If you’ve celebrated Easter as a Christian, you’re familiar with the story as it is presented in the canonical gospels.
But you also probably have questions. What was the trial really like? Who were the other two dudes crucified next to Jesus? What was with Joseph of Arimathea and why did he want Jesus’ body? What was Hades like? How did the “harrowing of hell” happen? Was the repentant criminal on the cross actually saved?
Early Christians had these questions too. So they wrote about them. This is not canonical, this is not authoritative, but if you want to see some of the ways the early church filled these gaps, then you want to read the Acts of Pilate and the Descent of Christ to Hades.
Fortunately, I created a Greek reader for the Greek text of these writings a few years back. I also included a modernized version of an older translation.
If you’re not familiar with these stories, then take some time this Easter to read them. For those who don’t read Greek, I’m posting translations here today.
I recommend reading the first portion of the Acts of Pilate on Good Friday as it is focused on the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
I recommend reading the second portion of the Acts of Pilate, known also as the Descent of Christ to Hades, on Saturday as it focuses on what happens between the death and resurrection of Jesus and also the post-resurrection period.