New Testament Chronology

New Testament Chronology, (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990)

Kenneth Frank Doig
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Exact Dating of the Birth and Crucifixion of Jesus

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Chapter 11
PONTIUS PILATE IN JUDEA

Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect1 of Judea during a time of increasing Jewish unrest. It was a resistance that eventually led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. His harsh administration was marked by disregard for Jewish law, bloody confrontations and the crucifixion of Jesus. As such, his career is of particular interest to both Jewish and Christian historians. The dating of the known events of his administration takes on added importance in a chronology of the life of Jesus.

The combination of Jesus' crucifixion in 30 CE and a three-and-a-half-year ministry requires that His ministry begin in 26. His ministry began shortly after John the Baptist began his ministry, and that was when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea. However, Pilate did not arrive in Judea until 27, too late for a three-and-a-half-year ministry ending in 30. The arrival of Pontius Pilate in Judea in 27 eliminates this popular dating of the life of Jesus. It forces accepting a shorter ministry of Jesus, or moving His crucifixion to 31 or later. The historical events in the administration of Pilate must be carefully reviewed.

The consensus of current history books is that Pontius Pilate became governor of Judea in 26, with his departure variously listed as in 36 or 37. It is here proposed that Pilate arrived in Judea in the summer or fall of 27, and departed in early February of 37. To determine the arrival of Pilate it is necessary to determine first the time when he departed from Judea, and then backdate. An examination of the coins of the prefects will add to an understanding of this period. With dating established, the known events in the administration of Pilate can be reviewed.

I. The Departure of Pontius Pilate from Judea

The departure of Pilate from Judea is tied to the death of Tiberius Caesar in early 37 and two visits to Jerusalem by Vitellius, legate of Syria. Vitellius dismissed Pilate, who arrived in Rome shortly after Tiberius was dead. Vitellius first visited Jerusalem at Passover when Pilate had already departed but before receiving news of Tiberius' death. Vitellius' second visit was during a "festival" when news of Tiberius' death arrived. Pilate departed in early 37, and Vitellius' two visits were at Passover and Pentecost that same year.

Primary sources that mention Pontius Pilate include the Bible, and the authors Tacitus, Philo and Josephus, and only the latter gives any specific time references. Josephus wrote, "So Pilate, when he had tarried ten years in Judea, made haste to Rome, . . . but before he could get to Rome, Tiberius was dead." (Ant. XVIII 4:2) Tiberius died on March 16, 37, before Pilate arrived in Rome. Since Pilate "made haste to Rome," he must have departed on a first voyage of the season. The sailing season normally opened on February 8.2 Pilate's departure has been suggested as early as before Passover of 36,3 the fall of 36,4 and mid December of 36.5 However, he is not likely to have left so early or to have taken a winter voyage.6 It is likely that he departed in early February and arrived several weeks after the death of Tiberius.7 Pilate departed from Judea in about February of 37, which, according to Josephus' reckoning, would have fallen in the Jewish year beginning in Nisan of 36.

Pilate's career in Judea ended when the legate of Syria, Lucius Vitellius, sent orders that he return to Rome to face Tiberius about accusations made by the Samaritans and Jews. Vitellius sent Marcellus to replace Pilate in Judea, pending a decision by Tiberius. Soon thereafter, "Vitellius came into Judea, and went up to Jerusalem; it was at the time of that festival which is called the Passover. Vitellius was there magnificently received." (Ant. XVIII 4:3) He was magnificently received because he had just rid the Jews of the hated Pilate. Vitellius proceeded to reduce taxes, restore the High Priest's vestments to Jewish control8 and appoint Jonathan High Priest in place of Caiaphas. In 37 the Jewish New Year on Nisan 1 fell on April 6, and Passover was on April 19. After this Passover visit Vitellius returned to Antioch.

Did Vitellius visit Jerusalem earlier than in 37? From the first century Roman historian, Tacitus, it can be determined that it was unlikely that Vitellius visited Jerusalem during Passover of 35 or 36. Vitellius was consul in Rome in 34.9 Tacitus relates that the following year, "In the consulship of Caius Cestius and Marcus Servilius (35 CE). . . . He [Tiberius] then entrusted the whole of his eastern policy to Lucius Vitellius." (Annals 6:31-32) Vitellius was specifically sent to subdue Artabanus and the Parthians, which took "two summer campaigns." (Annals 6:38) During 35 and 36 the aggressive Artabanus occupied Vitellius and his Roman troops. Vitellius is unlikely to have visited Jerusalem at Passover in either of these years, since he would have been preparing his army for the summer campaigns against Artabanus. The first Passover that Vitellius was likely to have visited Jerusalem was in 37.

Josephus recorded a second visit of Vitellius to Jerusalem during a "festival," shortly after the death of Tiberius in 37. This has often been identified as the Passover in 37, with the first visit presumably in 36. This is in contradiction to the dating of his first visit, already here established as Passover of 37. Before considering his second visit a review of Josephus' intervening passages between the two visits is necessary.

After the description of Vitellius' first Passover visit Josephus digresses to relate events leading up to Tiberius' support for Herod Antipas in his dispute with Aretas of Petra. The first events are the campaigns of Vitellius against Artabanus during the summers of 35 and 36, ending with Vitellius' desire for revenge against Herod (Ant. XVIII 4:4-5). Josephus again digresses to relate the death of Herod's brother, Philip, in late 33 (Ant. XVIII 4:6). This is followed by the earlier beginnings of Aretas' quarrel with Herod about divorcing his wife, the daughter of Aretas, in favor of Herodias, the wife of another brother of Herod (Ant. XVIII 5:1-2).10 This was the reason behind John the Baptist's death in about April of 29, for John had said to Herod, "`It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.' And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death." (Mark 6:17-18) The Jews saw Herod's initial defeat by Aretas as God's punishment for what he had done to John, but this was not necessarily so. This battle can be dated after the death of Philip, with that war occurring during 34.11 Herod appealed to Tiberius for Roman support, but, because of their war against the Parthians, that military support was not available until the spring of 37.

In Antioch, Vitellius received orders from Tiberius to support Herod Antipas in his war against Aretas at Petra. He would not likely have received these orders until after peace was fully restored with the Parthians. While enroute to Petra, Vitellius, "with Herod the tetrarch, and his friends went up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, an ancient festival of the Jews being then just approaching; and when he had been there, and been honorably entertained by the multitude of Jews, he made a stay there for three days, within which time he deprived Jonathan of the high priesthood, and gave it to his brother Theophilus; . . . on the fourth day letters came to him, which informed him of the death of Tiberius." (Ant. XVIII 5:3) The "ancient festival" was Pentecost, which fell on June 10 in 37.12 The news of the emperor's death on March 16 had taken almost three months to reach Jerusalem, a relatively slow time for such news to travel.13 Without orders from the new emperor, Gaius, Vitellius took his opportunity for revenge against Herod, and he quit his campaign against Aretas and released his army. The dismissal of Pilate and both of Vitellius' visits to Jerusalem all occurred in the first half of 37 CE.

Both of Vitellius' visits in the same year are further supported by Jonathan serving as High Priest at only one festival. Jonathan was appointed High Priest after Passover and his brother, Theophilus, appointed High Priest after the following Pentecost. Agrippa later tried to reappoint Jonathan as High Priest, but Jonathan rejected the priesthood, and said, "I am satisfied with having once put on the sacred garments." (Ant. XIX 6:4) The High Priest wore the sacred garments four times during the year, at Passover, Pentecost, Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles. Jonathan wore the garments only "once," and that was at Pentecost in 37. This Pentecost was about four months after the departure of Pontius Pilate.

II. The Length of the Administration of Pilate

Pilate departed for Rome in early February of 37, and according to Josephus, Pilate "tarried ten years" in Judea. The ten years were intended as an exact number, and by Josephus' reckoning the arrival of Pontius Pilate was in 27. Confirmation of this backdating is here considered.

The ten years were intended as an exact number. Josephus was born in the year Pilate departed from Judea, 37, and there would have been official records and many first-hand witnesses that could have supplied such exact information. Josephus must have known when the infamous Pilate arrived and departed from Judea. Also, Josephus uses the same phrasing for Pilate's predecessor, Gratus, who "tarried in Judea eleven years." (Ant. XVIII 2:2) If the eleven years are interpreted as exact, then so should the ten years. The claim that the ten years was a "round number" is without force, and presumes a late perspective as superior to Josephus' careful contemporary account. Pontius Pilate was prefect of Judea for ten years.

Josephus consistently reckoned the new year from the Jewish month of Nisan.14 He consistently used the typical Jewish inclusive, or non-accession reckoning, where any part of the first year is counted as year one.15 Early February of 37 was in the Nisan year beginning in the spring of 36, and ten years earlier by inclusive reckoning was the Nisan year beginning March 28, 27. Ten full years earlier would be in February of 27. Josephus is the only source that gives the length of Pontius Pilate's administration, and that backdates to beginning in 27 CE.

III. The 26 CE Arrival of Pilate in Judea

Alternative dating has been proposed and must be considered. The placement of the beginning of Pilate's term in 26 is often accomplished by assuming that the ten years is not an exact number. However, the ten years cannot be shown to be other than exact. Recognizing this, there is then the assumption that Josephus was using accession, or non-inclusive reckoning, where the first partial year of the term is not counted. It is presumed that Tiberius appointed Gratus shortly after he became emperor, and that Gratus arrived in Judea in 15. By not counting his first year, the eleven years would be from 16 to 26. Pilate's first year in 26 would not be counted, his ten years being from 27 to 36. And, thus, Pilate is said to have arrived in Judea in 26. This conclusion requires several proofs. The first is that Josephus used non-inclusive reckoning, which, as noted above, was not so. The second is that Tiberius quickly replaced the prefects appointed by Augustus, including speedily replacing Rufus with Gratus. This is said to be verified by the coins of the period.

Before examining the coins, it must be noted that Tiberius had no policy of replacing the officials of Augustus. Tiberius initially attempted to please the people, and it might seem an offense to replace the officials of the recently deified Augustus. Officials were often allowed to remain in office, or their positions were reconfirmed when a new emperor took power.16 Tiberius avoided replacing governors.17 From 27 on Tiberius "utterly neglected the conduct of state affairs, from that time on never filling the vacancies in . . . the governors of any of these provinces." (Suetonius, Tiberius 41) Thus, 27 was the latest year in which Tiberius could have appointed Pilate. There is no basis for placing Gratus' arrival in 15 based on the policies of Tiberius, the opposite being the case. Is there other literary evidence that supports the arrival of Pilate in Judea as early as 26?

IV. The Prefects of Judea

After Archelaus was banished to Vienna in 6 CE there was no more king, or ethnarch, in Jerusalem. Augustus thereafter appointed prefects, or governors. Josephus gives the list briefly (Ant. XVIII 2:2; Wars II 8:1). The first was Coponius, who came along with Quirinius in 6. Then Marcus Ambibulus who cannot be directly dated. Then Annius Rufus who was governor when Tiberius became emperor in 14. Then Tiberius sent Valerius Gratus, and he tarried eleven years. Tiberius replaced him with Pontius Pilate, who tarried ten years. From the above the governor's terms can be laid out as follows:

Chart XVI
Prefects of Judea During the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius
[Nisan Year Dating According to Josephus]
Coponius 6 to ?
Marcus Ambibulus ? to ?
Annius Rufus by 14 to 17
Valerius Gratus 17 to 27
Pontius Pilate 27 to 36 [Feb. 37]

Can the coins confirm or modify these dates of the prefects?

V. The Coins of the Prefects

The coins of the prefects are often used to try to establish the arrival of Pilate in Judea in 26. Eleven years earlier, Gratus supposedly arrived in Judea by the end of 15, and coins dated to Tiberius' year two are then attributed to him.18 Tiberius' second regnal year began August 19, 15, and Gratus is assumed to have arrived and issued coins shortly after that date. However, the coins do not establish the arrival of Gratus in 15, but they better suggest his arrival in 17 CE. Also, Pilate may have issued coins in his first year, 27 CE.

Coins issued under the prefects were only authorized in bronze. These coins do not show the name of the governor, but only the emperor19 and the year of his reign. Coins issued in the name of Augustus are dated in his years 36, 39, 40, and 41.20 Augustus dated his coins to the Julian year,21 and these coincided with the years beginning January 1 in 6, 9, 10 and 11 CE. The first year is, of course, attributed to Coponius, and was a necessary issue for the new Roman administration. The following issues were of the same design, with an ear of barley on the obverse and a palm tree on the reverse. These appear to have been issued to fulfill a need for more coins, as opposed to any commemorative intent. Attributing the coins of 9 CE to the arrival of Ambibulus may be correct, but it is a guess. This would leave no coins to be issued under Augustus for the arrival of Rufus, unless he arrived in Judea shortly before Augustus died. The coins issued under Augustus only suggest the arrival of Ambibulus in 9 CE and Rufus in 14 CE.

Coins issued by the prefects under Tiberius are known from his years 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 14(?), 16, 17 and 18.22 Tiberius' coins were dated from his accession,23 and these coins would be dated in the years beginning August 19 of 15, 16, 17, 18, 24, 27(?), 29, 30, and 31 CE. After 32 CE there were no coins issued by the prefects until 54, as the minting was transferred to Antioch.24 The coins dated to the reign of Tiberius do provide a few more clues than the single design used during the reign of Augustus.

The coins issued in 15/16 and 16/17 can be assigned to Rufus.25 These contain a wreath on the obverse with double cornucopias, a laurel branch or three lilies on the reverse.

The design was changed only in the year 17/18 to a vine branch with leaves and tendril on the obverse and an amphora or kantharos (wide bottom jar) on the reverse. The coin, with IOULIA (Julia) over the vine branch and amphora on reverse, is also known in silver.26 This unique silver prutah was likely struck by Gratus as a memento of his term as prefect, and it was most likely to commemorate his first year. Coins issued later that year and in the following term of Gratus have a wreath on the obverse and a palm branch on the reverse. The change in style and commemorative silver coin places Gratus' first year not in 15 CE, but in 17 CE.

The coin styles changed again for the term of Pontius Pilate. On confirmed coins from 29/30 to 31/32 are found a simpulum (crosier) on the obverse and three ears of wheat on the reverse, or, more commonly, a lituus (a crook stick) on obverse and wreath on reverse, or hybrids of these. Based on these coins it is not possible to allocate any to the first year of Pontius Pilate. However, one coin of the prior style of Gratus with the wreath and palm branch has been dated to year 14, or 27/28 CE.27 If Gratus issued coins in late August of 27, then Pilate arrived after that date or issued coins from Gratus' dies. These coins suggest the arrival of Pilate in late 27 CE.

The dating provided by Josephus established that Gratus arrived in 17 and Pilate arrived in 27. Their coins also suggest that this dating is correct.

VI. The 27 CE Arrival of Pilate in Judea

The historical events in the administration of Pontius Pilate can now be considered. Soon after he arrived in Judea he "removed the army from Caesarea to Jerusalem, to take their Winter-quarters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he introduced Caesar's effigies, which were upon the ensigns, and brought them into the city." (Ant. XVIII 3:1) The shields with Tiberius' effigies offended the Jews, and after six days of protest Pilate removed the ensigns.28 The Megallit Ta'anit29 gives Kislev 3 as the day "the images were removed from the Temple court."30 That day was November 21 in 27 CE. Thus, the arrival of Pilate occurred earlier in about the summer or fall of 27.

VII. John the Baptist Began His Ministry

John the Baptist began his ministry "when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea," (Luke 3:1) by the fall of 27. This can be determined because Jesus was born in the winter of 5/4 BCE, and the latest John would have been born was six months earlier in the summer of 5 BCE. Since John was a Levite, he would have begun his ministry when he was thirty years old,31 or shortly thereafter (Num. 4:35; Ant. VII 14:7). He would then have been thirty years old between the summer of 26 and the summer of 27, perhaps turning thirty-one about the time Pilate arrived.

VIII. The Temple Corban

The next incident related by Josephus is Pilate's use of sacred Temple money, or corban, to build an aqueduct into Jerusalem (Wars II 9:4; Ant. XVIII 3:2). When protesters gathered, Pilate sent his soldiers, dressed as civilians, into the crowd. On his signal the soldiers began to beat and kill many protesters. The dating of this event is uncertain.

IX. The Blood of the Galileans

About midway through the last year of the ministry of Jesus, 29, it was "reported to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices." (Luke 13:1) This event is not attested elsewhere.

X. The Crucifixion of Jesus

The trial under Pilate and the crucifixion of Jesus is recorded in all four Gospels, by Tacitus (Annals 15:44), and by Josephus (Ant. XVIII 3:3). The submissive character of Pilate described in Scripture appears at odds with the tyrannical picture painted by the Jewish writers, Josephus and Philo. This may only have been a reflection of Pilate's desire to irritate the Jewish leaders by refusing their demand for Jesus' death. Pilate perceived no threat to his authority, and by releasing Jesus to continue healing and teaching, the Jews would be further offended. The Jewish leadership pressed their case, and Pilate finally relented. Jesus was crucified on April 7, 30 CE, as will be established below.

At that time Barabbas was released, a man who "had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection." (Mark 15:7) Nothing more is recorded of this insurrection during the term of Pilate.

XI. The Second Incident of the Shields

Philo records an incident when Pilate, "to annoy the multitude, dedicated in Herod's palace in the holy city some shields coated with gold. They had no image work traced on them nor anything else forbidden by the law apart from the barest inscription stating two facts, the name of the person who made the dedication and of him in whose honor it was made." (Legatio ad Gaium 38:299) The Jews were again offended and threatened to petition Tiberius. Pilate "feared that if they actually sent an embassy they would also expose the rest of his conduct as governor by stating in full the briberies, the insults, the robberies, the outrages and wanton injuries, the executions without trial constantly repeated, the ceaseless and supremely grievous cruelty." (Legatio ad Gaium 38:302) Besides giving us a flavor of Pilate's personality from a Jewish perspective, apparently he had been governor for some time when this incident occurred. These shields contained no effigies, but still the Jews protested. This was probably because one of the inscriptions contained the phrase DIVI AUGUSTI FILIUS, a reference to the divinity of Caesar Augustus, in whose honor it was made.32 This is supported by the removal of the shields to Caesarea "to be set up in the temple of Augustus." (Legatio ad Gaium 38:305)

Although to be dated late in his term, when Pilate placed these shields in Herod's palace is not certain.33 A date in about 33 CE seems possible.34 Philo's comment that this was to "annoy the multitude" may only be a reflection of his Jewish sensitivity. The shields were without images, and the reason for the Jewish resistance is not certain. Perhaps, any of Pilate's deeds would have been protested, since there was a mood of insurrection. The shields were placed in Herod's palace, which was under Roman control and Pilate's residence while in Jerusalem.35 At the time of the death of Jesus "Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been at enmity with each other." (Luke 23:12) This incident was not likely the cause of the enmity, and may have occurred before or after the crucifixion. With Pilate's behavior, Herod may have later again become his enemy.

XII. The Samaritan Tumults

The last incident recorded by Josephus was when the Samaritans were falsely promised they would be shown the sacred vessels placed by Moses on Mount Gerizim (Ant. XVIII 4:1). A large multitude of armed men gathered, but they were prevented by Pilate's troops from ascending the mountain and many were slain. The Samaritans then sent an embassy of protest to Vitellius in Syria (Ant. XVIII 4:2). This would have to have been after his arrival in 35 and probably near the end of 36. In response to the Samaritan protest Vitellius sent Pilate to Rome.

XIII. Conclusion

Specific dating of Pontius Pilate can be determined by using the information supplied by Josephus and Tacitus and backing ten years from his departure. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea from the summer or fall of 27 until early February of 37 CE.



Notes:

1. When Judea was annexed by Augustus it was attached to Syria with a prefect subordinated to the senatorial legate of Syria. Pilate used the military title in an inscription at Caesarea to dedicate a temple to Tiberius. After 44 CE the title was changed to "Procurator."  See B. Levic, Claudius (New Haven & London: Yale Univ. Press, 1990), 48.

2. Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 2:47, noted "the Spring opens the seas to voyagers; at its beginning the West winds soften the wintry heaven, when the sun occupies the twenty-fifth degree of Aquarius; the date of this is February 8."  He also notes the sailing season closes on November 11, with only those who are greedy and trying to avoid pirates venturing forth.

3. E. Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ I (London: Clark, Rev. 1973), 387-388.

4. H. W. Hoehner, Herod Antipas (London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1972), 315.

5. E. M. Smallwood, "The Date of the Dismissal of Pontius Pilate from Judaea," JJS 5 (1954), 12-21.

6. Dio Cassius, Roman History LX 11:2-3, reported that before construction of the Portus, or harbor, at the mouth of the Tiber in 42 CE, no one sailed in that area in the "winter; for if any one ever risked a voyage at that season, he was sure to meet with disaster." Also, see note 2.

7. Josephus, Wars II 10:5, reported that the news of Emperor Gaius' death took a little over two months to reach Antioch "on a good voyage."

8. The restoring of the high priest's vestments would appear to be at the same Passover of 37, as in both descriptions he was "magnificently received," and an earlier visit is not indicated.  Vitellius "wrote about them [the holy vestments] to Tiberius Caesar, who granted his request." (Ant. XV 11:4) There may have been an earlier Jewish request for the return of the vestments some time before Vitellius' Passover visit when he restored the vestments to Jewish control, and the confirmation from Tiberius was already in hand. Or, the confirmation may have been received after Tiberius' death.

9. A. E. Samuel, Greek and Roman Chronology (Munich: Oscar Beck, 1972), 268.

10. S. Perowne, The Later Herods (New York & Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1958), 49 places the marriage in 27 CE, shortly before John began his ministry.

11. Aretas probably feared that if he had early attacked Herod Antipas, Herod's brother, Philip, would have come to Herod's support.  After Philip's death and the Romans' acquiring his territory, this no longer was a threat, and he attacked Antipas the following spring of 34.  The usual dating for this war in 36 is provided by Schurer, History of the Jewish People, 350.  N. Kokkinos, "Crucifixion in A.D. 36: The Keystone for Dating the Birth of Jesus," CKC, 134 follows dating the war in 36 and John the Baptist's death in 35.  He then concludes Jesus was crucified in 36 CE.

12. Pentecost is here reckoned as the fiftieth inclusive day from the first Sunday after Passover, the method of the Sadducees.

13. There was initial uncertainty as to the truth of the report of Tiberius' death on Capri, and official news of his demise may have been delayed for some days before dispatching. A voyage of three months was not unusual when a storm was encountered (Wars II 10:5).

14. Months numbered from Nisan are found, for example, in Ant. I 3:3, III 10:2, III 10:5, XI 4:7, XII 5:4 and XII 7:6.

15. Josephus gave Agrippa I's reign (April, 37 to September 28, 43 [not early 44]) as seven years (Ant. XIX 8:2) while Agrippa I issued coins up to his year 8, as noted by Y. Meshorer, Ancient Jewish Coinage Vol. II (Dix Hills, NY: Amphora Books, 1982), 248-249, n. 34.  This is because Josephus used inclusive reckoning from Nisan, while the coins used inclusive reckoning from the fall, Tishri or Dios.  If inclusive reckoning is not accepted here, then this would reflect back to the length of Herod the Great's reign, and his death could be dated to 3 BCE.

16. Smallwood, "Date of the Dismissal of Pontius Pilate," 12, n.5.

17. See Ant. XVIII 6:5 and Tacitus, Annals 1:80.  Tiberius' policy of retaining governors was based on his view that the Roman governors were like blood-sucking flies, and that once they were full of blood they would do less harm to the local population.  Josephus further notes that it was Tiberius, not Sejanus, who appointed Pilate.

18. F. Madden, History of Jewish Coinage (Argonaut, 1864, Rev. 1967), and P. L. Hedley, "Pilate's Arrival in Judaea," JTS 35 (1934), 56-57.

19. Coins of Tiberius also appear with the name Julia, the wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius.

20. Meshorer, Coinage II, 173, 281.

21. Madden, Coinage, 138.

22. Meshorer, Coinage II, 173-174, 281-284.

23. Madden, Coinage, Numismata Orientalia supplement, 23.

24. E. Bammel, "Syrian Coinage and Pilate," JJS 2 (1951), 108-110.

25. Madden, Coinage, 141-142, notes a unique coin probably dated to 14/15 CE. This would suggest that Rufus arrived shortly before the death of Augustus.

26. J. Meyshan (Mestschanski), "An Unusual Silver Penny (Prutah) Struck by the Roman Procurator of Judea," IEJ 9 (1959), 262-263, also includes the possibilities that the coin was struck by the engraver for himself or was to be presented by the prefect to the Temple.  Pouring vessels had been once sent to the Temple by Augustus and his wife (Wars V 13:6).  This silver coin appears to have been struck from the same die used for the copper coin illustrated by Meshorer, Coinage, Plate 31, no. 16.

27. A. Kindler, "More Dates on the Coins of the Procurators," IEJ 6 (1956), 56, cites two coins with date interpreted as ??, or year 14. Madden, Coinage, 146-147, notes that Eckhel dated a similar coin ??, but that De Saulcy read it ??.  Madden does not reject the ?? reading, but notes it would be the only coin of that style supposedly to be issued under Pilate.

28. Josephus (Ant. XVIII 3:1) says "on the sixth day," which is sometimes misinterpreted as meaning Friday. However, he also noted (Wars II 9:2-3) the Jews "fell down prostrate upon the ground, and continued immovable in that posture for five days and as many nights. On the next day Pilate sat down upon his tribunal," a "sixth day" that may or may not have been on Friday. Also, the technical term for Friday was usually the "preparation," not the "sixth day."

29. The Scroll of Fasting, which lists Jewish feast days on which fasting is prohibited.

30. H. Lichtenstein, "Die Fastenrolle Eine Untersuchung Zur Judisch-Hellenistischen Geschichte," HUCA 8-9 (1931-32), 299-300.

31. The age of 25 is given in Num. 8:24.

32. G. Fuks, "Again on the Episode of the Gilded Roman Shields at Jerusalem," HTR 75 (1982), 503-507.  P. L. Maier, "The Episode of the Golden Roman Shields at Jerusalem," HTR 62 (1969), 114, suggests the wording, "Dedicated by Pontius Pilate in honor of Tiberius Caesar."  It is less likely that the dedication was to Tiberius since the Jews threatened to complain to him.

33. A. D. Doyle, "Pilate's Career and the Date of the Crucifixion," JTS 42 (1941) places the event at Passover in 32 based on being after the death of Sejanus in late 31 and before a crucifixion placed in 33 CE.  This is echoed by Maier, "Episode of the Golden Roman Shields," 114-115, based on the assumption that Sejanus appointed Pilate. However, Tiberius appointed Pilate (Ant. XVIII 6:5).  See the chapter "Pilate, Sejanus and 33 CE" for a fuller discussion.

34. N. Kokkinos,"Crucifixion in A.D. 36," 142, suggests that in 33 CE games were held in Caesarea in honor of the semicentenary of Augustus' Saeculum. This would accord with the removal, or perhaps return, of the shields to Caesarea.

35. E. M. Smallwood, The Jews Under Roman Rule (Leiden: Brill, 1981), 146.

 

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