PAINTER2 5'2m0f The sign said "KING OF THE JEWS"

PILATE -- (enters wearing Roman tunic and sandals, shouts) Send
in the scribe.

SCRIBE -- (enters opposite wearing long tunic and sandals)
Say, listen, Governor Pilate, I hope this won't take long. I've
got a pretty busy schedule....

PILATE -- I'm told that you know languages.

SCRIBE -- Languages? Why, yes, I read and write five languages
and I can read and understand two other languages that most
scribes don't know...

PILATE -- You'll do.

SCRIBE -- I'll do?

PILATE -- Yes.

SCRIBE -- I'll do what?

PILATE -- You'll paint me a sign.

SCRIBE -- Do I look like a common sign painter to you?! I'm
not a sign painter. I'm a scribe. I'm one of the intellectual
elites among the Jews. Do you know what it takes to become a 

PILATE -- No. And I don't care.

SCRIBE -- Well, I'll tell you anyway. In order to be a scribe,
one must memorize all five books of Moses.

PILATE -- How quaint.

SCRIBE -- (counts fingers) That's Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Word for word. We scribes are
entrusted with the very words of God himself.

PILATE -- That's nice. Today, you'll paint a sign.

SCRIBE -- I will not!

PILATE -- Are you familiar with the "one mile law"?

SCRIBE -- You're not going to pull that on me, are you?

PILATE -- The "one mile law" was instituted by Caesar. It says
that all non-citizens of Rome -- that is just about everybody
within 300 miles of the Mediterranean Sea -- is required by law
to carry the equipment of any Roman soldier who demands it up to
one mile.

SCRIBE -- I know what it says.

PILATE -- That means that I can demand that you do just about
anything I ask you to do and you must do it without complaint.

SCRIBE -- Well, I'd love to help. But I don't think the
"one-mile-law" applies to the intellectual elite like me.

PILATE -- (shouts) Guards! Take this man out and flog him!

SCRIBE -- Alright, alright, I'll paint your silly sign. You
don't have to get huffy!

PILATE -- I thought you'd see it my way. (shouts) Nevermind,

SCRIBE -- So, what do you need a sign for?

PILATE -- Roman law requires that when we crucify a prisoner, we
have to post a sign in three different languages telling the
public what crimes he committed.

SCRIBE -- You're not going to crucify anyone TODAY, are you?

PILATE -- Yes. Why?

SCRIBE -- Well, everybody knows that tomorrow is a special

PILATE -- What do I care about your silly sabbaths?

SCRIBE -- Well, crucifixion takes three days to kill the
prisoner. You can't keep a Jew hanging for three days over the

PILATE -- Don't blame me! It was you Jews who demanded that
Jesus be put to death immediately!

SCRIBE -- Jesus? Jesus of Nazareth?

PILATE -- Yes.

SCRIBE -- This is the first time I've heard of this. Jesus was
not my favorite person. He insulted virtually every scribe in
Israel, but I wasn't even aware he had a trial.

PILATE -- They had the trials last night.

SCRIBE -- Last night?! It's against the law for Jews to hold a
trial at night. A man can't get a fair trial at night!

PILATE -- Tell that to the Sanhedrin. It was you're own people
who convicted him.

SCRIBE -- Well, I'm sure he had it coming. I suppose. Alright,
so, what do you want on the sign. What crimes was Jesus
convicted of?

PILATE -- The sign will read "KING OF THE JEWS".

SCRIBE -- That's it?! KING OF THE JEWS?! I thought you said the
sign has to list the crimes he was convicted of!

PILATE -- They didn't have any evidence against him. They just
wanted him dead.

SCRIBE -- Well, I wanted him dead too. But surely they could
find SOMETHING to convict him of!

PILATE -- No. They couldn't get any two witnesses to agree on
anything. And I flogged him 39 times with the cat of nine tails
but I couldn't get him to confess to anything. The man is

SCRIBE -- But you're going to kill him anyway?!

PILATE -- I couldn't talk them out of it! Your friends in the
Sanhedrin threatened to start a riot if I didn't crucify Jesus.
I had to choose between the lesser of two evils. (flicks
hand) So, go ahead and write the sign. I need the sign written
in three languages: Latin, Greek and Aramaic. "KING OF THE

SCRIBE -- Wait a minute. Can't the sign at least say that Jesus
CLAIMED to be the king of the Jews?!

PILATE -- (points finger at Scribe's nose) I'm not going to have
any trouble from you, am I?

SCRIBE -- (exiting) Alright. I'll write the sign exactly the 
way you want it. But I can tell you right now, the guys in the 
Sanhedrin are not going to like it.

PILATE -- (exiting) I know. That's what I'm counting on.

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