Between Rome and Jerusalem: Herod the Great and His Sons in Their Struggle for Recognition
The present study proposes a challenging new chronological framework for the Herodian age, a critical period in Jewish history. Not only do the rules of Herod the Great and his sons receive altered time settings, but the birth and death of Jesus are also placed several years later than is generally accepted. As a consequence of this the dates of Paul's apostolate are reexamined. Ostensibly narrow in scope, these modifications entail far-reaching implications for our understanding of the Syro-Palestinian region at the beginning of the present era. Interconnections between numerous events are established and tensions within and between the Herodian and Hasmonean dynasties are laid bare. It is shown that Roman impact on the East was substantial, with a strong Hellenistic influence exerted on local cultures. Several customs of the Jewish and early Christian communities, hitherto unknown, are also brought to light. Both in its details and in its overall sweep this important work sets up a stimulating reference point for future historical investigations of the Herodian and New Testament worlds.