Father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest at the time of the ministry and the crucifixion of Jesus and during the persecution of the disciples a little later. He held a high position among the Jews, and was a leading factor in these persecutions (Luke 3:2; John 18: 13-24; Acts 4:6).
Meta. A very influential religious thought of the intellect, that is given over to rites and ceremonies--the outer letter of the word, or form of religion, without the inner spiritual Truth. The Bible history of Annas shows how a merely formal religion will persecute and attempt to kill the inner Christ Spirit and all that pertains to it. A purely intellectual understanding and practice of religion cannot comprehend the deep inspirations of the heart and the loving, forgiving informality and nonresistance of the inner Spirit of truth. Formal religion, apart from the real spirit, is that in man which, when he asks bread, will give him a stone. There is nothing in it truly to satisfy the soul.