St. Pontius Pilate Day?

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mathetes:
Leroy Garrett, minister of the Singing Oaks Church of Christ in Denton, Texas, said the following in his essay yesterday about the Apostles' Creed:

"I am writing this on June 25, which happens to be St. Pontius Pilate Day, as celebrated by our brethren in both the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox and the Abbysinian Orthodox churches. Both churches elevated him to sainthood and gave him a saint’s day. And on this day I have been writing about him! Pilate, who crucified Christ, a saint! What a concept of the grace of God! And it is one more illustration of how diverse the church is, all around the world. Have a great St. Pontius Pilate Day! It takes some getting used to."

I'd not heard Pontius Pilate called a saint before, and wonder how he came to be canonized.  After all, our Lord "suffered under Pontius Pilate" (Apostle's Creed), and Pilate himself didn't wait around for an answer to his question "What is truth?" ( John 18: 38 ).

How do we know that Pilate ever repented? and what kind of ministry, if any, was he ever involved in?

In Christ,
Mathetes

EkhristosAnesti:
That passage is misleading; it's almost as if they're trying to make it out as if Pontius Pilate was canonized for his very connection with the crucifixion of Christ...unbelievable.

According to Coptic Church tradition, Pilate's wife testified to the Messiahship of Christ, and Pilate eventually repented of his sin and begged forgiveness at the tomb of Christ. He then converted to Christianity and became a closet Christian, and the Romans and Jews then crucified him. They initially crucified him on his own cross; then they took him down and crucified him on the cross of Christ to mock him and imitate the sufferings of Christ. Eventually he was summoned back to Rome where they beheaded him, and he received the crown of martyrdom.

Peace.

sin_vladimirov:
Quote from: EkhristosAnesti on June 26, 2005, 08:18:08 AM

According to Coptic Church tradition, Pilate's wife testified to the Messiahship of Christ, and Pilate eventually repented of his sin and begged forgiveness at the tomb of Christ. He then converted to Christianity and became a closet Christian, and the Romans and Jews then crucified him. They initially crucified him on his own cross; then they took him down and crucified him on the cross of Christ to mock him and imitate the sufferings of Christ. Eventually he was summoned back to Rome where they beheaded him, and he received the crown of martyrdom.



I thought that I read somewhere about that, ages ago (while I was SDA so I really did not pay much attention to sources), could you provide some link in regard to this.

minasoliman:
Hmmmm...

I thought this was SOLELY an Ethiopian tradition, not a Coptic one?

God bless.

mathetes:
EkhristosAnesti, you said of Leroy Garrett's writing: "That passage is misleading; it's almost as if they're trying to make it out as if Pontius Pilate was canonized for his very connection with the crucifixion of Christ...unbelievable."

To me, Pastor Garrett was stressing God's amazing grace: he was praising God for showing mercy on Pontius Pilate although Pilate had sinned grievously by not using his authority to spare our sinless Lord.  I don't see where Pastor Garrett said Pilate was canonized for being linked to the Crucifixion.

You continued:

Quote

According to Coptic Church tradition, Pilate's wife testified to the Messiahship of Christ, and Pilate eventually repented of his sin and begged forgiveness at the tomb of Christ. He then converted to Christianity and became a closet Christian, and the Romans and Jews then crucified him. They initially crucified him on his own cross; then they took him down and crucified him on the cross of Christ to mock him and imitate the sufferings of Christ. Eventually he was summoned back to Rome where they beheaded him, and he received the crown of martyrdom.

From a 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, I've read that the details of Pilate's last years are in dispute.  "Eusebius relates ( Hist. eccl. ii. 7 ) -- but three centuries later and on the authority of earlier writers unnamed -- that [ Pilate ] was exiled to Gaul and committed suicide at Vienne."  The encyclopedia adds, though, that Acta Pilati and Epistola Pilati present Pilate and his wife as converts to Christianity.  The encyclopedia says that the Abyssinian Church recognizes Pilate on June 25 and that the Greek Church recognizes his wife on Oct. 27.

Information about some of these things is available at this Bible Probe site:

http://www.bibleprobe.com/pontius_pilate.htm

Before reading Pastor Garrett's article, I hadn't heard that Pilate was considered a Christian convert, let alone a canonized saint.  Now I'm a bit unsure what to think of him; for Eusebius is a respected historian, but the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox traditions are old, too.

In Christ,
Mathetes

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