Pontius Pilate (1 BC - circa AD 37) was the fifth Roman procurator of
Judea (AD 26 - 36 ) under Emperor Tiberius, who sentenced Jesus to death
by crucifixion. The quotes below refer to the Acts
of Pontius Pilate.
The existence of the Acts of Pontius Pilate is
strongly supported by Epiphanius (Heresies
50.1), Justin Martyr (First Apology, A.D. 150)
and Tertullian (Apology, A.D. 200). The Acts
of Pontius Pilate were kept in the Roman archives (Commentarii principis) as stated in the
The ancient Romans were scrupulously careful to preserve
the memory of all remarkable events which happened in the city; and this
was done either in their "Acts of the Senate" (Acts Senatus),
or in the
"Daily Acts of the People" (Acta Diurna Populi), which were
diligently made and kept at Rome . . . In like manner it was customary
for the governors of provinces to send to the emperor an account of remarkable
transactions that occurred in the places where they resided, which were
preserved in the "Acts of" their respective governments . .
. we find, long before the time of Eusebius [3rd century], that the primitive
Christians, in their disputes with the Gentiles, appealed to these "Acts
. . . Thus, Justin Martyr, in his first "Apology" for the Christians,
which was presented to the Emperor Antoninus Pius [A.D. 138-161] and
the senate of Rome, about the year [A.D.] 140, having mentioned the crucifixion
of Jesus Christ and some of its attendant circumstances, adds, "And
these things were done, you may know from the 'Acts' made in the time
of Pontius Pilate."
It should be noted that some believe a fraudulent version of the Acts
of Pilate was circulated later in the fourth and fifth centuries. This
should not be confused with the original document that was generated
in the first century, archived in Rome and was available to Caesar
Antoninus Pius and the Roman Senate. Otherwise, Justin
Martyr's appeal to the Acts of Pilate in
have lacked credibility. Both Justin Martyr (A.D. 150) and Tertullian (A.D. 200) refer to the document much earlier that the fradulent version.
Reference To Jesus Christ
And again in other words, through another prophet, He says, “They pierced My hands and My feet, and for My vesture they cast lots.” And indeed David, the king and
prophet, who uttered these things, suffered none of them; but Jesus Christ stretched forth His hands, being crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He was
the Christ. And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said, Judge us. And the expression, “They pierced my hands and my feet,” was
used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted
it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate. - Justin Martyr, First
And that it was predicted that our Christ should heal all diseases and raise the dead, hear what was said. There are these words: “At His coming the lame shall leap as
an hart, and the tongue of the stammerer shall be clear speaking: the blind shall see, and the lepers shall be cleansed; and the dead shall rise, and walk about.” And
that He did those things, you can learn from the Acts of Pontius Pilate. - Justin Martyr, First Apology 48
This reference reveals several key things:
||1) Christ performed amazing miracles.
||2) Christ died on a cross with hands and feet pierced with nails.
||3) It affirms the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.
1.Cyclonic and Strong. Cyclopedia
of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. 1867-1887. 62-63.
2.Gary R Habermas. The Historical Jesus. College Press Publishing Co. 1996. pp. 215-216.