In Dostoevsky's notebooks for The Brothers Karamazov we find the following allusion to John's account (John 18:33-38) of the encounter between Christ and Pilate: "The clever Pilate . . . had reflected on truth. . . . What is the Truth? It stood before him, Truth himself." 1 The trial of Christ before Pilate signified in dramatic fashion for Dostoevsky the collision between two radically opposed ideas of the meaning and purpose of human existence—indeed, "the two most completely opposed ideas that could exist on earth." 2 The idea of the man-god (Pilate as image of Caesar) confronted the God-man. "The Grand Inquisitor" hearkens back to this ancient confrontation and at the same time anticipates that it will define also the future krisis (Greek, meaning "decision") of modernity. The entire prophetic point of Dostoevsky's art is given its encapsulating dramatic expression in the encounter between the Inquisitor and his silent prisoner.