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Of course, this was nonsense. As the supreme magistrate of Judaea, Pilate carried the full responsibility. But it is not implausible that the governor used the occasion to obtain pledges of loyalty from his subjects. John's statement that the Jews even declared to have 'no king but Caesar' may indeed be a historical fact. Pilate may have regretted that he had to crucify a man who was fairly innocent, but he may have considered this human sacrifice an acceptable price to be paid for the smooth cooperation with the Temple authorities.