One item that floats around the web is the Letter of Pilate to Tiberius. It appeared in English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers vol. 8 (here), and from there to all sorts of other places. Another translation appears online in The Lost Books of the Bible, 1926
Here is the ANF translation:
The Letter of Pontius Pilate
Which He Wrote to the Roman Emperor, Concerning Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar the emperor, greeting.
Upon Jesus Christ, whose case I had dearly set forth to thee in my last, at length by the will of the people a bitter punishment has been inflicted, myself being in a sort unwilling and rather afraid. A man, by Hercules, so pious and strict, no age has ever had nor will have. But wonderful were the efforts of the people themselves, and the unanimity of all the scribes and chief men and elders, to crucify this ambassador of truth, notwithstanding that their own prophets, and after our manner the sibyls, warned them against it: and supernatural signs appeared while he was hanging, and, in the opinion of philosophers, threatened destruction to the whole world. His disciples are flourishing, in their work and the regulation of their lives not belying their master; yea, in his name most beneficent. Had I not been afraid of the rising of a sedition among the people, who were just on the point of breaking out, perhaps this man would still have been alive to us; although, urged more by fidelity to thy dignity than induced by my own wishes, I did not according to my strength resist that innocent blood free from the whole charge brought against it, but unjustly, through the malignity of men, should be sold and suffer, yet, as the Scriptures signify, to their own destruction. Farewell, 28th March.
Fortunately I have on my shelves a copy of J. K. Elliot’s The Apocryphal New Testament and this has a section on the apocryphal Pilate literature. Our item appears on p.206-8.
Tischendorf printed the Latin text, based on four witnesses, which he obtained from earlier publications:
Chas. — the text printed by Chassanaeus in part 4 of his catalogi gloriae mundi, 1571.
Flor. — the text printed by Florentinius in Martyrolog. vet. Hieronymi, p.113 (and reprinted by Fabricius).
Bodl. — the text printed by Abrah. Gronovius in the preface to his edition of the works of Tacitus in 1721, from an ms. or mss. of the works of Tacitus from the Bodleian library in Oxford.
Ven. — the text which Tischendorf himself obtained from a manuscript in Venice, Marcianus class. X. num. CXXXIV. The ms. is 16th century.
Note that the Letters of Pilate and Herod exist in a Syriac version of the 6-7th century,, followed by that of Walker in the ANF in 1870. Another translation appeared in 1915 from A. Westcott.
A Google search reveals an “epistola Pilati” is contained in the British Library ms. Cotton Titus D. xix, on f.88-89, but this is probably the epistola Pilati ad Claudium.
There is also a Letter of Tiberius to Pilate, in Greek. This also is a late production, not earlier than the 11th century. This takes an unfavourable view of Pilate and alludes to a journey by Mary Magdalene to Rome to accuse Pilate.
- Copied from the Cowper translation of 1867. The introductory words may be found on Cowper, p.389, here.↩
- W. Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, 2 vols, Eng. tr. 1991.↩
- J. K. Elliot, The Apocryphal New Testament, Clarendon 1993.↩
- Z. Izydorczyk, The Medieval Gospel of Nicodemus, Arizona, 1997, p.8, gives the following description: “Epistola Pilati ad Tiberium: Pilate reveals that he sentenced Christ partly through his own weakness but partly through his loyalty to the emperor. This letter, which again presents Pilate in a positive light, was written in Renaissance Latin, probably in the sixteenth century.” and “Geerard, Clavis no. 68; Starowieyski, Apokryfy, 476″. Online here.↩
- Elliot, p.206.↩
- Elliot, p.207↩
- Tischendorf, Evangelia Apocrypha, Leipzig, (2nd) 1876, p.lxxvi-lxxviii, p. 433-4. Online here.↩
- J. A. Fabricius, Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti, 4 vols, Hamburg, 2nd ed., 1719. p.300-1.↩
- J. C. Thilo, Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamentum, vol. i, Leipzig, 1832, p.801-2↩
- J. A. Giles, Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti: The uncanonical Gospels and other Writings, London, 1852, vol. ii, p.14; so J.K.Elliot, but in the online copy of that work, I found that the reference did not seem to be correct.↩
- Texts and Studies, 5, p.xlviii.[/ref] but the Letter of Pilate to Tiberius is not one of these.
The first English translation was made in 1867 by B.H.CowperB.H.Cowper, The Apocryphal Gospels and Other Documents relating to the History of Christ, Edinburgh, 1867, p.398-9. Cowper tells us, p.xx, that he is translating Tischendorff. There is no introduction to the “Epistle of Pontius Pilate” in Cowper.↩
- A. Walker, Apocryphal Gospels, Acts and Revelations, Ante-Nicene Christian Library vol. 16, Edinburgh, 1870. The Ante-Nicene Fathers series is a rearranged and pirated US edition of the Edinburgh series.↩
- A. Westcott, The Gospel of Nicodemus and Kindred Documents, London, 1915, p.119-20. I was unable to access this, but possibly US readers may be able to do so, in which case I should be glad of a copy.↩
- A catalogue online here, where the work follows the Gospel of Nicodemus. Compiled by Nigel Ramsay, who gives a bibliography including, “The Gospel of Nicodemus. Gesta Salvatoris, ed. H.C. Kim (Toronto, 1973), chapter xxviii. [Epistola Pilati.]”↩
- Epistola Tiberii ad Pilatum. Edited in Texts and Studies, second series, vol. 5, 1893. Introduction on p.xlix-l; Greek text on p.77-82.↩
- See this post on this letter.↩