A surname, the original name being Joseph (Josephus Ant. 18.2.2); but, the surname becoming his ordinary and official designation, it was used for the name itself. Caiaphas was the high priest of the Jews in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, at the beginning of the Lord's public ministry (Lk 3:2) and also at the time of His crucifixion (Mt. 26:3,57; etc.).

He was appointed to this office through the curator Valerius Gratus and held it during the whole procuratorship of Pontius Pilate, but was deposed by the proconsul Vitellus, (38 AD).

Caiaphas was the son-in-law of Annas. His wife was the daughter of Annas, who had formerly been high priest and who still possessed great influence and control.

After Christ was arrested He was taken before Annas, who sent Him to Caiaphas, probably living in the same house. They determined that Jesus deserved to die, but, as Caiaphas had no power to inflict the punishment of death, Christ was taken to Pilate, the Roman governor, that His execution might be duly ordered (Mt. 26:3,57; Jn 18:13,28).

Edersheim (Life and Times of Jesus): "The conjunction of the two names of Annas and Caiaphas probably indicates that, although Annas was deprived of the pontificate, he still continued to preside over the Sanhedrin"

What became of Caiaphas is not known.