extensice discussion with JC during the Q and A session and i personally believe that PP was impressed with the intellectual acumen of JC (as he would have assumed that JC was another common uneducated criminal). Third, PP found no fault with HIM but the Jewish leaders manipulated him using his weak spot – political ambition. Remember he was the governor and he represented Caesar! So they threatened him by implying that if he acknowledged JC as King then he was directly undermining Caesar's authority over the Jews! PP was no fool, he coud see their tricks but he had no answer. All he could do to show his disagreement was to wash his hands. As you wrote, he was not a Jew so what did he care really? But you see he had a last laugh of some sorts by posting "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" on the cross. Now the question is: by posting the above inscription, did PP come to believe (in) Jesus Christ?

  3. This has got to be one if the dumbest post ever. Reasons being that nobody has ever blamed pontius Pilate for the death of Jesus, so really what's the point of this post. Everybody except you know that the chief scribes were responsible as planned by God. I would delete this and stick to Nollywood gossip if I were you. So my friend because you never paid attention in church doesn't mean the rest of the followed suite. Do yOur research next time.

  4. Pontius was a horrible man who persecuted the Jews. Typical blood Libel. How you are relating it to today’s times is interesting at best. We are a civilized people. Do we have unjustice – YES but there is no comparision to those times. Geez….just compare us to 50+ years ago.

    Use common sense 1st.

    See below and let me know your thoughts on below before you get mad.

    Look up – Philo, On The Embassy of Gauis. Book XXXVIII 299-305

    http://www.hwhouse.com/images/2.PONTIUS_PILATE_INSCRIPTION.pdf

  5. Pontius was a horrible man who persecuted the Jews. Typical blood Libel. How you are relating it to today’s times is interesting at best. We are a civilized people. Do we have unjustice – YES but there is no comparision to those times. Geez….just compare us to 50+ years ago.

    Use common sense 1st.

    See below and let me know your thoughts on below before you get mad.

    Look up – Philo, On The Embassy of Gauis. Book XXXVIII 299-305

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