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The Stella with the Name of Pontius Pilate.

In the Russian circles remained absolutely unnoted the interesting discovery, made in 1961 by the Italian archeologists in Palestine. Excavating the staircase of an ancient theatre of Caesarea of Palestine, the archeologists, leaded by Professor Anthony Frova, found a stone with the letters, hammered out on it. Carefully taking off dirt and dust from this stone, the archeologists read:

Caesarianis Tiberinum

Pontius Pilatus

Prefectus Iudaeae



Pontius Pilate

The prefect of Judea


This discovery is very significant. As many other contemporary discoveries, it refutes all anti-Christian inventions of Prof. Bruno Bauser and Lutheran pastor Arthur Drews, stating that there existed no Jesus Christ, Apostles, Pontius Pilate, no other persons, mentioned in the Gospel, that all of them are only the latest myths. This theory found great success in the God-opposing circles, both in the East and West, and in the Soviet Union even 20 years before the works of pastor Drews were published in multi-million editions.

But the historical discoveries of the last dozens of years absolutely refuted this false theory and writer D.S. Merezhkovsky could give the statements of two, as he writes, "free and not suspected in the church apologetic work critics," testifying: "We are forced to accept the highest measure of authenticity of the Christian documents of the first generations of the 30-s about the main events of life of Jesus, which can only happen in history." And more: "Our information about Socrates is less trustworthy than about Jesus, for Socrates is described by the writers, which invent, and Jesus — by not knowing how to write, almost illiterate people."

The discovery of Stella with the name of Pontius Pilate is one of the parts in the chain of discoveries, which led the unbelieving researchers to such conclusions.

In the newly discovered inscription, the historians found it unexpected that Pilate was named "the prefect" of Judea. Even since the times of the first church historian Eusevius, though it is unknown on what basis, Pilates was given the title of "procurator." Both the titles mean a ruler. But a prefect is a military ruler, and a procurator is a civil ruler. As it seems, in Judea on the reason of the troublesome character of its population Rome preferred to have a military ruler.

The authenticity of the found inscription and correctness of the title of Pilate as of a prefect are firmly established by the nowadays science. Nevertheless, the British Encyclopedia still continues to call Pilate a procurator. Obviously, if the discovery was made by the Italians, and not Englishmen, it can be paid not attention to.

In connection with this event in the archeological literature the interest to Pontius Pilate was reanimated. Several interesting investigations were made, concerning his origin; He was from the Samnite generation. The Samnites is the Latin mountain nation, having family ties with the Romans, but for the long time fighting with them. The kin of Pontius was famous and honored among the Samnites. It is preserved till the present days. One of the Pontius is married to famous Italian movie-star Sophie Loren. The name Pilate has a Samnite root. It means "armed with a spear — pilum."

Joseph Flavius and Philonius tell about several episodes of clashes of Pilate and the Hebrew. The Jews were complaining about him to Emperor Tiberius. The Emperor ordered Pilate to be more lenient to the rebellious people and treat its belief and prejudices with more attention.

But Pilates fell out of grace not because of the Hebrews, but because of the Samaritans, who in spite of his prohibition, gathered in thousands at the Mount Harisim, having believed to a false prophet, who convinced them that there would be miraculously revealed the treasures, as though hidden there by Moses. Pilate ordered them to leave. When they did not submit, he sent troops against them. In the further hand-to-hand fight many Samaritans and Roman legionnaires fell.

Raged Tiberius discharged Pilate and called him for a trial to Rome. Pilate was to face a severe punishment. But while he was sailing to Rome, Tiberius died, and his successor Guy Caligula abolished all his orders. The Middle Age legends about the further destiny of Pilate do not find any historical proves, and the author of the great research about the life of Pontius Pilate, English historian, Professor Paul L. Meier, supposes that Pilate spent the final years of his life in Rome, peacefully, like a simple Roman retired magistrate. But we can by no means agree that those years were unruffled for him. Above him, without a doubt, was the shade of that terrible minute when he pronounced that fatal word: "STAVROFITO — let be crucified."

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