Sanhedrin Encyclopedia

The Sanhedrin (the Council, Acts 23:1) was made up of both Pharisees and Sadducees. The word sanhedrin or sanhedrim means ‘a sitting together’, and is most often translated “the council”. The word comes up an number of times in scripture; e.g. Matt. 5:22; Matt. 26:59; Mark 14:55; Mark 15:1. The Sanhedrin was the highest court that the Jews had, and could decide on all matters. When the Romans came into power, the right of the Sanhedrin to put a person do death was taken away (John 18:31). The Sanhedrin was composed of elders, chief priests, lawyers, and scribes. The Pharisees were connected with the scribes, the Sadducees were connected with the chief priests and elders.