02.01.18 Sanhedrin The Greek word Sanhedrin is a combination of syn, meaning together and hedra, meaning seats. The court consisted of the following entities:
- 1 President and high priest who was Caiaphas during the ministry of Jesus.
- 24 chief priests who were Sadducees
- 24 elders who were Pharisees
- 22 scribes who were Pharisees
The Sanhedrin was the legislative and judicial body / Supreme Court of the Jewish nation. This is evident in Matthew 26:65-66 and 27:1-2. It was the policy of the Romans to permit captured people groups to have limited self-government. However, when there was a new aspiring messiah or rabbi, as was common at this time, the Sanhedrin investigated the speaker in two stages.
- The first was an observation stage when representatives went to the community where the self-proclaimed rabbi was teaching. Observers never asked questions or objections. Then they returned to the temple and reported what they heard and saw.
- The second stage was one of interrogation where questions were asked and objections were raised. Their motive was to find a basis to either accept or reject the speaker and his message.
That is why in the early days of the ministry of Jesus, agents for the high court were sometimes present but said nothing. Later in His ministry they discussed various issues with Jesus.
. Parry, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Talmud. 36.
. Fruchtenbaum, The Jewish Foundation of the Life of Messiah: Instructor’s Manual. Class 24, page 6.