Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Biblical Archaeology #1 - The Pilate Stone

 The inscription on the stone, translated from Latin to English, reads as follows:

"To the divine Augusti [this] Tiberium
...Pontius Pilate
...prefect of Judea
...has dedicated [this]"

The Pilate Stone was discovered in 1961 by Italian archaeologists, in the ruins of a Roman theatre at Caesarea Maritima.  It is roughly dated to the years 26-37 CE.  It is significant because it is the only physical evidence of Pilate to date.  Pontius Pilate is mentioned in the four Gospels, and also by Tacitus (c. 56-117 CE), a historian of the Roman Empire, Josephus (c. 37-100 CE), a Jewish historian, and Philo (c. 20 BCE-50 CE), a Jewish philosopher. 

The Pilate Stone is currently housed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.