high priest motifs in the 2nd century - Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra

Steven Avery

The book does have an incredible section where it reviews various high priest motifs.


The Impact of Yom Kippur on Early Christianity: The Day of Atonement from Second Temple Judaism to the Fifth Century (2003)
Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra

Jewish Christian traditions from the second century recognize at least four legendary leaders who are described in high-priestly terms, although historically they were definitely not high priests in the temple and some of them were neither Aaronides nor even Levites. These leaders include:

(1) Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist,3
(2) Simeon,4
(3) John, the Beloved Disciple,5 and
(4) James, the brother of Christ.6 - p. 244

3 On apocryphal legends linked to Zechariah, see still A. Berendts, Studien tuber Zacharias-Apokryphen und Zacharias-Legenden (Leipzig, 1895).

4 On Simeon (Luke 2:25.34), see S. Porter, “Simeon 3,” Anchor Bible Dictionary 6 (1992) 26-28.

5 On John in general, see R.A. Culpepper, John, the Son of Zebedee. The Life of a Legend (Studies on Personalities of the New Testament; Columbia [S.C.], 1994).

6 On James in general, see J. Painter, Just James. The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition (Studies on Personalities of the New Testament; Columbia [S.C.], 1997); W. Pratscher, Der Herrenbruder Jakobus und die Jakobustradition (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 139; Gottingen, 1983); and idem, “Jakobus (Herrenbruder),” Reallexikon fiir Antike und Christentum 18 (1998) 1227-1243;


This continues through p. 257.

p. 245 - general priestly
p. 246-248 - James
p. 249-253 - (blank)
p. 254-255 - middle of Zechariah
p. 255 - Simeon and John
p. 256-257 - John, the Beloved Disciple -
very few sources, high priestly - Polycrates letter 190 CE in Eusebius
Hippolytus colophon mentioned by Robert Eisler
(Richard Bauckham has more details)

"definitely not high priests" - have to review the evidences.

Theophilus, the high priest from 37-41, to whom Luke dedicated the Prologues of Luke and Acts, is unmentioned.

Also mentions:
Simeon of Clopas (traditionallly seen as successor of James as Bishop of Jerusalem)

Zechariah Simeon and James are linked in tradition
common tomb in the Mount of Olives

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