Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Judaean priests

After the Babylonian exile, after the onslaught from Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Judas Maccabeus's brother became the priest of Israel.  The Hasmonean dynasty lasted until the Romans, as per the second part of this article.

During the life of Jesus, the Sanhedrin, Caiaphas, Annas, and Ananias led the religious life in Israel.

The Sanhedrin consisted of the Sadducees and Pharisees.  The Sadducees were liberal post-millennials who did not really believe in miracles or an after life.  the Pharisees believed the Bible and were the guys I would vote for.  They were super strict and even Jesus could not impress them.  Goes to show that lots of Bible knowledge and standing for the right issues does not guarantee regeneration.

Annas was appointed to priest by Quirinius and deposed by Valerius Gratus.  He still ruled through his son-in-law Caiaphas.  He was the one in charge of selling things in the temple which Jesus came and tore apart.

Caiaphas was in charge in Jesus's arrest and crucifixion.  or he at least instigated it.  He even predicted that Jesus would die to save the nation.  So, he did carry out God's will, but he did not believe in Jesus.

Ananias was high priest in 47-59.  He ruled specifically for power and was against the Jews.  In Acts 23, he stands over Paul's trial and slaps Paul on the mouth.  Paul exclaims that he had no idea he was a high priest.  I can't be sure, but this is definitely dripping with sarcasm and venom.  Someone was allowed to lead the religious life of Israel but hated the Jews and did not believe in the Old Testament.  This is much like the PCUSA moderators today.  They do not believe in God and oppose everything the Christians stand for.

In conclusion, all these people were heathens.  God still used them to carry out his purpose in sending Jesus to die for our sins and in spreading the Church around the globe.  However, I want to be used of God and remain true to him.  By his grace, this will happen and I pray the same for you.

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