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Annas In The Bible

Annas, a prominent figure in the New Testament, played a significant role in the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. As a high priest in Jerusalem during a pivotal moment in history, his actions and interactions hold great importance. In this blog post, we will explore the role of Annas in the Bible, his influence, and his involvement in the trial of Jesus.

Churchgists is always committed to offering you all the details you need on Annas in the Bible: The High Priest of Intrigue and the Trial of Jesus, I trust that when you done with this article you will be well grounded on this subject matter.

Annas in the Bible: The High Priest of Intrigue and the Trial of Jesus

Part 123: High Priest. When we think of the High Priest of the temple in Jerusalem, we think of someone who was from the Levites and was chosen by God to serve in the position of High Priest, fulfilling the duties of ordering the worship life of the Temple and leading the kingdom of Israel in an ongoing and faithful relationship with God. We think of someone divinely chosen and independent of politics.

Unfortunately, this is a mistake. First, the High Priest WAS a political position as much as it was a religious one. The ancient world did not make any sort of distinction between the political and the religious spheres. That distinction is, strictly speaking, a modern one. This is extremely important to realize. The high priest was not just in charge of religion, but also of law. The TORAH was not just religious law, but the LAW of the land.

Second, the High Priest in the time of the Roman occupation became more of a political role than it was religious. This may sound scandalous and, if you are thinking that, you are absolutely right. It was scandalous. By Jesus’ time, some groups such as the Essenes had left Jerusalem and went out into the wilderness to live. They believed that the corruption of the office of the High Priest, and the ultimate corruption of the Temple, were signs of the end times. Thus, they waited in the wilderness for the Messiah to come, ready to join the holy war when that time came.

The first high priest to be appointed under the newly formed Roman province of Iudaea (aka Judea, pronounced Yoo-dee-ah), was Annas in 6 CE. What’s more, Annas was appointed to that position by Quirinius, the Roman legate governor of Syria. You read that right! A Roman aristocrat and politician appointed Annas as the High Priest of Judea. I am sure you can now see why groups like the Essenes “got out of Dodge” and headed for the wilderness hills.

Annas’ was deposed as High Priest in 15 CE at the age of 36. With that said he held great influence of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Legal Council made up of priests) through his sons who succeeded him in the role of High Priest. First, his son Eleazar succeeded him and was High Priest for one year (16-17 CE). Following Eleazar was Annas’s son-in-law, Caiaphas. He was High Priest from 18-36 CE and was the High Priest who plotted to have Jesus handed over to the Romans to be crucified.

As you can see, there were major politics at play here in the first century. We Christians like to pretend that everything Jesus did was “spiritual” and not “political”; however, this simply was not true. By accusing the High Priest of hypocrisy and corruption, by violently overturning the tables in the Temple, Jesus was intentionally upsetting the political and the religious order simultaneously!

This should challenge us as Christians. We often choose to remain silent on issues because we don’t want to be “political”; however, our silence is just as political as speaking out. In fact, when we don’t speak out we stamp our seal of approval on whatever it is that is going on. We ought not be afraid of upsetting the political or the religious order. If what is going on is wrong, we ought to take a stand against it. Our Lord did no less. We ought to carefully steer away from the status quo, which the High Priests were holding fast to for their political gain and power, and draw close to Jesus who would have us interrupt the silence for the Kingdom of God.

Annas in the Bible: The High Priest:

Annas served as a high priest in Jerusalem during the early 1st century CE, and his influence extended far beyond his official tenure. His name is closely associated with the trial of Jesus, a pivotal event in Christian theology.

The Role of Annas:

  1. High Priestly Family: Annas came from a prestigious high priestly family, and he held the high priesthood position from 6 CE to 15 CE. Even after his official term, he continued to exert significant influence in the religious and political affairs of Jerusalem.
  2. The Trial of Jesus: Annas played a key role in the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion. After Jesus’ arrest, He was first brought to Annas before facing trial before the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate. Annas questioned Jesus about His disciples and teachings, contributing to the chain of events that led to the crucifixion.
  3. Influence and Connections: Annas had strong connections and influence in the religious and political circles of Jerusalem. His involvement in the trial of Jesus suggests that his motivations went beyond religious concerns, touching on political and social dynamics of the time.

Lessons from Annas’s Role:

  1. The Intersection of Religion and Politics: Annas’s involvement in the trial of Jesus highlights the complex relationship between religious and political authority. It serves as a reminder of how faith and power can intersect in significant ways.
  2. Influence Beyond Official Roles: Annas’s enduring influence, even after his official tenure as high priest, underscores the impact of individuals who hold positions of power and authority. Their actions can reverberate long after they have left their official roles.
  3. The Role of Human Motivations: Annas’s actions in the trial of Jesus also raise questions about human motivations. His involvement in the arrest and questioning of Jesus reminds us of the complexities of human nature and the diverse factors that can influence individuals’ decisions.

Relevance Today:

Annas’s role in the trial of Jesus continues to be a subject of theological reflection and historical study. It invites believers to consider the intricate dynamics of power, influence, and the intersection of faith and politics, prompting them to critically examine their own roles and responsibilities in society.

When Was Annas Appointed High Priest?

Annas, also known as Ananus, was appointed the high priest in Jerusalem. Scholars debate the exact date he gained this position. It is generally believed that Annas became high priest around 6 AD and served through 15 AD.

Annas came from a prominent priestly family, and his appointment marked the continuation of a dynasty of priests who held important influence in Jerusalem. According to records, Annas was the son-in-law of another high priest, Seth, and Annas took on the role after his father-in-law’s death.

During Annas’ time as high priest, the region of Judea was under Roman rule. The Romans appointed and controlled the high priesthood, often leading to corruption and power abuse. While it was part of Jewish tradition to keep the priesthood within family lines, Annas’ appointment was also likely due to his family’s ability to navigate Roman politics.


Annas in the Bible is a figure of historical and theological significance due to his role in the trial of Jesus. His actions, influence, and connections in the political and religious circles of Jerusalem provide valuable lessons about the complexities of power and motivation. The trial of Jesus, in which Annas played a part, remains a profound and enduring narrative in Christian theology and serves as a source of reflection on the intricate interplay of faith and politics.

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