• Beth S.

Archaeological Proof - Pontius Pilate

Updated: Aug 29, 2018

Most of us are familiar with the name Pontius Pilate. He was the Roman governor of Judea who condemned Jesus to death. He knew that Jesus was innocent of all charges and was reluctant to follow through. Pilate wanted to simply flog him and let him go. But when the crowd demanded crucifixion, he did the politically expedient thing, against his better judgment.

Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. -- Matthew 27:22-24 (KJV)

For over 1900 years, Bible critics claimed that Pontius Pilate was a fictional character. There was no Roman record that he had ever existed. There were a few references to him in manuscripts outside of the Bible, most of them written after the time of Christ, but no real proof.

In 1961, during archaeological investigations at Caesarea in Israel, a block of limestone with an inscription was found in the ruined Roman theater. This stone had been recycled from another building to repair a stairway in the theater. The inscription was a commemoration of the opening of a Roman temple. It was dedicated by Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.