Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

High Priests of Luke-Acts

Luke tells us the names of certain important persons who served as high priests during the period of time covered by his accounts. What is interesting about the collective identity of these individuals is that all of them with one exception are members of the same family. This, in itself, should have been an important clue about the identity of most excellent Theophilus. Second, the names are not explicitly associated with the events that we today would say would make them notorious. Annas and Caiaphas are identified as high priests in Lk. 3:2 but are not identified by name in the passion accounts. Jonathan is identified in Acts 4:6 but not as the high priest before whom Stephen appeared. The letters are addressed to Theophilus but he is not identified as the high priest who issued letters to Saul. Recognizing that Luke has made an irenical presentation explains the anonymous status Luke has attached to them. After all, Theophilus knew who they were.

This a small point but one that is important to make.


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