« Anna Comnena Annas Annats »

Annas

ANNAS (called Ananos by Josephus): Jewish high priest, son of Seth. He was appointed high priest in 7 A.D. by Quirinius, governor of Syria, and retained his office under three successive governors, till he was deposed in the year 14 by Valerius Gratus. His second successor in the high-priesthood was his son Eleazar; the fourth, his son-in-law (John xviii. 13) Joseph, called Caiaphas (Matt. xxvi. 3 sqq.), who held the office from 18 to 36 A.D. Four other sons of Annas officiated as high priests; and as he was called happy for this reason, it may be inferred that he lived to see the installation of most of them. He was dead at the time of the siege of Jerusalem, and his tomb was then shown. According to the New Testament, Annas acted as high priest after his deposition; he occupied an influential position, and presided at the trial of Jesus. These statements are not to be rejected as unhistorical, since high priests who were no longer active retained not only their official title but also many of the prerogatives of office. That Annas was held in high repute beside the acting Caiaphas can be explained from the length of his life and from his family relations. The form of expression in Luke iii. 2 and Acts iv. 6, where Annas appears as an acting high priest, is somewhat incorrect. Like most members of the aristocratic high-priestly line, he was a Sadducee (Acts iv. 1, 6, v. 17) and Josephus calls his son Annas the Younger, a rigid Sadducee. [Josephus (with John xviii. 13) seems to show that Annas was the most influential man in Jerusalem for a generation.]

F. Sieffert.

Bibliography: Josephus, Ant., XVIII. ii. 1-2, iv. 3, XX. ix. 1; Schürer, Geschichte, ii. 217, 221, Eng. transl. II. i. 182-183, 198, 202-204; DB, i. 99-100; EB, i. 171-172; JE, i. 610-611.

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