Luke 3:2


King James Version (KJV)

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

American Standard Version (ASV)

in the highpriesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

When Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the waste land.

Webster's Revision

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

World English Bible

in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.

English Revised Version (ERV)

in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Clarke's Luke 3:2 Bible Commentary

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests - Caiaphas was the son-in-law of Annas or Ananias, and it is supposed that they exercised the high priest's office by turns. It is likely that Annas only was considered as high priest; and that Caiaphas was what the Hebrews termed כהן משנה cohen mishneh, or סגן כהנים sagan cohanim, the high priest's deputy, or ruler of the temple. See the note on Matthew 2:4, and on John 18:13.

The facts which St. Luke mentions here tend much to confirm the truth of the evangelical history. Christianity differs widely from philosophic system; it is founded in the goodness and authority of God; and attested by historic facts. It differs also from popular tradition, which either has had no pure origin, or which is lost in unknown or fabulous antiquity. It differs also from pagan and Mohammedan revelations, which were fabricated in a corner, and had no witnesses. In the above verses we find the persons, the places, and the times marked with the utmost exactness. It was under the first Caesars that the preaching of the Gospel took place; and in their time, the facts on which the whole of Christianity is founded made their appearance: an age the most enlightened, and best known from the multitude of its historic records. It was in Judea, where every thing that professed to come from God was scrutinized with the most exact and unmerciful criticism. In writing the history of Christianity, the evangelists appeal to certain facts which were publicly transacted in such places, under the government and inspection of such and such persons, and in such particular times. A thousand persons could have confronted the falsehood, had it been one! These appeals are made - a challenge is offered to the Roman government, and to the Jewish rulers and people - a new religion has been introduced in such a place, at such a time - this has been accompanied with such and such facts and miracles! Who can disprove this? All are silent. None appears to offer even an objection. The cause of infidelity and irreligion is at stake! If these facts cannot be disproved, the religion of Christ must triumph. None appears because none could appear. Now let it be observed, that the persons of that time, only, could confute these things had they been false; they never attempted it; therefore these facts are absolute and incontrovertible truths: this conclusion is necessary. Shall a man then give up his faith in such attested facts as these, because, more than a thousand years after, an infidel creeps out, and ventures publicly to sneer at what his iniquitous soul hopes is not true!

The word of God came unto John - That is, the Holy Spirit that revealed to him this doctrine of salvation. This came upon him in the desert, where he was living in such a state of austerity as gave him full right to preach all the rigours of penitence to others. Thus we find that the first preachers, historians, and followers of the doctrines of the Gospel were men eminent for the austerity of their lives, the simplicity of their manners, and the sanctity of their conduct; they were authorized by God, and filled with the most precious gifts of his Spirit. And what are the apostles which the new philosophy sends us? Philosophers full of themselves, not guided by the love of truth or wisdom, but ever seeking their own glory; in constant hostility among themselves, because of their separate pretensions to particular discoveries, of the honor of which they would almost as soon lose life as be deprived. Who are they? Men of a mortified life and unblamable conversation? No, they are poets and poetasters; composers of romances, novels, intrigues, farces, comedies, etc., full of extravagance and impurity. They are pretended moralists that preach up pleasure and sensual gratification, and dissolve, as far as they can, the sacred and civil ties that unite and support society. They are men whose guilt is heightened by their assuming the sacred name of philosophers, and dignifying their impure system with a name at which Philosophy herself blushes and bleeds.

Barnes's Luke 3:2 Bible Commentary

Annas and Caiaphas being highpriests - There was, properly speaking, but one high priest of the Jews; yet the name of high priest continued to be given to those who had been in that office, and especially when they still possessed some civil office after they had left the high priesthood. In this case it appears that "Caiapas" was high priest, and Annas "had been," but had been dismissed from the office. It is highly probable that he still held an office under the Romans, and was perhaps president of the Sanhedrin. He is mentioned before Caiaphas because he was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, and probably was the eldest, and had been longest in office. Instances similar to this may be found in Josephus.

There is one remark to be made here about the manner in which the gospels are written. They have every mark of openness and honesty. An impostor does not mention names, and times, and places particularly. If he did, it would be easy to ascertain that he was an impostor. But the sacred writers describe objects and people as if they were perfectly familiar with them. They never appear to be "guarding" themselves. They speak of things most minutely. If, therefore, they had been impostors, it would have been easy to detect them. If, for example, John did not begin to preach in the 15th year of Tiberius - if Philip was "not" tetrarch of Iturea - if Pontius Pilate was not governor of Judea, how easy would it have been to detect them in falsehood! Yet it was never done. Nay, we have evidence of that age, in Josephus, that these descriptions are strictly true; and, consequently, the gospels must have been written by people who were personally acquainted with what they wrote, who were not impostors, and who were "honest" people. If they were "honest," then the Christian religion is true.

Wesley's Luke 3:2 Bible Commentary

3:2 Annas being high priest, and Caiaphas - There could be but one high priest, strictly speaking, at once. Annas was the high priest at that time, and Caiaphas his sagan or deputy.

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