We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Pontius Pilate?

Niki Foster
By
Updated Mar 06, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect, or governor, of Judea from 26 to 36 CE, best known for his appearance in the New Testament. He was officially responsible for condemning Jesus to crucifixion, though he "washed his hands" of the matter, passing blame onto the Jews. Little is known of him outside of his appointment in Judea, but a few legends exist.

According to biblical accounts, the Sanhedrin, the Jewish legislative body, arrested Jesus and turned him over to Pilate after questioning him, as they considered him a threat to the organized religion. According to the Synoptic gospels — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — Pilate did not consider Jesus a political threat after conducting his own trial. However, he offered the public the choice of a prisoner to be released, either Jesus or a man named Barabbas, and they chose Barabbas. Pilate then literally washed his hands in front of the crowd, claiming that he was not responsible for Jesus' execution, though the official decision was his. Different Christian groups today are divided over the prefect's responsibility in the matter.

A contemporary Jewish historical account of Pilate, by the author Josephus, tells that he was not well liked by the Jews and that he came into conflict with them a number of times over religious issues. Though he removed Roman war standards after a Jewish protest against them, he reportedly used Temple funds to build an aqueduct and violently quashed the resulting riot. He was so unpopular as governor that he was removed from the post after ten years.

Accounts of Pilate's life before and after his post as governor are varied. There is no consensus on where he was born or the circumstances of his death, though traditions abound. He is sometimes said to have committed suicide, and other times to have been executed by the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Some stories hold that bodies of water consistently rejected his corpse.

A well-known legend tells that Tiberius fell seriously ill and asked to see Jesus, about whose miracles he had heard. Pilate stalled, fearing to give Tiberius the news that Jesus was dead. A woman named Veronica then traveled to Rome with her kerchief, which exhibited a miraculous image of Jesus after she used it to wipe his face while he carried the cross. Tiberius was healed by the presence of Veronica's kerchief, but furious at Pilate. After he returned to Rome, Tiberius condemned him to death.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Foster
By Niki Foster , Writer

In addition to her role as a PublicPeople editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics in order to get ideas for her own articles. She is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Linguistics and Anthropology.

Discussion Comments

By anon271429 — On May 26, 2012

How did Judas betray Jesus?

By anon145098 — On Jan 21, 2011

He did what God wanted him to do, just like Judas. If it werent for Pontius and Judas, the whole Jesus thing wouldn't have happened!

By anon145096 — On Jan 21, 2011

A very misunderstood man. He was the representative of Rome, but had his own beliefs, which was that Jesus was who he said he was. Pilate tried three times to set him free. It was the priests and the people who killed Jesus, not Pilate.

Niki Foster

Niki Foster

Writer

In addition to her role as a PublicPeople editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics...

Read more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.