Fortress Press

Caiaphas The High Priest

Caiaphas The High Priest

Adele Reinhartz (Author), D. Moody Smith (Editor)


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As the Roman-appointed high priest who had a hand in orchestrating Jesus' crucifixion, Caiaphas secured his place in infamy alongside Pontius Pilate. But who was Caiaphas really?

Adele Reinhartz offers a thorough reconsideration of Caiaphas in the Gospels and other ancient texts as well as in subsequent visual arts, literature, film, and drama. The portrait that emerges challenges long-held beliefs about this New Testament figure by examining the background of the high priesthood and exploring the relationships among the high priest, the Roman leadership, and the Jewish population. Reinhartz does not seek to exonerate Caiaphas from culpability in the crucifixion, but she does expand our understanding of Caiaphas's complex religious and political roles in biblical literature and his culturally loaded depiction in ongoing Jewish-Christian dialogue.
  • ISBN 9780800699406
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 264
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Publication Date Jan 1, 2013


"Adele Reinhartz has written a fascinating, sensitive study of the high priest Caiaphas as he appears in the writings of Josephus and the New Testament and as depicted in Early Christian texts, later literature, drama, and film. She addresses head on the biases that often color the imaginative presentations, whether in scholarly analyses or literary and artistic productions. Highly recommended!"
—James VanderKam
University of Notre Dame