Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation

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This study reconstructs the historical Pontius Pilate and looks at the way in which he is used as a literary character in the works of six first-century authors: Philo, Josephus and the four evangelists. The first chapter provides an introduction to the history and formation of the imperial Roman province of Judaea. The following two chapters examine the references to Pilate in Philo and Josephus, looking at each author's biases before going on to assess the historicity of their accounts. The next four chapters consider the portrayal of Pilate in each gospel, asking how a first-century reader would have interpreted his actions. Each chapter asks what this portrayal shows about the author's attitude towards the Roman state, and what kind of community found this useful. The conclusion distinguishes between the 'historical Pilate' and the different 'Pilates of interpretation' preserved in our first-century literary sources.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A helpful review..." Bibliotecha Sacra

"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." Choice

"This is a good and helpful study." Journal of Biblical Literature

"[Bond] has challenged established academic thought and introduced important information into a vital area of New Testament study. Most importantly Bond illustrates the extent to which modern academic misinterpretation has contributed to the manipulation of an already created image. ...Bond has in effect achieved far more, not least of which are the useful commentaries on the Gospels, and valued insight into the tenuous social situation of first century Judaea....Bond has created an extremely accessible volume, valuable for academics and students alike." Elizabeth Amanda Howey, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Bond supplies a nuanced revisionist portrait, distinguishing 'rhetorical' portraits (Philo, Josephus, and the four canonical Gospels) from the 'historical' Pilate. The book is full of interpretive insights demonstrating how to read texts, how to interpret ancient authors' approaches to their work, and how 'real' history became 'literary' history. It is sure-footed on Roman governance, law and order, Roman and Judaen relations, and the politics of Tiberius's reign." Peter Richardson, Interpretation

"This is a good and helpful study." Review of Biblical Literature

"An evangelical pastor or teacher interested in this governor, the passion narratives, or comparing Gospel accounts will find this work valuable." Faith and Mission

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Map of the Roman province of Judaea, 6-41 CE
1 Pontius Pilate and the Roman province of Judaea 1
2 Pilate in Philo 24
3 Pilate in Josephus 49
4 Pilate in Mark's gospel 94
5 Pilate in Matthew's gospel 120
6 Pilate in Luke-Acts 138
7 Pilate in John's gospel 163
8 Historical events behind the gospel narratives 194
9 Conclusion 203
Bibliography 208
Index of texts cited 227
Index of modern authors 243
Index of main subjects 247
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