The Herods

The Herods: Murder, Politics, and the Art of Succession
by Bruce Chilton 2021

About the Author
Bruce D. Chilton is the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College, where he has taught since 1987. In addition to his many celebrated publications on the texts, practices, and beliefs of ancient Judaism and Christianity, he is also the author of many books, including Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography.

About the Book
“The Herodians are an irritation for a number of reasons, not least because their motives and theocratic rationales have to be read through another irritation–Josephus. What irritates scholars in the study of the Herods is the welter of opinions about each of the Herodians as well as the lengthy cast of characters outside that family that appear here and there on the stage and then, with lights on someone else, disappear without resolving our questions. Chilton’s study adds to all these irritations and, in so doing, sorts through the literature and history and scholarship with scholarly acuity and the literary skills for which he is known. Throughout, Chilton has his eye for wisdom about governance the dangers of religiously based empire as he meanders through the twists and turns and tortures of these potentates. Don’t be surprised if your politics, your theo-politics, are under review as this book unfolds.” –Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary

“An exacting historian and consummate storyteller, Chilton exquisitely details the motivations, actions, and consequences of the Herodian policies and intrigue that shaped the worlds of early Judaism and Christianity. No dynasty is more historically significant or interesting than the Herodian, and no existing analysis of that dynasty is as complete and insightful as Chilton’s.” –Alan J. Avery-Peck, College of the Holy Cross

“This is a well-crafted study: the primary sources have been carefully considered, and scholarly literature perceptively engaged. But Chilton gives readers so much more. His renders an exciting and story of the Herodian dynasty, whose relevance for Jesus and the origins of the Christian Church can hardly be exaggerated. Those who think that history dull will instead be drawn deeply into Chilton’s narrative–and will love it!” –Craig A. Evans, Houston Baptist University

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