Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

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Giuseppe
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Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

Post by Giuseppe »


Real history (Jewish Antiquities 18.85-89) Christian legend

The Samaritan nation too was not exempt from disturbance. For a man who made light of mendacity and in all his designs catered to the mob, rallied them, bidding them go in a body with him to Mount Gerizim, which in their belief is the most sacred of mountains. He assured them that on their arrival he would show them the sacred vessels which were buried there, where Moses had deposited them.
His hearers, viewing this tale as plausible, appeared in arms. They posted themselves in a certain village named Tirathana, and, as they planned to climb the mountain in a great multitude, they welcomed to their ranks the new arrivals who kept coming.
But before they could ascend, Pilate blocked their projected route up the mountain with a detachment of cavalry and heavily armed infantry, who in an encounter with the first comers in the village slew some in a pitched battle and put the others to flight.

Jesus accused as "king of Jews".

Many prisoners were taken, of whom Pilate put to death the principal leaders and those who were most influential among the fugitives.

Jesus crucified by Pilate.

When the uprising had been quelled, the council of the Samaritans went to Vitellius, a man of consular rank who was governor of Syria, and charged Pilate with the slaughter of the victims. For, they said, it was not as rebels against the Romans but as refugees from the persecution of Pilate that they had met in Tirathana.
Vitellius thereupon dispatched Marcellus, one of his friends, to take charge of the administration of Judaea, and ordered Pilate to return to Rome to give the emperor his account of the matters with which he was charged by the Samaritans. And so Pilate, after having spent ten years in Judaea, hurried to Rome in obedience to the orders of Vitellius, since he could not refuse.

Pilate went to Rome to report his Acts of Pilate before Tiberius

But before he reached Rome, Tiberius had already passed away.

according to Tertullian, Pilate sent Tiberius a report (=Acts of Pilate) dealing not only with the trial and condemnation of Jesus but also with subsequent events indicating his divinity. On the basis of this report, Tertullian says, Tiberius proposed to the Senate the consecrate of Christ—his inclusion among the deities of the Roman pantheon and his admission to the cult of the empire. The Senate answered no for opposition against Tiberius.

Hence, for effect of a Christian misinterpretation of historical facts about Pilate judged by Tiberius in Rome, the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was confused with the Christian messiah.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

Post by Giuseppe »

MacDonald [The Theology of the Samaritans, London 1964, p. 361] depitcs Pilate's downfall as a result of the Samaritan's claim to be the expected Messiah.

Even more reason why confusion could, and should, have happened, between the Samaritan false prophet and Jesus.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

Post by Giuseppe »

In the real history, Pilate was the first who went to Rome to report, before to a Roman audience, the meaning of "Messiah" in connection with the case of the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate. Pilate would have mentioned necessarily the word "Messiah" (and its political implications) since he had to apologize himself before the imperial court.

The Christians interpreted this fact as if, by divine providence, Pilate was the first apostle of Christ in Rome.

Hence, because this, and only because this fact, the name of Pilate entered in the Gospel legend.
yakovzutolmai
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

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It does not seem to me that anyone confused the Samaritan prophet for Jesus. Didn't Tertullian date Christ's crucifixion from 29 BC? The Samaritan was in 36.

I don't think this section of Antiquities was used by the very early Christians.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

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Beyond the dates, I have only wondered when a Roman would have heard in Rome, during a public trial, the first time the word "Christus" referred to esotic facts from the far Judea.

A good counter-example would be to mention another distinct Roman governor of Judea obliged to justify himself in Rome during a public trial before the Emperor for facts of blood and revolts.

I fear that there the only example available to us is: Pilate.
yakovzutolmai
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

Post by yakovzutolmai »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:52 am Beyond the dates, I have only wondered when a Roman would have heard in Rome, during a public trial, the first time the word "Christus" referred to esotic facts from the far Judea.

A good counter-example would be to mention another distinct Roman governor of Judea obliged to justify himself in Rome during a public trial before the Emperor for facts of blood and revolts.

I fear that there the only example available to us is: Pilate.
But there's no evidence of such a trial, and the evidence says that Pilate never returned to Rome.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

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The text doesn't say that the trial didn't happen in Rome. It implies only that Tiberius was not the judge.
But before he reached Rome, Tiberius had already passed away.

This absence of Tiberius in the trial of Pilate was deformed in the Christian tradition as Tiberius being opposed by the Senate to introduce Jesus in the Roman Pantheon.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

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Another indirect evidence of Pilate as apostle of Christ of his own right:

I direct you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good witness before Pontius Pilate

(1 Thimoty 6:13)

It is meant the Pilate reported the "good witness" in Rome.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

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New evidence supporting the introduction of Pilate in the first gospel because Pilate was the first to pronounce the word CHRISTUS in Rome during a public trial.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Acts of Pilate as Christian deformation of historical events about Pilate

Post by neilgodfrey »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:35 am The text doesn't say that the trial didn't happen in Rome. It implies only that Tiberius was not the judge.
But before he reached Rome, Tiberius had already passed away.

This absence of Tiberius in the trial of Pilate was deformed in the Christian tradition as Tiberius being opposed by the Senate to introduce Jesus in the Roman Pantheon.
I think the implication is otherwise. If Pilate stood trial in Rome then the fact that Tiberius died would have been irrelevant and there would thus have been no need for Josephus to mention his death at that particular point in his narrative. By saying "BUT before he got to Rome Tiberius was dead" (presuming that English translation is accurate) the implication is surely that Pilate got lucky.

I don't know where to turn to check it up now, but I have long understood that if someone was sent to Rome to face trial before the emperor they got lucky if the emperor died before they arrived.
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