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Sanhedrin

SANHEDRIN (săn'hē-drĭn, Talmudic Heb. transcription of the Gr. synedrion, a council). The highest Jewish tribunal during the Greek and Roman periods, often mentioned in the NT, where the KJV always has “council” for the Greek name. The Talmud connects the Sanhedrin with Moses' seventy elders, then with the alleged [[Great Synagogue]] of Ezra’s time; but the truth is that the origin of the Sanhedrin is unknown, and there is no historical evidence for its existence before the Greek period. During the reign of the Hellenistic kings Palestine was practically under home rule and was governed by an aristocratic council of elders, which was presided over by the hereditary high priest. The council was called gerousia, which always signifies an aristocratic body. This later developed into the Sanhedrin. During most of the Roman period the internal government of the country was practically in its hands, and its influence was recognized even in the Diaspora (Acts.9.2; Acts.22.5; Acts.26.12).