Pontius Pilate’s Description of Jesus
From a letter to Caesar
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following physical descriptions of Jesus are from letters written to Tiberius Caesar during the lifetime of Jesus. The first was written by Pontius Pilate. The English translation is in Appendix A of the book "The Resurrection Tomb." According to the author E. Raymond Capt, who has archaeological credentials in the U.S.A. and Scotland, a copy of the letter is in the Congressional Library in Washington.
“A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the name of the God that had sent him. At first I was apprehensive that his design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected so great was the difference between him and those who were listening to him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between him and his bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions! Unwilling to interrupt him by my presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he seen in the works of all the philosophers anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to him our protection. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and to address the people. This unlimited freedom provoked the Jews—not the poor but the rich and powerful.
“Later, I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with him at the Praetorium. He came. When the Nazarene made his appearance I was having my morning walk and as I faced him my feet seemed fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement and I trembled in every limb as a guilty culprit, though he was calm. For some time I stood admiring this extraordinary man. There was nothing in him that was repelling, nor in his character, yet I felt awed in his presence. I told him that there was a magnetic simplicity about him and his personality that elevated him far above the philosophers and teachers of his day. All in all, he made a deep impression upon me and everyone because of his kindness, simplicity, humility and love.
“Now, Noble Sovereign, these are the facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth and I have taken the time to write you in detail concerning these matters. I say that such a man who could convert water into wine, change death into life, disease into health; calm the stormy seas, is not guilty of any crime.
Your most obedient servant,
Appendix B of the same book provides another description of Jesus. According to the author, it was written by Publius Lentrelus, a resident of Judea, to Tiberius Caesar in Rome. Capt says the earliest copy he could find was in the writings of St. Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century.
“There lives at this time in Judea a man of singular virtue whose name is Jesus Christ, whom the barbarians esteem as a prophet, but his followers love and adore him as the offspring of the immortal God.
“He calls back the dead from the graves and heals all sorts of diseases with a word, or touch. He is a tall man, well-shaped, and of an amiable and reverend aspect; his hair of a color that can hardly be matched, falling into graceful curls, waving about and very agreeable crouching upon his shoulders, parted on the crown of the head, running as a stream to the front after the fashion of the Nazarites. His forehead high, large and imposing; his cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with a lovely red; his nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard, and of a color suitable to his hair, reaching below his chin and parted in the middle like a fork; his eyes bright blue, clear and serene. Look innocent, dignified, manly and mature. In proportion of body most perfect, and captivating; his arms and hands delectable to behold.
“He rebukes with majesty, councils with mildness, his whole address whether in word or deed, being eloquent and grave. No man has seen him laugh, yet his manners are exceedingly pleasant, but he has wept frequently in the presence of men. He is temperate, modest and wise. A man for his extraordinary beauty and perfection, surpassing the children of men in every sense.”
Ancient Native American legends describe Jesus
Archaeologist L. Taylor Hansen spent 25 years gathering Native American legends about a mysterious pale God-like healer and teacher who visited tribes throughout the Western Hemisphere about 2000 years ago. The legends predate the arrival of the White Race and yet they seem to describe Jesus. Hansen compiled the legends in a 1963 book titled “He Walked the Americas.” Here are a few physical descriptions from the legends:
MAORI OF POLYNESIA: "As the spot of white came closer, they saw in amazement that this was a Fair God, man-like in form, but unlike their people. Soon they could see Him clearly, the gold of the dawn-light shining behind and around Him, making a halo of His long-curling hair and beard. They saw the foam-like swish of His garments. As He came up on the wet sand, the warriors stared in fright at His garments; they were dry. Now they knew that a god stood among them, for none but gods can walk on water! From His garments, so foam-white, they looked to His pale face and then into His eyes. They were strange eyes, grey-green as the depths of the water, and like it, ever changing.”
PERU: “Upon the summit stood The Pale One, beard and hair and robe gold-tinted, as was the incense which swirled above Him with its scent of burning cedar.”
BRAZIL: “Before them stood the Holy Master: He Who Is Called Waikano. Softly the pale jade sunlight fell upon the white folds of His toga, slightly tinting His golden sandals, His soft curled beard, His light brown tresses.”
PAWNEE: “”To this happy and peaceful land came the Great White Robed Master with His sea-grey eyes and His golden sandals. . . . Then the fire lit up the east sky, where cloud banks had been piled up, and everyone turned in wonder as consternation hushed the chanting. Suddenly He was there among them! Like a creature from another planet, shining with a strange radiance, each hair of His head luminescent, a weird glow rippling from His garments and His sea-eyes flashing with lightning, He stood staring at the Pawnee People.”
CHIPPEWA: “He was bearded, and pale of feature – without doubt a White Man. His eyes were as grey-green as still green water, and just as changeable in their color. He came to us one day at dawning and the light touched His hair with the sheen of red-gold until it shone like newly-mined copper.”
SERI: “They marveled at His long white toga, His hair and beard gleaming with red lights, and His eyes the color of deep-sea water.”