Contact Us

Have a question, a thought, or just want to say hello?  I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to shoot those my way.


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Sources and Notes

Who Picked What Books Went In the Old Testament?

Matthew Whitman

The Council of Jamnia -

Robert C. Newman, The Council of Jamnia and the Old Testament Canon found in Westminster Theological Journal 38.4, Spring 1976 (Summary of the questions and problems surrounding Jamnia) -

Catholic argument against Jamnia’s canonizing authority-

Walter Kaiser, The Old Testament Documents, Are They Reliable and Relevant? (This book is great and helpful, but the relevant passage is found on pages 31-32. Kaiser, who is a highly influential Protestant Old Testament scholar, outright rejects the suggestion that Jamnia decided the contents of the Old Testament and argues that the canon had been in place for some time prior to this meeting; Purchase link) -

Josephus reference from Against Apion (Book 1 Section 8) -

Letter of Aresteas -

Quick critical summary of the Septuagint as a translation -

Was the Septuagint a canon? -

Old Testament book list for Codex Sinaiticus -

Old Testament book list for Codex Vaticanus (which is slightly different than Sinaiticus) -

Old Testament book list for Codex Alexandrinus (which is slightly different than Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) –

About Codex Sinaiticus –

About Codex Vaticanus –

About Codex Alexandrinus - has a nice simple summary of this topic here -


Frank Moore Cross, From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel (This book offers a different perspective that is less sympathetic to my Protestant position; Purchase link) -

Philip W. Comfort with F.F. Bruch, J.I. Packer and Carl F.H. Henry, The Origin of the Bible (Purchase link) -

Roger Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism (Purchase link) -

Neil R. Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible (Purchase link) -

F.F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Purchase link) -

Who was Pontius Pilate? - Historical Proof and Legends

Matthew Whitman

Note: I’m presenting this bibliography in a format designed for citizens of the Internet, so wherever possible I’ve cited online content for easy, linkable access. I’m also including notes on many of these citations, and all of those will be in italics.



(Relevant sections in parentheses)


Cassius Dio, Roman History – Dio records Augustus’ rule that governors were to return to Rome and give a report within three months of finishing their term (see 53.15.6) -*.html


Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Book XVIII (chapters 2,3 and 4) -

Josephus, The Wars of the Jews Book II (chapter 9) -

Manuscript Evidence in Support of Flavius Josephus -

Philo’s Letter to Caligula (Section 38 starting at 299) -

Pilate’s Coins -

How coins like this are certified -

The Pilate Stone (Found at Caesarea and mentioning Pilate by name) -

The Pilate Ring (Found at the Herodium and bearing Pilate’s name) –


Tacitus’ Annals - Mention of Pilate and the crucifixion (Book 15, section 44) –*.html#44


Description of Tiberius’ revenge against Sejanus (Recorded in Book 5) -




Eusebius, The History of the Church. Translated by G.A. Williamson. New York: Penguin, 1989 (Relevant sections: I.9, II.2, II.6, V.7, IX.5),_Eusebius_Caesariensis,_Church_History,_EN.pdf




Celsus, On the True Doctrine – The critique of Christianity that initiated the Pilate Cycle. Among other critiques, Celsus asks why, if Jesus were deity, Pilate wasn’t killed, tortured, or driven mad in keeping with the style of Greek mythic justice to which he was accustomed.

                 Partial Internet translation -

  Complete treatment in print from Amazon - Against-Christians/dp/0195041518

Origen quote Celsus’ passage in question can be found here in book II line 34 of Contra Celsum -


Myth of Pentheus and Dionysus -

Origen, Contra Celsum (relevant portion 2.34) – Origen here blames the Jews, not Pilate, for Jesus’ death and says they’ve suffered greatly as a result. This passage is also significant, because he doesn’t refute Celsus’ claim that Pilate wasn’t tortured and killed by God for killing Jesus; which lends a dash of evidence as to how things turned out for Pilate -


Justin Martyr, First Apology (Justin references The Acts of Pilate in chapters 35 and 48)


Tertullian, Apology (Full-Text pdf) – Section 21 (page 44 in the linked translation) has Tertullian suggesting Pilate was a Christian already before the crucifixion -




The Acts of Peter and Paul – The relevant section appears about halfway through this short document –


Cura Sanitatis Tiberii -


The Gospel of Nicodemus (Acts of Pilate) – This is one of many, many versions of this document. This example includes all the later additions including the prologue. -


The Gospel of Peter – Verses 1 and 2 describe Pilate’s innocence and Herod’s guilt in the execution of Jesus.


Vindicta Salvatoris




A collection of Pilate Cycle variants including letters between Herod and Pilate, reports of Pilate, the Epistle of Pilate, two more versions of Pilate’s report, an account of his trial before Caesar, and the account of his death.


Archbishop Adon of Vienne claimed Pilate died there of suicide (reference and quote on p. 90) -


First and second Greek forms of Pilate’s apocryphal report to Emperor Claudius (from Catholic –


The Death of Pilate (long version) -


The Death of Pilate (short version) -


The Letter of Pilate to Tiberius, translated by Alexander Walker – This concise version of the report was probably an earlier version of the much-expanded medieval forgeries from the height of the Pilate Cycle. -


Letter of Pilate’s Wife, Claudia Procula, to Her Friend, Fulvia Romelia (Part of the Pilate’s Wife Cycle from a 17th century copy) –


Report of Pontius Pilate to Tiberius -


Debunking of Report of Pontius Pilate to Tiberius


Report to Tiberius – In this later forgery, Pilate takes credit for Jesus having the liberty to carry out his ministry without being bothered by the Jews -


 See the section on modern scholarship for more Pilate Cycle literature


Cirque Romain de Vienne – A helpful little article (in French) describing the hippodrome in Vienne, France and the pyramid monument left behind that is now associated with Pontius Pilate. -


Claims that Pilate was born in Scotland -


Excellent summary of Aelius Sejanus’ influence on and plot against Tiberius and how that weakened Pilate’s position –


New Advent entry on Pontius Pilate – A generic article that’s a good place to start for an overview of the topic –


Pilate’s Burial Monument in Vienne, France -

Berlioz, Jacques. Crochet de fer et puits à tempête. La légende de Ponce Pilate à Vienne (Isère) et au mont Pilât au XIIIe siècle

This is an article discussing a hook on which Pilate was reported to have been hung in Vienne, France. In the course of the exploration, Berlioz quotes from several obscure medieval local French sources that each have their own spin on the events of Pilate’s supposed later life in and around Vienne. Several elements of more prominent rumor are present, but these accounts also offer completely unique traditions. Though the article is in French, but it’s fascinating and worth the extra effort to encounter these legends first hand. -


One legend mentioned in Crochet is attached to an anonymous commentary on Godfrey of Viterbo’s Speculum regum – A scanned 1478 edition of that book is available here -


Bond, Helen K. The Coins of Pontius Pilate: Part of an Attempt to Provoke the People or to Integrate Them into the Empire? Found in Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Periods.  1996. P. 241-262 (This article is important because it addresses the history surrounding the coin mentioned in the video in the context of Sejanus and his reputed anti-semitism. Bond argues that, though this anti-semitism may have existed, Pilate’s coin designs were not meant to provoke the Jewish people, but instead to bring about unity). Full text here -


Ehrman, Bart. The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations. 2011. (See chapter 25)

                Amazon link –

                Ebook link -


Geerard, Maurice. Clavis apocryphorum Novi Testamenti, Corpus Christianorum, Series Apocryphorum. 1992 – Geerard coined the phrase “Pilate cycle” and chased down and documented several unique Pilate traditions throughout the classical and medieval world. -


Grull, Tibor. The Legendary Fate of Pontius Pilate. From Classica et Mediaevalia 61 (2010) 151–176.


Isydorczyk, Zbigniew. The Medieval Gospel of Nicodemus: Texts, Intertexts, and Contexts in Western Europe. 1997. Here Isydorczyk describes the fifteen distinct writings from The Pilate Cycle - Full text available here -


Isydorczyk Pilate literature list and summary drawing on Geerard:


Episotla Pilati ad Claudium – A report from Pilate that blames the Jews, presents himself as a Christian (Greek, Latin, Syriac, medieval)

Anaphora Pilati – Works of Christ and the resurrection reported to the emperor (5th c. Greek two versions)

Paradosis Pilati – Arrest and martyrdom of Pilate for following Jesus (5th)

Tiberii rescriptum – Tiberius’ response to Pilate’s report. Tiberius is angry and condemns Pilate. (5th c. Greek and Old Slavonic)

Epistolae Pilati et Herodis – Pilate tells Herod he’s become a Christian, and Herod tells Pilate his life has been miserable. (5th c. Greek and Syriac)

Epistoa Pilati ad Tiberium – Pilate admits he sentenced Jesus because of weakness and loyalty to Tiberius (16th c. Latin)

Cura sanitates Tiberii – Tiberius gets healed by an image of Jesus. Peter confirms the details of Pilate’s report, but Nero exiles Pilate who then kills himself (5th-8th c. Latin)

Vindicta Salvatoris – Titus gets healed then Tiberius gets healed. Pilate is condemned (8th c. Latin composed in Gaul)

Mors Pilati – Tiberius healed, Pilate commits suicide, and his corpse causes a spiritual stir (M.A. Latin)

Vita Mariae Magdalenae – Mary Magdalene goes to Rome and denounced Pilate to the emperor. (M.A. Greek)

Encomium in Mariam Magdalenam – Story of the childhood of Mary Magdalene and her part in the crucifixion and resurrection (Coptic)

Maier, Paul. The Fate of Pontius Pilate. Found in Hermes number 99, 1971. Full text available through JSTOR –


Pearse, Roger. Blog Entry. 2015. Here, Pearse gives a nice summary of the swirling mass of Pilate traditions in the middle ages by relaying his experience in reading Constantins Tischendorf’s Evangelia Apocrypha -


Scheidweiler, Felix. The Gospel of Nicodemus: Acts of Pilate and Christ’s Descent into Hell. Found in New Testament Apocrypha: Gospels and Related Writings. 1991. (Link to the relevant chapter in ebook form) -


Smith, William. Dictionary of the Bible Comprising its Antiquities, Biography, Geography and Natural History – p. 750


Tischendorf, Constantinus. Evangelia Apocrypha. 1852. Here Tischendorf assembles all the apocryphal Pilate literature (and much more) through the centuries. -


Matthew Whitman

Notes on Constantine, the Council of Nicea, and the New Testament Canon

Check out my Nuts and Bolts of the Bible series to learn more about all this stuff:


A List of Ancient Canons – Click on this if you look at nothing else in this list -

All the Actual Documents From the Council of Nicea (see for yourself what happened!) -

Athanasius of Alexandria and the Festal Letter -

Athanasius’ Letter itself which outlines the New Testament canon -

Eusebius’ Agreed Upon Books List Full Text from Book III of His “Church History” -

The Edict of Milan (313 AD), by Constantine and Licinius Full Text -

The Battle of Milvian Bridge -

Roman Catholic perspective on canonization process -

Greek Orthodox perspective on canonization process -

Council of Hippo and the NT canon -

Council of Carthage and the NT canon -

Marcion and His Canon -

Montanism -


The Canon of Scripture, by F.F. Bruce – This is the most important, most well-read work on the subject.

Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books, Michael J. Kruger – This is a more recent work that closely considers the internal and external evidence for the canon and its evolution.

How We Got the Bible, Timothy Paul Jones – This one is easy and fast; a great place to start.

Decoding Nicea, by Paul F. Pavo – This is a summary of Christian thought leading up to Nicea, and a summary of what actually happened there.

Constantine the Emperor, by David Potter – Best biography of Constantine; very readable.


Richard Elliott Friedman

Bart Ehrman was an Evangelical scholar who now takes a more skeptical position on faith and the Bible. He’s an excellent scholar who sometimes arrives at different conclusions that what I described in my video. Here are some relevant links from him:

This link is a response to Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” written by Timothy Paul Jones. Both are worth taking a look at:

Here's an article arguing that Marcion effectively brought about the New Testament canon: