What Happened to Pontius Pilate?
Scripture gives us no further information concerning Pilate, but Josephus, the Jewish historian records that Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea succeeded Gratus. According to Josephus (Ant, XVIII, iv, 2) Pilate held office in Judea for 10 years. Afterwards he was removed from office by Vitellius, the legate of Syria, and traveled in haste to Rome to defend himself before Tiberius against certain complaints. Before he reached Rome the Tiberius had died and Gaius (Caligula) was on the throne, AD 36. Josephus adds that Vitellius came in the year 36 AD to Judea to be present at Jerusalem at the time of the Passover. This would indicate that Pilate had already left for Rome.
Josephus (Ant, XVIII, iv, 1, 2) gives an account of what really happened to Pontius Pilate and his removal from office. A religious fanatic arose in Samaria who promised the Samaritans that if they would assemble on Mt. Gerizim, he would show them the sacred vessels which Moses had hidden there. A great multitude of people came to the "sacred mountain" of the Samaritans ready to ascend the mountain, but before they could they were attacked by Pilate's cavalry, and many of them were slaughtered. The Samaritans therefore sent an embassy to Vitellius, the legate of Syria, to accuse Pilate of murdering innocent people. Vitellius, who wanted to maintain friendship with the Jews, removed Pilate from office and appointed Marcellus in his place.
Pilate was ordered to go to Rome and answer the charges made against him before the emperor. Pilate set out for Rome, but, before he could reach it, Tiberius had died.
From this point onward history knows nothing more of Pilate.
Eusebius (4th cent AD) tells us (Historia Ecclesiastica, II), based on the writings of certain Greek historians, that Pilate soon afterward, "wearied with misfortunes," had killed himself. (Hist. Eccl. 2.7.1).
Various apocryphal writings have come down to us, written from the 3rd-5th centuries AD, giving legendary details about Pontius Pilate becoming a Christian, and his wife, traditionally named Claudia Procula, was a Jewish proselyte at the time of the death of Jesus and afterward became a Christian.
There are other traditions mentioned in the false Gospels (non-canonical Apocryphal Gospels) concerning Pontius Pilate.
Church tradition portrayed Pilate in very favorable terms. In the second
century Gospel of Peter, Jesus is condemned not by Pilate but by Herod
Antipas. Tertullian asserted that Pilate was a Christian at heart and
that he wrote a letter to Tiberius to explain what had happened at Jesus'
trial (Apology 21). The fourth or fifth century Gospel of Nicodemus (which
contains the Acts of Pilate), does not make Pilate a Christian, but depicts
him as more friendly towards Jesus than any of the canonical gospels.
Pilate was soon canonized by the Coptic and Ethiopic churches.