What is the highest priest
Keyword: Supreme Priest
He was in charge of everything related to the temple, worship, and the ministry of priests. In other Bible translations he is also called "high priest". Even in earlier times there were so-called high priests in Jerusalem and at other sanctuaries in the country (cf. 2 Kings 12:11; 2 Kings 22: 4-8). But it was only after the time when the people of Israel were in exile in Babylon (587–539 BC) that the office of high priest became of paramount importance for Judaism. As the highest authority of his people in the time when there was no king, the Supreme Priest also became the political head of the Jewish community. The powers of the office were cut back by the Romans; but even at this time the chief priest remained the chairman of the Jewish council and the highest representative of the Jewish community.
In the time of Jesus, the chief priest had three central roles:
(1) He made sacrifices on behalf of the people at the great festivals. Only he was allowed to enter the sanctuary of the temple once a year, on the Day of Atonement.
(2) Politically, he represented the Jewish people vis-à-vis the Roman occupying power.
(3) Finally, as chairman of the Jewish council, he was responsible for domestic politics, justice and administration.
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