Monday, March 21, 2016

Avalon Chronicles #57: "Who Was Pilate's Wife?"

Avalon Chronicles #57: "Who Was Pilate's Wife"

by Allen B.Clark     ,

"While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: 'Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.'"
Matthew 27:19 (NIV)

     Poll one hundred non-Biblical scholars and ask,"What is the name of Pontius Pilate's wife?" Probably none will be able to answer. Pilate's wife is only mentioned in this one reference and without her name. She sent her husband the message as it is pictured in the movies with her standing behind a column watching Jesus before Pilate. Presumably Jesus appeared before Pilate in the Antonia Fortress (later the Praetorium) at the northwest corner of the Temple perhaps on Good Friday before he was nailed to the cross at Golgotha. The Romans placed great stock in dreams. They believed that they were sent from heaven as gifts and warnings that were not to be ignored.
     Almost two decades ago, my wife Linda, was asked to read at her church on Palm Sunday the message in Matthew 27 about the trials of Jesus. She became curious as to the name of Pilate's wife and began her quest at a nearby Greek Orthodox church where the resident scholar admitted his faith celebrates on October 27 a feast day in celebration of Claudia Procula. The faith believes she became a Believer in Jesus and that her life passed in peace. Linda began a quest to learn more about this woman and what she learned is tremendously fascinating. She learned that Claudia and Pilate both are celebrated on July 25 by the Coptic Church of Ethiopia, which believes they both became Christians.
     Claudia Procula was the granddaughter of the Great Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. She was technically a Roman princess and the daughter of Augustus' daughter Julia. Julia was reported to have had many lovers and it is probable that Claudia was an illegitimate child. She grew up in Norbonne, France about twelve miles from the Mediterranean Sea. This was a Roman outpost in what was then called Gaul. It is not known when she met and married Pilate, who was from an old Roman family and an equestrian in the Roman Cavalry. Possibly the connections of Claudia led Pilate to the governorship of the Roman province of Judea from 26-36 AD. Her influence with Augustus further allowed her to live in Judea with her husband. This was not allowed in other cases by Augustus.
     After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Josephus, the eminent Jewish historian, wrote that Pilate had an encounter with some rebellious Samaritans and it ended with some deaths. Pilate was recalled to Rome to report on the issue to the Emperor Tiberius, who died enroute, and when Pilate arrived, Caligula was the new Emperor. It is reported that Pilate was dealt with very harshly and was exiled. In those days if a man was exiled, he faced disgrace and the loss of his wealth, leaving his family destitute. An alternative was to commit suicide, which allowed the family's reputation to be unaffected. This act was not interpreted as one of despair, but one of calculated courage by Pilate.
     There are two mountains in Europe named for Pilate and it is speculated that he fell to his death from one of them: Mt. Pilate in France, south of Lyon and Mt. Pilatas, southwest of Lucerne in Switzerland.
     Almost two decades ago Linda began her lay ministry by researching woman of the Bible and it has evolved to where today she performs dramatic presentations of the Bible in period costumes she has researched and sews herself. These are done at churches and women's groups. She considers her drama on Claudia to be her flagship performance. Her web site is at http;//
     This Holy Week we can recall no words more important than those reported in Matthew 27:54 (NIV): "When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, 'Surely he was the Son of God.'"
       Assuredly He was, we are convicted of that, and because of that belief, our lives have been changed forever!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Avalon Chronicles #56: "Careless Words"

Avalon Chronicles #56: "Careless Words"

by Allen B. Clark     

     "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words will be condemned." (Matthew 12: 36,37, NIV Zondervan). The footnote, "Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts. What kind of words come from your mouth?... You must allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with new attitudes and motives; then your speech will be cleansed at its source." (1674).
     This passage has been part of my daily prayer "ritual" for years. It has always typically only meant for me "bad" language. However, this day I read something written by a minister that opened up to  Linda and me an entirely new and profoundly deeper meaning. If you are a reader of my Chronicles, who lends no credence to spiritual warfare, demonic influence in your life, or the strength of your words as to their potential effect in power to be brought to fruition, then read no further.
     If you are still with me, then allow me to quote from a book titled The Biblical Guidebook to Deliverance  by Randy Clark, DMin, a minister we personally heard at a conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee several years ago. Clark, no relation, has ministered extensively in all parts of the world to tens of thousands. He wrote,
     "A curse is an evil appeal for harm to come to someone. Many of us are unaware that words of criticism or condemnation spoken to or about another can actually curse that person. When we speak against someone, we open a door for the demonic to exercise their legal right to attach to that person's life. Something said in anger or frustration can set in motion forces in the supernatural that have the potential to do great harm. Most people are unaware of this dynamic until they come under teaching that brings it to light. This is one category of curses." (80).
     Linda and I began to discuss and reflect on the implications of this throughout our past lives. We give great plausibility to this spiritual teaching. We began to consider all the times in our lives when we had spoken negatively of family members, children, friends, or just anyone with whom we had come in contact. It was quite sobering indeed to recognize the possible harm we had done to others much less the spiritual failure we had committed ourselves. If we belief scripture, and especially the words of Jesus, which are these in Matthew, and we do, it will indeed be a part of our future judgment. We do not know how we can undo ill effects of our past careless words, but we are cognizant from here forward of this truth. We requested forgiveness for those past words and requested God in the Name of Jesus to break any past or ongoing negative impacts in those lives.
     Not to make light of all this, but we did have a laugh when jointly we said, "This spiritual truth has ruined our day." But, it will not again. Now we know better!