Pontius Pilate[pŏnˈchəs pīˈlət]
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Pontius Pilate - Cultural Definition
The governor of the Jews (see also Jews) at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus; he was an official of the Roman Empire, to which the Jewish nation belonged at that time. According to the Gospels, Pilate did not consider Jesus guilty and wanted to release him. Under pressure from the crowds in Jerusalem (see also Jerusalem), however, Pilate sentenced Jesus to death on the cross, having first washed his hands to indicate his lack of responsibility for Jesus' fate.