Helen Bond: Pontius Pilate in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew

Helen K. Bond, Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 205-206:

For Mark, Pilate is far from weak and vacillating. He is a skilful politician, manipulating the crowd to avoid a difficult situation, a strong representative of imperial interests. This picture of a strong, domineering governor ties in well with the element of persecution behind Mark’s Gospel. In Matthew’s gospel, however, Pilate plays a less significant role within the Roman trial scene. The portrayal of the prefect is secondary to to Matthew’s interest in showing the Jewish crowed rejecting its Messiah and accepting responsibility for this action, suggesting that for Matthew’s community relations with Judaism were more serious and urgent than relations with Rome. Yet Pilate is still not described favourably: he is indifferent towards Jesus and ready to allow the Jewish readers to have their way as long as he does not have to take responsibility.

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