Historic Letter Written by Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar

Historic Letter Written by Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar

$lave’s Note: I have no idea how legit this is, so take it with a grain of salt.

Historic Letter written by Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar
I have in my possession a copy of the letter written by Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar, Emperor of Rome.
This Historic letter written by Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar Letter is from the “Archko Volume”
containing manuscripts, in Constantinople, and the Records of the Senatorial Docket, taken from the
Library at Rome, Translated by Drs. McIntosh and Twyman of the Antiquerian Lodge, Genoa, Italy. This
has been checked and is in accord with the copy of the original lodged in the British Museum, which has
verified the accuracy of the transcription. Verified in November, 1935.
Historic Letter Resurrected Pilate’s lengthy letter to Tiberius Caesar—Discusses at length the
arrest, the trial and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
The events of the last few days in my providence have been of such a character that I will give the
details in full as they occurred, as I should not be surprised if, in the course of, time, they may
change the destiny of our nation, for it seems of late that all the gods have ceased to be propitous.
I am almost ready to say, Cursed be the day that I succeeded Vallerius Falceus in the government
of Judea; for since then my life has been one of continual uneasiness and distress.
On my arrival at Jerusalem I took possession of the Praetorium, and ordered a splendid feast to
be prepared, to which I invited the Tetrarch of Galilee, with the high priest and his officers. At
the appointed hour no guest appeared. This I considered an insult offered my dignity, and the
whole government which I represent. A few days later, the high priest designed to pay me a visit.
His deportment was grave and deceitful. He pretended that his religion forbade him and his
attendants to sit at the table of the Romans, and eat and offer libations with them, but this was
only a sanctimonious seeming, for his very countenance betrayed his hypocrisy. Although I
thought it expedient to accept his excuse, from that moment I was convinced that the conquered
had declared themselves the enemy of the conquerors; and I would warn the Romans to beware of
the high Priests of this country. They would betray their own mother to gain office and a
luxurious living. It seems to me that, of conquered cities, Jerusalem is the most difficult to govern.
So turbulent are the people that I live in momentary dread of an insurrection. I have not soldiers
sufficient to suppress it. I had only one centurion and a hundred men at my command. I requested
a reinforcement from the perfect of Syria, who informed me that he had scarcely troops sufficient
to defend his own province. An insatiate thirst for conquest to extend our empire beyond the
means of defending it, I fear, will be the cause of the final overthrow of our whole government. I
lived secluded from the masses, for I do not know what those priests might influence the rabble to
do; yet I endeavored to ascertain, as far as I could, the mind and standing of the people.
Among the various rumors that came to my ears there was one in particular that attracted my
attention. A young man, it was said, appeared in Galiee preaching with a noble unction a new
law in the name of God who had sent him. At first I was apprehensive that his design was to stir
up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke
rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day in passing by the place of Siloe, where
there was a great concourse of people, I observed in the midst of the group a young man who was
leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could
easily have suspected, so great was the difference between him and those listening to him. His
golden-colored hair and beard gave him the appearance of a celestial aspect. He appeared to be
about thirty years old. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a Contrast
between him and his hearers, with their black beards and tawny completion!
Unwilling to interrupt him by my presence, I continued to walk, but signified to my secretary to
join the group and listen. My secretary’s name is Manlius. He is the grandson of the chief of the
conspirators who encamped in Eturia waiting for Cataline. Manlius had been for a long time an
inhabitant of Judea, and is well acquainted with the Hebrew language. He was devoted to me,
and worthy of my confidence. On entering the Praetorium I found Manlius, who related to me the
words Jesus had pronounced at Siloe. Never have I read in the works of the philosophers
anything that can compare to the maxims of Jesus. One of the rebellious Jews, so numerous in
Jerusalem, having asked Jesus if it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, he replied: “Render unto
Caesar the things that belong to Caesar, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
It was on account of his sayings that I granted so much liberty to the Nazarene; for it was in my
power to have him arrested, and exiled to Pontus; but that would have been contrary to the
justice which has always characterized the Roman Government in all its dealings with men; this
man was neither seditious nor rebellious; I extended to him my protection, unknown perhaps to
himself. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and address the people, and to choose
disciples, unrestrained by any Praetorian mandate. Should it ever happen {May the gods avert
the omen!} should it ever happen, I say that the religion of our forefathers will be supplanted by
the religion of Jesus, it will be to this noble toleration that Rome shall owe her premature death,
while I, miserable wretch, will have been the instrument of what the Jews call Providence, and we
call destiny.
This unlimited freedom granted to Jesus provoked the Jews–not the poor, but the rich and
powerful. It is true that Jesus was severe on the latter, and this was a political reason, in my
opinion, for not restraining the liberty of the Nazarene. “Scribes and Pharisees,” he would say to
them, “you are a race of vipers; you resemble painted sepulchers; you appear well unto men, but
you have death within you.” At other times he would sneer at the alms of the rich and proud,
telling them that the mite of the poor was more precious in the sight of God. Complaints were
daily made at the Praetorium against the insolence of Jesus.
I was even informed that some misfortune would befall him; that it would not be the first time that
Jerusalem had stoned those who called themselves prophets; an appeal would be made to
Caesar. However, my conduct was approved by the Senate, and I was promised a reinforcement
after the termination of the Parthian War.
Being too weak to suppress an insurrection, I resolved upon adopting a measure that promised to
restore the tranquility of the city without subjecting the Praetorium to humiliating concession. I
wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with him at the Praetorium. He came. You know that in my
veins flows the Spanish mixed with Roman blood–as incapable of fear as it is of weak emotion.
When the Nazarene made his appearance I was walking in my basilica, and my feet seemed
fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement, and I trembled in every limb as does a guilty
culprit, though the Nazarene was as calm as innocence itself. When he came up to me he stopped,
and by a signal sign he seemed to say to me, “I am here,” though he spoke not a word. For some
time I contemplated with admiration and awe this extraordinary type of man–a type unknown to
our numerous painters, who have given form and figure to all the gods and the heroes. There was
nothing about him that was repelling in his character, yet I felt too awed and tremulous to
approach him.
“Jesus,” said I unto him at last–and my tongue faltered–“Jesus of Nazareth, for the last three
years I have granted you ample freedom of speech; nor do I regret it. Your words are those of a
sage–I know not whether you have read Socrates or Plato, but this I know, there is in your
discourses a majestic simplicity that elevates you far above those philosophers. The Emperor is
informed of it, and I, his humble representative in this country, am glad of having allowed you
that liberty of which you are worthy. However. I must not conceal from you that your discourses
have raised up against you powerful and inveterate enemies. Nor is this surprising. Socrates had
his enemies, and he fell victim of their hatred. Yours are doubly incensed–against you on account
of your discourses being so severe upon their conduct; against me on account of the liberty I have
afforded you. They even accuse me of being indirectly leagued with you for the purpose of
depriving the Hebrews of the little civil power which Rome has left them. My request—I do not
say an order—is, that you be more circumspect and moderate in your discourses in the future,
and more considerate of them, lest you arouse the pride of your enemies, and they raise against
you the stupid populace, and compel me to employ the instruments of law.”
The Nazarene calmly replied: “Prince of the earth, your words proceed not from true wisdom.
Say to the torrent to stop in the midst of the mountain-gorge: it will uproot the trees of the valley.
The torrent will answer you that it obeys the laws of nature and the Creator. God alone knows
whither flow the waters of the torrent. Verily I say unto you, before the rose of Sharon blossoms
the blood of the just shall be spilt.”
“Your blood shall not be spilt,” said I, with deep emotion: “you are more precious in my
estimation on account of your wisdom than all of the turbulent and proud Pharisees who abuse
the freedom granted them by the Romans. They conspire against Caesar, and convert his bounty
into fear, impressing the unlearned that Caesar is a tyrant and seeks their ruin. Insolent
wretches! they are not aware that the wolf of the Tiber sometimes clothes himself with the skin of
sheep to accomplish his wicked designs. I will protect you against them. My Praetorium shall be
an asylum both day and night.”
Jesus carelessly shook his head, and said with a grave and divine smile: “When the day shall
come there will be no asylums for the son of man, neither in the earth nor under the earth. The
asylum of the just is there,” pointing to the heavens. “That which is written in the books of the
prophets must be accomplished.”
“Young man,” I answered mildly, “you will oblige me to convert my requests into an order. The
safety of the province which has been confided to my care requires it. You must observe more
moderation in your discourses. Do not infringe my order. You know the consequences. May
happiness attend you. Farewell.”
“Prince of the earth,” replied Jesus. I come not to bring war into the world, but peace, love and
charity. I was born the same day on which Augustus Caesar gave peace to the Roman world.
Persecutions proceed not from me. I expect it from others, and I will meet it in obedience to the
will of my Father, who has shown me the way. Restrain, therefore, your worldly prudence. It is
not in your power to arrest the victim at the foot of the tabernacle of expiation.”
So saying he disappeared like a bright shadow behind the curtains of the basilica–to my great
relief, for I felt a heavy burden on me, of which I could not relieve myself of in his presence.
To Herod, who then reigned in Galilee, the enemies of Jesus addressed themselves, to wreak their
vengeance on the Nazarene. Had Herod consulted his own inclinations, he would have ordered
Jesus immediately put to death; but, though proud of his royal dignity, yet he hesitated to commit
an act that might lessen his influence with the Senate, or like me, was afraid of Jesus. But it
would never do for a Roman officer to be afraid of a Jew. Previously to this, Herod called on me
at the Praetorium, and, on rising to take leave, after some trifling conversation, asked me what
was my opinion concerning the Nazarene. I replied that Jesus appeared to me to be one of those
great philosophers that great nations sometimes produced; that his doctrines were by no means
sacrilegious, and that the intentions of Rome were to leave him to that freedom of speech which
was justified by his actions. Herod smiled maliciously, and, saluting me with ironical respect,
The great feast of the Jews was approaching, and the intention was to avail themselves of the
popular exultation which always manifests itself at the solemnities of the Passover. The city was
overflowing with a tumultuous populace, clamoring for the death of the Nazarene. My emissaries
informed me that the treasure of the temple had been employed in bribing the people. The danger
was pressing. A Roman centurion had been insulted. I wrote to the Perfect of Syria for a hundred
foot soldiers and as many cavalry. He declined. I saw myself alone with a handful of veterans in
the midst of a rebellious city, too weak to suppress an uprising, and having no choice left but to
tolerate it. They had seized upon Jesus, and the seditious rabble, although they had nothing to
fear from the Praetorium, believing, as their leaders had told them, that I winked at their
sedition, continued vociferating: “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Three powerful parties had combined together at that time against Jesus. First, the Herodians
and the Sadducees, whose seditious conduct seemed to have proceeded from double motives: they
hated the Nazarene and were impatient of the Roman yoke. They never forgave me for having
entered the holy city with banners that bore the image of the Roman emperor; and although in
this instance I had committed a fatal error, yet the sacrilege did not appear less heinous in their
eyes. Another grievance also rankled in their bosoms. I had proposed to employ a part of the
treasure of the temple in erecting edifices for public use. My proposal was scorned. The
Pharisees were the avowed enemies of Jesus. They cared not for the government. They bore with
bitterness the severe reprimands, which the Nazarene for three years had been continually giving
them wherever he went. Timid and too weak to act by themselves, they had embraced the quarrels
of the Herodians and the Sadducees. Besides these three parties, I had to contend against the
reckless and profligate populace, always ready to join sedition, and profit by the disorder and
confusion that resulted therefrom.
Jesus was dragged before the High Priest, and condemned to death. It was then that the High
Priest, Caiaphas, performed a divisory act of submission. He sent his prisoner to me to confirm
his condemnation and secure his execution. I answered him that, as Jesus was a Galilean, the
affair came under Herod’s jurisdiction, and ordered him to be sent thither. The wily Tetrarch
professed humility, and protesting his deference to the lieutenant of Caesar, he committed the fate
of the man to my hands. Soon my palace assumed the aspect of a besieged citadel. Every moment
increased the number of malcontents. Jerusalem was inundated with crowds from the mountains
of Nazareth. All Judea appeared to be pouring into the city.
I had taken a wife from among the Gauls, who pretended to see into futurity. Weeping and
throwing herself at my feet she said to me: “Beware. Beware, and touch not that man; for he is
holy. Last night I saw a vision. he was walking on the water; he was flying on the wings of the
wind. He spoke to the tempest and to the fishes of the lake; all were obedient to him. Behold, the
torrent of Mount Kedron flows with blood, the statues of Caesar are filled with gemonide; the
columns of the interium have given away and the sun is veiled in mourning like a vestal in the
tomb. Ah! Pilate, evil; awaits thee. If thou wilt not listen to the vows of thy wife, dread the curse
of a Roman Senate; dread the frowns of Caesar.”
By this time the marble stair groaned under the weight of the multitude. The Nazarene was
brought back to me. I proceeded to the halls of justice, followed by my guard, and asked the
people in a severe tone what they demanded.
“The death of the Nazarene,” was the reply.
“For what crime?”
“He blasphemed; he has prophesied the ruin of the temple; he calls himself the Son of God; the
Messiah, the King of the Jew.”
“Roman justice,” said I, “punishes not such offences with death.”
“Crucify him! Crucify him!” cried the relentless rabble. The vociferations of the infuriated mob
shook the palace to its foundations.
There was but one who appeared to be calm in the midst of the vast multitude; it was the
Nazarene. After many fruitless attempts to protect him from the fury of his merciless prosecutors,
I adopted a measure which at the moment appeared to me to be the only one that could save his
life. I proposed a measure, as it was their custom to deliver a prisoner on such occasions, to
release Jesus and let him go free, that he might be the scapegoat, as they called it; but they said
Jesus must be crucified. I then spoke to them of the inconsistency of their course as being
incompatible with their laws, showing that no criminal judge could pass sentence on a criminal
unless he had fasted one whole day; and that the sentence must have the consent of the
Sanhedrin, and the signature of the president of that court; that no criminal could be executed on
the same day his sentence was fixed, and the next day, on the day of his execution, the Sanhedrin
was required to review the whole proceeding; also, according to their law, a man was stationed
at the door of the court with a flag, and another a short way off on horseback to cry the name of
the criminal and his crime, and the names of his witnesses, and to know if anyone could testify in
his favor; and the prisoner on his way to execution had the right to turn back three times, and to
plead any new thing in his favor. I urged all these pleas, hoping they might awe them into
subjection; but they cried, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
I then ordered Jesus to be scourged, hoping this might satisfy them; but it only increased their
fury. I then called for a basin, and washed my hands in the presence of the clamorous multitude,
thus testifying that in my judgment Jesus of Nazareth had done nothing deserving of death; but in
vain. It was his life these wretches thirsted for.
Often in our civil commotions have I witnessed the furious anger of the multitude, but nothing
could be compared with what I witnessed on this occasion. it might have been truly said that all
the phantoms of the infernal regions had assembled at Jerusalem. The crowd appeared not to
walk, but to be borne off and whirled as a vortex, rolling along in living waves from the portals of
the Praetorium even into Mount Zion, with howling screams, shrieks, and vociferations such as
were never heard in the seditions of the Pannonia, or in the tumults of the forum.
By degrees the day darkened like a winter’s twilight, such as had been at the death of the great
Julius Caesar. It was likewise the ides of March. I, the continued governor of a rebellious
province, was leaning against a column of my basilica, contemplating athwart the dreary gloom
these fiends of Tartrus dragging to execution the innocent Nazarene. All around me was deserted.
Jerusalem had vomited forth her indwellers through the funeral gates that leads to Gemonica. An
air of desolation and sadness enveloped me. My guards had joined the cavalry, and the centurion,
with a distressed play of power, was endeavoring to keep order. I was left alone, and my breaking
heart admonished me that what was passing at that moment appertained rather to the history of
the gods, than that of men. A loud clamor was heard proceeding from Golgotha, which, borne on
the winds, seemed to announce an agony such as was never heard by mortal ears. Dark clouds
lowered over the pinnacle of the temple, and setting over the city covered it as with a veil. So
dreadful were the signs that men saw both in the heavens and on the earth that Dionysius the
Areopagite is reported to have exclaimed: “Either the author of nature is suffering or the
universe is falling apart.”
Whilst these appalling scenes of nature were transpiring, there was a dreadful earthquake in
lower Egypt, which filled everybody with fear, and scared the superstitious Jews almost to death.
It is said Balthasar, an aged and learned Jew of Antioch, was found dead after the excitement
was over. Whether he died from alarm or grief is not known. He was a strong friend of the
Near the first hour of the night I threw my mantle around me, and went down into the city toward
the gates of Golgotha. The sacrifice was consummated. The crowd was returning home, still
agitated, it is true, but gloomy, taciturn, and desperate. What they had witnessed had stricken
them with terror and remorse. I also saw my little Roman cohort pass by mournfully, the
standard-bearer having veiled his eagle in token of grief, and I overheard some of the Jewish
soldiers murmuring strange words which I did not understand. Others were recounting miracles
very like those which have so often smitten the Romans by the will of gods. Sometimes groups of
men and women would halt remain motionless in expectation of witnessing some new prodigy.
I returned to the Praetorium, sad and pensive. On ascending the stairs, the steps of which were
still stained with the blood of the Nazarene, I perceived an old man in a suppliant posture, and
behind him several Romans in tears. He threw himself at my feet and wept most bitterly. It is
painful to see an old man weep, and my heart being already overcharged with grief, we though
strangers, wept together. And in truth it seemed that the tears lay very shallow that day with
many whom I perceived in the vast concourse of people. I never witnessed such an extreme
revulsion of feeling. Those who betrayed and sold him, those who testified against him, those who
cried, “Crucify him! we have his blood,” all slunk off like cowardly curs, and washed their teeth
with vinegar. As I am told that Jesus taught a resurrection and a separation after death, if such
be the fact, I am sure it commenced in this vast crowd.
“Father,” said I to him, after gaining control of my feelings,” who are you, and what is your
“I am Joseph of Arimathaea,” replied he, “and am come to beg of you upon bended knees the
permission to bury Jesus of Nazareth.”
” Your prayer is granted.” I said to him, and I ordered Manilus to take some soldiers with him to
superintend the interment, lest it should be profaned.
A few days after the sepulcher was found empty. His disciples proclaimed all over the country
that Jesus had risen from the dead, as he had foretold. This created more excitement even than
the crucifixion. And to its truth I cannot say for certain, but I have made some investigation of the
matter; so you can examine for yourself see if I am in fault, as Herod represents.
Joseph buried Jesus in his own tomb. Whether he contemplated his resurrection or calculated to
cut him another, I cannot tell. The day after he was buried one of the priests came to the
Paetorium and said they were apprehensive that his disciples intended to steal the body of Jesus
and hide it, and then make it appear that he had risen from the dead, as he had foretold and of
which they were perfectly convinced. I sent him to the captain of the royal guard {Malcus} to tell
him to take the Jewish soldiers, and place as many around the sepulcher as were needed; then if
anything should happen they could blame themselves, and not the Romans.
When the great excitement arose about the sepulcher being empty, I felt a deeper solicitude than
ever. I sent for Malcus, who told me he had placed his lieutenant, Ben Isham, with one hundred
soldiers, around the sepulcher. He told me that Isham and the soldiers were very much alarmed
at what had occurred there that morning I sent for this man Isham, who related to me, as near as
I can recollect, the following circumstances; He said that at about the beginning of the fourth
watch; He saw a soft and beautiful light over the sepulcher. He at first thought the women had
come to embalm the body of Jesus, as was their custom, but he could not see how they had gotten
through the guards. While these thoughts were passing through his mind, behold the whole place
was lighted up, and there seemed to be crowds of the dead in their graveclothes. All seemed to be
shouting and filled with ecstasy, while all around and above was the most beautiful music he had
ever heard: and the whole air seemed to be full of voices praising God. At this time there seemed
to be a reeling and swimming of the earth, so that he turned so sick and faint that he could not
stand on his feet. he said the earth seemed to swim from under him, and his senses left him, so
that he knew not what did occur. I asked him if he could not have been mistaken as to the light.
Was it not day that was coming in the East? He said at first he thought of that, but at a stone’s
cast it was exceedingly dark; and then he remembered it was too early for day. I asked him if his
dizziness might not have come from being awakened and getting up too suddenly, as it sometimes
had the effect. He said he was not, and had not been asleep all night, as the penalty was death for
him to sleep on duty. He said he had let some of the soldiers sleep at a time. Some were asleep
then. I asked him how long the scene lasted. He said he did not know, but he thought it was nearly
an hour. He said it was hid by the light of the day. I asked him if he went to the sepulcher after he
had come to himself. He said no, because he was afraid; that just as soon as relief came they all
went to their quarters. I asked him if he had been questioned by the priests. he said he had. They
wanted him to say it was an earthquake, and that they were asleep, and offered him money to say
that the disciples came and stole Jesus; but we saw no disciples, he did not know that the body
was gone until he was told. I asked him what was the private opinion of those priests he had
conversed with. He said that some of them thought that Jesus was no man; that he was not a
human being; that he was not the son of Mary; that he was not the same that was said to be born
of the Virgin in Bethlehem; that the same person had been on earth before with Abraham and
Lot, and at many times and places.
It seemed to me that if the Jewish theory be true, these conclusions are correct, for they are in
accord with this man’s life, as is known and testified by both friends and foes, for the elements
were no more in his hands than the clay in the hands of the potter. He could convert water into
wine; he could change death into life, disease into health; he could calm the seas, still the storms,
call up fish with a silver coin in its mouth. Now, I say if he could do all these things, which he did
and many more, as the Jews all testify, and it was doing these things that created this enmity
against him– he was not charged with criminal offenses, nor was he charged with violating any
law, nor of wronging any individual in person, and all these facts are known to thousands, as
well by his foes as by his friends–I am almost ready to say, as did Manlius at the cross: “Truly
this was the Son of God.”
Now noble Sovereign, this is as near the facts in the case as I can arrive at, and I have taken
pains to make the statement very full, so that you may judge of my conduct upon the whole, as I
hear Antipater has said many hard things of me in this matter. With the promise of faithfulness
and good wishes to my noble Sovereign.
I am your obedient servant.
Pontius Pilate.
This letter backs up the biblical account of the events of the Life, Ministry, Crucifixion, and
Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


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