New Testament Characters in Historical Sources

Herod Agrippa I

"Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James, the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also...And he (Herod) went from Judea to Ceasarea and stayed there"                 (Acts 12:1-3, 19). 

 

"So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, "the voice of a god and not of a man". Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died" (Acts 12:21-23). 

"Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he came to the city Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato's Tower and there he exhibited spectacles in honor of Caesar. ... a certain festival. At this festival a great number of people were gathered together... and all his flatterers cried out that he was god!

 

And then...

 

a severe pain arose in his belly, striking with a most violent intensity, therefore he looked at his friends and said: "I, whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life... When he said that, his pain became violent. Accordingly, he was carried into the Palace... After five days he departed his life, being fifty four years of his age".                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Josephus Flavius, Antiquities 19.8.2 -343-361)

 

(to be continued)