Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VIII/Apocrypha of the New Testament/Acts of Pilate: Second Greek Form/Chapter 4

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Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. VIII, Apocrypha of the New Testament, Acts of Pilate: Second Greek Form
Anonymous, translated by Alexander Walker
Chapter 4

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]  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.[4]  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.


  1. Comp. John ii. 20.
  2. Deut. xxv. 3; Lev. xxiv. 16.
  3. Matt. xxvii. 19.
  4. John xviii. 31.