Herodians

Herodians

[huh-roh-dee-uhn]
Herodians, Jewish political party of the early 1st cent. A.D., related to the dynasty of Herod. Some have supposed that they were largely Sadducees. In the New Testament the Herodians are referred to, with the Pharisees, as being in opposition to Jesus.
The Herodians were a sect or party mentioned in the New Testament as having on two occasions--once in Galilee, and again in Jerusalem--manifested an unfriendly disposition towards Jesus (; cf. also , , ).

In each of these cases their name is coupled with that of the Pharisees. According to many interpreters the courtiers or soldiers of Herod Antipas ("Milites Herodis," Jerome) are intended; but more probably the Herodians were a public political party, who distinguished themselves from the two great historical parties of post-exilian Judaism (Pharisees and Sadducees) by the fact that they were and had been sincerely friendly to Herod the Great, the King of the Jews, and to his dynasty (cf. such formations as "Caesariani," "Pompeiani").

It is possible that, to gain adherents, the Herodian party may have been in the habit of representing that the establishment of a Herodian Dynasty would be favourable to the realization of the theocracy; and this in turn may account for Tertullian's (De praescr.) allegation that the Herodians regarded Herod himself as the Messiah. The sect was called by the Rabbis Boethusians as being friendly to the family of Boethus, whose daughter Mariamne was one of Herod the Great's wives.

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