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Pontius Pilate: A Biographical Novel

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  576 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Maier is Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. A graduate of Harvard University (M.A.'54) & Concordia Seminary (M.Div.'55), he pursued post-graduate studies on a Fulbright at the Universities of Heidelberg & Basel. After studying at the latter under Karl Barth & Oscar Cullmann, he received a PhD summa cum laude in '57. ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published 1968 by Doubleday and Company, Inc. (Garden City, NY) (first published November 30th 1967)
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Feb 03, 2011 Pukrufus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. The only fiction he added was dialog. Every character is historically verified and everything they do has also been verified. We just don't always know what they said behind closed doors. This gives such an important glimpse into the politics behind Pilate's decision.
Matt Pitts
Dec 03, 2013 Matt Pitts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction brings history to life in a way that many other historical writings simply fail to do. The reader is able to enter into another world and live in it for a time, experiencing it rather than merely being told about it. That, it seems to me, is the real value of works like this one. Though it necessarily includes some things that cannot be proven historically (such as specific dialogue, whether a particular character may have been present at a certain event, etc.), it also commun ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The politics of the crucifixion were fascinating. Maier does an excellent job of writing a Historical fiction that leans heavily on the side of the historical. Some of my friends and family found in dull. But my husband and I loved it, and chalk it up as one of our favorites. Guess it all depends on what interests you. It's not Gerald Lund but that's what I liked about it. It focused less on the fictional and the sensationalized and more on history.
May 21, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Maier is amazing at writing an interesting story around TRUE events and people - and making it easily readable for the general public! Seeing Jesus through Pilate's eyes is an unforgettable experience.
Jun 09, 2014 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, judaea
Dr. Maier, a conservative Lutheran, has given us an enthralling history and fictional biography of Pontius Pilate. I've always been fascinated by Pilate because of his historical importance coupled with so few written sources. There's been much speculation on this controversial figure. I think Pilate would be surprised that today his name, that of a simple equestrian ex-prefect, is arguably the Roman name people remember the most, except possibly Julius Caesar or Nero. Dr. Maier has done a credi ...more
Oct 01, 2014 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year is A. D. 26, and Pontius Pilatus, has been summoned to a meeting with L. Aelius Sejanus, the prefect, the commander of the Roman Praetorian Guard. Sejanus is recommending Pilatus to Tiberius Caesar, to become the new prefect of Judea. Pilatus or Pilate, has dreamed of an advancement in his equestrian career. A governorship in Judea, brings him a step closer to honor and glory. Pilate is a man of average built and looks, he is not a person who stands out; however, his ambitions bring him ...more
Erin Osumi-Demotte
Books Like This Are Hard To Fing

As a fellow Lover of Jesus Christ. A fellow Born Again, Genius to Revelation- Bible Believing Christian & a lover of Ancient & Biblical Historical Fiction....
And a lover of Historical Fiction from ancient Greece. Roman, Gaelic / Celtic to Early British... Then from Dark ages Britain, to Angelo-Saxon England to the Norman a Conquest of 1066 A.D. to the Plantaganet Dynasty of early Medieval Western Europe....
I've found an Author who Loves the LORD, & Ke
Mar 11, 2015 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a useful book for me to read, because I know so little about Roman and Jewish culture in the 1st century. I don't like studying history. But Paul Maier presents a compelling historical fiction of Pontius Pilate, weaving his fiction in while staying true to actual facts known about Pilate. Reading the Bible, I've always known the list of bad guys: Herod, Pilate, Caiaphas, Judas.
Now that I've read this, I understand so much more of the political and social climate that these men live
Apr 20, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Amy by: Pastor Klatt
I read this book back when I was thirteen, but at Pastor Klat's urging decided to re-read it for Lent. I'm so glad I did! My vague memories of the book involved a Jewish uprising about shields, a sweet romance between Pilate and his wife, and a centurion named Cornelius.
Pontius Pilate is, shock of all shocks, a novel about the live of Pontius Pilate. Well researched, it paints a fascinating picture without getting to preachy, I'd recommend it to anyone, from curious Christians to skeptic athe
Jul 23, 2014 Alida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I normally shy away from novels about Biblical characters since most of the book will be pure fiction. This book is an exception. Maier thoroughly researched the historical records; every person named in the book is historically verified. It was very enlightening to read the account of the crucifixion in context of the times. I'm glad I read it as Easter approaches as there is a lot of food for thought. It struck me that other than Jesus, we most often mention the name of Pontius Pilate (along w ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maier is a great historian and a very average writer of fiction. It's really too bad that he didn't just write this book as a history of Pilate instead of trying to create historical fiction. The history was fascinating, the fiction ho-hum (and fairly cheesy sometimes).

That being said, I enjoyed it much more than I thought I might. Seeing the Gospels from a Roman perspective was refreshing and anchored the stories of the faith in historical time. This benefit, alone, was worth an extra star.

I do
Mar 11, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading at the bequest of my DH who scorns the novel in favor of The Oxford Classical Dictionary and Tacitus. Though it is technically not a novel, it reads like one, which is such a nice quality in a historical book, for me at least. Eye opening reading about the events surrounding Judea in AD 20s and 30s. The author has an amazing grasp of history and presents it as a silky smooth chain of meaningful events. Dry for a non-historian, juicy for anyone whose husband has the most arid collection o ...more
Peter Mead
Jul 26, 2014 Peter Mead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am just re-reading a book I devoured a couple of years ago. It is historical fiction, but don’t let that put you off. This historically annotated piece of work is a brilliant read. It presents a biographical insight into the life and career of Pontius Pilate–his background in Rome, his prefecture in Judea, his confrontations with the Jewish authorities, his history shaping encounter with Jesus of Nazareth.

I suppose this review is a little late for this year, but if you ever preach around Easte
Sarah (Just One More Chapter)
Dec 03, 2013 Sarah (Just One More Chapter) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14+
Recommended to Sarah by: Sonlight
This was assigned reading for my studies of the history of Christianity. Maier clearly states from the beginning that although this is classified as a historical fiction novel, it's almost a biography in that all the events, and the people he meets who are named, all really existed. The writing wasn't always so good, but Pilate's story was absolutely fascinating. I almost grew to sympathize with him by the end. He was not always fairly treated, and he had to deal with a lot of pressure. 3 stars.
March 3, 2015

A review by Anthony T. Riggio of the novel Pontius Pilate written by Paul L. Maier

I purchased this book in the Kindle format from Amazon and read it in a couple of days. The author is Paul Maier who is a professor of history at Western Michigan University.

Pontius Pilate was a Roman Praetorian Guard and a protégé of L. Aelius Sejanus who was at the time of Pontius pilot's assignment as Governor of Judea, his intermediator to
Augustus Tiberius, the ruler of Rome and its empire. Tiberi
Susan Bennett
Feb 19, 2008 Susan Bennett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any Christian esp during lent
An excellent book for the Christian. It gives the Roman side of the crucifixion. It gives deeper insight into why things happened the way they did. Many things we think were cowardly were really politically motivated - perhaps they are one in the same - perhaps.
Sep 09, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After some tedium in the first 80 pages (an over-emphasis on historical events), the author managed to bring out a highly intriguing story about the politics behind Jesus' times and crucifixion trial. In a way, it wouldn't be surprising if Pilate had to rack his brains in later years about the trial of a man who bloomed and expired in just a few years - amid a great deal of disturbance and false Messiahs all around.

I enjoyed the debates between Procula and Pilate, the conversion story of Cornel
Jack Nieporte
Nov 01, 2009 Jack Nieporte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recently-read
Maier is one of my favorite historical fiction writers. He is so accurate and fluent in superb ideas and ways of conveying the concepts and story lines of his books. This book for me was excellent.
Selama ini sosok Ponsius Pilatus lebih berperan sebagai 'latar belakang' kisah-kisah menjelang Kristus ditangkap dan disalibkan, namun siapa sebenarnya pria yang sangat dikenal dalam sejarah dunia ini ?
Melalui kisah yang sengaja dibuat sebagai fiksi alih-alih non-fiksi, penulis berusaha menyajikan pemahaman serta pengertian tentang pria yang dianggap bertanggung jawab dalam menentukan 'hidup-mati' Kristus saat ia melakukan 'cuci tangan' atas nasib Kristus di hadapan orang-orang yang hendak meny
dave kakish
Nov 17, 2014 dave kakish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I rather enjoyed this book as it offered a unique perspective on the geography, politics, religious, and cultural climate that surrounded the death and resurrection of our Savior. I appreciated some of the tangential, extra-biblical developments. I especially enjoyed the stories surrounding Malchus, the temple guard whose ear was cut off by Peter in the garden of Gethsemane. I had never considered how he would have personally responded to this “fraud,” Jesus performing an actual miracle on him. ...more

Buku ke-2 ini lebih sarat dengan situasi yang kurang menyenangkan, yang berarti juga konflik yang berkepanjangan nan kompleks mengisi adegan demi adegan. Perubahan yang terjadi pada diri Pontius Pilatus, hal-hal yang menjadi beban sekaligus tembok penghalang yang harus ia hadapi dalam keseharian, memberikan kesan tersendiri saat sosok beliau digambarkan sangat 'manusiawi' dibandingkan 'label' yang selama ini dikenal oleh awam ...

more about this book, just check my complete review at here :
( ht
Steve Martin
Feb 06, 2016 Steve Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book! Paul Maier uses historic facts with the death of Jesus at the centerpoint. His details of the political world in both Rome and Judea was fascinating. This book explains the political environment that existed at the time of Jesus' death that directly contributed to Pontius Pilate condemning him to death. If you've read the gospel accounts of the Crucifixion, this book will give you some things to think on. Don't want spoil the book for you, but this will give you a different persp ...more
Joel Julian
A clearly well researched historical novel, speculating on the political career of Pontius Pilate.

It's an interesting read and it serves to provide insight on events given little attention in the gospels. Pilates moment of infamy, in which he washes his hands of responsibility and allows for Jesus' crucifixion isn't actually covered until the second half of the book. We are shown how he comes to be prefect of Judah and his relationships with other political figures of the time, including his riv
Jun 07, 2014 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, 2014
I received this book via the first reads scheme. Thanks to Goodreads, Paul Maier and the publisher.

What a great book! I do enjoy a good historical novel - the author himself describes it as such, however the author has stayed true to the known as facts and used common sense when no corrobation of facts could be found.

This book paints a more rounded,convincing picture of Pontius Pilate,flawed at times but not the villain so often portrayed by others.

I am not a religious person, though I am aware
Scott Klemm
Dec 03, 2013 Scott Klemm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul L. Maier’s Pontius Pilate may be described as documented historical fiction. Unlike most works of this genre, the reader is able to check notes at the end of the book to see where the information came from. “Only where all evidence is lacking,” Dr. Maier states, “is ‘constructed history,’ based on probabilities, used to fill in the gaps. Even here, as much use as possible is made of authentic historical data as ballast.” Also Dr. Maier points out: “All persons named in this book are histori ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Pattyrflg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Be careful, this is well written and you could start to believe that this is the way it all happened. Maier tells the reader that he has researched all he could find on Pontius Pilate and will stick to those facts. In the edition I read, he also noted the references for the historical information. But of course, the dialogue and not all the situations are factual; however, Mr. Maier makes it seem as if you are right there next to Pilate as a witness to all that is happening.

I knew very little ab
Jun 29, 2014 Rainer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most importantly first: I would never have touched any literature about Pontius Pilate if it were any kind of non-fiction writing. So thanks to Paul Maier and his capability of not only collecting facts, but also writing like a great novelist. I’m usually a slow reader, but this book was read within a minute and it let me begin researches afterwards. I learned so much on Roman culture and traditions that I wouldn’t have expected before buying this book.
So this book is not only for Christians or
Robert Acquesta
Sep 28, 2014 Robert Acquesta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Depiction of one of History's most controversial figures

Having been raised in a Catholic family I was well familiar with the role Pilate played in the crucifixion of Christ, however I enjoyed reading about the inferred challenges that he faced in the region and the likely motivation behind his decision making. Even though I enjoyed Flames of Rome more this book did not disappoint me and I give it a 5/5 stars.
Mary Lyon
Feb 10, 2015 Mary Lyon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was slow to get into but that was necessary to understand the history of this man's life. I definitely appreciate the attention to truth. I enjoyed learned what the situation was in the Roman empire and the decisions that led to that fatal day. It was equally interesting to read what happened in his life after that day. I do not want to give away the story.
Cynthia Down
Feb 21, 2015 Cynthia Down rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Pontius Pilate's career and the perspective provided. The author did an excellent job of being faithful to historical data and the Bible. It is a fictional novel and very entertaining if you're Christian. I learned a lot and it brought the political and cultural times times to life and provided insight into the background and circumstances surrounding Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection.
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Paul L. Maier, born May 31, 1930, was the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. Maier retired in the Spring 2011. He retains the title of professor emeritus in the Department of History at Western Michigan University. He is also a historical novelist, and serves as Second Vice President of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

Maier is the son of Walter A.
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“I brought you eyewitness reports about Jesus’ healings and the phenomenon of raising the dead, and you only opened your bag of logical tricks and came up with some threadbare explanation which was far more fantastic than the event it was supposed to explain.” 0 likes
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