This page was last updated on 29 July 2016.
Why did Pilate act so weak?
Philo, Josephus and Luke depict Pilate as a ruthless anti-
Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
But when Jesus stood before Pilate he (Pilate) seemed weak. He was manipulated by the Jews. So sources state that Pilate had big mood swings. A tyrant one day and fairly nice the other day. Perhaps there is another reason. A reason that’s helpful in dating His crucifixion.
Thus this book was preceded by another, in which the persecutions inflicted on the Jews by Sejanus were narrated. … Now we know also from a notice in the Chronicle of Eusebius, that the persecutions under Sejanus were related in the second book of this entire work. … For he says, that Philo here relates, how in the time of Tiberius Sejanus made great exertions in Rome to destroy the whole nation, and that in Judaea Pilate caused great commotion among the Jews, because he desired to undertake something with respect to the temple, which was contrary to their institutions.
Pilate was appointed by Sejanus in 26AD. Sejanus goal in life seemed to destroy the whole Jewish race. Sejanus and his followers were executed because of conspiracy against Tiberius on October 18, 31 AD
Pilate was a known friend of Sejanus but, obviously, wasn’t executed. Likely he was under close watch. After the execution Tiberius ordered all governors of the Roman empire not to mistreat the Jews. So some scholars are of the opinion that that Pilate acted nice because he didn’t want the high priest going to complain about him to Tiberius.
If the above assumption is true Jesus didn’t die before the next spring. That places the earliest possible crucifixion date at spring 32 AD.