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How Pilate Became a Saint
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Pontius Pilate has a terrible reputation. We tend to think of him as one of the New Testament’s greatest cowards. Tragically, at Jesus’ trial, Pilate seems to recognize that a gross injustice is being done, yet he doesn’t use his power as the Roman governor of Judea to stop it. According to the Gospel of Matthew, three times Pilate asks the crowd, “What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” He seems to hope they will say, “Release him!” But they don’t. Instead, the crowd insists that Pilate have Jesus crucified. So the governor famously washes his hands, claims he is “innocent of this man’s blood” (Matthew 27:24), flogs Jesus and then hands him over to the soldiers who lead him to his death. And in an act that suggests recognition of his terrible error, Pilate himself supplies the nameplate for the cross: “Jesus Christ, King of the Jews.”
The first-century C.E. Jewish historians Flavius Josephus and Philo of Alexandria also portray Pilate in a negative light—as autocratic, excessive, stubborn and indecisive. According to Josephus, Pilate’s ten-year stint as governor of Judea ended in 36 C.E., when he was sent back to Rome to answer charges of overstepping authority, provoking rebellion and persecuting the Jews.1 Philo reports on Pilate’s predilection for bribes, robbery, excesses and executions without trial.2
Yet, early Christians saw Pilate in a very different way. Augustine hailed Pilate as a convert. Eventually, certain churches, including the Greek Orthodox and Coptic faiths, named Pilate and his wife saints. And when Pilate first shows up in Christian art in the mid-fourth century, he is juxtaposed with Abraham, Daniel and other great believers.
The earliest images of Pilate appear on sarcophagus reliefs, where the Pilate story usually appears as one in a series of images of Jesus’ passion. Pilate is often seated at upper right, turned slightly away from the viewer, as on a late-fourth-century sarcophagus now in the Arles Antiquities Museum and the sarcophagus (now in the Vatican, but not shown here) of Junius Bassus, a Roman prefect who died in 359 C.E. He is usually shown washing his hands while Jesus stands before him.
It would be difficult to characterize these individual reliefs as positive or negative portraits of Pilate. But when we look at them in context, we find that the Pilate scene is often paired with (or balanced by) an image of Jesus washing the apostles’ feet, of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac or, occasionally, Daniel saving Susannah—suggesting that early Christians drew a comparison between these events.
On the sarcophagus from the Arles Antiquities Museum, the footwashing scene appears at far left, the handwashing at far right. Early Christians associated both acts—the washing of feet and hands—with baptism, innocence and the forgiveness of sin.
On a mid-fourth-century sarcophagus from the Lateran Museums and on the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, Pilate again appears at far right; Abraham and Isaac appear at far left. A parallel between Jesus and Isaac—beloved sons whose fathers prepare to sacrifice them—is often made in early Christian art and literature.a The church father Tertullian wrote: “Isaac, being led by his father to be a victim, and carrying himself the firewood, at that moment was a figure of Christ’s death, submitting himself to his father as a victim and lugging the [fire]wood of his own passion.”3 As a result, the two men who oversaw the (near-) sacrifices—Pilate and Abraham—also came to be seen as parallel figures. Pilate, like Abraham, came to be seen as an active agent, advancing God’s work of salvation.
On another mid-fourth-century sarcophagus also in the Arles Antiquities Museum, Pilate is paired not only with Abraham, but with Daniel, too. The sarcophagus is decorated with a variety of Old and New Testament scenes (as well as a circular portrait of the deceased), but it is popularly known as “the Sarcophagus of the Chaste Suzanne,” because it includes the story of Susannah, recorded in the Additions to the Book of Daniel. (The additions are found in the Greek Old Testament, called the Septuagint, but not the Hebrew Bible.)
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According to the Additions to Daniel, when the chaste Susannah refuses the sexual advances of two elderly men, they falsely accuse her of adultery. For her supposed crime, she is sentenced to death. Daniel is disturbed by the outcome: “I want no part in shedding this woman’s blood,” he announces—a foreshadowing of Pilate’s later words. Daniel then steps in and interrogates the men separately. Their story falls apart (each claims the adultery occurred under a different tree), and Susannah is vindicated.
On the sarcophagus, the tale is told in two parts in the upper register. Just to the right of the portrait medallion, Susannah stands reading from the scroll of the Law while the two men spy on her from behind trees. The story picks up in the upper left corner of the relief, where Daniel appears seated with Susannah standing beside him. Just to the right, one of Susannah’s false accusers receives a beating as punishment.
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To the right of this scene (and left of the portrait medallion) is the sacrifice of Isaac. But on “The Sarcophagus of the Chaste Suzanne,” it is the parallel between Susannah and Jesus—both innocents condemned to death by the elders of Israel—and between Daniel and Pilate—who try to protect them—that is highlighted. Seated in the two upper corners of the sarcophagus, Daniel and Pilate mirror each other in pose.
How and why did Pilate gain such a good reputation that early Christian artists likened him to the Old Testament heroes Daniel and Abraham?
Given Pilate’s key role in the New Testament, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that early Christian imagination made much of him. Pilate appears in all four Gospels; and in each he wants to let Jesus go free but succumbs to the crowd’s pressure to have him crucified. In each gospel account, he has his heroic moments: In all four Gospels, he tries to release Jesus (Matthew 27:16; Mark 15:9; Luke 23:16; John 19:12). He declares Jesus innocent of any punishable crime. In Luke, he tells the crowd: “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him” (Luke 23:14–16). But the crowd insists that Jesus die. The Gospel of Matthew (see “Jesus Before Pilate,” sidebar to “The Dark Side of Pilate” in this issue) indicates Pilate (or at least his wife) was guided by a miraculous vision. While Pilate is sitting on the “judgment seat,” his wife sends word to him: “Have nothing to do with that righteous [i.e., just, innocent] man,” she warns, “for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him” (Matthew 27:19). Pilate subsequently declares Jesus to be an innocent man and absolves himself of responsibility for his death (Matthew 27:24).
In the Gospel of John, Pilate proclaims Jesus innocent and presents him to the crowd with the famous words Ecce Homo, “Behold the man” (John 19:5). Pilate himself carves the plaque for the cross reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:19). When a bystander suggests Pilate amend the text to read “This man said ‘I am King of the Jews,’” Pilate refuses. “What I have written I have written,” he declares (John 19:22). Finally, it is Pilate who turns Jesus’ body over to Joseph of Arimathea for burial before the sun goes down (John 19:38–39).
These more savory details informed the extrabiblical legends about Pilate that circulated from the second century on. These apocryphal tales made Pilate out to be an early gentile convert, one who recognized not only Jesus’ innocence, but also his divine nature. For example, the church historian Tertullian, in the late second century, wrote that Pilate became “a Christian in his own convictions.” According to Tertullian, Pilate even sent word of Jesus to the Roman emperor Tiberius (14–37 C.E.), who also would have converted if only emperors were allowed to become Christians.4
Echoes between the stories of Pilate and Daniel were noted by early Christian exegetes, including Hippolytus of Rome in the third century C.E. and Jerome in the early fifth. For example, in his commentary on Daniel, Hippolytus wrote that Daniel cried out, “I am innocent of her blood” (Additions to Daniel 46), so that he would not be held responsible for her death along with the other elders of Israel, and added that Pilate acted in such a manner when he washed his hands and said, “I am innocent of his blood.”5
The second-century bishop Irenaeus reported that the Carpocratians (a Gnostic Christian sect from Alexandria) claimed to possess a portrait of Jesus painted by Pilate: “[The Carpocratians] maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them. They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world.”6 Although Irenaeus condemned this kind of image worship, he didn’t actually dispute the sect’s claim to own an authentic “from life” portrait of Jesus—or that Pilate might really have painted such a picture!
Augustine suggested that Pilate not only recognized Jesus’ innocence, he also recognized his divinity—and converted to Christianity. Augustine compared Pilate with the magi, claiming that while the magi were the first to recognize Jesus’ divinity at his “rising,” or birth,b Pilate was the first to recognize his divinity at his “setting,” or death.7 By washing his hands of Jesus’ blood, Pilate was suggesting that Jesus’ blood would wash away our sins, Augustine wrote.
The fourth-century church historian Eusebius of Caesarea claimed that Pilate not only converted to Christianity but tried to convince the Roman emperor Tiberius to convert, too (see the second sidebar to this article). Tiberius didn’t abandon paganism, but, according to Eusebius, he was so impressed by Pilate’s account of Jesus’ wonders and resurrection that he urged the Roman Senate to add Jesus to the official pantheon. Furthermore, Tiberius threatened death to anyone who accused or attacked Christians.8 However, Tiberius’s successor, Caligula (37–41 C.E.), was not similarly persuaded. According to Eusebius, he ordered Pilate to commit suicide.9
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Outside the New Testament and the writings of the church fathers, Pilate is mentioned in many apocryphal gospels and books of acts, as well as in the early creeds (where he and the Virgin Mary are the only humans mentioned) and other documents. In these postcanonical texts, Pilate is not just a Roman governor who felt pushed into handing over an innocent man for execution. He is a Christian convert who dies a Christian martyr.
The popularity of these texts throughout the Roman Empire may well have inspired a backlash among pagan Roman leaders. Eusebius mentions a set of early-fourth-century memoirs that were attributed to Pilate but that he believed were actually concocted by pagan persecutors of the Christians in order to stain Pilate’s reputation. According to Eusebius, these counterfeit “Memoirs of Pilate and Our Savior” were filled with “unspeakable lies” designed to refute Pilate’s Christian persuasion. Eusebius states that the memoirs were exhibited on bronze tablets in public squares throughout the empire and were given to teachers for the indoctrination of children.10
These false memoirs themselves may have inspired the well-known Acts of Pilate (see the first sidebar to this article), a lengthy account of Jesus’ trial and resurrection that was likely generated in the mid-fourth century at the urging of Eusebius or someone like him as a means of countering the blasphemous forged memoirs.c
The apocryphal Acts of Pilate is in two parts, the first of which purports to be an eyewitness account of Jesus’ trial. (The second describes the Resurrection.) According to the prologue, the original Hebrew text was purportedly rediscovered in its entirety sometime between 400 and 450 A.D. by a Roman convert to Christianity named Ananias, who then translated it into Greek. Ananias also claims that he was able to authenticate the documents and to determine that they were by Nicodemus, a Jewish leader who defended Jesus before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling body (John 7:50–52), and who later provided vast quantities of spices for Jesus’ burial (John 19:39–40). Nicodemus delivered his report to the high priest Caiaphas, who then turned it over to Pilate himself, as a record of the legal proceedings.
The apocryphal Acts of Pilate depends heavily on the various gospel accounts but expands the dialogue between Pilate and the Jewish crowd and adds certain unique and miraculous details. For example, the Roman messenger who leads Jesus to Pilate begins to worship Jesus and treats him as if he were a king. When Jesus enters the chamber, the (inanimate) imperial standards bearing the official images bend over in reverence before him. The crowd of Jews that gathers before Pilate is divided over whether Jesus should be put to death. Some claim that Jesus was born from fornication and thus should be executed. But “not all the multitude desired that he should be put to death.” Several Jews weep at the thought and join Pilate in support of Jesus. Among them are the woman with an issue of blood (Matthew 9:20–22; Mark 5:25–34; Luke 8:43–48), the paralytic whom Jesus told, “Take up your bed and walk” (Mark 2:11; John 5:8) and several other New Testament figures who were healed by Jesus or who witnessed his miracles.
In the end, Pilate relies on Jesus’ own advice. He asks Jesus, “What shall I do with you?” and Jesus responds, “Do as it has been given to you … Moses and the prophets foretold my death and resurrection.” The crucifixion is part of God’s greater plan, Jesus suggests. Pilate must not stop what has already been put in motion. Thus by allowing Jesus to die, Pilate serves God.
Given Pilate’s prominence in the New Testament and the writings of the church fathers, it is not surprising that Pilate found a favored place in fourth-century Christian art and literature, like the Acts. But there may be another reason Pilate became especially popular at this time: He provided a model for the new Roman Christians of the fourth century.
In 313 C.E., the emperor Constantine proclaimed the Edict of Milan, which allowed Christians to worship freely. Christianity’s subsequent transition from persecuted cult to imperially patronized religion opened a place—even a need—for a representative Roman official who refused to persecute Christians and became a convert. As a Roman ruler who refused to persecute Christians and who, legend had it, instead converted to Christianity, Pilate served as a kind of prototype for Constantine. He also provided proof to the Roman people that the Romans were an instrumental part of God’s plan for salvation. Why else would God have selected a Roman to preside at the crucifixion?
Two good recent books on Pilate are Pontius Pilate in History and Tradition, by Helen Bond (New York: Cambridge Univ., 1998); and Pontius Pilate: Portraits of a Roman Governor, by Warren Carter (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2003).


Further Reading:
Art
Strata: On Angels’ Wings ( BAR 40:06, Nov/Dec 2014)
Strata: Adam and Eve Squabble ( BAR 40:06, Nov/Dec 2014)
Strata: Nudity in Renaissance Art ( BAR 40:03, May/Jun 2014)
ReViews: Catalog Capsule ( BAR 40:03, May/Jun 2014)
Strata: What’s New Is Old Again ( BAR 34:04, Jul/Aug 2008)
Asklepios Appears in a Dream ( AO 8:04, Jul/Aug 2005)
Field Notes ( AO 8:04, Jul/Aug 2005)
Discovering Catalhoyuk ( AO 8:03, May/Jun 2005)
Field Notes ( AO 7:06, Nov/Dec 2004)
Birth of Narrative Art ( AO 7:05, Sep/Oct 2004)
Gallery ( BR 20:01, Feb 2004)
Gallery ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
Mankillers ( AO 6:06, Nov/Dec 2003)
Field Notes ( AO 6:06, Nov/Dec 2003)
Reviews ( AO 6:06, Nov/Dec 2003)
Photographing Jesus ( BR 19:05, Oct 2003)
Gallery ( BR 19:05, Oct 2003)
Old Samarkand ( AO 6:05, Sep/Oct 2003)
“Look on My Works” ( AO 6:05, Sep/Oct 2003)
Male Fantasies ( AO 6:05, Sep/Oct 2003)
Field Notes ( AO 6:05, Sep/Oct 2003)
The Forum ( AO 6:05, Sep/Oct 2003)
The Chapel of the True Cross ( BR 19:04, Aug 2003)
Gallery ( BR 19:04, Aug 2003)
Strata ( BAR 29:04, Jul/Aug 2003)
Excavating Hollywood ( AO 6:04, Jul/Aug 2003)
Field Notes ( AO 6:04, Jul/Aug 2003)
Ancient Life: Childhood’s End ( AO 6:04, Jul/Aug 2003)
Jesus’ Extended Family ( BR 19:03, Jun 2003)
The Harrowing of Hell ( BR 19:03, Jun 2003)
Gallery ( BR 19:03, Jun 2003)
Warriors, Wolves, and Women ( AO 6:03, May/Jun 2003)
Field Notes ( AO 6:03, May/Jun 2003)
Beasts or Bugs? ( BR 19:02, Apr 2003)
Gallery ( BR 19:02, Apr 2003)
Ferocious Elegance ( AO 6:02, Mar/Apr 2003)
Gallery ( BR 19:01, Feb 2003)
Naked and the Nude ( AO 6:01, Jan/Feb 2003)
“How Can This Be?” ( BR 18:06, Dec 2002)
Lions, Lilies and Mousetraps ( BR 18:06, Dec 2002)
Gallery ( BR 18:06, Dec 2002)
Past Perfect: On Terra Sancta ( AO 5:06, Nov/Dec 2002)
David ( BR 18:05, Oct 2002)
The Two Faces of Jesus ( BR 18:05, Oct 2002)
Gallery ( BR 18:05, Oct 2002)
Seven Luminous Days ( BR 18:04, Aug 2002)
Gallery ( BR 18:04, Aug 2002)
Field Notes ( AO 5:04, Jul/Aug 2002)
Gallery ( BR 18:03, Jun 2002)
The Iconography of Power ( AO 5:03, May/Jun 2002)
Restored ( BR 18:02, Apr 2002)
The Iconography of Sea Monsters ( AO 5:02, Mar/Apr 2002)
Witnessing the Divine ( BR 17:06, Dec 2001)
Mad to See the Monuments ( BR 17:06, Dec 2001)
Gallery ( BR 17:06, Dec 2001)
Briefly Noted ( AO 4:06, Nov/Dec 2001)
What’s in a Name? ( BR 17:05, Oct 2001)
Gallery ( BR 17:05, Oct 2001)
Solomon’s Blessings ( BAR 27:05, Sep/Oct 2001)
ReViews ( BAR 27:05, Sep/Oct 2001)
Expeditions ( BAR 27:05, Sep/Oct 2001)
Eros in Egypt ( AO 4:05, Sep/Oct 2001)
The Forum ( AO 4:05, Sep/Oct 2001)
Gallery ( BR 17:04, Aug 2001)
Imagining Buddha ( AO 4:04, Jul/Aug 2001)
Editors’ Page: Ransom Them! ( AO 4:04, Jul/Aug 2001)
The Forum ( AO 4:04, Jul/Aug 2001)
The Favored One ( BR 17:03, Jun 2001)
Gallery ( BR 17:03, Jun 2001)
Debunking the Copy Myth ( AO 4:03, May/Jun 2001)
Discovering Modesty ( AO 4:03, May/Jun 2001)
The Forum ( AO 4:03, May/Jun 2001)
Books in Brief ( BR 17:02, Apr 2001)
Gallery ( BR 17:02, Apr 2001)
Readers Reply ( BR 17:02, Apr 2001)
Freud ( AO 4:02, Mar/Apr 2001)
Freud in London ( AO 4:02, Mar/Apr 2001)
On Freud’s Shelf ( AO 4:02, Mar/Apr 2001)
The Forum ( AO 4:02, Mar/Apr 2001)
Gallery ( BR 17:01, Feb 2001)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 27:01, Jan/Feb 2001)
Europe Confronts Assyrian Art ( AO 4:01, Jan/Feb 2001)
The Forum ( AO 4:01, Jan/Feb 2001)
Jots & Tittles ( BR 16:06, Dec 2000)
Iconoclasm ( BR 16:05, Oct 2000)
Jots & Tittles ( BR 16:05, Oct 2000)
Gallery ( BR 16:05, Oct 2000)
Strata ( BAR 26:05, Sep/Oct 2000)
Field Notes ( AO 3:05, Sep/Oct 2000)
Jots & Tittles ( BR 16:04, Aug 2000)
Gallery ( BR 16:04, Aug 2000)
Readers Reply ( BR 16:04, Aug 2000)
Realms of Silver and Gold ( AO 3:04, Jul/Aug 2000)
Past Perfect: Into the Labyrinth ( AO 3:04, Jul/Aug 2000)
Gallery ( BR 16:03, Jun 2000)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 26:03, May/Jun 2000)
Briefly Noted ( AO 3:03, May/Jun 2000)
The Forum ( AO 3:03, May/Jun 2000)
Casting Genesis ( BR 16:02, Apr 2000)
Gallery ( BR 16:02, Apr 2000)
ReViews ( BAR 26:02, Mar/Apr 2000)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 26:02, Mar/Apr 2000)
Beirut Museum Survives ( AO 3:02, Mar/Apr 2000)
The Forum ( AO 3:02, Mar/Apr 2000)
Van Gogh’s Bible ( BR 16:01, Feb 2000)
Gallery ( BR 16:01, Feb 2000)
Canceled! ( AO 3:01, Jan/Feb 2000)
Gallery ( BR 15:06, Dec 1999)
Field Notes ( AO 2:05, Nov/Dec 1999)
Jots & Tittles ( BR 15:05, Oct 1999)
Gallery ( BR 15:05, Oct 1999)
Field Notes ( AO 2:04, Sep/Oct 1999)
The Forum ( AO 2:04, Sep/Oct 1999)
Gallery ( BR 15:04, Aug 1999)
Priam’s Treasure in Boston? ( AO 2:03, Jul/Aug 1999)
Gallery ( BR 15:03, Jun 1999)
The Great MFA Exposé ( AO 2:02, May/Jun 1999)
Bought on the Market ( AO 2:02, May/Jun 1999)
The Master from Apulia ( AO 2:02, May/Jun 1999)
Past Perfect: Under The Volcano ( AO 2:02, May/Jun 1999)
Gallery ( BR 15:02, Apr 1999)
Gallery ( BR 15:01, Feb 1999)
Gallery ( BR 14:06, Dec 1998)
Gallery ( BR 14:05, Oct 1998)
Readers Reply ( BR 14:05, Oct 1998)
Strata ( BAR 24:05, Sep/Oct 1998)
The Forum: Taking Issue ( AO 1:04, Fall 1998)
Gallery ( BR 14:04, Aug 1998)
Gallery ( BR 14:03, Jun 1998)
Plundering the Sacred ( AO 1:03, Summer 1998)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 24:02, Mar/Apr 1998)
Gallery ( BR 14:02, Apr 1998)
Field Notes ( AO 1:01, Winter 1998)
Reviews ( AO 1:01, Winter 1998)
Detail ( BR 13:06, Dec 1997)
Three Shekels for the Lord ( BAR 23:06, Nov/Dec 1997)
That Ol’ Time Religion ( BR 13:05, Oct 1997)
First Person: BibleWorld ( BAR 23:05, Sep/Oct 1997)
The Leningrad Codex ( BR 13:04, Aug 1997)
Did Paul Fall Off A Horse? ( BR 13:04, Aug 1997)
Book Notes ( BR 13:04, Aug 1997)
The Christian Apocrypha ( BR 13:03, Jun 1997)
Jesus as Pop Icon ( BR 12:05, Oct 1996)
7 vs 8 ( BR 12:04, Aug 1996)
Pieces of the Puzzle ( BAR 22:02, Mar/Apr 1996)
Bible Books ( BR 12:02, Apr 1996)
Cherubim: God’s Throne? ( BAR 21:04, Jul/Aug 1995)
BARlines ( BAR 21:03, May/Jun 1995)
The Raising of Lazarus ( BR 11:02, Apr 1995)
Books in Brief ( BAR 20:04, Jul/Aug 1994)
Readers Reply ( BR 9:03, Jun 1993)
Even Briefer ( BAR 18:06, Nov/Dec 1992)
Books in Brief ( BAR 18:04, Jul/Aug 1992)
Susanna ( BR 8:03, Jun 1992)
Bible Books ( BR 8:03, Jun 1992)
Book Notes ( BR 8:01, Feb 1992)
Even Briefer ( BAR 17:06, Nov/Dec 1991)
Book Notes ( BR 7:05, Oct 1991)
Bible Books ( BR 7:03, Jun 1991)
High Art from the Time of Abraham ( BAR 17:01, Jan/Feb 1991)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 17:01, Jan/Feb 1991)
Readers Reply ( BR 6:06, Dec 1990)
Museum Guide ( BAR 16:05, Sep/Oct 1990)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 16:05, Sep/Oct 1990)
Museum Guide ( BAR 16:04, Jul/Aug 1990)
Gauguin and Van Gogh ( BR 6:03, Jun 1990)
Five Ways to Conquer a City ( BAR 16:03, May/Jun 1990)
Museum Guide ( BAR 16:02, Mar/Apr 1990)
The Binding of Isaac ( BR 5:06, Dec 1989)
Books in Brief ( BAR 15:06, Nov/Dec 1989)
Museum Guide ( BAR 15:06, Nov/Dec 1989)
Bible for A King ( BR 5:05, Oct 1989)
Museum Guide ( BAR 15:05, Sep/Oct 1989)
Books in Brief ( BAR 15:04, July/Aug 1989)
Visual Glories ( BR 5:02, Apr 1989)
Readers Reply ( BR 4:06, Dec 1988)
To Clean or Not to Clean ( BR 4:04, Aug 1988)
The Book of Hours ( BR 4:03, Jun 1988)
Bible Books ( BR 4:02, Apr 1988)
Readers Reply ( BR 4:02, Apr 1988)
Did Moses Have Horns? ( BR 4:01, Feb 1988)
Dual Impressions ( BR 3:04, Winter 1987)
Books in Brief ( BAR 13:04, Jul/Aug 1987)
Bible Books ( BR 2:02, Summer 1986)
Books in Brief ( BAR 12:01, Jan/Feb 1986)
About the Artist—Marc Chagall ( BR 2:01, Spring 1986)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 11:05, Sep/Oct 1985)
Readers Reply ( BR 1:03, Fall 1985)
Books in Brief ( BAR 11:03, May/Jun 1985)
Images of God in Western Art ( BR 1:02, Summer 1985)
Books in Brief ( BAR 9:06, Nov/Dec 1983)
Books in Brief ( BAR 8:06, Nov/Dec 1982)
Even Briefer ( BAR 8:03, May/Jun 1982)
Books in Brief ( BAR 7:06, Nov/Dec 1981)
Books in Brief ( BAR 6:02, Mar/Apr 1980)
Gospels
Introduction: Defining the Problem (The Search for Jesus, 1994)
“Secret Mark”: Introduction ( BAR 35:06, Nov/Dec 2009)
What Did Jesus’ Tomb Look Like? ( BAR 32:01, Jan/Feb 2006)
The Secret Gospel of Mark ( BAR 31:01, Jan/Feb 2005)
The Dark Side of Pilate ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
Mel Gibson’s Passion Play ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
Literacy in the Time of Jesus ( BAR 29:04, Jul/Aug 2003)
Treasures in the Storeroom ( BAR 29:04, Jul/Aug 2003)
Parallel Paths to Heaven ( BR 19:02, Apr 2003)
Gallery ( BR 19:02, Apr 2003)
Gallery ( BR 19:01, Feb 2003)
Gallery ( BR 18:06, Dec 2002)
Bible Books ( BR 18:04, Aug 2002)
The 34 Gospels ( BR 18:03, Jun 2002)
The Un-Gospel of John ( BR 18:01, Feb 2002)
Readers Reply ( BR 17:05, Oct 2001)
The Favored One ( BR 17:03, Jun 2001)
Readers Reply ( BR 16:05, Oct 2000)
Readers Reply ( BR 16:03, Jun 2000)
Bible Books ( BR 16:02, Apr 2000)
O Little Town of…Nazareth? ( BR 16:01, Feb 2000)
Bethlehem…Of Course ( BR 16:01, Feb 2000)
Response and Surresponse ( BR 16:01, Feb 2000)
Readers Reply ( BR 14:06, Dec 1998)
Readers Reply ( BR 14:04, Aug 1998)
Jots & Tittles ( BR 14:03, Jun 1998)
Readers Reply ( BR 13:04, Aug 1997)
Introduction ( BR 13:02, Apr 1997)
Why the Ugly Attacks? ( BR 13:02, Apr 1997)
Buyer Beware! ( BR 13:02, Apr 1997)
Jefferson’s Bible ( BR 13:01, Feb 1997)
Who the Devil is Beelzebul? ( BR 13:01, Feb 1997)
Just Published ( BR 12:01, Feb 1996)
A Gospel Among the Scrolls? ( BR 11:06, Dec 1995)
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Q ( BR 11:05, Oct 1995)
Is There a Gospel of Q? ( BR 11:04, Aug 1995)
Bible Books ( BR 11:04, Aug 1995)
Bible Books ( BR 11:01, Feb 1995)
Bible Books ( BR 10:03, Jun 1994)
Readers Reply ( BR 10:03, Jun 1994)
Readers Reply ( BR 10:01, Feb 1994)
Jesus in Four Colors ( BR 9:06, Dec 1993)
Readers Reply ( BR 9:06, Dec 1993)
Q ( BR 9:05, Oct 1993)
Readers Reply ( BR 9:05, Oct 1993)
Book Notes ( BR 9:03, Jun 1993)
Readers Reply ( BR 9:03, Jun 1993)
Readers Reply ( BR 9:02, Apr 1993)
Bible Books ( BR 9:01, Feb 1993)
Readers Reply ( BR 9:01, Feb 1993)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 19:01, Jan/Feb 1993)
The First Christmas ( BR 8:06, Dec 1992)
Bible Books ( BR 8:05, Oct 1992)
Book Notes ( BR 8:01, Feb 1992)
Heavens Torn Open ( BR 7:04, Aug 1991)
Bible Books ( BR 7:01, Feb 1991)
Glossary ( BR 6:06, Dec 1990)
Readers Reply ( BR 6:06, Dec 1990)
Readers Reply ( BR 6:05, Oct 1990)
Readers Reply ( BR 6:04, Aug 1990)
The Gospel of Thomas ( BR 6:02, Apr 1990)
Readers Reply ( BR 6:02, Apr 1990)
The Gospels ( BR 6:01, Feb 1990)
Readers Reply ( BR 6:01, Feb 1990)
Readers Reply ( BR 5:06, Dec 1989)
What Did Jesus Really Say? ( BR 5:05, Oct 1989)
Readers Reply ( BR 5:05, Oct 1989)
Hosanna ( BR 4:02, Apr 1988)
Bible Books ( BR 4:01, Feb 1988)
The Baptism of Jesus ( BR 1:03, Fall 1985)
Books in Brief ( BAR 10:01, Jan/Feb 1984)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 7:04, Jul/Aug 1981)
Books in Brief ( BAR 6:03, May/Jun 1980)
History of Christianity
From Jewish to Gentile ( BAR 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012)
ReViews ( BAR 30:03, May/Jun 2004)
Bible Books ( BR 20:02, Apr 2004)
Bible Books ( BR 20:01, Feb 2004)
The Acts of Pilate ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
The Dark Side of Pilate ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
Mel Gibson’s Passion Play ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
The Forum ( AO 6:06, Nov/Dec 2003)
The True Cross ( BR 19:04, Aug 2003)
Where Was James Buried? ( BR 19:03, Jun 2003)
Gods and the One God ( BR 19:01, Feb 2003)
The Two Faces of Jesus ( BR 18:05, Oct 2002)
Bible Books ( BR 18:04, Aug 2002)
Jesus the Teetotaler ( BR 18:02, Apr 2002)
Was the Early Church Jewish? ( BR 17:06, Dec 2001)
A Guide to the Yattir Mosaic ( BAR 27:04, Jul/Aug 2001)
Readers Reply ( BR 17:03, Jun 2001)
The Last Words of Avercius ( BR 17:01, Feb 2001)
The Curse of the Last Vestal ( AO 4:01, Jan/Feb 2001)
Readers Reply ( BR 16:06, Dec 2000)
The Martyrdom of Thecla ( AO 3:06, Nov/Dec 2000)
Readers Reply ( BR 16:05, Oct 2000)
Bible Books ( BR 16:04, Aug 2000)
Readers Reply ( BR 16:04, Aug 2000)
All in the Family ( BR 16:02, Apr 2000)
Jesus’ Family Tree ( BR 16:02, Apr 2000)
A Return to Origins (Again) ( BR 15:06, Dec 1999)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 24:05, Sep/Oct 1998)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 24:04, Jul/Aug 1998)
Readers Reply ( BR 14:03, Jun 1998)
Illuminating Byzantine Jerusalem ( BAR 24:02, Mar/Apr 1998)
The Mystery of Paul ( BR 14:01, Feb 1998)
ReViews ( BAR 23:05, Sep/Oct 1997)
Book Notes ( BR 13:04, Aug 1997)
Bible Books ( BR 13:02, Apr 1997)
Just Published ( BR 13:02, Apr 1997)
The Geography of Faith ( BR 12:06, Dec 1996)
7 vs 8 ( BR 12:04, Aug 1996)
Just Published ( BR 12:03, Jun 1996)
Bible Books ( BR 12:02, Apr 1996)
Bible Books ( BR 11:04, Aug 1995)
Of Cherubim and Gospel Symbols ( BAR 21:04, Jul/Aug 1995)
Bible Books ( BR 11:03, Jun 1995)
Multiple Judaisms ( BR 11:01, Feb 1995)
Bible Books ( BR 11:01, Feb 1995)
Even Briefer ( BAR 21:01, Jan/Feb 1995)
Books in Brief ( BAR 20:06, Nov/Dec 1994)
Bible Books ( BR 10:04, Aug 1994)
Readers Reply ( BR 10:04, Aug 1994)
Readers Reply ( BR 10:03, Jun 1994)
Bible Books ( BR 10:02, Apr 1994)
The Future Is Now ( BR 9:05, Oct 1993)
Bible Books ( BR 9:05, Oct 1993)
Book Notes ( BR 9:04, Aug 1993)
Book Notes ( BR 9:02, Apr 1993)
Bible Books ( BR 9:01, Feb 1993)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 11:01, Jan/Feb 1985)
Books in Brief ( BAR 10:04, Jul/Aug 1984)
Books in Brief ( BAR 7:02, Mar/Apr 1981)
Books in Brief ( BAR 5:05, Sep/Oct 1979)
Pontius Pilate
The Acts of Pilate ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
The Dark Side of Pilate ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
Mel Gibson’s Passion Play ( BR 19:06, Dec 2003)
Bible Books ( BR 17:01, Feb 2001)
Jesus Before Pilate ( BR 10:01, Feb 1994)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 9:04, Jul/Aug 1983)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 8:06, Nov/Dec 1982)
Queries & Comments ( BAR 8:05, Sep/Oct 1982)



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