Abstract

This article aims to understand and explicate how Pilate’s dialogues with the Jewish authorities or Jesus function to portray the governor in the Roman trial narrative in John 18:28–19:16a. The treatment of the participants’ conversations will be conducted on the basis of Michael A. K. Halliday’s model of systemic functional linguistics and particularly the register theory in this model. The most relevant notion of this theory for this study is “tenor,” which is the contextual variable regarding the participants’ role relationships and power differences. This article will also adapt Suzzane Eggins’s and Diana Slade’s integrated method of analyzing the conversation by utilizing both the synoptic and the dynamic approaches. The main thesis of this article is that the characterization of the Johannine Pilate arises through the use of language in dialogue.

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