Ancient History

Herod – the End of His Life

Herod negotiated the complex relationship of the various Jewish groups, his Roman masters and the nations surrounding him with cunning, if not with ease. Herod’s cities and Temple complex attempted to bridge the gaps among these various groups, but there were simply too many moving parts and fissures appeared, especially among the rural Jews of… Continue reading Herod – the End of His Life

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Ancient History

Herod and the Jews

Herod had seen the greatness of Rome. His sons were educated in Caesar’s household. His kingdom had a substantial, urban Gentile population which formed a substantial power block. Early in his reign, Herod even minted coins with Roman helmets on them, showing his reliance on (or at the very least, admiration of) the Roman system.… Continue reading Herod and the Jews

Ancient History

Herod’s Architectural Ambitions

Thanks to his partnership with Augustus Caesar, Herod became enormously wealthy. If Josephus is to believed, Herod’s wealth was truly staggering, and he put it to good use. In the broader world, he sponsored numerous buildings and improvements, and in one year even sponsored (and hosted) the Olympic Games at one of his new cities.… Continue reading Herod’s Architectural Ambitions

Alternate History, Ancient History

Herod and Rome

Rome’s influence over the Levant began in 63 BCE when the general Pompey intervened in a feud between two factions of Hasmonean kingdom. Pompey took Jerusalem, installed one of the leaders, Hyrcanus as ethnarch and appointed one of his allies, Antipater of Idumea, as epitropos or “regent” to oversee affairs. Antipater saw the region through… Continue reading Herod and Rome

Ancient History

Herod the Great, Introduction

Herod the Great looms over the story of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Matthew. He is a character judged more by popular impressions than by Scriptural revelation. For generations, that brief glimpse fueled all sorts of false perceptions and fictionalized narratives about Herod and his reign. In the past half century or so, archaeological… Continue reading Herod the Great, Introduction

Ancient History, Church, History, Theology

Theories as Facts

Among students of the Scriptures, it is often hard to discern the theories from the facts. Someone in one generation develops an idea, and the next generation - who learned the idea in their college classrooms - teaches it as fact. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the theory of the "historical Jesus" which fuels… Continue reading Theories as Facts

Church, Doesn't Fit in a Category, General, Marriage and Family, Ministry Connections

Hillbilly Preachers, Homosexuals and Speaking Grace

A video of a North Carolina pastor was making the rounds of the internet recently. Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church begins a diatribe on placing "lesbins, q-u-weers, and hom-o-sessuals" (that's how he pronounces the words) in what amounts to concentration camps so they will die out. The video has over a… Continue reading Hillbilly Preachers, Homosexuals and Speaking Grace