Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pilate Was Postmodern

"For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world – to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." -- Jesus

"What is truth?" -- Pilate


Brian said...

Not necessarily. It is quite reasonable to read this as an honest question. To rephrase: "Many people are claiming many things to be true. How can I reasonably choose an epistemology?" I think it is far from clear that the tenor of the question was in fact to imply "there is no such thing as truth."

Not that he ended up getting it right, or anything. But Pilate was much more a weak leader caught in political forces much larger than himself, who was unable to stand for what was right, than he was an active collaborator in the schemes of the Sanhedrin.

John said...

You could be right. I could be harshing on him too much. He may have been desperately searching, and something in the Son of God touched him, and troubled him. We know his wife had a dream about Jesus that troubled her.

I tend to think of him as a mix of cynical and searching.

Just as an aside, was he weak, or just relatively weak? I thought to be a Roman leader you had to be pretty tough. Judea was a powderkeg, ready to go up at any moment (like, for instance, it actually did 34 years later), so one had to tread delicately.