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Memoirs of Pontius Pilate: A Novel Paperback – Feb 27 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Feb. 27 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345443500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345443502
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 186 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,765,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Library Journal

Thirty years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth, an exiled Pontius Pilate compiles his memoirs into a history of the Jewish faith and the rise of Christianity. He contemplates his role in sentencing Jesus to death by crucifixion and puzzles at the rapid spread of the teachings of that simple man. A true politician, he denies any blame for his part in Jesus' final hours. Instead, he lays the blame at the feet of the crowd who cried for Barabbas to be released and at the feet of the temple officials who called for his trial. Subtly, Pilate's fascination with Jesus and his teachings gives life to his recital, and glimpses of Pilate's own thoughts and feelings surface. Mills's (Gospel According to Pontius Pilate) expertise with his subject provides unexpected depth to this intriguing glimpse at a man vilified for his place in history. Recommended for all collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"OUTSTANDINGLY ORIGINAL, SUPERBLY WRITTEN, FASCINATING AND ENGAGING."
--Midwest Book Review

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erick Franz P. Vergara on Feb. 16 2002
Format: Paperback
Although it is a work of fiction, "Memoirs of Pontius Pilate" comes close to deserving a place in the history section. Much of this well-researched book is devoted to Pilate's own biography of Jesus; nevertheless, there is enough supplementary material here to leave the reader a bit more knowledgeable on the history of Roman Palestine.
Mills' Pilate begins with an introductory discussion about the Jewish people (written from a perspective that feels authentically Roman). The rest of the book traces the life of Jesus from the Nativity to the Crucifixion, after which the exiled former procurator adds his own views on the events that he had just described. Throughout the work Pilate remains sufficiently sceptical of the miracles and odd "coincidences" that his spies report to him, but the reader soon realises that this Roman is at least open to the possibility that the "strange carpenter" may actually be who he says he is.
A word of caution, though: readers who insist on seeing a cruel, heartless tyrant of a governor in this book will be sorely disappointed. Though the historical Pontius Pilatus may have been a man who truly deserves the wicked reputation he is cursed with today, would he have written about himself that way? In all certainty he would have described actions we now see as barbaric within the context of his own culture and upbringing; that is, he would have said that he was simply "doing his job" when he mowed down the Samartians on Mount Gerizim and threatened to hack a crown of Jews to death in Caesarea. Out of his love for Rome, his loyalty to Caesar and perhaps even his own strange form of concern for the well-being of the Jewish people, he did what he felt he had to do.
I am no relativist.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading the scathing review from the New York contributor - - I really wanted to like this book. Particularly after reading the heartfelt orgin(s) of the book that the author shared in the review he had submitted.
I couldn't bring myself to it once I began reading it.
Within a dozen pages I had lost interest and was appalled that I had bought this book. I felt that the narrative was both inaccurate and semantically anachronistic. The significance of events were presented with more "importance" than they had at the time; Christ's arrival in Jerusalem, and the subsequent chain of events at that Passover, was not the defining moment of the time. It was not the "JFK assassination" like event that was burned into everyone's mind. This is implied. Further - word/concepts are presented - by Pontius Pilate- that appear to be coming, conceptually, at least a 1000 - 1500 years too early. It would be like reading a novel about Abraham Lincoln - and having him say , " that's a cool idea." This was very distracting.
In general this was not successfully written from the perspective of a powerful 1st century Roman citizen/official -but from that of a devout 20th century Christian - who had excellent idea and good intent- but who didn't know how to get into the head and heart of his intended subject. (For a wonderful example of a successful attempt to step back in time a millennium or two see Memoirs Of Hadrian by M. Yourcenar. Different subject; roughly the same era.)
All-and-all, very disappointing. Awful.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading the scathing review from the New York contributor - - I really wanted to like this book. Particularly after reading the heartfelt orgin(s) of the book that the author shared in the review he had submitted.
I couldn't bring myself to it once I began reading it.
Within a dozen pages I had lost interest and was appalled that I had bought this book. I felt that the narrative was both inaccurate and semantically anachronistic. The significance of events were presented with more "importance" than they had at the time; Christ's arrival in Jerusalem, and the subsequent chain of events at that Passover, was not the defining moment of the time. It was not the "JFK assassination" like event that was burned into everyone's mind. This is implied. Further - word/concepts are presented - by Pontius Pilate- that appear to be coming, conceptually, at least a 1000 - 1500 years too early. It would be like reading a novel about Abraham Lincoln - and having him say , " that's a cool idea." This was very distracting.
In general this was not successfully written from the perspective of a powerful 1st century Roman citizen/official -but from that of a devout 20th century Christian - who had excellent idea and good intent- but who didn't know how to get into the head and heart of his intended subject. (For a wonderful example of a successful attempt to step back in time a millennium or two see Memoirs Of Hadrian by M. Yourcenar. Different subject; roughly the same era.)
All-and-all, very disappointing. Dreadfull.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book as it made me think about the history of Christianity from a very different viewpoint, and one that not many have taken. It's not a blending of myth, legend, with a little history thrown in as so much of historical fiction is today. I read it slowly over the course of many evenings. It is not something I could sit down and read in one session.
In reading some of the reviews below, especially the one that casts this Pilate as a sympathetic figure, I can't help but wonder if they really read the book. This Pilate is sometimes chilling in his indifferent description of the killing of hundreds if not thousands. It's pretty clear he does not see himself that way though.
It is also not in the style of a 'novel' (as mentioned in another review) in that there are the historical afternotes to the chapters, much more like a historical footnote.
It is significantly different and much re-written from the book Mills wrote some 10 years ago, which I never did finish from cover to cover.
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