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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.18801880    Comp. John ii. 20.

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:  428If, 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.18811881    Deut. xxv. 3; Lev. xxiv. 16.

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.18821882    Matt. xxvii. 19.  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.18831883    John xviii. 31.  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.


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