This accusation of error was a new on on me. A reader was claiming that there was an error in the Gospel of John and that the Author (humanly speaking, the Apostle John but, in reality, God the Holy Ghost) had made an error by making the office of High Priest an annual office. In other words, the accusation is that John said the High Priest was decided annually and that the High Priest served a one-year term.
Tha accusation is absurd. There are two references given, as follows:
“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,…
“And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;”
John 11:49 & 51
“And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.”
Absolutely Ridiculous Mishandling of WORDS
This accusation is simply laughable. But in my research, I found that it has been espoused by certain critics. Schaff cites a Bretschneider making such an accusation (page 710, “History of the Christian Church,” Volume 1 of 8). But that doesn’t surprise me. What passes for “scholarship” throughout human history is, many times, just a big joke.
So, let’s clear the air and make it plain for anyone reading at this point who hasn’t already seen the OBVIOUS.
John was referring to the YEAR of Christ’s CRUCIFIXION.
It was in “that year” of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ that Caiaphas was the high-priest. John was not making a reference to the status or length of term that Caiaphas would serve as High Priest. He was making reference to the fact that Caiaphas was high priest the very year that Jesus died.
The Gospel of John, after all, has as it’s climax that very event. The Gospel of John was written to tell you:
1. Who Jesus was: and He was God (read the first verse of the Book).
2. What Jesus came to do: which was to DIE and RISE from DEATH.
3. When Jesus DIED: which was on 14th Nisan–a Wednesday.
4. Where Jesus DIED: which was OUTSIDE Jerusalem on Golgotha (and not INSIDE Jerusalem, which is where the Catholic temple is built claiming to be the site of the Crucifixion).
5. How Jesus DIED: which was on a Cross (pierced) without a broken bone, etc.
6. Why Jesus DIED: which was to pay for the sins of the whole world.
When John speaks of “that year”, he is speaking of the year that Jesus died. There is no error in this or any other place where the careless skeptics make their accusations.