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5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem,
5. It is a thing worthy to be noted in this place, that the wicked do omit no subtilty that they may blot out the gospel and the name of Christ, and yet do they not obtain that which they hoped for; because God doth make their counsels frustrate. For they make an assembly, wherein they do all things so tyrannously, that yet, notwithstanding, lust beareth a show of right, and liberty is driven far away, and at length the truth may seem to be condemned by good right. But the Lord bringeth upon them a sudden fear, so that they dare not do that which they can, and which they do most of all desire. Whatsoever the apostles shall bring in defense of their cause, that shall remain buried and shut up with the walls, where there is none which doth bear them any favor. And therefore there is no place left for the truth. Yet we see how the Lord bringeth their counsel to nought, whilst that being kept back with fear of the people, they stay themselves and bridle their fury, to the end they may avoid envy. But I marvel much why Luke doth make Annas the highest priest in this place, seeing that it appeareth by Josephus, that this honor was not taken from Caiaphas until Vitellius had entered Jerusalem to bear rule, after that Pilate was commanded to depart unto Rome. All men grant that the Lord was crucified in the eighteenth year of Tiberius. And that empire [the reign of Tiberius] did continue four years longer. And it must needs be, that there were three years complete, after the death of Christ, before Pilate was put from the office of the pro-consul. For when Tiberius was dead he came to Rome; so that Caiaphas was high priest yet three years after the death of Christ. Wherefore it is to be thought, that that whereof Luke speaketh in this place did not happen immediately after the resurrection of Christ; although the doubt cannot thus be answered. 204204 “Quanquam nec sic quidem soluta erit tota difficultas,” although not even in this way will the whole difficulty be solved. For Josephus reporteth, that Jonathas was chosen into the place of Caiaphas; but because this Jonathas was the son of Annas, it is a thing not unlike to be true, that the son was called by the name of the father; as Caiaphas also had two names; for they did also call him Joseph.