Judaea in approximately AD30 is presided over by the Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate. Pilate is a ruthless man who enjoys the intricate and violent power games required to keep control over the rebellious Jews. Others are eager to claim the title 'King of the Jews' and so Pilate uses a Jewish spy, Judas Iscariot, to infiltrate his real and imagined enemies But now Judas has seemingly commited suicide. Pilate is unconvinced and summons to Jerusalem the centurion Cornelius to investigate. To ensure the Procurator's involvement remains secret, the investigation is carried out under cover of retrieving a missing slave girl, Ruth, who had been in Judas' possession. As Cornelius uncovers Judas' intricate involvement with the political and religious leaders of the region, he meets the beautiful Jewess, Mary, and her charismatic teacher, Jesus of Nazareth.