The Israel Museum, Jerusalem/Bridgeman Images

The PILATE STONE presents Pontius Pilate as the Roman prefect of Judea. His dedication of a structure in honor of Tiberius fits with the picture of Pilate as a proponent of the Roman imperial cult in Judea. It may also demonstrate the governor’s personal reverence for the emperor, putting in a new light the words shouted at Pilate during Jesus’ trial: “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor” (John 19:12).