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the name of 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 (Hebrew: 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).