Herod Agrippa I

Herod Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod “the Great” through one of the sons that Herod had executed during his lifetime. Herodias was his full sister. He grew up in Rome and, was known as the “black sheep” of the Herodian family for his dissolute lifestyle and habit of running up unpaid debts. After…

“Herod Philip”

“Herod Philip” is the name that historians use to refer to a son of Herod “the Great” named Philip who must be distinguished from Philip the Tetrarch. He lived in Rome with his wife Herodias (who was a granddaughter of Herod, and thus the niece of her husband) and their daughter Salome. When Herod Antipas…

Philip the Tetrarch

Philip the Tetrarch was one of the three sons of Herod “the Great” who received territory when he died in 4 BC. Directly mentioned in the New Testament only in Luke 3:1, he ruled over Ituraea and Trachonitis. These almost exclusively Gentile regions were located to the northeast of the Sea of Galilee. It was…

Herod Antipas

Herod Antipas, under a variety of titles, appears in all three of the Synoptic Gospels and is mentioned in the book of Acts. One of the many sons of Herod “the Great,” under the terms of his father’s will he was appointed “Tetrarch,” a client ruler somewhat lower in rank than a “king,” over the…

Herod the “Great”

There are a bewildering number of “Herods” who make an appearance in the pages of the New Testament—keeping them all straight can be a challenge! Herod, somewhat miss-titled the “Great,” is the first to be mentioned and the ancestor of all of the others. Born around 70 BC, he ruled the entirety of Jewish Palestine…

Sad•du•cees

Like the Pharisees, the Sadducees were a Jewish religious and political party that existed during the life of Christ and the beginnings of the early church but disappeared soon afterwards. If we know little for certain about the Pharisees, we know even less about the Sadducees. We know, from the accounts given in the Gospel…

Cae•sa•re•a Mar•i•tim•a

Caesarea Maritima was located on the Mediterranean coast about 65 miles northwest of Jerusalem. It became the residence of the Roman governors of Judea, including Pontius Pilate, who would only come to Jerusalem for large feasts such as the Passover and other important events. Founded by Herod the Great, it was named in honor of…

Cen•tur•i•on

A Roman Centurion was the equivalent, more or less, of a non-commissioned officer in American military today. Typically promoted from the ranks, a centurion would normally have charge of 100 men (a “century”), though the actual number could be somewhat flexible depending on circumstances. As there were no Roman legions stationed in the land of…

Phar•i•sees

The Pharisees were a Jewish religious sect that was active during the ministry of Jesus and the beginnings of the early church but disappeared after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD. While speculations about the Pharisees abound, such speculations are often based on very little hard evidence. In reality, we do not…