Acts


Ring of Pontius Pilate Discovered

Ring of Pontius Pilate Discovered

A ring that once belonged to Pontius Pilate has been discovered at Herodium in southern Judaea. We know it belonged to him because it has his name inscribed on it. The Greek letters read “ΠΙΛΑΤΟ”, “Pilate.” The first two letters are on the right, the last four are on the left, bottom to top (meant to be read around the frame). This find is interesting for several reasons. One is that, outside of the Bible, very little is known of Pilate. He is mentioned several times by the contemporary historian Josephus, and......


Paul's Centurion, Julius

Paul’s Centurion, Julius

Acts 27:1 names the centurion who was placed in charge of Paul for his voyage to Rome as “Julius.” Perhaps the fact that he is named is an indicator that he was a follower of Jesus. At any rate, an interesting inscription, pictured above, was discovered at Caesarea, the port from which Paul and Julius set sail for Rome. What makes it interesting is that it has four similarities to the centurion mentioned in Acts 27:1. 1) The personal name is the same. In Latin, it is spelled “IVLIVS,” the exact equivalent......


Siglum for a Centurion

Siglum for a Centurion

Latin inscriptions from ancient Rome often used abbreviations. For example, many Roman coins were minted with the inscription “S C” emblazoned on them. This stood for the Latin phrase Senatus Consulto, indicating that the coin had been minted with the approval of the Roman Senate. Names and titles were also commonly abbreviated. The phrase “Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine Augustus,” which in Latin would be Tiberius Caesar divi Augustus Filius, might be abbreviated TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F. One must be familiar with both Latin and abbreviations to decipher such obscure......


Julius the Centurion?

Julius the Centurion?

In Acts 27:1-3, Luke gives an account of the first leg of Paul’s voyage to Rome. Twice in these verses he mentions the centurion who was put in charge of taking Paul to Rome. Interestingly, he calls him by name, “Julius.” This is in contrast to the centurion and the tribune (of even higher rank) mentioned in Acts 22:25-28, both of whom remain anonymous. Why does Luke give the name of the centurion in Acts 27? In his book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Richard Bauckham suggests that typically the reason why some......