555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

234. What Became of Pilate After He Judged Jesus?




There are various legends and traditions concerning Pilate's further history. The Acta PilaH, an apocryphal work still extant, contains some of these. One tradition is to the effect that the Emperor Tiberius, alarmed at the universal darkness which had suddenly fallen on his empire upon the day of the crucifixion, summoned Pilate to Rome to answer for having caused it Pilate was condemned to death, but pleaded ignorance as his excuse. His wife died at the moment of his execution. Another tradition is that Tiberius, having heard of Christ's miracles, wrote to Pilate bidding him send Jesus to Rome. Pilate was compelled to confess that he had crucified him, and was thrown into prison and committed suicide. Earth and sea refused to receive his body, and it was repeatedly cast up, finally being sunk in a pool at Lucerne, under the shadow of Mount Pilatus. Josephus, the Jewish historian (in Antiquities, 18 chap. 4:1), states authoritatively that Pilate met with political disaster. The Samaritans complained against him to Vitellius, president of Syria, who sent Pilate to Rome to answer to Caligula, the successor of Tiberius, and he soon afterward killed himself. The scene of this act is uncertain.