Category:Annas (subject)

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Annas (Home Page)
Annas (Home Page)

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Annas (Ananus ben Seth; 23/22 BCS - 66 AD) was the Jewish High Priest from 6 to 15 CE and the forefather of the House of Annas.

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Annas -- Overview
Annas -- Overview

In 6 CE Annas (Ananus ben Seth) was the first high priest directly appointed by the Romans (specifically by the Roman legate Quirinius), after Herod Archelaus was removed from office and Judea was turned into a Roman province.

Annas succeeded Joazar ben Boethus; the goal of the Romans was to counterbalance the powerful House of Boethus, which was closely associated with the Herodians, by supporting another and more loyal priestly family. Annas proved to be the right choice. He served almost ten years as High Priest, under all the governors appointed by Augustus--Coponius (6-9 CE), Marcus Ambivulus (9-12 CE), and Annus Rufus (12-15 CE). In 15 CE, Annas was deposed by the Roman Governor Gratus, who had been just sent by the new Emperor Tiberius and replaced with Ishmael ben Phiabi. However, the House of Annas, and Annas himself, remained a highly influential religious and political presence as five of Annas' sons, as well as his son-in-law Caiaphas and his grandson Mattathias ben Theophilus, held the office of High Priest. In the Gospel of John, Annas figures prominently in the Passion story of Jesus of Nazareth, as a sort of éminence grise controlling de facto the Jewish priesthood in the first century CE. Under Roman (and Herodian) rule and even during the first years of the Jewish War, the House of Annas and the House of Boethus would remain the two leading powers in the Jerusalem Temple, until the Zealots took control of the sanctuary.



Josephus is the major source of information on Annas, who is mentioned also in early Christian sources.

Josephus, Jewish Antiquities

Ant XX 9, 1 -- 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.

See also Antiquities of the Jews, XVI11. ii. 1, 2.

Gospel of Luke

Luke 3:2 -- ..during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

Acts of Apostles

Acts 4:6 -- with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.

Gospel of John

John 18:13 -- First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.

John 18:24 -- Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.


Annas (fiction)
Annas (fiction)

Christian fictional narratives focus generally on the character of Caiaphas, who was the High Priest at the time of Jesus of Nazareth. When appears, Annas has a supporting role.

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