NEWS FEATURE: Another Look at Pontius Pilate

c. 2000 Religion News Service (UNDATED) In the story of Jesus, Pontius Pilate is little more than a footnote, his 15 minutes of fame stemming from a cameo appearance in the Easter drama when he sentences the son of God to die on the cross _ a decision that forms the crux of Christian belief that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of humanity. His role in Jesus’ death is nearly all that can be certain about this Roman governor of Judea. Still, Pilate’s image has been endlessly re-fashioned in the centuries since that fateful encounter with Jesus. From the penitent Christian convert of medieval legend to the saint of the African Coptic tradition to the biblical boogeyman of the 20th century, his image has constantly shifted.