Review by Choice Review
Bond (Univ. of Aberdeen) offers a first-rate quest for the historical Pontius Pilate, the prefect of the imperial Roman province of Judea from 26 to 37 CE who sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. The quest examines biblical and nonbiblical sources: Philo, Josephus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It concludes with a brief assessment of the historicity of the pertinent events represented by the Gospel narratives, particularly the trial of Jesus. Bond argues that the first-century writers on Pilate allowed their own social and political situations to influence their portraits of Pilate, and that the historical evidence from the relevant sources does not support a theory of a "progressively friendlier" Pilate. Bond concludes that Pilate was confronted with the trial of Jesus because the latter was accused of claiming to be King of the Jews, and that Pilate handled the matter in terms of a routine crucifixion of a political agitator. The book is thoroughly researched, lucidly written, and well organized; it will be a standard historical work on Pilate. Recommended for any library supporting Greco-Roman history and New Testament studies. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and researchers. P. K. Moser Loyola University of Chicago
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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