The New International Encyclopædia/Annas

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AN′NAS (Heb., merciful). A Jewish high-priest, appointed by Quirinius in 6 A.D., and deposed by Valerius Gratus in 15 A.D. He, no doubt, continued to exercise great influence, as the office was held by five of his sons, Eleazar, Jonathan, Theophilus, Avan, and Matthias, and by his son-in-law, Joseph, surnamed Caiaphas, between 18 A.D. and 36 A.D. The wealth of “the house of Annas” was to some extent derived from the booths, where they provided all kinds of materials for sacrifice. By this monopoly they made the temple “a den of robbers,” and drew down upon themselves the curses of the Pharisees as well as the indignation of Jesus. The influential position of Annas may have led to the erroneous statement of Luke, that there were two high-priests, Annas and Caiaphas (iii: 2), and the consequent Johannine account of a separate trial of Jesus, before Annas (xviii: 13-27). A son of Annas, by the same name, was appointed high-priest by Agrippa II. in 62 A.D. He is said to have put to death James, the brother of Jesus; but the passage of Josephus (Ant. xx: 9) which relates this is probably a Christian interpolation.