Herod Antipas

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 regions of Galilee and Perea (referred to as “beyond-the-Jordan” in the Gospels). He imprisoned, and later executed John the Baptist for criticizing his marriage to his brother’s wife. He also was the Herod to whom Pilate sent Jesus during His trial. His request in AD 39, after a reign of 43 years, for the Roman government to give him the formal title of “king,” led to his banishment. Mark’s Gospel, where he is referred to as “King Herod” likely reflects the popular usage that lay behind his request.