Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 129:515 (Jul 72) p. 255
Herod Antipas. By Harold W. Hoehner. Cambridge: At the University Press, 1972. xvi + 437 pp. $22.00.
Herod Antipas, authored by the Assistant Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at Dallas Theological Seminary, is a careful and meticulous study of the life and times of one of the neglected figures of New Testament criticism. Originally a Cambridge Ph.D. thesis, written under the supervision of Dr. Ernst Bammel, an acknowledged authority in this area of study, and presented for the degree in 1968, the work has been brought up to date to the time of publication. It is issued as volume number 17 in the Monograph Series of the Society for New Testament Studies, thus becoming one of a distinguished collection of scholarly volumes.
The work is divided into three parts, like all Gaul and all good sermons. In the first part the author discusses Antipas’ background, with particular stress upon his youth and struggle for the kingdom. In the second part Antipas’ realm comes under consideration, and the stress here rests upon the kingdom’s geography, people, and economics. The largest amount of space is devoted, as one might expect, to Antipas’ reign, the final section of the work. It is here that Professor Hoehner wrestles with the problems of the relationship of Antipas to John the Baptist, to Pilate, and to Jesus. And, the reviewer might add, it is here that the reader is most amply rewarded for his reading time. In fact, this part of the book is an able introduction to the political background of the life of our Lord. The remainder of the work consists of eleven appendices, two tables, an extensive bibliography of 45 pages, and appropriate indices. In the appendices there are treatments of such matters as the wills of Herod the Great, the population and boundaries of Antipas’ territories, the sources of the accounts of the Baptist’s death, the Herodians, and other problems.
Professor Hoehner’s volume is complete, even to the discussion of the “bright robe” (cf. Luke 23:11) with which Herod and his soldiers clothed Jesus. A wealth of research has been spent in the writing of it in both primary and secondary sources, principal attention, and rightly so, being given to Josephus, Blinzler, Jones (A. M. H.), Schürer, and
BSac 129:515 (Jul 72) p. 256
Taylor (V.), according to my reading. Among the positions taken by the author are these: (1) Antipas was an able ruler, not over-burdened with a lust for power, but driven to his reprehensible actions, such as that concerning the Baptist, by the ambitions of his evil wife, Herodias; (2) his downfall may be traced to her (to use scholarly language, pace Women’s ...
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