Smith's Bible Dictionary


Annas. (humble). The son of one Seth was appointed high priest, A.D. 7, by Quirinus, the imperial governor of Syria, but was obliged by Valerius Gratus, procurator of Judea, to give way to Ismael, son of Phabi, at the beginning of the reign of Tiberius, A.D. 14. About A.D. 25, Joseph Caiaphas, son-in-law of Annas, became high priest, Joh_18:13, but in Luk_3:2, Annas and Caiaphas are both called high priests.

Our Lord's first hearing, Joh_18:13, was before Annas, who then sent him bound to Caiaphas. Some maintain that the two, Annas and Caiaphas, were together at the head of the Jewish people, Caiaphas as actual high priest, Annas as resident of the Sanhedrin. Act_4:6. Others again suppose that Annas held the office of sagin, or substitute of the high priest; others still that Annas held the title and was really the ruling power. He lived to old age, having had five sons high priests.


Taken from: Smith's Bible Dictionary by Dr. William Smith (1884)