Christ in History – Letter’s About Jesus including Pontius Pilate’s wife Claudia
SOME DOCUMENTS REGARDING THE LAST EVENTS IN CHRIST LIFE, EXTRACTED FROM HISTORICAL CHRONICLES.
THE IMPERIAL ARCHIVES SPEAK!
WHARA TE PONO
(Seek after Truth)
Originally published by Liberty Publishing Association, Christchurch, New Zealand.
WHAT EVIDENCE OF CHRIST DOES THE PAGAN LENTULUS GIVE?
(Contents of a letter sent by Publius Lentulus, Governor of Judea, to the Roman Emperor Tiberius);
“To His Majesty and to the Honoured Senate of Rome: Greetings from the Senate Lentulus, Governor of Judea!
“I have learnt what you desired to know and am now telling you by this letter. Living here is a man who enjoys a great reputation as a God-fearing person and whose name is Jesus Christ. People call Him Prophet of the Truth, but His Disciples hold that He is the Son of God.–that is to say, the Son of Him who created the heaven and earth and all that has ever existed, exists, and will still exist in all eternity. In Connection with Him, O Emperor, there have been rumours every day of miracles performed by the said Jesus Christ. By a single word He heals the sick and raises the dead.
“He is of medium height and of astonishing beauty. His glance is majestic and inspires a feeling of reverence, love, and fear in all those who look upon Him. His hair has the colour of ripe pistachios–that is, reddish, falls tresses upon His shoulders, and parts in two in the middle of the head in the Nazarene manner. His forehead is high and expresses innocence and calm. In His rosy-coloured face neither a spot nor a wrinkle appears. His nose and His mouth give rise to no criticism, and His dense beard is similar to His hair–long, and parted in two in the middle.
“His look is imposing and serene. He possesses sparkling eyes. The light shining forth from his face is like sunshine, so that it is impossible for anyone to behold Him too long. This radiance arouses fear, but as soon as He starts teaching and advising, He does it with so much sorrow that He evokes love and veneration among His listeners. It has been said that He never laughs, but that His eyes are always tearful. His hands are externally beautiful. When He speaks He is most pleasant. He very seldom contacts high society. As regards His teachings, by them He attracts all Jerusalem. He masters perfectly every science, without having studied even one of them. He walks bare-footed and bare-headed. Everywhere it is said, until now, such a man has never been seen in these places.
“Many Jews believe Him to be God, others denounce Him as acting against Your Majesty’s laws. I am very much upset and alarmed because of the grudging Hebrews. That man has never caused any harm to a single person. Should Your Majesty desire to talk with Him, as you recently wrote to me, than inform me to talk with Him, as you recently wrote me, then inform me of this and I shell send Him to you immediately, as I am ready to execute obediently and obsequiously whatever order Your Majesty will give me.
“Written in the Jerusalem District, the 9th day of the 10th month. Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant, ”
(ss) PUBLIUS LENTULUS. “Governor of Judea.”
This document was found in a private library in England approximately in 1865.
The statement related above exactly corroborates with the Holy Scriptures reports. As to His face, it has been said that this feature is contradictory to prophecy in Isaiah 53, where it was foretold 700 years B.C. that He would have no beautiful traits or splendour about Him. But Isaiah meant that He would not possess rich adornments or worldly wealth. As far His physical condition was concerned, His nature was perfect, but in appearance He was like us and He had no worldly glamour bestowed on Him at once by His face, which was inspired by the Holy Ghost and which showed no trace of sin.
John presented Him to the people as “The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” That he often wept is also told us in the Gospel; He wept over Jerusalem, He wept for Lazarus when the latter was dead, and on other occasions He wept, but we never read that he was known to laugh.
The gospel speaks of his teaching and wisdom, and how people were amazed when they heard His word. Further, it is remarkable Lentulus did not (as godless occultists philosophers of our day maintain) mention that Jesus had learned chiromantic and fakir-like miracle working somewhere in Egypt or India. The statement of the Roman pagan destroys the unfounded allegation of all unbelievers of to-day. The Gospel tells us that many people were astonished by Jesus teaching and expressed their amazement by the following words: “how does He know it without having learnt it?”
There is to follow another document of greater historical and religious value. It clearly shows the causes which induced Pilate to pronounce that wrong decision, and the remorse which seized him after the sentence and its execution were inflicted on Jesus.
We are indebted and grateful to a certain Christian named W D Machan who, after the existence of these documents had come to his knowledge, directed his attention to them and prepared a translation of some from Latin into English. This man first heard about these documents from a German student who, studying at the Faculty of Divinity in Rome and satisfying his curiosity for facts in the vast libraries of the Vatican, found also Pilates report to the Roman Emperor. At first he did not think it a sufficiently important document to be copied, but some years later he mentioned this document to W. D. Machan, and the latter, inspired by an ardent desire to know the contents, wrote to the German student who, in the meantime, had become a professor in Westphalia (Germany), and requested that by mediation of the latters connections with the Vatican, he might have a copy of that valuable document prepared. The German professor applied to Father Freilinghusen, Director of the Museums in the Vatican, who procured for him an English translation of the document and forwarded it to the applicant.
THE ROMAN GOVERNOR OF JUDEA, PILATES REPORT TO THE EMPEROR TIBERIUS
“Greetings My Noble Lord!
The events causing the riot in Jerusalem, which occurred in connection with the death of Jesus of Nazareth, and those events which occurred in my province some days before this, were of such charter that I feel compelled to give you a detailed report. For I should not be surprised if, in the course of time and in accordance with current rumours that in the last days the gods have ceased to be propitious to our petitions, the fate of our nation be entirely changed. I, for my part am ready to say: Cursed be the day on which I succeeded Valerius Gracius in the administration of Judea!
“On my arrival in Jerusalem I took over, within my competence, the courts of justice. Once I ordered a large dinner- party to be prepared, to which I invited the Tetrarch of Galilee, together with the High Priest and his subordinate officials.
At the appointed hour nobody appeared. This was an affront to the honour of my person. Some days later the High Priest came to me and excused himself. The manner in which he dressed and behaved were insolent. He said his religion forbade him and his subordinate to sit at ones and the same table with Roman and to feast with them (to participate in drinking orgies). I thought it advisable to accept this excuse, but at the same time I become conscious of a submissiveness expressed towards victors, and it showed me clearly that of all conquered towns only Jerusalem was difficult to administrate. These people were so stirred up that I lived in an everlasting fear that a revolution might break out any moment.
“To subdue such an uproar I had no more than one Centurion and a handful of men. I wanted the support of the Governor of Syria, who told me that he himself had hardly enough troops for the protection of his own province. The indomitable desire to conquer, that is to say, to enlarge the empire more than our means for protection permits, inspires fear that it may become the cause of the destruction of our beneficent government. Along the many affairs which come before me, there was one case awoke my interest to the highest degree. It seems, in Galilee there had appeared a young man who preaches to people if high and low standing another law in God’s name, praising Him. At the beginning, I feared that He might be an unlawful agitator who would rouse the people against the Romans, but soon my apprehensions were dispersed. Jesus of Nazareth spoke as any Roman would have spoken, and not as a Jew.
One day I walked round a place called Siloah and there I noticed a rather large crowd and, amidst, against a tree, stood a young man who, with clearness and serenity, preached to the people. I was told He was Jesus. It was indeed He whom I was very impatient to see. There was a great difference between Him and His audience. His golden shining hair and beard gave Him a heavenly appearance. He was said to be in His thirtieth year. In all my life I have never seen such a sweet and clear look. What a contrast between him and His audience, with their black beards and obdurate faces!
I did not want to disturb Him by my presence, so I contained on my way. but I gave my secretary a hint to join the crowd and to listen to what He was saying. I have a secretary named Manlius. He proved to be a great-grandson of the chief of Intelligence Department who hid in Etruia in expectation of Catalina. Manlius is of a old Judaic family, and therefore speaks Hebrew language perfectly. He is extremely devoted to me and deserves every confidence.
“When I came back to the law court I found Manius there, and he reported to me the speech he had heard Jesus deliver at Siloah. During my life I have never read in books or in the Philosophers anything which could be compared to the preaching of Jesus. One of the rebellious Hebrews, of whom there are many in Jerusalem. asked Him: “It lawful to pay taxes to the Emperor?
“Jesus answered him: “Render to Caesar that which is Caesars and unto God that which is Gods.” Owing to this wisdom, I left the Nazarene free, for I could have arrested Him and sent Him to you, but this would have been against the law, the observance if which has distinguished the Roman.
“This man has been neither a rebel nor an agitator, and although He might not have been aware of it, I tried to give Him my protection. He was free to work, to speak, and to arrange gatherings, preach to the people and to select disciples, as long as He did not offend Praetorian regulations. The gods protect us, if that which so far is only an assumption. Should become true! I say, should it ever happen that the religion of our ancestors were substituted by the religion of Jesus, such a change night come into force by the noble tolerance shown on the part of Rome. In such circumstance I, an insignificant, unfortunate man, would have become an instrument of what the Christians call Providence and of that by which this fate and destiny might come down upon us. However, this unlimited freedom given to Jesus aroused a deadly rage in the Hebrews; not among their poor, but among the rich and powerful, and in this respect Jesus was extremely and opuses to the latter (the rich), so that was a good reason for me not to trouble the Nazarenes freedom.
“He said to the Pharisees and scribes: “You are malicious by birth; you are like unto white sepulchres. On another occasion He became angry with them because of their exasperating fasting and opulent gifts they received from the rich, and told them, before God, one mite from the poor widow was more appreciated than their expensive gifts.
“Every day complaints made by the Jews in their insolence, have been received in the law-court. I was warned that a disaster would befall this man.
“This would not be the first case that Jerusalem stoned to death those who stood up as their prophets, and should the Praetor refuse to sanction this matter, then they would send the complaint to Caesar.
“My steps have been confirmed by the Senate, and I was promised military support after the end of the Parthian war. Then I decided I should take some steps to establish order in the town and to avoid any consequences in the Praetor district. ”
I wrote to Jesus and invited Him to an interview with me in the law-court, and He came. As you know, in my views there flows a mixture of Spanish and Roman blood which does not know fear nor is wont to be spiritually disconcerted. I was walking in the court when the Nazarene appeared and, when my eyes met His, I felt as if an iron hand had fixed my feet to the ground; and although the Nazarene was calm and serene like an innocent child, I trembled like a delinquent. When He came nearer to me, He said: Behold, here I am!
“For some time I remained rooted to the spot, and with veneration and fear I glanced at the figure of this supernatural man, whose form was unknown to the majority of our artists who have worked out the form and figure of so many gods. and heroes.
“Jesus, I said to Him at last, and for three successive years I gave you great freedom to speak, and I do not know whether you have read of Socrates or Plato, but I can tell you that in your preaching, so great a modesty comes to light that it will raise you above all these Philosophers. The Emperor heard of you (from Publius Lentuluss letter) and I, his obedient representative in this district (Israel), am extremely glad that he granted you this freedom, of which you have availed yourself, and which you so well deserve. However. I cannot hide from you that your preaching has provoked great and mighty enemies as far as you are concerned. This is not to be wondered at; Docrates had his adversaries, and fell a victim to their fury. Your opponents, without any doubt, are prejudiced against you because of your prophecies, and against me because I granted you freedom. I shall tell you, they accuse me of maintaining close ties with you in order to deprive the Hebrews even of those scanty powers they retain from the Romans. Thus, my request–I do not say my will–aims at the following; in the future you should deliberately avoid offending your proud adversaries, so that they may arouse the rabble against you, nor force me to apply the power of the law.”
“The Nazarene replied quietly: “O prince of this world, your words do not come from real wisdom. Say to the storm: “Stop amidst the mountains, for otherwise you will uproot the woods in the plain.” The storm will reply to you” “I shall continue to obey the laws of the Creator.” God alone knows where the storm goes.
“Verily, I say to you, He continued with emotion, as soon as the roses of Sharon come into flower, the blood of the Righteous will be shed.
I said to Him: “Because of your wisdom you are dearer to me than all these rebellious and bombastic Pharisees who abuse the liberty granted to them by the Roman they conspire against the Emperor and keep us in perfect fear–these dangerous rebels. They are not aware that the wolves in them. My law-court has been instructed for your safety.
“Shaking His head in sadness and with a divine grateful smile, Jesus replied: “When that day shall arrived, there will be no escape for the Son of Man, even under the earth. The dwelling of the Righteous is to be found there, He said, and pointed with the finger to the heaven. What been written in the books of the Prophets must be fulfilled.”
“Young man I answered Him feebly, you force me to change my request into an order. The welfare of the province, entrusted to me, requires it. You must show more restraint in your preaching. Do not harm others; this I order you. May heaven guide you! Go in peace.
“O prince of the world, but to bring peace, and love and goodwill to all people. I was born on the self-same day that the Emperor gave peace to the Roman world. Persecution does not come from me; I expect it from others. and I meet it with resignation under the will of my Father who showed me the path. Therefore, let your worldly wisdom stay within its limits. It is not your power to arrest the sacrifice at the step of the altar of redemption.
“After these words, like a bright cloud, He went away behind the Praetorian precincts. At last, Jesus enemies applied to Herod, who at this time ruled in Galilee. to deal with the Nazarene. If Herod had followed his own inclination in this connection, he would have immediately ordered Jesus to die. But although he was proud to have been entrusted with the government of his country, he nevertheless feared the Senate and would not decide on such an action, which might have destroyed his influence before the Senate.
Once Herod came to me in the Praetorian Office; and when, after some unimportant conversation, he rose to take leave, he asked me what I thought of Jesus of Nazareth. I replied that in my opinion Jesus was a great philosopher, such as great nations often produce. And as to His teachings, they have in no case been dangerous, and represent no heresy whatsoever; so Rome was inclined to concede Him every freedom and, by His deeds. He showed Himself worthy. Herod smiled ironically, greeted me with affected distinction, and went away.” “The great holiday of the Hebrews came nearer, and the religious leaders planned to use this opportunity and the peoples excitement which always occurs at the Passover holiday. The town was overcrowded with restive people who demanded the death of the Nazarene.
“My spies reported to me that the High Priest and the Pharisees spent the treasure of the temple for the bribery of the people. The danger grew every hour. One of the Roman centurions was insulted, so I requested the Prefect of Syria to send me directly one hundred infantry and as many cavalry, but he refused to send me these troops. Thus amidst this town about to revolt, I found myself in a position where I had only a handful of soldiers at my disposal, same of them of the old guard, and had no power to suppress the rebellion, but was forced to bring Him forth. The rebels laid hand on Jesus and in addition, feeling that they had of their leaders so that, on principle, I would agree with them in this matter, they all continually shouted: Crucify Him!
“Three parties were united against Jesus: Herods followers, the Sadducees and Pharisees. The Sadducees were prompted by two reasons: they hated Jesus and wanted to free themselves from the Roman pressure. They could not forget my entering the holy city with flags bearing the portrait of the Roman Emperor, although, in this case, I made a great mistake unknowingly, which, however, in their eyes, did not diminish this profanation. The second reason was the dissatisfaction they bore in their hearts because I decreed that a part of the treasure belonging to the temple should be used for the creation of public works. Owing to this regulation they were full of anger”.
“The Pharisees were openly Jesus adversaries, and paid but little attention to our government. They were forced during three and a half years to swallow those bitter pills which the Nazarene flung in their faces whenever He met them in public; and, being so extremely weak and cowardly they did not find courage enough to take measures as might have been desirable. They were only too glad to join the Herodians and Sadducees. Beside these three parties, I had also to struggle against the troubled population, which was always ready to make common cause in these rebellions, and to exploit such implications as arise similar misunderstanding.”
“Under these circumstances Jesus was brought before the High Priest and sentenced to death. The High Priest Caiaphas subserviently carried out that humiliating act. He sent the prisoner to me that I might pronounce the sentence on Him. But I replied that I, in my view of the facts that Jesus was born in Galilee, He fell under the jurisdiction of Herod, and I ordered Jesus to be brought before him. This cunning tetrarch, with pretended submissiveness, declared that, out of respect towards me, he placed the fate of this man in my hands, and this he let me know through the Caesarian soldiers. Instantaneously my palace took the appearance of a besieged town. Every moment the number of the rebels increased. Jerusalem was crowded with a population which had gathered from the Nazarene mountains. It was reported that all Judea had come together in Jerusalem. I had taken as wife a girl from Gali. She had the gift of second sight. With tears in her eyes she fell at my feet and said: “Take care and do not touch that man! He is a saint. Last night I saw Him in my dreams. He walked on the waters. He flew on wings of the wind. He spoke to the storm and to the fish in the sea; and all listened to Him. Further, I saw the creek of the Hedron Hill running by, filled with blood. The statues of the Emperor have been besmeared with stains from Golgotha. The curtains in the Temple have been torn in two; the sun became dark as if it were in mourning. O Pilate, great mishap is awaiting you, unless you listen to your wife. The Roman Senate is cursed. Fear the Forces of heaven.”
“At this time the marble steps nearly collapsed under the load of the crowd, and the Nazarene had again been brought to me. I was just about to go to the law-court accompanied by my guard. In a severe tone I asked the people what they were wanting.
“The death of the Nazarene!” was the answer.
“For what crime?”
“He has blasphemed God and predicted the destruction of the Temple. He calls Himself the Son of God, Messiah, and King of the Jews.”
“I replied: “The Roman law does not punish such offences with death”.
“Crucify Him! Crucify Him! thundered again the voice of the furious crowd. The clamour of the mad people shook the palace to its very foundation. Amid this indescribable uproar there was only one man calm and undisturbed. It was Jesus of Nazareth.
“After some fruitless attempts to save Him from the fury of His fiendish exasperated foes. I restored to another measure, by which, as it seemed to me, I might have been able to save His life. I ordered Him to be flogged and, using a basin, I washed my hands before the crowd, thus showing my disagreement with this deed. But in vain. These wretched people could not be satisfied, otherwise, and I had to allow them to deprive Him of His life.”
“More than once during our civic riots I was witness of popular paroxysms; whatever I had seen, nothing was to be compared with what I saw here. Certainly, it can be said that in this case all evil-doers from the lowest ranks had gathered in Jerusalem. The crowd seemed to walk not on their feet, but as if carried by the wind, howling like the waves of the agitated sea! The whole indomitable sea of heads stretched from the gates of the Practoriun to Mount Zion; such shouting and whistling as had never been heard in Roman history. The day grew dusky, similar to that on which the Emperor Julius the Great died, an event which also took place in the middle of the month of march. I, the governor of the revolting province, stood leaning against a column of my palace and reflected upon the terrible step these evil men who dragged the innocent Nazarene to the place of execution were taking. Jerusalem was evacuated; its whole population went along the death-road leading to that dreadful Golgotha. A feeling of pity and profound sadness grieved my heart. A guard went away to accompany the horsemen, and the centurion, displaying the appearance of a tottering power, took care to maintain order. Lonely, I remained behind, thinking that that which had happened was controlled more by divine than human forces. Suddenly, a loud, heart-breaking outcry was to be heard coming from Golgotha, revealing such an agony as no human ear had ever heard. Dark clouds descended and covered the wing of the Temple and, stretching over the town, covered it like a shroud. So terrible were these phenomena in the heavens as well as on earth, that Dionysius Areopagita exclaimed; Either the creator of nature is suffering or the universe perishes.”
“In the first hour of the night I put on a coat and went, in the direction of Golgotha, on foot into the town, deeply excited and upset, feeling concerned and disappointed many were terror-stricken and tormented by what they had seen. I also noticed among the ranks of my soldiers, some passing by in sadness; and the ensign-bearer had hidden his head in the flag as a sign of morning. I heard another soldier grumbling to strangers and overheard my name, but I could not understand. Here and there groups of men and women who had climbed up to Golgotha stood motionless, as if they expected another wonder of nature to happen.”
“I returned to the Practorium, overwhelmed and tortured by my thoughts. Alone the steps, drops of blood the Nazarene had spilt were to be seen. A little later an old man, together with a group of weeping women, came to see me. The women remained at the gate, and the man threw himself at my feet and wept bitterly. Oh, what a distressing and lamentable spectacle it was to see the old man cry! He answered: I am Joseph of Arimatha; I have come to ask your permission for the burial of Jesus of Nazareth.” I replied: “Your petition shall be granted.” Whereupon I ordered Manlius to take soldiers with him and see that the burial was not interfered with. The next day passed without any event. His disciples announced in the whole province that, according to His prediction, Jesus was resurrected from the dead.”
“There remained for me only the duty of informing my Emperor of this loathful happening. In this same night which followed that unexpected catastrophe I started to write down this report, and in the morning the sound of bugles, paying the air of Diana, coming from the direction of Calvary (Golgotha) reached my ear. Looking towards the Caesarian gate. I saw a column of troops approaching, and heard the sound of trumpets playing the march of the Emperor.”
“It was the promised reinforcement, consisting of two thousand able troops, who, in order to speed up their arrival had marched the whole night.
“Fate has been decided, I exclaimed wring my hands. So that this great injustice could be done, and yesterday’s uproar pass unsubdued, the detachment of soldiers came only today. Oh, terrible destiny, how do you deride the fate of mortals! How rightly shouted the Nazarene on the cross: “It is fulfilled!” These are the contents of my report! I remain, Your Majestys humble and obedient Governor, Pontius Pilate.
“Written in Jerusalem this twenty-eight day of march (the 4147th year, according to the Hebrew reckoning, 4037th year according to English reckoning, since the creation of the world.”
From the above quoted report of Pilate to the Emperor Tiberius, it appears that Pilate arrived in Jerusalem in his capacity of governor not long before Jesus commenced His mission of activity, and that Jesus and his prophecies exerted great influence upon him. The very fact Jesus paid a visit to Pilate proves that Christ did not share with the Jews the dwellings of pagans, etc. Furthermore, it becomes clear that Pilate and the authorities had a knowledge of Jesus teaching, but undertook no step to prohibit it so long as the Jews, the Herodian followers, and the Sadducees did not have Him arrested and did not force the governor to sentence Him. The Jews allegation that Jesus taught the people not to pay taxes to the Emperor has been proved unjustified by Pilates report. The fact that Pilate submitted to the pressure of the Jews to sentence Jesus to death without having found Him guilty shows how unsteady and hopeless human justice is.
As far as Christs trial, his dispatch to Herod, and the latter’s reconciliation with Pilate are concerned, Pilates letter confirms in detail, all the statements of the Gospels.
In one point only Pilates report to the Emperor is deficient, namely, the text of Jesus death sentence. This unique document we shall quote in the following pages. As far as can be surmised, the reason for this omission may be found in the fear that the Emperor Tiberius should find Pilate guilty of an injustice. Therefore, Pilate tried to save Tiberius to understand that he did nothing further than confirm the sentence pronounce don Jesus by the Sanhedrin. However, the Emperor understood from Pilates report that the action of the latter was not right, and for this reason, together with other complaints against him, Pilate was displaced and imprisoned. Due to the course of these events, Pilate later committed suicide. So Judas, Pilate, and with especially severity Jerusalem, have all received their punishment.
Herod, here referred to, appears as the son of Jerod the Great, who, after Jesus birth, had ordered the massacre of the innocents in Bethlehem. He was a good friends of the Pharisees and had, in Jerusalem, a large political party called Herodeans. He beheaded John the Baptist, slew James and his brother John, and also intended to murder Peter. However Gods fury reached Herod-Gods angel struck him and he died, eaten by worms, at the very moment when he intended to take over into his royal power other provinces. Note how God does not leave unpunished the oppressors who persecute His children. He has said: “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.”
THE DEATH SENTENCE OF CHRIST
This is the complete context of Jesus Christs death sentence, which was found by chance in the town of Amafli, in Italy, in 1509. It was written on red stone in Hebrew, and was carefully preserved in an iron box which was placed in another box of marble.
It was published for the first time in Constantinople in 1851: then, when Jeremiah was Patriarch, he published it in his book of Greek idioms. This document was translated from Greek into other European languages, and now-herewith- into the English language :-
“In the seventeenth year of the government of the invincible monarch, the Caesar and Roman Emperor Tiberius, 201 years after the Olympiads; in the beginning of the five thousandth year after the creation, in the 4147th year according to the Hebrew calendar, and 4037th year, according to the English reckoning, and 784 years since the foundation of Rome, 580 years since the liberation from Egyptian slavery: At the time of the great men of the Roman nation : Lucius, Suetonius, and Marcellinus, and the administrator Hilaretes Palister, at the time of the Governor-General over Judea, Comus Flavius, and at the time of the Governor of Jerusalem, the mighty and great prince Pontius Pilatus, and at the time of the procurator over Galilee, Herodes Anitpater, and at the time of the great Archpriests Ananias and Caiaphas, Aliasus and Mailus, the elder of the Temple Raban, and Amabelus, at the times of great judges in the town town of Jesruslem: Simbinakasas, Pompilius, Rufus, and the municipal commander Joctenus :
“I, Pontius Pilatus, procurator of the Roman Emperor, in the hall of the great princes, do pronounce and confirm the sentence of death on the cross to be inflicted on the man called by the people Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, a rebel against Moses Laws and against His Majesty the Roman Emperor Tiberius. I decide and order his death by crucifixion, together with others, in the manner applied to those people who are sentenced to death on the cross to be influenced on the man called by the people Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, a rebel against Moses Laws and against His Majesty to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. I decide and order his death by crucifixion, together with others, in the manner applied to those people who are sentenced to death, be they of rich or poor standing, because he continuously caused uproar by his detrimental behaviour in Judas ; further, he called himself the Son of God, and King of Jerusalem, and threatened the Holy Temple and Jerusalem with destruction ; he refused to pay taxes to the Emperor and ventured to enter Jerusalem with leaves of date-palms and a retinue of people, like a king who enters Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.
“I order my first centurion (captain), Conutus Cornelius, to keep him bound in public in the Jerusalem district and to seize what is his : to coat him with a purple cloak and put a crown of thorns upon his head, and to force him to carry the cross of his own shoulders, so that he be an example to others and especially conspirators.
Accordingly I order that Jesus Christ, together with two other brigands from the region of Imborel, now called Andronymos, shall be taken to be crucified before the people on the place chosen for criminals, and called Calvary (place of blood). He who will be crucified and brought to death, shall remain on the cross as a warning and example for the people and all criminals and robbers. And to head there shall be fixed a table on which his to be written in three languages:
ISUS ALUN OMLIS IODAM – In Hebrew.
IESOUS O NAZARENOS BASILEUS IOUDAION – in Greek
JESUS NAZARENUS REX JUDAEORUM – in Latin.
“I order that none of my officials, of whatever rank and standing, shall delay the performance of his duty to the last, and interfere with the execution of Him who has deliberately deserted the Jewish faith, but that every one shall accurately carry out my orders, infallibly given in accordance with the laws and regulations of Rome.
“Witnesses of this sentence were : On the part of the Israelites : Ruan, Daniel, Rambinal, Ioakin, Banikan, Rotin, Itovel, and Perikolan. On the part of the Roman Rulers in the country : Lucius, Sicelius, and Maxiklius. From the High Priests : Ruan, Jodus, and Bukasalis. Chief of the prosecutor’s office for the Hebrews : Butan.
“Jerusalem, 27th March, 4l47th year, according to Hebrew reckoning, 4037th year, according to English reckoning, after the creation.”
From the Holy Scriptures report we ﬁnd the statement, uttered with utmost discretion, that “Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.” Luke, 23, 24. But from the reports made by Pilate it is possible to perceive his hypocritical cruelty and intolerance. He tried to reconcile lawlessness with righteousness, and evil with truth. He, perhaps, had not wanted to expose himself before Christs disciples, and, perhaps, before his wife, who highly sympathised with Christ, and whose dream was not only an actual prophetic prediction of what would happen to those who took part in the trial, but also to those in our days, who act as the Hebrews who feigned to defend and to protect the Roman rulers, but in reality were only great traitors.
The report of the Bible also tells us of the inscription, and of the inquest made by Ananias and Caiaphas at Herods place, and by Pilate in the courts. But we see from the existing document that this justice did not decide the case on its merits. Pilate declared “I ﬁnd no fault in this man”; with what justiﬁcation then did he order Jesus to be beaten? What Roman laws had provided that an innocent man should be scourged?
Now, of all accusations brought against Jesus, not a single one could have been proved and documented, for Pilate himself, by using the words: “He is innocent,” and conﬁrming this statement by the washing of his hands, substantiated Jesus innocence. So, by virtue of which Roman law did he order the innocent prisoner to be scourged and cruciﬁed? However, truth will break through always and triumph.
We may proﬁt greatly by a study of the proceedings, trial and death-sentence of Jesus Christ, in which the Roman courts themselves committed the greatest wrong. Herein the judges of our days might ﬁnd a warning not to do the same injustice, nor to be partial, but to judge according to divine right. It is only natural and absolutely advisable that the judges of to- day should read the Holy Books, i.e., the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The secular tribunals should not be competent to resolve purely religious matters, nor to sentence whosoever does not believe what the majority believes, or what the official religion prescribes. According to what history shows us, the ruling religion has not always had pure truth as a foundation, and in all times it was subject to errors. The Hebrews, for instance, maintained that they had every right of religious liberty. This spiritual blindness led them to their terrible crime, exacting the sentence and murder of Christ, who was the incarnation of right and truth. S0 great was their blindness that it has obscured their minds to the present day. These catastrophes serve as a terrible warning for all people, but especially for religious leaders and judges.
LETTER OF PILATES WIFE, CLAUDIA PROCULA, TO HER FRIEND, FULVIA ROMELIA
(On the last events in Jesus Christs life).
The original of this letter it to be found among old manuscripts in one of the vast libraries in Italy. From the original a copy was prepared and sent, about the year 1643, to the Constantinopolitan bishop Dionysius. The following are its contents :
“From Claudia Procula, greetings to Fulvia Rornelia.
“You, my faithful friend, are asking and begging me to describe the events which have happened since the day of our separation. The news of some of them may have reached you, but the secret way in which they were wrapped may arouse in you a feeling of anxiety and the desire to know how I am. I shall pay attention to your tender request and try to remember the links of the long chain of my 1ifes scattered memories. And should you see in my letter such circumstances as might startle your mind, remember that the forces of creation constitute an impenetrable and all-covering veil for our helpless and mortal understanding, and that, overwhelming the mortal being, these forces change the fate of his life.
“I shall not describe the ﬁrst days of my life, which so quickly passed by in the stillness of Nabron under the roof of my parents and under their protection.
“You know that, in the sixteenth year of my maiden life, I was united in marriage with the Roman Pilate, a descendant of a renowned family, and who at that time held a position as a governor in Italy. Immediately after our departure from the temple I had to go with Pontius to the province to which he had been appointed. Without happiness, but also without apprehension I went away with my husband who on the score of age could have been my father. I was very homesick for you—for the quiet residence of my parents, the happy haven of Nabron, the beautiful statues the soft groves of my birth- place. I remember-you with tears in my eyes.
“The ﬁrst years of my family life went by calmly and peacefully, Heaven blessed me with a son, and he was dearer to me than the light of day. I shared with him my leisure hours, my sorrows and my joys. My son was ﬁve years old when Pilate, by the Emperors grace, was appointed procurator of Judea. By such roads as are not easily described, we journeyed with our personnel, engaged as servants. After some time I came to love this fertile and rich province which my husband had to rule in the name of Rome, the master of the nations.
“In Jerusalem I was surrounded with tokens of respect and hand clasping : however, I lived in greater loneliness because of the pride and contempt with which the Hebrews met us. Foreigners and aliens, as they called us. They said that we profaned their holy land which God had promised them as their own. I passed the time with my son in silent forests where deer fed on olive branches; where palms with their delicate fronds, more beautiful than in Delos, rose |over blossoming orange-trees, and under fruit-bearing nards. Here in the cool shade I used to sew covers for the altars of the gods, or to read verses of Virgil which are so agreeable to hear and so appeasing to the heart. My husband spent his few spare moments with me. He was in a dark mood and grieved, for he wanted to rule with a strong hand, although in his task of keeping these people in submission, he was weak. These people had been for so long independent and by nature were inclined to rebellion. They were divided into a thousand boisterous sects, but in one point they were all united: namely, in their furious hatred against the Romans.
“So far one family of the better society in Jerusalem showed some benevolence towards me. This family belonged to the director of the Synagogue, Jairus. I found great pleasure in visiting his wife, Salome, who proved to be a model of kindness, and she also showed it in relation to her daughter, Semida, of 12 years of age. The latter was lovely and beautiful, like the dawn over Sharon, and had fair curls.
“Sometimes they spoke to me of the God of their ancestors, and read parts of their holy books.
“What shall I tell you, Fulvia? I remember certain hymns, works of Solomon, praising the God of Jacob, this only God, who is eternal and impenetrable. whose words and sentences we notice on our altars, calling them divine. I perceived that He was omnipotent and merciful, and combines in Himself kindness, purity and greatness. I remember Semida’s voice sounding like the strings of the harp when she sang the holy hymn to the wise and great king of Israel, and often in my loneliness and beside the cradle of my son I tried to play to Him on my instrument. Upon my knees I called Him many times; against my will I pleaded with this God in the humility and tranquillity of my soul and heart, and Him to Whom I committed my destiny and my welfare as a slave submits to his master, and oh, wonder! I immediately arose consoled and heartened.
“After some time Semida fell ill. One morning, when I awoke, I was told that she had died, without great suffering, in the arms of her mother.
“Deeply upset by this news, I took my child to hurry to them to bewail her together with the mourners and her mother Salome. When I came to their house, my servants could only with great difficulty force a way for me through the throng, for many mourners and a large crowd had gathered before my friends home. At that moment I saw the crowd break, offering passage to a group of men who came nearer to the house, and at whom the people looked, with great interest and reverence. In the foremost row I recognised Semidas father; but instead of the depression I expected him to wear on his face, he showed a deﬁnite expression of hope, which I could not understand. With him walked three more men dressed in coarse clothes showing the trace of poverty and giving them the appearance of simple and uneducated people, but behind them walked a man, similarly clad, and in the prime of His youth.
“I raised my eyes to contemplate Him, but, as before the radiance of the sun, I had to turn them away immediately and to lower my eyes to the ground. It seemed His forehead was radiant, and His hair fell in locks on His shoulders in the manner of the Nazarenes.
“I ﬁnd it impossible to explain to you how I felt when I viewed Him. It was the highest agitation which I have ever experienced, for every feature in His face presented an unequalled beauty, but in this moment He inspired a certain secret fear by the glance of His eyes which, it seemed, might turn us into dust. I followed Him, without His knowing.
“The door opened and I could see Semida, lying on a bed adorned with candlesticks and perfumes. She was still more beautiful in the heavenly restfulness which lay upon her but her forehead was of a pale pinkish colour like the rose which had been placed on her. The ﬁnger of death had left its traces round her eyes and her concealed lips. Salome stood by her side, benumbed and almost without any feeling. It seemed that she had not even seen me. .
“Semidas father threw himself at the feet of the unknown man I have just described, who went nearer to the bed of the dead and showed Him his daughter, exclaiming: O my Lord, my daughter is in the arms of death, but if it is your will, she will arise.
“When I heard these words I shiver-ed. My heart ceased to beat for an unknown reason. He took Semidas hand, and turning His powerful look on her, He said, Maid, arise!
“Semida rose from her bed, as if supported by an invisible hand. Her eyes opened, a tender expression of life returned again to her lips and, stretching out her hands, she called, ,, Mother! At this call Salome awoke. Mother and daughter embraced each other, almost broken with emotion. Jairus fell at the feet of Him whom he had called Lord. Kissing the seam of His garment, he asked, What shall I do to receive eternal life?
“Love God, and men.
“After these words He disappeared like a mere shadow from the world of light. I was on my knees without knowing what I did. Then I rose as from a dream, and went home, leaving a happy family in their joy ; in such a joy as it is impossible to describe.
“At dinner I told Pontius what I had seen and heard. He lowered his head and said: You saw Jesus of Nazareth, the object of the hatred and contempt of the Pharisees and Sadducees, of the Herodian party, and of the dangerous and proud Levites from the temple. This hatred is increasing every day, and their only thought is how to bring Him to death. But the Nazarenes words are the words of a wise man and His miracles are really of God.
“But why do they hate Him so strongly? I asked.
“Because He shows up their morals and hypocrisy. I once heard Him saying to the Pharisees: “Whited sepulchres, breed of vipers, you impose heavy burdens upon your brethren, but you do not lift a ﬁnger for them. You pay the tithe with mint and cinnamon, but you are not interested in abiding by the laws, in faithful righteousness and mercy.” The meaning of these words is deep and true. He offended these proud and pompous people, and the outlook for the Nazarenes future is very dark.
“But you will protect Him, isn’t that so? I exclaimed, highly indignant.
“My power is too weak to oppose these rebellious and wretched people, On the other hand I would be deeply concerned should I become forced to spill the blood of this wise man.
“After these words Pontius rose and went into another room, deep in thoughts. I, however, remained in indescribable sorrow and sadness.
“The day of the Passover approached. On this great and, for the Hebrews, so very important a Holy Day, a great many people from all parts of Judea gathered in Jerusalem to solemnly carry the victims of the feast to the temple. The procession generally took place on Thursday. Before this Holy Day Pontius told me that the Nazarenes future was extremely insecure. A conspiracy was brewing over His head, and it might be that on this evening He would be delivered into the hands of the High Priest. I trembled when I heard these words, and I asked my husband : You will protect Him, won’t you?
“Can I? replied Pontius, with a mournful expression in his face. The late, of which Plato spoke, and which he predicted would befall righteous men, will, it seems, reach also to Jesus; He will be persecuted, contemptuously treated and delivered to a cruel death.’
“The time came to retire; but when I laid my head on the pillow to find sleep, a mysterious force suddenly took possession of my mind. I saw Jesus, appearing as she (Salome) had described their God. His face shone in majesty like the sun. He ﬂew on cherub wings and a fiery ﬂame executed His orders, and He stopped on a cloud. It appeared that He was ready to judge the people assembled before Him. With one gesture He separated the righteous from the wicked. The first. the righteous, were raised by Him to the great eternity of divine salvation, but the second (the wicked) were thrown in a ﬁery sea; in comparison with which the ﬁres of Erebus and Phlegethon are nothing. When this heavenly judgment took place and attracted the attention of the people, He showed them His wounds with which His body was covered, and said with a terrible voice: Give me back my blood which I spilt for you! Then those unhappy men asked the rocks and the mountains of the earth to swallow and to cover them. In vain had they formerly felt secure from suffering, and in vain they protected themselves with the eternal and insurmountable illusion. They perished. What a dream, or better, what a revelation!
“When the dawn came and lighted the roofs of the Temple, I arose with a heart full of fear from what I had seen, and to calm myself, sat near the window. But it seemed to me that in the centre of the town sounds of shouting became audible, imprecations grew louder and louder, and this noise reached my ear like the roar of the waves of the sea. I was listening to this unintermitted uproar and my heart began to beat terribly and cold sweat streamed down my forehead. Soon the noise came nearer and nearer, and the stairs which led up to the law courts were beset with an innumerable crowd.
“In deep apprehension of what might unexpectedly happen, I took my son by the hand, put a thin coat on him, and ran to my husband. When we reached the inner door leading to the court hall, I heard a noise of louder voices; I had no courage to step in, but peeped through the purple curtains.
“What a spectacle, Fulvia ! Pontius sat on his ivory throne, in all the majesty with which Rome adorns her representatives ; and apparently showed no fear, as if it was his intention to appear thus, and to bear an intrepid expression on his face; but I could quickly understand and catch his concern.
“With bound hands, and clothes torn by blows He had suffered, and with a blood-covered forehead, Jesus of Nazareth, calm and undisturbed, stood before him. No signs oi bitterness or fear were noticeable on His face. He was quiet like an innocent, and peaceful like a lamb. His peacefulness struck me with terror, for in my ears still sounded the words I had heard in my dream: Give me back My blood which I have spilt for you. Around Him stood the enraged and excited crowd which had brought Him before the tribunal. The crowds of people were joined by guards and servants, Levites and Pharisees. whose eyes ﬂamed with anger. The latter were distinguished by parchment rolls containing various texts of the laws, which they had bound to their heads. All these people burned from anger and envy, and it appeared to me that in their faces an infernal ﬁre was shining. and that by the spirit Nina these voices had been mixed with the howling of hunted animals.
“At last, after a sign given by my husband, silence was restored. What is your request? he asked.
“We demand the death of this man, Jesus of Nazareth, one of the priests answered in the name of all the people. Herod sends Him to you that you may pass judgment.
“Of what do you accuse Him? Of what does the gravity of His offence consist? Thereafter the echo of their fury was again to be heard.
“He predicted the destruction of the Temple; He exalts Himself to the rank of the King of the Jews, to Christ, to The Son of God; He offended the Priests of Abrahams seed, shouted the Levites.
“He shall be cruciﬁed, cried the angry crowd. The echo of these vociferations is still in my ears, and the ﬁgure of the innocent victim will always stay before my eyes.
“Then Pilate turned to Jesus and with altered voice asked Him, Are you King of the Jews? “You say so, answered Jesus. “Are you Christ, The Son of God? Pilate asked again. But Jesus did not answer.
“The shouting began again, even louder, and their voices were like the howling of wild, hungry animals. Deliver Him to us, so that He may die on the cross! : Pontius again ordered them to be silent, and said to them : I ﬁnd no guilt in this man and I acquit Him.
“Deliver Him to us I Crucify Him l sounded the furious voices of the people. I could stand this ;houting no longer, so beckoned one of my servants and sent him to my husband to ask him to come to me for a few moments.
“Pontius at once left the court hall and came to me. I threw myself at his feet and said:
“For the sake of all that is dear to you, and for this chi1ds sake, the token of our holy matrimonial bond, do not make yourself guilty by spilling the blood of this righteous man who is so like the immortal God. I saw Him in my dream last night. He was surrounded with divine majesty. He judged mankind, who trembled before Him, and among those unhappy ones who had been thrown into the ﬁre of hell I noticed the faces of these who exacted His death. Take care and do not raise your profane hand against Him. Oh, believe me, that a single drop of this blood may be your damnation for all eternity.
“All that is happening now frightens me also, answered Pontius, but what can I do ? The number of the Roman guards is extremely small and their protecting force very weak for these demoniac people. Mishap is after us; for they do not seek right, but revenge from the courts. Be quiet, Claudia! Go with the child in the garden! Your eyes are not made to watch such a frightful spectacle.
“After these words he went out and left me alone, and I shed bitter tears in my hopelessness and pity. Jesus was still the object of all the banter and beating in the courts on the part of the crowd and of rough soldiers; their passions were even more inﬂamed in view of His unlimited patience.
“In horror Pontius returned to his throne. When the throng saw him again, they immediately started to shout their brutal demand: Put Him to death, to death!’
“Following an old custom, the governor used to set free on Easterday a criminal sentenced to death, thus showing an example of mercy and grace. To decide this divine procedure he always referred to the people. Pontius saw in this custom a way to liberate Jesus and, in a loud voice, asked the crowd; Whom do you want me to release on this holiday, Barabbas or Jesus, called Christ ?
“Set Barabbas free! shouted the crowd.
“In fact, Barabbas was a robber and murderer, notorious in all the surrounding districts for the crimes he had committed.
“Pontius asked again: And what shall I do with Jesus of Nazareth ?
“Crucify Him! they cried.
“And what evil did he do?
“With ever-increasing fury they howled: He shall be crucified.
“In a desperate mood Pilate bowed his head. The insolence of the crowd grew with every moment. Pilate was afraid that his authority and the Roman power, which he so stronglv defended, might, be compromised by this menace. In Jerusalem he had no defence force other than his bodyguard and in addition a small number of local troops who had taken the oath of allegiance to the Roman eagle. The uproar increased every minute. I have never heard such a noise in the Circus, nor have the rows in the Forum ever given me such an impression. Nowhere was a single trace of calmness to be seen save in the face of one man only—that of the victim.
“Beating, jeering, the general scorn, and the imminent death as martyr——nothing could darken His divine and radiant face. These eyes, which gave Jairus’s daughter life again, looked at His tormentors with an indescribable expression of peace and love. Oh, beyond any doubt, He suffered, but He suffered gladly, and His soul seemed to me to be carried to invisible heights as a consuming pure ﬂame.
“The hall in -the courts was crowded, and looked like a foaming stream whose waters increased by an influx, beginning at the mount Zion, where the Temple stood, and ﬂowing down to the Praetorium; and every minute new voices joined in this hellish choir. My husband, weary and under compulsion, was forced at last to yield. Oh, the fateful hour had come.
“Pontius rose. Doubt and deadly fear were written in his face. He washed his hands in water from a basin and, per- forming this symbolic gesture, he said:
“I am not guilty of the blood of this righteous man.
“His blood be on us and on our children! roared the unhappy and mad people who swarmed round Jesus.
“The hangmen, like butchers, caught Him. My eyes followed the victim, who was led to be slaughtered.
“Suddenly my eyes grew dim as a sequence to my heavy heart-beats, and I felt as if my life had come to an end. “My maid-servants caught me by the hand and led me to the window which opened on to the court of the tribunal. I leaned out of the opening and saw the traces of spilt blood. Here they have beaten Jesus with a scourge, one of my servants said. i
“The other continued :
“There they have crowned him with a wreath of thorns.
“The soldiers jeered at Him, called Him king of the Jews. and slapped his face. Now, He breathes His last, remarked the third servant.
Each of these words pierced my heart like a knife. The details of this terribly unjust act increased the suffering and tortures which ﬁlled my heart. I felt that on this unhappy day a supernatural event would occur. It seemed to me that even the heavens shared my sorrow, and that they suite-red as my own heart did. Heavy dark and threatening clouds in various shapes scudded over the sky, and lightning came from the colliding clouds, followed by the unreal echo of deep thunder.
“After so much uproar the town became suddenly calm, as if in thought, and a deadly silence pervaded it, as if death had covered it with its dark wings. An anxiety I had never before felt forced my eyes in one direction. At the ninth hour of the day it began to darken in the court, and the fog became thicker and thicker. I lifted my child to my breast, and suddenly a heavy earthquake started, shaking the whole earth. One would have thought that the end of the world was near or that the universe returned to its original chaos. I fell on the ﬂoor. At this time one of my maid-servants, a Jewess by birth, came to my room; pale, desperate and with frightened eyes she cried:
“Doomsday has arrived. God tells us this by these miracles. The curtain which hides the Holy of Holies in the holy Temple has been torn from top to bottom in two parts. Woe to the holy abode!”
“Rumours went that many graves opened and many people saw righteous men, who long before had passed away, come to life again: prophets and priests from the time of Zachariah who was killed in the temple. down to Jeremiah, who predicted Zions fall, arose from the graves.
“These dead foretold the wrath of God. The punishment of the Almighty came down like a ﬂame. When I heard these words I seemed to lose my reason. I rose and m feet would hardly drag me along. I went to the stairs, and here I met the centurion who was present at the cruciﬁxion of Jesus. He had participated in seven wars, was brave and hardened by many ﬁghts with German and other peoples. Never has there been a heart so daring and fearless as that of this warrior. But in this time he was overwhelmed, wearied by witnessing sufferings, and repentant. I wanted to ask him for more details of the happenings. but he passed by, saying, He whom we killed was really the Son of God.
“I went into the great hall. There sat Pontius, his face covered with his hands. When I entered he raised his Head and exclaimed in desperation: O Claudia, why did I not follow your advice? My gloomy heart shall never feel any joy. Why could I not save with my own life that of the wise man.
“I did not dare answer him. I could ﬁnd no words to appease him and to relieve him from the distress which would be imposed on our house for ever. Our deadly silence was disturbed by a thunderstroke resounding through the corridors of the palace. Paying no heed to the fury of the thunderstorm, an old man came to our residence. He was led to us, and throwing himself at the feet of my husband, he said with tears in his eyes: I am Joseph of Arimathea, and I come to ask your permission to take Jesus body from the cross and to bury Him in my burial ground.
“Go and take Him! answered Pilate, speaking to the petitioner without even so much as raising his head. The old man went away. and I noticed that some women, clothed in long garments, rose when he came to the gate, and joined him.
“Thus ended this fateful day. Jesus was buried in a cavern, hewn out of rock, at the entrance of which a guard was posted.
“But, O Fulvia, on the third day He showed Himself in this town, victorious and surrounded with majesty and radiance.
“He had risen again. He fulﬁlled His prophecy and victoriously overcame death; ﬁrst He showed Himself to His disciples and friends, and then to the people. To this His disciples testified, and conﬁrmed their testimony with their own blood, and carried the words of the Lord Jesus before the thrones of the great and the judges. For the faithful testimony to His teaching some ﬁshermen from Tiberias were arrested. This Gospel spread over the whole empire. Owing to their sweet and powerful words, these simple men suddenly became famous and renowned. This new faith grew like the plant out of a mustard seed, as the true root of a fruit-bearing tree which should supersede all other roots (that is to say the false religions and the Roman grandeur).
“From this day on, all went ill for my husband. He was accused by the Senate and even by the Emperor Tiberius for the actions which he took, for the Emperor hated the Jews. Suspicious even of those to whose demand he had yielded, his life became poisoned with torment. Salome and Semida looked at me with fear, for they saw in me always the wife of the persecutor and hunter of their Lord. They had become followers of Him who had returned the daughter to the mother, and the mother to the daughter. I found with them—instead oi kindness and welcome—distrust, which kept them trembling, and I immediately ceased my visits. In this time of my loneliness I took up continuous studies of some of Jesus moral teachings, which had been given me by Salome, and which she carefully followed.
“O my dear friend, how empty and insigniﬁcant is the wisdom of our great teachers, compared with the doctrine which God Himself promised to send to us! Oh, how profound are these wise words and how much peace and mercy are to be found in them! My only consolation consists in reading them again and again.
“After a few months Pontius was dismissed from his authoritative post. We were forced to return to Europe wandering from town to town. Together with his humiliation and sorrow he bore his spiritual desperation wherever he went in the Empire. I went with him, but what was my life with him? The cheerful bonds of family life had long ceased to exist between us—in my person he always saw a live witness who reminded him of his crime. And I saw through him the image and the cross, stained with the blood of Him whom he, as an unhappy and lawless judge, had sentenced to death. I had not the courage to raise my eyes to him and to look in his.- The sound of his words, his voice, with which he had pronounced his judgment, pierced and wounded my heart. And when he washed his hands after the meal, it seemed to me as if he washed them not in clear water, but in warm blood, the traces of which could not effaced.
“Once I tried to speak to him of repentance and remorse for sins committed, but I shall never forget his wild glance and the bitter words of desperation with which he answered.
“Some time later my child died in my arms. but I could not cry for him. – He was lucky: he had the good luck to escape the curse with followed us everywhere, and to have the terrible burden of his parents name released from his shoulders. Mishap followed us continuously, for in all places were Christians. Even in this wild country surrounded by the shores of the sea, and full of stoop rocks-where we sought protection, even here we can hear the indignation with which people mention the name of my husband.
“The emissaries who preach Jesus doctrines have inserted in the comments on their faith also the words: He was cruciﬁed by order of Pontius Pilate (Passus est sub Pontio Pilato) a terrible curse which will continue through all ages.
“Forgive me, Fulvial Bewail me and pray for me! The righteous God may help you, and may He give you all the happiness which we wish each other. Excuse me!”
COMMENT ON THE LETTER QUOTED ABOVE
According to some historical documents, it has been assumed that Pontius Pilate, like Judas, ignoring the forgiving mercy of God, committed suicide. His wife died a Christian, but had to suffer for her faith in Christ. The Greeks count her among the saints and celebrate her day on the 24th December.
Here is what the chronicle of Nikophorus Kallista, in the 2nd volume, chap. 10, says of the causes of Pilates death.
“A certain imposter gathered many Samaritans on the mount Garizzin, with the intention of showing them some vessels which Moses himself had hidden. When Pilate heard of this meeting, which, in his opinion, was directed against the Roman authority, he made use of this opportunity to revenge himself on those whom he previously hated because of their lawlessness. He had rounded them up with his cavalry, and ordered the leader to be killed and the crowd to be dispersed with pikes, and any whom they m1ght catch to be slain. The Samaritans, co-nationals of the men killed, complained about .him to the governor of Syria—Vitellius, a brother of the Emperor—(as the population of Judea was under the jurisdiction of the former as a higher authority). Vitellius found Pilate guilty and ordered him to report in Rome, to the Emperor Tiberius. He also had some difficulties due to a complaint sent to him by Mary Magdalene with respect to his unjust measures. Pilate could not sufficiently defend himself and was consequently imprisoned in Gali about 37 A.D. From there he was sent to Vienna, where, owing to his humiliation and remorse, he committed suicide. The letter of Pilates wife throws further light upon the events in connection with the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ and further conﬁrms the authenticity of the Gospels. The contents of the report of Pilates wife deserve greatest attention, because, as his wife, she was in constant contact with Pilate, the chief judge of Jesus. Her letter mentioned also the resurrection of the saints on the occasion of Christs death on the cross. She says that they were some of the prophets and priests. We may, therefore, certainty, infer that the twenty-four old men seen by St, John in his visions described in Revelation 4, 4-5, 8-9, are some of those who came to life when our Lord Jesus Christ arose. Her dream conﬁrms the vision in St. Johns Revelation, 6,16-17.”
REVISION OF CHRISTS TRIAL
Curious things happen in our days. The Jewish people, nowadays, re-examine Jesus trial and ﬁnd him guiltless, and their ancestors guilty of the crime of the murder of the of God. At last, it is proved that Roman justice is also guilty in no less a degree. To become better acquainted with this case we give the following short report on “Revision of the Juridical Process of Christ.”
Not long ago the newspapers published a small notice mentioning that representatives of the Jewish race wished to form a tribunal which should re-examine the proceedings which had led to the death of the Son of God.
On the 25th July. 1931, the result of the revision of this trial was published. ” The Telegraph” newspaper commented upon it as follows:
“Jerusalem, 25th July. As it has been announced before, the debate on Christs trial and the revision of his death sentence has now been opened. At precisely 4 o’clock in the morning the law courts were closely packed and the assistance of the police was required to prevent the public from breaking in the doors. From the beginning of the proceedings many jurisconsults, who were specially invited to take part in the re-examination of this trial, were present. At the actual meeting the bench consisted only of celebrities of the Jewish race who, from the outset, had promised and declared that they would hear the case according to its merits and with complete justice, and correct any mistake made in the judgment of olden times. The President of this court was Dr. Weldeisel, one of the most important legislators among the Jewish people. For the defence was the advocate Reicliswev, prosecutor Dr. Blandeisler.
“At 14.30 (1.0. 2.80 p.m.), the debate commenced, and the president gave the prosecutor permission to speak. Dr Blandeisler unfolded whole archives of documents containing about 1000 typewritten pages. He started by proving that the court, at the time, when Jesus was judge, tried to proceed lawfully, for at the period mentioned nobody, except His disciples, could see in Christ the Son of God— He was a conspirator, who gathered people round Him to inﬂuence them against the authorities, and who preached a non-existing religion, and as such he was a danger to the community. Without further delay he was to be sentenced to death as many others before Him.
“The prosecutor continued grimly to accuse the martyr, basing his arguments on the documents he had brought with him. He ﬁnished his speech, which lasted for four hours, by admonishing the judges to conﬁrm the sentence issued so long ago, as this was their duty and in accordance with the sound principles of justice.
“Thereafter, the president permitted the counsel for the defendant, advocate Reichswev, to speak. The hall was in deep silence when he turned to the audience.
“He said that he could prove that the sentence was an unjust and unlawful one, and that Jesus fell a victim to innumerable mistakes of the justice of that time. He proved that Jesus could not have been sentenced to death, because He had never committed a single crime. Moreover, He had preached such a religion as would lead to salvation, but which the human egoism of His time refused to accept. How could Christ be accused of a crime which He never committed? Never had there been even the slightest evidence of such a crime. He referred to Pilate, who had said, I ﬁnd no fault in this just man, and as a sign of his belief in Jesus innocence had washed his hands in the face of His accusers. But as they had threatened to report Pilate to the Emperor, he delivered Jesus to them. .
“The defence continued the strong plea and asked the judges of the present court not to be selﬁsh, and not to victimise real righteousness for political reasons. He drew their attention to the fact that the sentenced one was now in heaven and ready to forgive the injustice inﬂicted upon Him. After pleading for ﬁve hours the defendant ﬁnished his speech. The assembly retired to the adjoining room to deliberate.
“When the judges returned to the hall, the president read the following sentence: With four votes against one the defendant has been acquitted and His complete innocence has been proved. The charge against Him was a sad wrong which brought the divine punishment upon the Jewish race, who wished to expiate its guilt.
“The defence was greeted with stormy applause. Then the audience went quietly away.”
After 1900 years the leader of the Jewish people recognised the dreadfulness of a juridical mistake and the crime which was perpetrated at the same place where now some of their descendants declared in the most solemn way, by four votes to one, that the Lord Jesus Christ was innocent.
How empty and unimportant then, was Dr. B1andeislers objection that Christ’s religion was at that time unknown, although his disciples accepted His higher wisdom. But is it possible that truth and right are dependent upon the consent of the people? How cruel and despotic appears the prejudice against the Son of God I Christ was ready to suffer death for the redemption of mankind, but the fact that the religious leaders of His own nation thirsted to spill His blood filled to overﬂowing the cup of his suffering.
Our desire in selecting and publishing these documents is that everyone might see and learn these important and interesting events, and that every soul might understand the sufferings of Him who so deeply loves us.
In this present work the suffering of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the full trial of His life have been described, so that all might have an opportunity to recognise the path where- in he should walk to obtain eternal life.
It will not be long before He who suffered so much will appear and gather, among His people, those who have been persecuted and wrongly sentenced. Dear and beloved reader, have you ever thought that you might be one of those on the path leading to Christ-—the path of Golgotha? Have you ever wished to take part in Christ’s salvation and redemption? If you wish to save yourself and all who are dear to you, than meditate in your prayers upon Golgotha and look with ﬁrm faith to Him who suffered for you and all others that they might be saved. When meditating, through faith you will be able to ﬁnd the path to eternal life. When you are able to appreciate the Holy Scriptures and God’s Law, than you can follow them as they direct you. You will see, therefore, that the duty of those who desire to be loved depends in following the path of obedience and suffering for the truth’s sake. Oh, what great salvation is promised to us, it wo follow God! Oh, if we only knew how much God loves us, and what a supremo sacriﬁce he offered for all of us that we might be saved!
How great is His patience with you, O beloved readers who pay so little attention to His call for repentance! Continually – He is calling to your heart and appealing to your ear to return in peace to Jesus Christ and to give Him all your future, all your heart and life.
May God help that these words and these documents may arouse in us a true and sincere desire to seek Jesus and to follow Him through all suffering, thus fulfilling the will of God!
Posted on September 8, 2012, in Short Studies and tagged Christ, Christ in history, Claudia Pilate, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Judea, letter about Jesus, Majesty, Pilate's wife, pontius pilate, Publius Lentulus. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.