The passage from the Gospel of Luke 13 has a very curious beginning. We hear about an episode involving Pontius Pilate that is not recounted in any of the other Gospels. It says Pontius Pilate had mingled the blood of some Galileans with their sacrifices. (Luke 13:1-5).

Luke 13:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. ’”

Who were the galileans whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices?

There's some historical/tradition information? Any clue?

4 Answers 4


There is no Scripture which I can find which sheds any light on this. However, there are several commentaries which do give an explanation. However, we have no way of knowing where they found their information. I have quoted them here for your consideration:


Whose blood Pilate had mingled ... — That is, while they were sacrificing at Jerusalem, Pilate came suddenly upon them and killed them, and “their” blood was mingled with the blood of the animals that they were slaying for sacrifice.


Whose blood Pilate had mingled — This piece of history is not recorded (as far as I can find) by Josephus: however, he states that the Galileans were the most seditious people in the land: they belonged properly to Herod’s jurisdiction; but, as they kept the great feasts at Jerusalem, they probably, by their tumultuous behavior at some one of them, gave Pilate, who was a mortal enemy to Herod, a pretext to fall upon and slay many of them; and thus, perhaps, sacrifice the people to the resentment he had against the prince. Archelaus is represented by Josephus as sending his soldiers into the temple, and slaying 3000 men while they were employed in offering sacrifices.


The Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices: We don’t have a record in secular history about the specific incident mentioned here. But there is a similar incident before the ministry of Jesus, Pilate wanted to build an aqueduct from the Pools of Solomon to the city of Jerusalem. To pay for it, he demanded money from the temple treasury, money that had been dedicated to God — and this outraged the people. When the Jews sent a delegation to beg for their money back, Pilate sent into the crowd soldiers dressed as common people, and at a certain signal they took out daggers and attacked the people asking for the money.

This doesn’t seem to be the same incident mentioned here, but it shows how completely consistent it was with the character of Pilate to slaughter some Galilean Jews on their way to sacrifice to the Lord in Jerusalem.



BUT the nation of the Samaritans did not escape without tumults. The man who excited them to it was one who thought lying a thing of little consequence, and who contrived every thing so that the multitude might be pleased; so he bid them to get together upon Mount Gerizzim, which is by them looked upon as the most holy of all mountains, and assured them, that when they were come thither, he would show them those sacred vessels which were laid under that place, because Moses put them there. So they came thither armed, and thought the discourse of the man probable; and as they abode at a certain village, which was called Tirathaba, they got the rest together to them, and desired to go up the mountain in a great multitude together; but Pilate prevented their going up, by seizing upon file roads with a great band of horsemen and foot-men, who fell upon those that were gotten together in the village; and when it came to an action, some of them they slew, and others of them they put to flight, and took a great many alive, the principal of which, and also the most potent of those that fled away, Pilate ordered to be slain.

  • 2
    Welcome to Christianity.SE! When you have a moment, please take our tour and visit our help center to learn more about us. It's appropriate on this site to include a short quote from the book to help our participants who don't have a copy of Josephus. A simple reference by itself usually triggers "low quality post" flags because, in and of themselves, they don't actually answer the question. Thanks!
    – JBH
    Jul 11, 2018 at 19:34
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    Thank you for offering a source for more information. Unfortunately, in its present form the answer is insufficient. A source where the online text can be found would be helpful; even more helpful would be a short quote and your explanation how Josephus' words might refer directly to such slaughter by Pilate.
    – Bit Chaser
    Jul 11, 2018 at 20:03
  • @disciple The source of the online text is provided as a link in the title of the work in his answer. The quote is fairly short, and Josephus' words are literally exactly about a slaughter by Pilate. Perhaps you simply mean an explanation is desired on how Josephus' slaughter by Pilate and Luke's slaughter by Pilate are connected - in which case, I agree.
    – emeth
    Jul 12, 2018 at 14:48

This is one of the most curious details in the life and ministry of Christ Jesus: ‘mingled the Galilean blood....’ This incident could have something to do with a tale I heard or read about that could explain why Pilate gave up Jesus so easily to Phar/Sad demands to crucify Jesus. The narrative goes like this: Pilate was involved in an assasination attempt to over throw the Caesar. The Pharisees and Saducees knew all the details and Pontus Pilate’s complicity - The Caesar was Pilate’s father- in- law - if that’s true, he could’ve moved up the food chain from governor to ruler of the Roman Empire- but obviously the Almighty had a different plan for Pilate- Pilate killed himself a few years later ... or maybe months later

  • 1
    If you could offer the source of this narrative, that would make this answer supported. Sourced and supported answers are a requirement here. If you'll take the tour you can see how this site is different from a forum. Looking forward to your edit and adding the sourCe. Welcome! Mar 7, 2019 at 22:18
  • Although I'm sure you heard this somewhere, it sounds historically improbable, so without a source that can be evaluated, it has the appearance of being false.
    – Bit Chaser
    Aug 16, 2019 at 20:31

Pontius Pilate's wife

".....According to later Western Christian legend, influenced by her name in Pseudo-Dexter, Claudia Procula was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty,[11] the illegitimate daughter of Caesar Augustus's daughter Julia the Elder. Julia had been married to Tiberius, but he divorced and exiled her due to her immoderate lifestyle. While in exile, Julia gave birth to Claudia Procula, who was legitimized by Tiberius after Julia's death.[19]...."


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