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Old 01-25-2001, 05:43 PM   #1
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Question Pontius Pilate?

There is an interesting difference between how Pontius Pilate is portrayed in Josephus and how he is portrayed in the Gospels.

Josephus pictures him as willing to send his troops to beat up protesters, while the Gospels picture him as someone who cowers before a lynch mob. Will the real Pontius Pilate please stand up? Metaphorically, of course :-)

If Josephus's picture is accurate, it suggests that the Gospels' picture of him is very out of character. Let's give a more contemporary example:

Deng Xiaoping had ordered that crackdown in Tiananmen Square, by sending in the troops. But let's imagine that some stories start circulating about some Falun Gong leader in which his case had been examined by Deng Xiaoping himself and in which Deng had cringed before a lynch mob of latter-day Maoists who lusted for the FG guy's blood.

Would such stories be taken seriously? It seems to me that if Josephus had a fair picture of PP, the Gospels are equally unconvincing.
 
Old 02-08-2001, 12:08 AM   #2
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
There is an interesting difference between how Pontius Pilate is portrayed in Josephus and how he is portrayed in the Gospels.

Josephus pictures him as willing to send his troops to beat up protesters, while the Gospels picture him as someone who cowers before a lynch mob. Will the real Pontius Pilate please stand up? Metaphorically, of course :-)

If Josephus's picture is accurate, it suggests that the Gospels' picture of him is very out of character. Let's give a more contemporary example:

Deng Xiaoping had ordered that crackdown in Tiananmen Square, by sending in the troops. But let's imagine that some stories start circulating about some Falun Gong leader in which his case had been examined by Deng Xiaoping himself and in which Deng had cringed before a lynch mob of latter-day Maoists who lusted for the FG guy's blood.

Would such stories be taken seriously? It seems to me that if Josephus had a fair picture of PP, the Gospels are equally unconvincing.
</font>
I am not an expert on the topic, but I recall hearing that his position at the time of the crucifixion was more spurious in regards to Rome. He was not an ultimate authority, but subject to Rome. It's probably even from past problems as proconsul that he had been warned that he had better learn to keep the Jews in line so to speak- his cowardice is more from job insecurity then literal fear of the Jewish mob. If that's true, no doubt he found the life of one "rogue rabbi" worth that.

 
 

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