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Pontius Pilate

On Palm Sunday, Mark Tully assesses one of the main characters of Holy Week: Pontius Pilate. Was he a coward for washing his hands of the crucifixion of Jesus or a servant of God?

On Palm Sunday, Mark Tully assesses one of the principle characters of Holy Week: Pontius Pilate. Was he a coward for washing his hands of the crucifixion of Jesus, or a servant of God?

Drawing from poetry by Carol Ann Duffy and J Barrie Shepherd, and music by Arvo Part and Johann Sebastian Bach, Mark considers a range of opinions about Pilate - from compassionate and remorseful, to cold hearted and callous.

He also considers the modern relevance of Pontius Pilate's decision to put the fate of Jesus in the hands of the crowd, and to bow to public opinion rather than take responsibility himself.

Producer: Adam Fowler
A 7Digital production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Music Played

  • Arvo Pärt

    Jesus is Judged by Pilate and Reviled by the People (feat. Tonus Peregrinus)

    • Naxos.
  • Seal

    Mad World

    • Virgin.
  • Curt Cacioppo

    Women at the Cross: Procula (feat. Quartetto di Venezia)

    • Navona Records.
  • Rolf Martinsson, Jeanette Kohn & Henrik Hagerstrom

    Lukaspassionen: Recitativ, solo och kör, pilatus kallade samman (feat. Gustav Sjokvist Chamber Choir)

    • Ictus.
  • Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury & Richard Farnes

    When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (feat. John Bowen)

    • Classic FM.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    St. John Passion BWV 245 (Johannes-Passion), Second Part: Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine (Nr.67: Chor) (feat. Berlin Symphony Orchestra)

    • Warner Classics.

Readings

Title: Confessions of Pontius Pilate 

Author: Frabicius Albinus

 

Title: The Face of Pontius Pilate 

Author: J Barrie Shepherd

Published by Wipf and Stock Publishers

 

Title: The Wife of Pontius Pilate 

Author: Carol Ann Duffy

Found in The World's Wife published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

 

Title: Pontius Pilate

Author: Roger Caillois 

Published by University of Virginia Press

 

Title: Public Opinion 

Published by the Spectator, 1844

Broadcasts