High priest

The term "high priest" may refer to an individual who holds the office of ruler-priest, or may refer to the head of a religious caste.
* In ancient Egypt, a high priest was the chief priest of any of the many gods revered by the Egyptians.
* In Ancient Greek, Archiereus is one of several titles for high priests, in Greek an/or rendered in Greek, which literally translates as 'Arch-hierarch', i.e. head of the (priestly) hierarchy
* In Hawaii, the high priest is called Kahuna Nui and presides over the temple or heiau. Below the Kahuna Nui are various types and ranks of priests.
* In Ásatrú, the high priest is called a "goði" (or "gyða") and is the leader of a small group of practitioners collectively referred to as a Kindred. The goði are collectively known as the "goðar".
* In Christianity a high priest could sometimes be compared with the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church, a Patriarch in an Eastern Orthodox Church, or a Primate in an Anglican or Episcopal church; but it is traditional to refer only to Jesus as the one high priest of Christianity. In all episcopal bodies, except in the Anglican Communion and the superintended Lutheran churches, bishops are also referred to as high priests, as they are believed to share in, that is: are considered earthly instruments of, the high priesthood of Jesus Christ.
* In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Latter Day Saint sects, High Priest is also a priesthood office in the Melchizedek Priesthood.
* In Druidry, all members would be considered priests due to the historical role of the Druids as the priestly class of the Celts and Gauls. A "high priest" would likely be referred to as an Elder and would be a person who has practiced Druidry for a considerable amount of time.
* In Judaism and Samaritanism, a high priest is called a Kohen Gadol. The office is no longer filled in mainstream Judaism while there is no functioning Temple, thus only the Samaritans (Foreign deportees mingled with local Israelite remnants who in the 800's/500's BC developed a divergent Jewish sect around the hills of Samaria under their own high priest) have had an active high priest after the year 70 AD
* In ancient Rome, the high priest was known as "Pontifex Maximus" (Great Bridge-Builder). The office was usually filled by a leading politician, rather than by a full-time priest. "Pontifex Maximus" continues to be one of the titles of the Popes.
* In Santeria, a high priest is called a Babalao. The term comes from the supreme priest of Santería, a protege of Orula. The term means wise man.
* In Shinto, a high priest, called a Guji, is usually the highest ranking priest (Kannushi) in a shrine.
* In Wicca a High Priest and High Priestess are able to lead a coven and initiate others.:"In other religions, cultures or faiths the meaning of this term may vary."

* In Rider Waite Tarot, The High Priestess is one of the Major Arcana cards.


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  • High Priest —     The High Priest     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The High Priest     The high priest in the Old Testament is called by various names:     ♦ the priest (Num., iii, 6);     ♦ the great priest (Lev., xxi, 10);     ♦ the head priest (IV Kings, xxv,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • HIGH PRIEST — (Heb. הַ)כּהֵן הָדֹאשׁ ,הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל ,הַכֹּהֵן), the priest at the head of the priestly affairs. In pre Exilic times the common appellation for the chief priest of a community was the priest (Heb. ha Kohen; e.g., I Sam. 14:19, 36; 21:2–10) …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • high priest — high′ priest′ n. 1) rel a chief priest 2) jud Judaism. (from Aaronic times to about the 1st century a.d.) the priest ranking above all other priests and the only one permitted to enter the holy of holies 3) a person in a high position of power or …   From formal English to slang

  • high priest — n 1.) informal someone who is famous for being the best at a type of art, music etc, and whose ideas or work change the way that other people think about and make art, music etc high priest of ▪ the high priest of modern jazz 2.) the most… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • High priest — High High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • High priest — (Eccl.) A chief priest; esp., the head of the Jewish priesthood. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • high priest — noun count 1. ) the most important or powerful priest 2. ) MAINLY JOURNALISM the man who has the most experience or knowledge about something: the high priest of self help …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • high priest — n. [ME heyge prest] 1. a chief priest; specif., the chief priest of the ancient Jewish priesthood 2. a person, esp. a man, who is a chief exponent of a philosophy, movement, etc. or an acknowledged leader in some field high priesthood n …   English World dictionary

  • high priest — high priests N COUNT: usu N of n If you call a man the high priest of a particular thing, you are saying in a slightly mocking way that he is considered by people to be expert in that thing. ...the high priest of cheap periodical fiction …   English dictionary

  • high priest — ► NOUN 1) a chief priest of a non Christian religion, especially of historic Judaism. 2) (also high priestess) the leader of a cult or movement …   English terms dictionary


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