Religion Past and Present

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High Priest
(1,797 words)

[German Version]

I. Old Testament – II. Early Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics

I. Old Testament

Before the Exile, the Jerusalem priesthood was headed by a primus inter pares – called either הַכֹּהֵן/hakkohen (“the priest,” e.g. 1 Kgs 4:2; 2 Kgs 11:9; 12:8*) or כֹּהֵן הָרֹש/kohen hāroš (“chief priest,” cf. 2 Kgs 25:18 par. Jer. 52:24) –, but not by a high priest. The term הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדֹל/hakkohen haggādol (“high priest”) is securely attested only after the Exile; it emphasizes the…

Cite this page
Schaper, Joachim, Schwartz, Daniel R., Klauck, Hans-Josef and Link-Wieczorek, Ulrike, “High Priest”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 16 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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