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caiaphas Summary and Overview

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caiaphas in Easton's Bible Dictionary

the Jewish high priest (A.D. 27-36) at the beginning of our Lord's public ministry, in the reign of Tiberius (Luke 3:2), and also at the time of his condemnation and crucifixion (Matt. 26:3,57; John 11:49; 18:13, 14). He held this office during the whole of Pilate's administration. His wife was the daughter of Annas, who had formerly been high priest, and was probably the vicar or deputy (Heb. sagan) of Caiaphas. He was of the sect of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), and was a member of the council when he gave his opinion that Jesus should be put to death "for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50). In these words he unconsciously uttered a prophecy. "Like Saul, he was a prophet in spite of himself." Caiaphas had no power to inflict the punishment of death, and therefore Jesus was sent to Pilate, the Roman governor, that he might duly pronounce the sentence against him (Matt. 27:2; John 18:28). At a later period his hostility to the gospel is still manifest (Acts 4:6). (See ANNAS T0000246.)

caiaphas in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(depression), in full JOSEPH CAIAPHAS, high priest of the Jews under Tiberius. #Mt 26:3,57; Joh 11:49; 18:13,14,24,28; Ac 4:6| The procurator Valerius Gratus appointed him to the dignity, He was son-in-law of Annas. [ANNAS]

caiaphas in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

CA'IAPHAS (depression) was the high priest of the Jews, a.d. 27-36, and therefore at the time of our Saviour's trial. John 11:49, Jer 25:51. The office was formerly held for life, but at this time it was filled and vacated at the pleasure of the Roman government. The raising of Lazarus roused the Sanhedrin to action, and Caiaphas turned their thoughts toward the execution of the hated and feared Prophet by deliberately advising his death on the score of expediency. His language was unconsciously prophetic. John 11:49-52. After Christ's arrest he was arraigned before Caiaphas. A vain effort having been made to secure false testimony sufficient for his condemnation, Caiaphas at last adjured him to declare whether he was indeed the Christ, the Son of God. On Jesus's answering affirmatively, Caiaphas pretended to be so shocked at his supposed blasphemy that he declared all further witness was unnecessary to convict him, and the council unanimously condemned him to death. Matt 26:65-68. As Caiaphas had no power to inflict the punishment of death, Christ was taken from him to Pilate, the Roman governor, John 18:28, that his execution might be duly ordered. See Annas. Before Caiaphas, Peter and John were brought for trial. Acts 4:6.

caiaphas in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Joseph Caiaphas. Appointed high priest (after Simon ben Camith) by the procurator Valerius Gratus, under Tiberius. He continued in office from A.D. 26 to 37, when the proconsul Vitellius deposed him. The president of the Jewish council (Sanhedrim) which condemned the Lord Jesus, Caiaphas declaring Him guilty of blasphemy. (See ANNAS , his father-in-law, and father of five High priests, besides having been High priest himself, wielded a power equal to that of Caiaphas, whose deputy (sagan) he probably was. Hence he and Caiaphas are named as high priests together (Luke 3:2); and the band led away the Lord to him first, then to Caiaphas (John 18:13-24). Annas is called the high priest Acts 4:6, perhaps because he presided over the council (Sanhedrin). The priesthood at the time no longer comprehended the end of their own calling. Providence therefore, while employing him as the last of the sacerdotal order (for it ceased before God at the death of Messiah, the true and everlasting Priest, whose typical forerunner it was) to prophesy Christ's death for the people, left him to judicial blindness as to the deep significance of his words: "Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50-52). A proof that the Holy Spirit, not merely man's spirit, is the inspirer of the sacred writers (1 Peter 1:10-12). Balaam similarly was a bad man, yet uttered under the Spirit true and holy prophecies. Unscrupulous vigor, combined with political. shrewdness, characterizes him in the New Testament, as it also kept him in office longer than any of his predecessors. See Matthew 26:3; Matthew 26:57-65.