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Adele Reinhartz offers a thorough reconsideration of Caiaphas in the Gospels and other ancient texts as well as in subsequent visual arts, literature, film, and drama. The portrait that emerges challenges long-held beliefs about this New Testament figure by examining the background of the high priesthood and exploring the relationships among the high priest, the Roman leadership, and the Jewish population.

Reinhartz does not seek to exonerate Caiaphas from culpability in the crucifixion, but she does expand our understanding of Caiaphas's complex religious and political roles in biblical literature and his culturally loaded depiction in ongoing Jewish-Christian dialogue.