This article explores an alternative antecedent for the titular phrase "ruler of this world" in John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11. Interpreters have generally assumed the devil is the antecedent of the phrase. The phrase has therefore been read in apocalyptic terms, representing a cosmic warfare motif in John’s Gospel. However, this article contends that the NT use of a[rcwn (archo ̄n,"ruler"), kovsmo"(kosmos,“world”), and the context of the Gospel of John suggest that the phrase refers to the Jewish high priest rather than the devil. The phrase should then be read within John’s priesthood and testimony themes.