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12. MISTAKES AS TO THE CONDITION OF THINGS IN PALESTINE.

One who writes under an assumed name often betrays himself by having false ideas of the places or institutions of the country in which he claims to be living. As far as places are concerned, it cannot be shown with success that Jn. does this. But, as regards institutions, he has been led to make as great a mistake as it is possible to imagine. By telling us twice (xi. 49, 51, and xviii. 13) that Caiaphas was “high priest that year” he assumes that the office changed hands every year. As a matter of fact, the high priest held the office for life, and, although it happened not infrequently that one was deposed, there was never any question of a yearly vacation of office. This of course is a fact which would have been as well known to a contemporary of Jesus in Palestine, as the fact that the office of Emperor is 189hereditary is to a German of to-day. In face of a mistake on such a matter, how can we attach importance to the knowledge of places in the country, which could easily be acquired even one hundred years after the events with which they are associated?

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