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Statue of Annas in Bom Jesus, Braga

Annas [also Ananus[1] or Ananias[2]], son of Seth (23/22 BC–66 AD), was appointed by the Roman legate Quirinius as the first High Priest of the newly formed Roman province of Iudaea in 6 AD; just after the Romans had deposed Archelaus, Ethnarch of Judaea, thereby putting Judaea directly under Roman rule.

Annas officially served as High Priest for ten years (6–15 AD), when at the age of 36 he was deposed by the procurator Gratus 'for imposing and executing capital sentences which had been forbidden by the imperial government.'[3]. Yet while having been officially removed from office, he remained as one of the nations most influential political & social individuals, aided greatly by the use of his five sons and his son-in-law as puppet High Priests[4] till his assassination in 66 AD for advocating peace with Rome.[2]

Annas appears in the Gospels and Passion plays as a high priest before whom Jesus is brought for judgment, prior to being brought before Pontius Pilate.

Contents

The Sacerdotal Family

  • Annas ben Seth (6–15)
  • Eleazar ben Ananus (16–17)

References in the Mosaic Law to "the death of the high priest" (Num 35:25, 28) suggest that the high-priesthood was ordinarily held for life. Perhaps for this reason, Annas was still called "high priest" even after his dismissal, along with Caiaphas (Luke 3:2). He also may have been acting as president of the Sanhedrin, or a coadjutor of the high priest.

In the New Testament

Luke 3:2 indicates a joint high priesthood "of Annas and Caiaphas" when the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

Although Annas is not mentioned by name in the plot to kill Lazarus, there may be a concealed message in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus pointing at Annas and his sons. If it is considered that rich man dressed in purple and fine linen (cf. Exodus 28:8) represents Caiaphas, as figurehead of the Sadducees, then Annas is intended by the "father" in Luke 16:27, and the "five brothers" Luke 16:28 are Annas' five sons. In support of this is the coincidence that the father and five brothers who will not be convinced even if the parable Lazarus is raised from the dead (Luke 16:31) predict the actuality that Caiaphas, Annas, and the five sons of Annas did not in fact believe and plotted to have the real Lazarus killed when he was raised(John 12:10)

According to the Gospel of John (the event is not mentioned in other accounts), Jesus was first brought before Ananus, and after a brief questioning of him (John 18:19-23) was sent to Caiaphas, where some members of the Sanhedrin had met, and the first trial of Jesus took place (Matt. 26:57-68).

After Pentecost, he presided over the Sanhedrin before which the Apostles Peter and John were brought (Acts 4:6).

Pop Culture References

Annas has an important role in Jesus Christ Superstar, spurring Caiaphas to take action against Jesus. In almost all versions, Annas has a very high voice (almost reaching falsetto) to contrast against Caiaphas' bass.

This article incorporates text from Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897), a publication now in the public domain.

References

  1. ^ Josephus, The Complete Works, Thomas Nelson Publishers (Nashville, Tennessee, USA), 20.9.1 (1998)
  2. ^ a b Goodman, Martin, "Rome & Jerusalem", Penguin Books, p.12 (2007)
  3. ^ Bunch, Taylor G., Behold the Man, Pacific Press Publishing Association (Mountain View, California, USA), p.59 (1940)
  4. ^ "It is said that the elder Ananus was extremely fortunate. For he had five sons, all of whom, after he himself had previously enjoyed the office for a very long period, became high priests of God - a thing that had never happened to any other of our high priests." (Josephus, Jewish Antiquities XX, 9.1)

External links

Preceded by
Joazar ben Boethus
High Priest of Israel
ca.615
Succeeded by
Ishmael ben Fabus
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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Was high priest A.D. 7-14. In A.D. 25 Caiaphas, who had married the daughter of Annas (Jn 18:13), was raised to that office, and probably Annas was now made president of the Sanhedrim, or deputy or coadjutor of the high priest, and thus was also called high priest along with Caiaphas (Lk 3:2). By the Mosaic law the high-priesthood was held for life (Num 3:10); and although Annas had been deposed by the Roman procurator, the Jews may still have regarded him as legally the high priest. Jesus was first brought before Annas, and after a brief questioning of him (Jn 18:19ff) was sent to Caiaphas, when some members of the Sanhedrim had met, and the first trial of Jesus took place (Mt 26:57ff). This examination of Jesus before Annas is recorded only by John. Annas was president of the Sanhedrim before which Peter and John were brought (Acts 4:6).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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(According to Blass and Wescott-Hort, Annas; Josephus, Ananos). Name (cf. Heb. Hãnãn, Syr. Hanãn) of same derivation as Hannah (see ANNA).


Annas, son of Seth, succeeded (A. D. 6 or 7) Joazar in the high-priesthood by appointment of Quirinius who had come to Judea to attend to the incorporation of Archelaus's territory into the Roman province of Syria (Josephus, Ant., XVIII, ii, 1). After his deposition (A. D. 15) by V. Gratus, the high-priests followed upon one another in rapid succession: Ismael, Eleazar (son of Annas; perhaps the Alexander of Acts, iv, 6, Alexander being the Græcized name of Eleazar), Simon, until we come to Joseph, called Caiaphas, who knew how to retain the favour of the Roman authorities from A. D. 18 to 36 (Josephus, Ant., XVIII, ii, 2). But his deposition did not deprive Annas of his influence which must have remained considerable, to judge by the fact that beside Eleazar, his son, and Joseph Caiaphas, his son-in-law (John, xviii, 13), four other sons, viz., Jonathan (perhaps the John of Acts, iv, 6, where D reads ionathas), Theophilus, Matthias, Annas (Ananos) II, obtained the dignity of high-priests (Jos., Ant., XVIII, iv, 3; v, 3; XIX, vi, 4; XX, ix, I). The New Testament references to Annas convey the same impression. His name appears with that of Joseph Caiaphas, who was the actual high-priest during the ministry of the Saviour (Matt., xxvi, 3, 57; John, xi, 49, 51) in the elaborate synchronisms wherewith St. Luke introduces the public ministry of Our Lord (Luke, iii, 2). The commanding position of the former high-priest is attested also by the prominent place awarded to him in Acts, iv, 6; here Annas is introduced as "the High-Priest", whilst Joseph Caiaphas's name simply follows with those of the other members of the high-priestly race. Those formulæ, which might leave on the reader the impression that the author considered Annas and Caiaphas as discharging the functions of the high-priesthood simultaneously (Luke, iii, 2), or even that Annas alone was the actual high-priest (Acts, iv, 6), have given rise to many hypotheses &#151 more or less plausible. They are to be considered as not strictly accurate, but they are a testimony to the ascendency of Annas. But Annas is more than a mere chronological landmark in the life of the Saviour; according to our common text of John, xviii, 13-27, Annas would have played a part at a decisive point of the life of Jesus. After His arrest, the Lord is brought directly to Annas, in whose palace a kind of unofficial, preliminary interrogatory takes place, an episode entirely omitted by the Synoptists. It must be said, however, that the common text seems to be here in a disturbed condition, as Maldonatus had already remarked (I, 427-428). If the order of Syr. Sin. (XVIII, 13, 24, 14-15, 19-23, 16-18, 25-27) be adopted, the succession of the facts gains in clearness and consistency, though the Annas episode becomes altogether secondary in the narrative. The "house of Annas", wealthy and unscrupulous, is pronounced accursed in the Talmud, together with "the corrupt leaders of the priesthood", whose presence defiled the sanctuary (Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah I, 263 f.).

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.
This article needs to be merged with ANNAS (Jewish Encyclopedia).

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