Also named Joseph, Caiaphas was high priest at the time of Jesus' death. According to Josephus, he was appointed in 18 CE by Valerius Gratus, the Roman procurator before Pilate; his father‐in‐law, Annas, had preceded him, as had, for very short terms, several of Annas's sons (Ant. 18.2.35). He was removed from office in 37 CE and replaced by another of Annas's sons (Ant. 18.4.95). There is some confusion in the New Testament about whether Annas or Caiaphas was high priest at the end of Jesus' life and about their role in his death, but the Gospels are consistent in their depiction of hostility toward Jesus by the high priest.

In 1990 the family tomb of Caiaphas was found in Jerusalem. It contained twelve ossuaries, one of which had inscriptions with the full name of Caiaphas in Aramaic (yhwsp br qypʾ and yhwsp br qpʾ: Joseph, son of Caiaphas), and another with simply the family name (qpʾ).

Michael D. Coogan