Item description for Pontius Pilate: A Novel by Paul L. Maier...
Overview The startling yet untold story of the ambitious and successful Roman politician whose fateful verdict forever changes the course of history-but whose conscience can never rest with the consequences. Paul L. Maier brings to life the Roman governor of Judea as he rises from the political intrigues of imperial Rome and survives the treacherous plotting of Herod Antipas. Behind him stands Procula, a wife who fires his ambition for political advancement, while before him stands a bewildering clash of Jewish leaders, national extremists, and religious zealots.
Publishers Description First time in trade paperback The dramatic, behind-the-scenes story of an ambitious Roman politician whose fateful decision changes the course of history.
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Dr. Paul L. Maier is the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University and a much-published author of both scholarly and popular works. His novels include two historical documentaries — Pontius Pilate and The Flames of Rome — as well as A Skeleton in God’s Closet, a theological thriller that became a #1 national bestseller in religious fiction when it first released. Sequels, More than a Skeleton and The Constantine Codex, followed in 2003 and 2011.
His nonfiction works include In the Fullness of Time, a book that correlates sacred with secular evidence from the ancient world impinging on Jesus and early Christianity; Josephus: The Essential Works, a new translation / commentary on writings of the first-century Jewish historian; and Eusebius: The Church History, a similar book on the first Christian historian. More than five million of Maier’s books are now in print in twenty languages, as well as over 250 scholarly articles and reviews in professional journals.
Dr. Maier lectures widely, appears frequently on national radio, television, and newspaper interviews, and has received numerous awards. He has also penned seven children’s books and hosted six video seminars dealing with Jesus, St. Paul, the early church, and current Christianity.
Paul L. Maier lived in the state of Michigan. Paul L. Maier was born in 1662 and died in 1752.
Reviews - What do customers think about Pontius Pilate: A Novel?
Also worth reading. Feb 19, 2007
For those willing to see the truth of Jesus' suffering, buy the this site book "Crucified by Pontius Pilate" by C.W. Griffen.
Excellent reading for understanding Jesus' period Aug 3, 2006
If you are going to pick up this book, you are probably very familiar with Pilate's role in the Passion of Jesus already. What this book will really give you is a very readable explanation of politics in Jesus' time as illustrated by Pilate's career. If you have been confused before by the succession of Julian emperors and Herodian kings, or by who ruled when in which part of Palestine, or by what was Roman policy in Palestine at which time, this book will make it all clear to you.
I already had some knowledge of a few incidents involving Pilate and the Jewish authorities, such as the iconic standards and the Jerusalem aqueduct, but this book really helped me clarify how those events developed and what was at stake. The Roman political environment in Pilate's time was truly horrific and this book will definitely let you glimpse at the horror and how it might have affected Pilate's thinking.
Be sure to read the notes. The author is crystal-clear about when he gives solid historical fact and when he embarks in plausible creative speculation (such as Pilate's dialogues with Cornelius and his encounter with Paul).
As the author clearly exposes, the earliest sources and church traditions overall do not give an unfavorable image of Pilate (the glaring exception is Philo who in all likelihood was pushing an agenda). He could not have done so bad a job if he held his post for 10 years. It is quite telling, therefore, that those who were closer to the actual events were indeed sympathetic to him and such is reflected in Maier's book. The vilification of Pilate came much later.
In short, extremely informative and enjoyable. I can't wait now to start "The Flames of Rome".
One Roman leaders whose name is in infamy Apr 2, 2006
Paul L. Maier is obviously a scholar, and his novel about Pontius Pilate is the evidence. Providing endnotes to his facts, Maier paints a picture of a Pilate who is interested in preserving his own neck while making the correct political moves, yet too often the prefect ends up making the wrong alliances as well as the wrong calls. The novel is a little slow in some spots--even getting a little complex as one needs to keep track of the many characters, especially the "Herods"-- but it's worthwhile sticking with it till the end. I only wonder what Pilate's fate really was, as Maier himself admits that his end is left up to speculation. All in all, Pontius Pilate is good reading, especially around the time of Lent and the days leading up to the Easter story.
The Pontius Pilate Paradox Mar 28, 2006
Paul Maier's 1968 novel "Pontius Pilate" is an interesting and creative narrative. Its 372 (paperback) pages through 32 chapters offers considerable learning from his experience with various ancient writers and biblical witnesses.
With his imaginative style Maier suggests the life of Pilate, from his appointment as Judean prefect in AD 26 until the post resurrection year of Jewish king Agippa II's death in AD 42, is rife with paradox.
Also, one reads here of Pilate's many interviews with important period personalities ranging from Roman emperor Tiberius to newly converted Christian Apostle Paul of Tarsus. Maier also proffers a usable and presentable analysis of Christ's trial before Pontius Pilate (in chapter 18).
The novel, additionally, tells the interesting stories of the governor's triumphs (building Caesarea's Tiberieum and Jerusalem's massive aqueduct) and failures (with the Jerusalem standards affair, the emperor's golden shields problem, and the battle of Mt. Gerizim).
By the book's conclusion Maier reasons that Pilate's life is a provocative paradox. Late in life the retired prefect realizes that his capital sentencing for Jesus of Nazareth was the catalyst for a new religion. (Maier disagrees with fourth century witnesses who say Pilate committed suicide in Vienna soon after his AD 36 departure from Israel.) The life long religious skeptic, Pilate, with pricked conscience (mostly by the prodding from his supposed Christian convert wife "Procula") wonders about the necessity of faith. The novel ends with Pilate considering confessional, yet unanswered, questions.
The "Notes" section (pp. 348-372) is most helpful and completes the novel. It speaks to the narrative's historical basis. Two period maps appear in the section.
"Pontius Pilate" is recommendable for scholars and the general reader. It is a worthy candidate for augmenting Bible study, as church school curriculum, and for Lenten/Easter studies.
Well Documented Fiction Feb 19, 2005
I thought this book would be all fact, but it is a novel at heart. Pilate is new territory for me, so I didn't realize how little information there was on him. The fiction is painted with a larger brush than the facts to complete the picture and to Mr. Maier's credit, he is very specific about when, how, and why he includes the made up sequences. As a Seminary student, I am very picky about keeping fact seperate from fiction. What is great about Dr. Maier's book is the documentation he has done. An excellent addition to my bookshelf.