The Capital Case

Jesus’ case was a capital case. Such cases were heard by a plurality of judges. Later tradition mentioned a minimum of twenty-three. The rule was that no individual could legally act as a judge in a capital case. This law did not stop Annas from exercising his political power and interrogate the arrested individual privately. Annas may have excused himself by a law that those tried by the supreme Sanhedrin for misleading the people first had to be tried by two lower courts. This law may be Pharisaic in nature. This law may have come into existence later than the first century. It is doubtful that Annas is attempting to follow any law. The priestly aristocracy was predominantly Sadducee. They would not follow the Pharisees’ rules. They had to please the Romans instead of the Pharisees. Therefore, the fact concerning Annas’ conduct in relationship to a law may only be a conjecture.



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