From Lawrence Mykytiuk's BAR article identifying real New Testament political figures
In “New Testament Political Figures Confirmed” in the September/October 2017 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Purdue University scholar Lawrence Mykytiuk examines the political figures in the New Testament who can be identified in the archaeological record and by extra-Biblical writings. Below, see a visualization of the Herodian family tree and key events in the New Testament related to members of the Herodian family.—Ed.
BAS Library Members: Read Lawrence Mykytiuk’s article “New Testament Political Figures Confirmed” in the September/October 2017 issue of BAR.Not a BAS Library or All-Access Member yet? Join today.
The family tree above includes only the Herodian family members in the New Testament plus most of the Roman governors it mentions. It is not a complete family tree. Boldface in the narrative statements below signifies the person is referred to in the New Testament.
1. Herod the Great, founder of the dynasty, tried to kill the infant Jesus by the “slaughter of the innocents” at Bethlehem.
2. Herod Philip, uncle and first husband of Herodias, was not a ruler.
3. Herodias left Herod Philip to marry his half-brother Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee & Perea.
4. John the Baptist rebuked Antipas for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, while his brother was still alive—against the law of Moses.
5. Salome danced for Herod Antipas and, at Herodias’s direction, requested the beheading of John the Baptist. Later she married her great-uncle Philip the Tetrarch.
6. Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee &: Perea (r. 4 B.C.E.–39 C.E.), was Herodias’s uncle and second husband. After Salome’s dance and his rash promise, he executed John the Baptist. Much later he held part of Jesus’ trial.
7. Herod Archelaus, Ethnarch of Judea, Samaria and Idumea (r. 4 B.C.E.–6 C.E.), was replaced by a series of Roman governors, including Pontius Pilate (r. 26–36 C.E.).
8. Philip the Tetrarch of northern territories (r. 4 B.C.E.–34 C.E.) later married Herodias’s daughter Salome, his grandniece.
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9. King Herod Agrippa I (r. 37–44 C.E.) executed James the son of Zebedee and imprisoned Peter before his miraculous escape.
10. Berenice, twice widowed, left her third husband to be with brother Agrippa II (rumored lover) and was with him at Festus’s trial of Paul.
11. King Herod Agrippa II (r. 50–c. 93 C.E.) was appointed by Festus to hear Paul’s defense.
12. Antonius Felix, Roman procurator of Judea (r. 52–c. 59 C.E.), Paul’s first judge, left him in prison for two years until new procurator Porcius Festus (r. c. 60–62 C.E.) became the second judge, and Paul appealed to Caesar.
13. Drusilla left her first husband to marry Roman governor Felix.
Our free eBook Ten Top Biblical Archaeology Discoveries brings together the exciting worlds of archaeology and the Bible! Learn the fascinating insights gained from artifacts and ruins, like the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where the Gospel of John says Jesus miraculously restored the sight of the blind man, and the Tel Dan inscription—the first historical evidence of King David outside the Bible.
This Bible History Daily feature was originally published on September 25, 2017.
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