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Caiaphas’ House

The Bible tells us that Caiaphas was the Jewish high priest under whom Jesus stood trial. Matthew 26:57 describes it this way:

”Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.”

Archaeological discoveries and ancient writings confirm some basic historical facts about Caiaphas.

There is reason to believe that archaeologists have found Caiaphas’ home.[i] In 1889, archaeologists found a first century home in Jerusalem that seems to match the details of what the New Testament tells us about Caiaphas. It is a palatial home from the time of Jesus.[ii] This video, from one of my trips to Israel, shows this location.

As seen in the video, the courtyard of the home was right beside a road that is still in existence from the first century. This is another picture of the nearby road where people walked in the time of Jesus:

Caiaphas’ house is the place where, according to the Bible, Jesus was tried and where Peter warmed himself by the fire and then denied three times that he knew Christ (John 18:25-27).

Further, there is a prison or torture chamber that was a part of the home (in the basement). This prison would fit what the Bible says about Jesus’ trial (Matt. 26:3; John 18:13-28). For presumably, they would have held Jesus in this chamber until he could appear before Pilate first thing in the morning—after his trial by Caiaphas and the Jewish leaders. In the early centuries, Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land etched a cross on the top of the prison hole.

 

[i] Broshi, M. “Excavations in the House of Caiaphas, Mount Zion.” Y. Yadin (ed.), Jerusalem Revealed: Archaeology in the Holy City 1968–1974. 1974. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society. 57–60.

[ii] Shimon Gibson, The Final Days of Jesus: The Archaeological Evidence (p. 166). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

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