Lully, Lu-LIE: National Geographic Claims Herod Not Such a Bad Guy
The Curt Jester has the details:
... Now who could the National Geographic be talking about? Why of course it is King Herod the Great!Herod guided his kingdom to new prosperity and power.He was all about hope and change.Yet today he is best known as the sly and murderous monarch of Matthew's Gospel, who slaughtered every male infant in Bethlehem in an unsuccessful attempt to kill the newborn Jesus, the prophesied King of the Jews. During the Middle Ages he became an image of the Antichrist: Illuminated manuscripts and Gothic gargoyles show him tearing his beard in mad fury and brandishing his sword at the luckless infants, with Satan whispering in his ear. Herod is almost certainly innocent of this crime, of which there is no report apart from Matthew's account.Wow I guess I can forget about the Holy Innocents. Thanks National Geographic!But children he certainly slew, including three of his own sons, along with his wife, his mother-in-law, and numerous other members of his court. Throughout his life, he blended creativity and cruelty, harmony and chaos, in ways that challenge the modern imagination. [article]Now I am confused. We know about how Herod murdered his relatives based on only one account by Josephus written around 93 or 94. Yet the account by Matthew written earlier and passed on by people living within living memory of King Herod is not credible. National Geographic also calls Josephus a "hostile biographer " So I guess the one source rule can be used selectively depending on the outcome you want. Besides somebody who murdered many family members out of a paranoid feat of being usurped could not possibly react like the Herod in Matthew's account - oh wait...