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Joseph Caiaphas, known simply as Caiaphas
Caiaphas
(Hebrew: יוֹסֵף בַּר קַיָּפָא‬; Greek: Καϊάφας) in the New Testament, was the Jewish high priest who is said to have organized the plot to kill Jesus. Caiaphas
Caiaphas
is also said to have been involved in the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
trial of Jesus.[1] The primary sources for Caiaphas' life are the New Testament
New Testament
and the writings of Josephus. Outside of his interactions with Jesus, little else is known about his tenure as high priest.

Contents

1 Historical accounts

1.1 Josephus 1.2 Caiaphas
Caiaphas
and Miriam ossuaries

1.2.1 Caiaphas
Caiaphas
ossuaury 1.2.2 Miriam ossuary

1.3 New Testament

1.3.1 John: relations with Romans 1.3.2 Matthew: trial of Jesus 1.3.3 Political implications 1.3.4 Acts: Peter and John refuse to be silenced

1.4 Other historical sources

2 Etymology 3 Literature and arts

3.1 Literature 3.2 Arts 3.3 Film portrayals

4 References 5 Sources 6 External links

Historical accounts[edit] Josephus[edit] The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus
Josephus
is considered the most reliable extra-biblical literary source for Caiaphas.[2] His works contain information on the dates for Caiaphas' tenure of the high priesthood, along with reports on other high priests, and also help to establish a coherent description of the responsibilities of the high-priestly office. Josephus
Josephus
(Antiquitates Judaicae 18.33-35) relates that Caiaphas
Caiaphas
became a high priest during a turbulent period. He also states that the proconsul Vitellius deposed his father in law, Annas. (Antiquitates Judaicae 18.95-97).[3] Josephus' account is based on an older source in which incumbents of the high priesthood were listed chronologically.[4] According to Josephus, Caiaphas
Caiaphas
was appointed in AD 18 by the Roman prefect who preceded Pontius Pilate, Valerius Gratus.[1] Joseph was the son-in-law of Annas
Annas
(also called Ananus[5]) the son of Seth. Annas
Annas
was deposed, but had five sons who served as high priest after him. The terms of Annas, Caiaphas, and the five brothers are:

Ananus (or Annas) the son of Seth (6–15)

Eleazar
Eleazar
the son of Ananus (16–17) Caiaphas
Caiaphas
- properly called Joseph son of Caiaphas
Caiaphas
(18–36), who had married the daughter of Annas
Annas
(John 18:13) Jonathan the son of Ananus (36–37 and 44) Theophilus ben Ananus (37–41) Matthias ben Ananus (43) Ananus ben Ananus
Ananus ben Ananus
(63)

Caiaphas
Caiaphas
and Miriam ossuaries[edit] Caiaphas
Caiaphas
ossuaury[edit]

Kayafa's Ossuary
Ossuary
1

Main article: Caiaphas
Caiaphas
ossuary In November 1990, workers found an ornate limestone ossuary while paving a road in the Peace Forest south of the Abu Tor
Abu Tor
neighborhood of Jerusalem.[1][6] This ossuary appeared authentic and contained human remains. An Aramaic inscription on the side was thought to read "Joseph son of Caiaphas" and on the basis of this the bones of an elderly man were considered to belong to the High Priest Caiaphas.[1][7] Since the original discovery this identification has been challenged by some scholars on various grounds, including the spelling of the inscription, the lack of any mention of Caiaphas' status as High Priest, the plainness of the tomb (although the ossuary itself is as ornate as might be expected from someone of his rank and family), and other reasons.[7][8] Miriam ossuary[edit] Main article: Miriam ossuary In June 2011, archaeologists from Bar-Ilan University
Bar-Ilan University
and Tel Aviv University announced the recovery of a stolen ossuary, plundered from a tomb in the Valley of Elah. The Israel
Israel
Antiquities Authority declared it authentic, and expressed regret that it could not be studied in situ.[9] It is inscribed with the text: "Miriam, daughter of Yeshua, son of Caiaphas, Priest of Ma’aziah from Beth ‘Imri". Based on it, Caiaphas
Caiaphas
can be assigned to the priestly course of Ma’aziah, instituted by king David. New Testament[edit]

" Christ
Christ
before Caiaphas". The High Priest is depicted tearing his robe in grief at Jesus' perceived blasphemy (Giotto, Life of Christ, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua)

John: relations with Romans[edit] Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas
Caiaphas
(John 18:13), had been high-priest from A.D. 6 to 15, and continued to exercise a significant influence over Jewish affairs.[10] Annas
Annas
and Caiaphas
Caiaphas
may have sympathized with the Sadducees, a religious movement in Judaea that found most of its members among the wealthy Jewish elite. The comparatively long eighteen-year tenure of Caiaphas
Caiaphas
suggests he had a good working relationship with the Roman authorities.[11] In the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
11, the high priests call a gathering of the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
in reaction to the raising of Lazarus.[12] In the parable related in the Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
16:28-30 the likely reaction of the "five brothers" to the possibility of the return of the beggar Lazarus has given rise to the suggestion by Claude-Joseph Drioux and others that the "rich man" is itself an attack on Caiaphas, his father-in-law, and his five brothers-in-law.[13] Caiaphas
Caiaphas
considers, with "the Chief Priests and Pharisees", what to do about Jesus, whose influence was spreading. They worry that if they "let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation." In John 18, Jesus
Jesus
is brought before Annas, whose palace was closer.[14] Annas
Annas
questioned him regarding his disciples and teaching and sent him on to Caiaphas. Caiaphas
Caiaphas
makes a political calculation, suggesting that it would be better for "one man" (Jesus) to die than for "the whole nation" to be destroyed. In this Caiaphas
Caiaphas
is stating a rabbinic quotation (Gen. R. 94:9).[15] Afterward, Jesus
Jesus
is taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Pilate tells the priests to judge Jesus
Jesus
themselves, to which they respond they lack authority to do so. Pilate questions Jesus, after which he states, "I find no basis for a charge against him." Pilate then offers the gathered crowd the choice of one prisoner to release — said to be a Passover
Passover
tradition — and they choose a criminal named Barabbas
Barabbas
instead of Jesus. Matthew: trial of Jesus[edit] Main article: Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
trial of Jesus In the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
26:57-67, Caiaphas
Caiaphas
and others of the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
are depicted interrogating Jesus. They are looking for false evidence with which to frame Jesus, but are unable to find any. Jesus remains silent throughout the proceedings until Caiaphas
Caiaphas
demands that Jesus
Jesus
say whether he is the Christ. Jesus
Jesus
replies "I am: and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." 14:62 Caiaphas
Caiaphas
and the other men charge him with blasphemy and order him beaten. Political implications[edit] Caiaphas
Caiaphas
was the son-in-law of Annas
Annas
by marriage to his daughter and ruled longer than any high priest in New Testament
New Testament
times. For Jewish leaders of the time, there were serious concerns about Roman rule and an insurgent Zealot movement to eject the Romans from Israel. The Romans would not perform execution over violations of Halakha, and therefore the charge of blasphemy would not have mattered to Pilate. Caiaphas' legal position, therefore, was to establish that Jesus
Jesus
was guilty not only of blasphemy, but also of proclaiming himself the Messiah, which was understood as the return of the Davidic kingship. This would have been an act of sedition and prompted Roman execution.[citation needed] Acts: Peter and John refuse to be silenced[edit] Later, in Acts 4, Peter and John went before Annas
Annas
and Caiaphas
Caiaphas
after having healed a crippled man. Caiaphas
Caiaphas
and Annas
Annas
questioned the apostles' authority to perform such a miracle. When Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, answered that Jesus
Jesus
of Nazareth was the source of their power, Caiaphas
Caiaphas
and the other priests realized that the two men had no formal education yet spoke eloquently about the man they called their saviour. Caiaphas
Caiaphas
sent the apostles away, and agreed with the other priests that the word of the miracle had already been spread too much to attempt to refute, and instead the priests would need to warn the apostles not to spread the name of Jesus. However, when they gave Peter and John this command, the two refused, saying "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."[16] Other historical sources[edit]

Ossuary
Ossuary
of the high priest Caiaphas, found in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in 1990. Israel
Israel
Museum, Jerusalem

According to Helen Catharine Bond, there may be some references to Caiaphas
Caiaphas
in the rabbinic literature.[17] Etymology[edit] The Babylonian Talmud
Babylonian Talmud
( Yevamot 15B) gives the family name as Kuppai, while the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Talmud ( Yevamot 1:6) mentions Nekifi. The Mishnah, Parah 3:5, refers to him as hakKof "the Monkey", a play on his name for opposing Mishnat Ha-Hasidim.[18] The name Caiaphas
Caiaphas
has three possible origins:

"as comely" in Aramaic a "rock" or "rock that hollows itself out" (Kefa) in Aramaic a "dell", or a "depression" in Akkadian

Literature and arts[edit] Literature[edit] In Inferno, Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
places Caiaphas
Caiaphas
in the sixth realm of the eighth circle of Hell, where hypocrites are punished in the afterlife. His punishment is to be eternally crucified across the hypocrites' path, who eternally step on him. Caiaphas
Caiaphas
is mentioned throughout the works of William Blake
William Blake
as a byword for a traitor or Pharisee. Caiaphas
Caiaphas
and his ossuary are the subjects of Bob Hostetler's novel, The Bone Box (2008).[19] Caiaphas
Caiaphas
is mentioned in the 19th verse of The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde:

He does not stare upon the air Through a roof of little glass; He does not pray with lips of clay For his agony to pass, Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek The kiss of Caiaphas

Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Arts[edit] He is also shown as influencing Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilate
in passing the death sentence against Jesus
Jesus
in The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita
by Bulgakov.

Christ
Christ
Before Caiaphas, Antonio della Corna. Walters Art Museum.

Film portrayals[edit] Actors who have portrayed Caiaphas
Caiaphas
include Rudolph Schildkraut
Rudolph Schildkraut
in Cecil B. DeMille's film King of Kings 1927, Guy Rolfe
Guy Rolfe
in Nicholas Ray's film King of Kings (1961), Rodolfo Wilcock in Pier Paolo Pasolini's film The Gospel
Gospel
According to St. Matthew (1964), Martin Landau in George Stevens' film The Greatest Story Ever Told
The Greatest Story Ever Told
(1965), Bob Bingham
Bob Bingham
in Norman Jewison's film Jesus
Jesus
Christ
Christ
Superstar (1973), Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
in Franco Zeffirelli's television miniseries Jesus
Jesus
of Nazareth (1977), Mattia Sbragia
Mattia Sbragia
in Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ
Christ
(2004), Adrian Schiller in the TV miniseries The Bible (2013) and the film Son of God (2014), both by same production team, and Richard Coyle in NBC’s miniseries by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey A.D. The Bible Continues. References[edit]

^ a b c d Metzger & Coogan Oxford Companion to the Bible, 1993. p 97 ^ Bond, Caiaphas, pp. 18-19. ^ Bond, Caiaphas, p. 86. ^ Josephus' source is mentioned in Antiquitates Judaicae 20.224-51 and Against Apion 1.36; see Bond, Caiaphas, p. 163, n. 2. ^ Josephus, Ant., Book 18 Section 26 ^ "Tomb May Hold the Bones Of Priest Who Judged Jesus" ^ a b James H. Charlesworth, Jesus
Jesus
and archaeology, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2006. pp 323-329 ^ Bond, Helen Katharine (2004). Caiaphas: friend of Rome and judge of Jesus?. Westminster/John Knox Press. pp. 4–8. ISBN 978-0-664-22332-8.  ^ CNN Wire Staff (2011-06-30). "Israeli authorities: 2,000-year-old burial box is the real deal". CNN. Retrieved 2011-08-26.  ^ Reilly, Wendell. "Joseph Caiphas." The Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 31 March 2017 ^ Ledering, Jona. "Caiaphas", Livius, July 30, 2015 ^ Vanderkam, From Josephus
Josephus
to Caiphas, p. 426 ^ e.g. Johann Nepomuk Sepp; Claude-Joseph Drioux; Whittaker, H.A. Studies in the Gospels, Biblia Staffordshire 1984, 2nd Ed. 1989 p. 495 ^ Gottheil, Richard and Krauss, Samuel. "Caiaphas", Jewish Encyclopedia ^ "Caiaphas", Jewish Virtual Library ^ Acts 4:19–20 NIV ^ For a discussion of Tosefta
Tosefta
Yevamot 1.10 and other possible rabbinic references, see Bond, Caiaphas, p. 164, n. 3. ^ Falk, Harvey Jesus
Jesus
the Pharisee: a new look at the Jewishness of Jesus, 1985. p 137 ^ Hostetler, Bob (2008). The Bone Box. Howard Books. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Joseph Caiphas". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.  Sources[edit]

Metzger, Bruce M. (ed) (1993). Michael D. Coogan, ed. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504645-5. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Bond, Helen Catharine (2004). Caiaphas: Friend of Rome and Judge of Jesus?. Louisville: Westminster John Knox. ISBN 0-664-22332-X.  NETBible: Caiaphas

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caiaphas.

The Ossuary
Ossuary
of Joseph Caiaphas Images of the Ossuary
Ossuary
of Caiaphas

Jewish titles

Preceded by Simon ben Camithus High Priest of Israel 18—36 Succeeded by Jonathan ben Ananus

Preceded by Shammai Av Beit Din c. 20–36 Succeeded by Theophilus ben Ananus

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