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Caesar held to his own opinion and threatened danger to the accusers of the Christians." It would no doubt be pleasant if we could believe this story of Tertullian, which he manifestly believed to be true but a story so inherently improbable and inconsistent with what we know of Tiberius, related nearly 170 years after the event, does not commend itself to a historian's judgment.When the influence of Christianity was increasing rapidly in the Empire, one of the last pagan emperors, Maximin II, two years before the Edict of Milan, attempted to bring Christianity into disrepute by publishing what he alleged to be the true 'Acts of Pilate', representing the origins of Christianity in an unsavoury guise.Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (VII, 32 in P. [Ideler (Chron., II, 397, n.) thought they did this believing that the ninth month, in which Christ was born, was the ninth of their own calendar.] Others reached the date of 24 or 25 Pharmuthi (19 or 20 April). At any rate this double commemoration became popular, partly because the apparition to the shepherds was considered as one manifestation of Christ's glory, and was added to the greater manifestations celebrated on 6 January; partly because at the baptism-manifestation many codices (e.g. The names of the consuls [which should be Fufius and Rubellius] are wrong; Christ lives thirty-three years; in the genuine Hippolytus, thirty-one; minute data are irrelevant in this discussion with Severian millenniarists; it is incredible that Hippolytus should have known these details when his contemporaries (Clement, Tertullian, etc.) are, when dealing with the matter, ignorant or silent; or should, having published them, have remained unquoted (Kellner, op. This pope reigned from May, 352 until 366, except during his years of exile, 355-357. L., XII, 1134) to Himerius in Spain, distinguishes the feasts of the Nativity and Apparition; but whether he refers to Roman or to Spanish use is not clear. 361 combined the feasts, though on what day is still doubtful. The famous "Stabat Mater Speciosa" is attributed to Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306); "Adeste Fideles" is, at the earliest, of the seventeenth century.Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more — all for only .99..., asserts (in Lev. L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the "birthdays" of the gods. With Clement's evidence may be mentioned the "De paschæ computus", written in 243 and falsely ascribed to Cyprian (P. Codex Bezæ) wrongly give the Divine words as in Nicæan times; Epiphanius (Hær., li, ed. In view of a reaction to certain Jewish rites and feasts, Chrysostom tries to unite Antioch in celebrating Christ's birth on 25 December, part of the community having already kept it on that day for at least ten years. If Marcellina became a nun only after the canonical age of twenty-five, and if Ambrose was born only in 340, it is perhaps likelier that the event occurred after 357. In the West the Council of Saragossa (380) still ignores 25 December (see can. Ammianus Marcellinus (XXI, ii) and Zonaras (Ann., XIII, 11) date a visit of Julian the Apostate to a church at Vienne in Gaul on Epiphany and Nativity respectively. By the time of Jerome and Augustine, the December feast is established, though the latter (Epp., II, liv, 12, in P. These essentially popular airs, and even words, must, however, have existed long before they were put down in writing.1, according to which John the Baptist began to preach in fifteenth year of Tiberius).

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The Senate rejected it because it had not itself given its approval.

According to him, Pontius Pilate informed the Emperor of the unjust sentence of death which he had pronounced against an innocent and divine person; the Emperor was so moved by his report of the miracles of Christ and his resurrection, that he proposed the reception of Christ among the gods of Rome. In another place Tertullian says that the 'whole story of Christ was reported to Caesarat that time it was Tiberiusby Pilate, himself in his secret heart already a Christian' (Apol. We see here the tendency at work to use the Roman procurator as a witness for the history of the death and resurrection of Christa nd the truth of Christianity. 9.5.1) We should especially like to know if Pilate sent home to Rome any report of the trial and execution of Jesus, and, if so, what it contained.

The Gospel of Nicodemus preserves a document known as the Acta Pilati in chapters 1 to 11, with an addition in chapters 12 to 16, while chapters 17 to 27 are called the "Decensus Christi ad Inferos." Quasten writes, "The whole work, which in a later Latin manuscript is called the Evangelium Nicodemi, must have been composed at the beginning of the fifth century, but it seems to be more or less a compilation of older material." (Patrology, vol. 116) It is possible that the material in the Gospel of Nicodemus was written to refute pagan Acts of Pilate created in 311, mentioned by Eusebius: Having forged, to be sure, Memoirs of Pilate and Our Saviour, full of every kind of blasphemy against Christ, with the approval of their chief they sent them round to every part of his dominions, with edicts that they should be exhibited openly for everyone to see in every place, both town and country, and that the primary teachers should give them to the children, instead of lessons, for study and committal to memory. But it is not certain that he must have done so; and if he did, it has disappeared beyond trace.

Certainly some ancient writers believed that Pilate did send in such a report, but there is no evidence that any of them had any real knowledge of it.

About AD 150 Justin Martyr, addressing his Defence of Christianity to the Emperor Antoninius Pius, referred him to Pilate's report, which Justin supposed must be preserved in the imperial archives.

The tendency to minimize the guilt of Pilate which is found in the Gospel According to Peter shows the keen interest with which ancient Christianity regarded his person.