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Chariots of Fire (3 of 18)
The Resurrection of Conscience-Herod Antipas
Clarence E. Macartney
Men do not rise from the dead until the Resurrection.
But Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, was convinced
that John the Baptist had risen.
This is the reason why he was sure that John had
risen. Herod Antipas and some of his friends and
nobles were reclining on couches on the balcony of
Herod's palace at Tiberias. An occasional slave came
in, bringing them wine to drink. In front of them
stretched the blue Sea of Galilee, and far in the
distance rose the brown mountains of Gadara. As they
sat looking out over the sea, they engaged in
desultory gossip: the winner of the last chariot races
at Antioch; the bread riots at Alexandria; the latest
news from Augustus in Rome; guesses as to why the
stepson of Augustus, Tiberius, was studying rhetoric
at the Island of Rhodes; what Archelaus, the older
brother of Herod Antipas, and king of Judea, was
doing, or plotting.
Then, suddenly, the conversation shifted to another
personality. One of these nobles, Josephus, said,
"Have you heard the rumors about Jesus, the Nazarene?"
Olynthus, leaning against the balcony rail, answered
"Yes, I hear strange, incredible tales about him-
cleansing lepers, healing lame men, opening the eyes
of the blind."
Marcellus, who was reclining next to Herod, asked,
"What do you make of it all?"
Whereupon Josephus said, "Some think that he is
Elijah. The book of Malachi predicts, you know, that
Elijah will return."
"And others," added Olynthus, "think that he must be
Jeremiah. There was a tradition, you know, that
Jeremiah would appear with a golden sword and put it
into the hands of a leader of the Jews."
"And still others," said Marcellus, "think that he
must be the prophet Samuel; and still others that he
While this conversation was going on, Herod, with a
troubled look on his face, had risen ...
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