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GOD: new evidence


Real People: the death of Herod Agrippa

'Testing Luke' #26


What's in the series?      Previous: Luke's Biggest Mistake?      Next: The tomb of Augustus

Caesarea was built by King Herod the Great, and he named it in honour of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. It became the capital of the Roman province of Judea, and another member of the Herod family, King Herod Agrippa the first, died here.

In the book of Acts, in the Bible, Luke records how Agrippa died. The Jewish historian Josephus also records the death of Agrippa – and he describes it in very similar terms.

The accounts by Luke and Josephus are clearly independent, yet they describe Herod's death in very similar ways.

However similar the accounts are, a sceptic will never be satisfied: if they are very similar, she will say that one of them was copied from the other. If they have major differences, she will say that there are contradictions, so we cannot trust either of them.

But what we have here in Luke and Josephus is just what we do get with independent accounts of things that really happened: the core events are the same, but the details are often reported differently.

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Peter S Williams

‘Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.’
- Nobel Prize-winning scientist Arno Penzias