The following are extracts from a booklet entitled “Christ in History”. They are from archival documents found in England and Europe and first published in the 19th century. The individual reader will decide their veracity and helpfulness.
From a letter of Pilate’s wife, Cluadia Procula, to her friend, Fulvia Romelia:
“At dinner I told Pontius what I had seen and heard. He lowered his head and said: ‘You saw Jesus of Nazareth the object of the hatred and contempt of the Pharisees and Sadducees, of the Herodian party, and of the dangerous and proud Levites from the temple. This hatred is increasing every day, and their only thought is how to bring Him to death. But the Nazarene’s words are the words of a wise man and His miracles are really of God.’
“‘But why do they hate Him so strongly?’ I asked.
“‘Because He shows up their morals and hypocrisy. I once heard Him saying to the Pharisees: “Whited sepulchres, breed of vipers, you impose heavy burdens upon your brethren, but you do not lift a finger for them. You pay the tithe with mint and cinnamon, but you are not interested in abiding by the laws, in faithful righteousness and mercy.” The meaning of these words is deep and true. He offended these proud and pompous people, and the outlook for the Nazarene’s future is very dark.
“‘But you will protect Him, isn’t that so?” I exclaimed, highly indignant.
” ‘My power is too weak to oppose these rebellious and wretched people. On the other hand I would be deeply concerned should I become forced to spill the blood of this wise man.’
“After these words Pontius rose and went into another room, deep in thought. I, however, remained in indescribable sorrow and sadness…………..”
And again, a description of Jesus as written by a Roman Senator:
“He is of medium height and of astonishing beauty. His glance is majestic and inspires a feeling of reverence, love, and fear in all those who look upon Him…… His look is imposing and serene. He possesses sparkling eyes. The light shining forth from His face is like sunshine, so that it is impossible for anyone to behold Him too long. This radiance arouses fear, but as soon as He starts teaching and advising, He does it with so much sorrow that He evokes love and veneration among His listeners. It has been said that He never laughs, but that His eyes are always tearful. His hands are extremely beautiful. When He speaks He is most pleasant. He very seldom contacts high society. As regards His teachings, by them He attracts all Jerusalem. He masters perfectly every science without having studied even one of them. He walks bare-footed and bare-headed. Everywhere it is said that, until now, such a man has never been seen in these places…”