50 years ago, historians dug up an ancient ring in Helodium near Bethlehem. At the time, it was covered in dirt and soil, difficult to transcribe, and not of interest to any of those who unearthed it. However, after a thorough cleaning, historians found writing on the ring that made them do a double take. It led them to believe that the ring may have belonged to the man who orchestrated the death of Jesus Christ.
The history of the hated figure
Besides the fact that Roman official Pontius Pilate ordered the death of Jesus Christ, the full history of the historically hated leader isn’t very well known. Pilate is mentioned in the New Testament on a number of occasions, mainly drawing attention to the fact that he called for the slaughter of the most famous religious figure in history. While a slim amount of information has been recovered about his day-to-day life, the recent emergence of a ring bearing his name has shed some light on his existence.
Identifying the owner of the jewelry
The ring, which was dug up a half-century ago by a team of researchers from Hebrew University, was recently cleaned and reexamined. Words were found buried beneath the dust caking the ring: “of Pilatus.” Now, some historians believe that the ring may have belonged to the famous Roman ruler himself. However, scholars have called for a deeper examination of the ring and its history. The circumstances of its excavation from an eastern garden near Bethlehem don’t necessarily prove that the ring belonged to Pilate.
The possibilities of Pontius’ ring
Considering that he had a considerable rule over the Romans at the time, a ring bearing his name may not have been uncommon amongst the masses. Additionally, the form of the ring indicates that it wasn’t produced by someone who had great skill in jewelry and ring-making. The ring’s sloppy mold and basic material make it seem more likely that the ring was worn by someone of a lesser status than Pilate. However, some historians argue that the unpopular name Pilate carries too much personal association to have belonged to anyone else. The history of the ring will likely be up for debate for many years to come.