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Pontius Pilate (Jesus of Nazareth)

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Pontius Pilate was a secondary antagonist from the 1977 television miniseries Jesus of Nazareth.

Pilate was a fairly intelligent Governor of Roman Judea. Some time after he became Governor the high priests brought him a young preacher named Jesus Christ. The high priests were hoping that Pilate would do their dirty work for them and put Christ to death.

Pilate proceeded to question Christ at length. He found himself becoming angry over Christ's refusal to defend himself. Eventually Pilate decided to release one of his prisoners, and asked the crowds if he should release Christ or Barabbas. Despite the impassioned pleas of Christ's disciples the crowd chose Barabbas. Pilate's aides did not want Barabbas released, warning Pilate that Barabbas was an assassin and enemy of Rome. Pilate responded that he wondered who the real enemy was.

Trivia

This version of Pontius Pilate was portrayed by Rod Steiger. Steiger joined a production that had a very well known cast, which included people such as Ernest Borgnine, Ian McShane, Christopher Plummer, Anne Bancroft, Anthony Quinn, and Laurence Olivier.

In the novel Man of Nazareth, which was based on the Jesus of Nazareth miniseries Pilate recognizes the validity of Christ's doctorine and even tells him he is free to go. Christ manages to convince Pilate that he has to put him to death.

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