Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VIII/Apocrypha of the New Testament/Acts of Pilate: Second Greek Form/Chapter 4
Pilate therefore, leaving Christ alone, went outside, and says to the Jews: I find no fault in this man. The Jews answered: Let us tell your highness what he said. He said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and in three days to build it. Pilate says: And what temple did he say that he was to destroy? The Hebrews say: The temple of Solomon, which Solomon built in forty-six years.
Pilate says privately to the chief priests and the scribes and the Pharisees: I entreat you, do nothing evil against this man; for if you do evil against him, you will do unjustly: for it is not just that such a man should die, who has done great good to many men. They said to Pilate: If, my lord, he who has dishonoured Cæsar is worthy of death, how much more this man who dishonours God!
Then Pilate dismissed them, and they all went outside. Thereupon he says to Jesus: What dost thou wish that I shall do to thee? Jesus says to Pilate: Do to me as is determined. Pilate says: How is it determined? Jesus answered: Moses and the prophets wrote about me being crucified, and rising again. The Hebrews, hearing this, said to Pilate: Why do you seek to hear a greater insult out of him against God? Pilate says: These words are not an insult against God, since they are written in the books of the prophets. The Hebrews said: Our Scripture says, If a man offend against a man, that is to say, if he insult him, he is worthy to receive forty strokes with a rod; but if any one insult God, to be stoned.
Then came a messenger from Procle, the wife of Pilate, to him; and the message said: Take care that thou do not agree that any evil should happen to Jesus the good man; because during this night I have seen fearful dreams on account of him. And Pilate spoke to the Hebrews, saying: If you hold as insult against God the words which you declare Jesus to have spoken, take and judge him yourselves according to your law. The Jews said to Pilate: We wish that you should crucify him. Pilate says: This is not good.
And Pilate, turning towards the people, saw many weeping, and said: To me it seems that it is not the wish of all the people that this man should die. The priests and the scribes say: We on this account have brought all the people, that thou mightst have full conviction that all wish his death. Pilate says: For what evil hath he done? The Hebrews said: He says that he is a king, and the Son of God.
- Comp. John ii. 20.
- Deut. xxv. 3; Lev. xxiv. 16.
- Matt. xxvii. 19.
- John xviii. 31.