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The Apocryphal New Testament Easy to use collection of English translations of the New Testament Apocrypha.

Anaphora Pilati

There are two Greek texts behind Tischendorf's edition, which do not differ in essentials. The text edited by Abbott is combined with the Paradosis (q.v.)—normally the Anaphora and Paradosis are separate—and it differs from Tischendorf's text especially in its conclusion, which gives an account of the death of Annas and Caiaphas. The manner of Pilate's death in Abbott's text also differs from Tischendorf's, but approximates to the so‐called Letter of Tiberius (q.v.), where the same episode is told of Annas. The Anaphora is close to the Letter of Pilate to Claudius (q.v.) and is probably an expansion of it.

Tischendorf printed his Greek A and his Greek B each on the basis of five manuscripts. The summary below is taken from James, and the translation of sections 7–8 from Tischendorf's Greek A.


  • Fabricius, iii. 456–9.

  • Birch, i. 161–4.

  • Thilo, i. 803–16.

  • Giles, ii. 14.

  • Tischendorf, EA, pp. lxxviii f., 435–49.

  • M. D. Gibson, Apocrypha Sinaitica (London, 1896) (= Studia Sinaitica 5) (Syriac and Arabic texts with Eng. trans.).

  • G. F. Abbott, ‘The Report and Death of Pilate’, FTS 4 (1903), 83–6 (Greek text different from Tischendorf's).

Modern Translations


  • Cowper, 400–9 (Tischendorf's A and B).

  • Walker, 224–30 (Tischendorf's A and B).

  • Westcott, 121–5 (Tischendorf's A).

  • James, 153–4 (summary).

  • Cartlidge and Dungan, 88–90.


  • Migne, Dictionnaire, ii, cols. 753–8.


  • Erbetta, iii. 119–21 (Greek B).

  • Moraldi, i. 710–13 (Greek A); 714–16 (Greek B).


  • de Santos Otero, 477–84 (Tischendorf's A).


  • Variot, 117–20.


‘I have received a communication, O most mighty, which oppresses me with fear and trembling.’

He goes on to say that in Jerusalem, a city of his province, the Jews delivered him a man named Jesus, charging him with much that they could not substantiate, and in particular with violating the sabbath. The miracles are then described with some rhetorical ornament, particularly in the case of Lazarus.

Jesus was delivered to him by Herod, Archelaus, Philip, Annas, Caiaphas, and all the people.


7. And at the time he was crucified there was darkness over all the world, the sun was darkened at midday, and the stars appeared but there appeared no lustre in them; and the moon, as if turned into blood, failed in her light. And the world was swallowed up by the nether regions, so that the very sanctuary of the temple, as they call it, was not seen by the Jews in their fall; and they saw below them a chasm in the earth, and rolling thunders that fell upon it.

8. And amid that terror dead men were seen risen, as the Jews themselves testified; and they said that it was Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs, and Moses and Job, who had died, as they say, three thousand five hundred years ago. And there were very many whom I saw appearing in the body; and they were making a lamentation over the Jews, on account of the transgression that had come to pass because of them, and the destruction of the Jews and of their law.


On the first day of the week, at the third hour of night, there was a great light: the sun shone with unwonted brightness, men in shining garments appeared in the air and cried out to the souls in Hades to come up, and proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus.

The light continued all night. Many Jews disappeared in the chasms which the earthquake had caused, and all the synagogues except one fell down.

Under the stress of the consternation caused by all these portents Pilate writes to Caesar.

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