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Reference: Sanhedrin Or Sanhedrim


The Greek word is ?????????, 'a sitting together': it is always translated 'council' in the A.V. There appears to be no Hebrew equivalent to the name. The Jews trace its origin to the seventy elders chosen to assist Moses, Nu 11:16-17; but nothing is said of such a council in the time of the kingdom; and it is probable that it was instituted in the time of the Maccabees. The early writers do not say how it was composed; from the N.T. we find it consisted of the chief priests, or heads of the twenty-four courses, the elders, lawyers, and the scribes. It was the highest court of the Jews, acting 'in all causes, and over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil.' Its decisions were binding on Jews everywhere. Its powers were curtailed by Herod and afterwards by the Romans, who prevented the Jews from putting any one to death legally. Joh 18:31. The Lord, Lu 22:66; Peter and John, Ac 4:1-23; 5:17-41; Stephen, Ac 6:12-15; and Paul, Ac 22:30; 23:1-10; were arraigned before the Sanhedrin.

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