Ring belonging to Pontius Pilate found

A ring that may have belonged to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who oversaw Jesus’s trial and crucifixion, has been identified by experts in Israel.

Initially, the ring, which was found 50 years ago at the Herodian palace near Bethlehem, wasn’t given much attention.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, it was discovered, along with thousands of other items, during a dig led by Professor Gideon Forster of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1968-69.

Recently, the 2000-year engraved copper alloy sealing ring was given a thorough laboratory cleaning a scholarly examination was carried out.

This included photographing the ring using a special camera. These revealed an image of a wine vessel surrounded by Greek writing that translates as “Pilatus.”

Pontius Pilate, a Roman prefect who ruled the Roman province of Judaea from circa 26–36 CE, is mentioned in several accounts in the New Testament as having ordered Jesus’s trial and crucifixion.

Hebrew University Professor Danny Schwartz says he does not know of any other “Pilatus” from the period. He believes the ring shows Pilatus was a person of stature and wealth.

The ring’s simplicity leads researchers to believe Pilate may have used it in day-to-day work. Alternatively, they say it may have belonged to one of his officials or someone in his court who would use it to sign in his name.


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