New Evidence Suggests Pontius Pilate Built a Road for Jewish Pilgrims

Oct. 24 2019

Built in Jerusalem’s City of David during the Second Temple period, the so-called “Pilgrimage Road” led from the Siloam pool to the Temple Mount. In a recent study of the coins found beneath the road, archaeologists have dated it to the tenure of Pontius Pilate—who, according to the New Testament, presided over the trial of Jesus—as the Roman governor of Judea, from roughly 26 to 37 CE. JNS reports:

According to Donald Ariel, an archaeologist and coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Dating coins is very exact. As some coins have the year in which they were minted on them, what that means is that if a coin with a date on it is found beneath the street, the street had to be built in the same year or [in the year] after that coin had been minted.” . . .

He suggested the possibility that Pilate had the street built to reduce tensions between the Romans and the Jewish population. Although “we can’t know for sure,” he said, “these reasons do find support in the historical documents.”

Although the excavation of the road began more than a century ago following its discovery in 1894 by British archaeologists, in the past six years Israeli archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University uncovered 350 meters of the road as well as artifacts such as coins, cooking pots, complete stone and clay tools, rare glass items, a dais used for public announcements, and parts of arrows and catapults.

Read more at JNS

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem, New Testament, Second Temple

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy