Joseph Caiaphas was the High Priest of Israel 18-36 AD. Caiaphas gained his elevation by bribery amd was only nominally and ostensibly high priest. He was high priest by virtue of his marriage to the daughter of a high priest. Caiaphas became high priest and worked hand in hand with his father-in-law Annas who had already held the position and Rome had deposed fifteen years earlier. Sources place Caiaphas as the civil high priest for 11 years from 25 when Valerius Gratus appointed him to it, the procurator who had deposed his father-in-law, until 36, when the Roman proconsul Vitellius turned him out.

By succeeding Annas, Caiaphas brings out clearly the monopoly of the high priest exercised by the influential families. He was the high priest when Jesus was condemned, although on that occasion Annas wielded the actual authority. He was a Sadducee, and a bitter enemy of Christ. At his palace the priests, etc., met after the resurrection of Lazarus, to plot the death of the Savior, lest all the people should believe on him. After Jesus was arrested, he was taken before Annas, who went him to his son-in-law, Caiaphas, probably living in the same house.

As high priest, Caiaphas would have that gift of prophecy which was still believed to linger faintly in the persons of the descendants of Aaron. Caiaphas like his father-in-law was a Sadducee, equally astute and unscrupulous with Annas, but endowed with less force of character and will. Five of Annas' sons as well as this son-in-law made high priest. With Sadducees and Pharisees gathered in council to think out best what to be done to save the Temple and the nation, Caiaphas said, "You 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 says that he was prophesying that Jesus was to die for the Jews, an inspired prediction of the salvation of a lost world.

What became of Caiaphas after his deposition is not known.
[309, 318, 324, BD, 383]

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