While excavating the theater in 1961, archaeologists discovered this stone, which was being used as a step in a small stairway. When they had uncovered it, they found that it was in secondary use.Originally, it had been the dedication stone for a temple that had stood nearby. The first line of writing on the stone ends with the name of the temple:Tiberieum, named after the emperor Tiberius. Line two gives the name of the one who dedicated the temple: Pontius Pilatus-Pontias Pilate. The third line gives his title: prefect of Judea. The fourth line is unreadable but probably indicated that he dedicated the temple.

Since Pilate was in office from approximately AD 26-36, and Jesus was crucified by Pilate around AD 30, the stone was placed around the time of, if not during, the ministry of Jesus. In this temple, people offered their allegiance to the “divine” Tiberius. Ironically, Pilate met the real King of the universe, but did not realize it.

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