Ossuary of Caiaphas
Did this ossuary contain
the bones of Caiaphas, high priest during the time of Jesus?
This beautifully decorated ossuary found in the ruins of Jerusalem,
contained the bones of Caiaphas, the first century AD. high priest during
the time of Jesus.
On the side (as seen above) and the back of the ossuary is inscribed Caiaphas' name ("Yosef bar
(see Matt 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; 18:13-14, 24, 28; Acts 4:6; Josephus, Ant. 23.25, 39). It was a custom
in ancient Israel to store the bones of the dead in ossuaries. They
gathered the bones about a year after burial.
Caiaphas, who’s name means "searcher" was
appointed high priest (after Simon ben Camith) by the procurator
Valerius Gratus, under Tiberius, 18 A.D.. He continued in office
from A.D. 26 to 37, when the proconsul Vitellius deposed him. He was
the president of the Jewish council (Sanhedrim) which condemned the
Lord Jesus to death, Caiaphas declaring Him guilty of blasphemy.
Caiaphas was the official high priest during the ministry and trial
of Jesus (Matt 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; 18:13, 14, 24, 28;
It was Caiaphas who, unknowingly, made the incredible prophecy
concerning God’s plan of sacrificing Jesus for the sins of the
nation and even the whole world:
John 11:47-54 "Then the chief
priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall
we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this,
everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away
both our place and nation." And one of them,
being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,
nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should
die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish."
Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest
that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not
for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one
the children of God who were scattered abroad. Then, from that day
on, they plotted to put Him to death."
Matthew 26:3-5 "Then
assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the
elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was
And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among
Matt 26:57-68 And those who
had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to
the high priest, where the
scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed Him at a
distance to the high priest's courtyard. And he went in and sat with
the servants to see the end. Now the chief priests, the elders, and
all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to
death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came
forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came
forward and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the
temple of God and to build it in three days.' " And the high priest
arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men
testify against You?" But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest
answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God:
Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Jesus said to him,
"It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will
see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and
coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his
clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we
have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do
you think?" They answered and said, "He is deserving of death." Then
they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the
palms of their hands, saying, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the
one who struck You?"
John 18:19-24 "The high
priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Jesus
answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in
synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in
secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have
heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said." And
when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by
struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the
high priest like that?" Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil,
bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?" Then
Annas sent Him bound to
Caiaphas the high
The Jewish High Priests from 200 B.C to the
Reign of Herod the Great
1. Simon II the Just, 220-190 B.C.
2. Onias III, 190-174 B.C.
3. Jason/Jeshua,175-172 B.C.
4. Menelaus, 172-162 B.C.
5. Alcimus, 162-156 B.C.
6. Jonathan, 153-142 B.C.
7. Simon, 142-135 B.C.
8. John Hyrcanus I, 134-104 B.C.
9. Aristobulus I, 104-103 B.C.
10. Alexander Jannaeus, 103-76 B.C.
11. Hyrcanus II, 76-67 B.C.
12. Aristobulus II, 67-63 B.C.
13. Hyrcanus II, 63-40 B.C.
14. Antigonus, 40-37 B.C.
The Jewish High Priests from Herod the
Great to the Destruction of Jerusalem
15. Ananel, 37-36 B.C. (Appointed by Herod the Great)
16. Aristobulus III, 35 B.C.
17. Jesus, son of Phiabi, ? -22 B.C.
18. Simon, son of Boethus, 22-5 B.C.
19. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 5-4 B.C.
20. Joseph, son of Elam, 5 B.C.
21. Joezer, son of Boethus, 4 B.C.
22. Eleazar, son of Boethus, 4-1 B.C. - (Appointed by Herod
23. Jesus, son of Sie, 1 - 6 A.D.
24. Annas, 6-15 A.D. (Appointed by Quirinius)
25. Ishmael, son of Phiabi I, 15-16 A.D. (Appointed by Valerius
26. Eleazar, son of Annas, 16-17 A.D.
27. Simon, son of Kamithos, 17-18 A.D.
28. Joseph Caiaphas,
29. Jonathan, son of Annas, 37 A.D. (Appointed by Vitellius)
30. Theophilus, son of Annas, 37-41 A.D.
31. Simon Kantheras, son of Boethus, 41-43 A.D. (Appointed by Herod
32. Matthias, son of Annas, 43-44 A.D.
33. Elionaius, son of Kantheras, 44-45 A.D.
34. Joseph, son of Kami, 45-47 A.D. (Appointed by Herod of Chalcis)
35. Ananias, son of Nebedaius, 47-55 A.D.
36. Ishmael, son of Phiabi III, 55-61 A.D. (Appointed by Herod
37. Joseph Qabi, son of Simon, 61-62 A.D.
38. Ananus, son of Ananus, 62 A.D.
39. Jesus, son of Damnaius, 62-65 A.D.
40. Joshua, son of Gamal iel, 63-65 A.D.
41. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 65-67 A.D.
42. Phinnias, son of Samuel, 67-70 A.D. (Appointed by The People)
Some dates cannot be known for certain.
Heart Message - The Paradox of the Priesthood
Caiaphas - Bible History Online
Caiaphas - Life of Jesus
Caiaphas in Unger's Bible Dictionary
Palace of Caiaphas
in Easton's Bible Dictionary
in the ISBE Bible Encyclopedia
Biblical Definition of Beersheba
- Background Bible Study
Smith's Bible Dictionary
Altar in the
ISBE Bible Encyclopedia
Israel - The Center of the Ancient World
Archaeology Links and Resources
Destruction of Israel in the Old Testament
Archaeological Resources - Israel
Map of Old Testament Israel
Map of New Testament Israel
Bible History Online - Fallen Empires (Biblical Archaeology)
Bible History Links - Ancient Near East : Art & Images
Bible History Online - Ancient Art
The Destruction of Israel - Kings of Israel, Judah and Assyria
Timeline 800 - 700 BC
The Captivity of Israel
The Impregnable Strength of Jerusalem
Map of Jerusalem
Jerusalem - Heart Message
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