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God new evidence

GOD: new evidence


Herod the Tyrant

(Unwrapped: the Truth about Christmas #24)

What's in the series?      Previous: Wise men from the East       Next: A Prophecy Misused?

When King Herod realised that the wise men were not coming back, and that he would not be able to identify the child who was a threat to his throne, he sent his soldiers to kill all the boys in Bethlehem who were two years old or less.

There is no record of this atrocity outside Matthew's Gospel. But it fits completely with what we know about King Herod from other sources:

Herod the Great was a vicious tyrant, paranoid and completely ruthless about defending his throne. He executed huge numbers of people. He killed his own wife Mariamne, and several of his sons, who he saw as threats to his throne. The Jewish historian Josephus calls Herod a 'pitiless monster.'

Although we do not know about the killing of the toddlers in Bethlehem from anywhere other than Matthew's Gospel, it is completely in character with what we do know about Herod from other sources.

If you think it is a problem that there is no other record of this slaughter, ask yourself this: who was going to record it? Herod was hardly likely to publish the fact himself. And if you had lived under a paranoid murderous tyrant, would you have gone out of your way to publish one of his atrocities?

To find out more read Matthew 2:1-12

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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