Forsyth, Georgia – Reading Feeds the Brain, the Spirit & the Soul
Reference Information for the Book
- Name of Book: Pontius Pilate
- Author Name: Paul L. Maier
- Publisher: Doubleday
- Year Released and/or ISBN Number: 0825432618 ,1968
Type of Book: Historical(all major episodes are documented)
- Would Christianity have reached billions of followers as we know it today if Pilate had not acted as he did? This book proposes several answers. The author, Paul L. Maier, constructed a story of accuracy based on his rules:
- One: "All persons used in this book are historical characters; no proper name has been invented---if it is not know it is not given.
- Two: No portrayal of any personality , description of any event, no episode or even detail contradicts historical fact (except author's error).
- Three: Only where evidence is lacking is 'constructed history,' based on probabilities, used to fill gaps. Even here as much use as possible is made of authentic historical data as ballast, also in dialog. Important constructed segments have been identified as such in the 'historical notes' at the close of the book."
About the Writing
- This is a story about Pilate's appointment to prefect of Judea through his dismissal and return to Rome as Tiberius passed before Pilate's pending trial. Often this history is viewed from a Christian-Jewish perspective. Events in Judea are not often linked to the Roman Empire which actually controlled and influenced Pilate's actions from afar. The author feels the end of Jesus' life was a story of two cities, Rome and Jerusalem. This book is an easy read about an awesome piece of Christian history during Christ's life on earth.
About the Author
- Maier is the son of Walter A. Maier (1893-1950), founder and long time speaker of The Lutheran Hour. He is a graduate of Harvard University (M.A., 1954) and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (M. Div., 1955). On a Fulbright Scholarship, Maier studied at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and Basel, Switzerland. At Basel, Maier studied under scholars Karl Barth and Oscar Cullmann. He received his Ph.D., summa cum laude, in 1957.
Maier's areas of interest include the Ancient Near East; Ancient Greece; Ancient Rome; Christianity and the Roman Empire; and the Reformation Era.
He is the author of sixteen published books, both historical fiction and non-fiction. His historical fiction includes the #1 national best-seller in religious fiction, A Skeleton in God's Closet (1993), as well as Pontius Pilate (1968), The Flames of Rome (1981), More Than A Skeleton (2003), and the children's book The Very First Christmas (1998). Maier's non-fiction work includes Josephus: The Essential Works, a translation and abridgement of the writings of Josephus;
Why I Enjoyed Reading the Book
- This story was brought alive by the skillful narratives of Maier as Pilate negotiated his relationship with Rome during this turbulent period of keeping the Jews at bay in Judea. The Jewish Community in Judea refused to be suppressed by the shackles of Roman domination and it was Pilate's job to make sure there were no upheavals in his domain. Pilate and his new wife, Procula, began their marriage together in Herod's Castle while learning to be an important prefect in the Roman hierarchy under the closing tyrannical reign of Tiberius.
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
The author has a six page historical note section explaining his treatment of certain key events and exactly how the tale is woven around the historical data. Josephus, the Bible and a few other historical reference books are the prime bibliographical sources. At the end of the trial of Jesus there was quite a lot of unrest among the Jews and Pilate could never know it---he would have been astounded to know it---but, apparently insignificant ex-prefect that he was, his would eventually be the most familiar name in all of Roman history. For innumerable masses in future ages, who knew little about a Cesar or Augustus or even Nero, would confess in the Creed: "I believe in Jesus Christ. . . .who. . .suffered under Pontius Pilate."