555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

146. Who Were the Herodians?

The Herodians were a class of Jews in the time of Christ, who were partisans of Herod, either of a political or religious sort, or both. It appears that when the ecclesiastical authorities of Judea held a council against the Saviour, they associated with themselves the Herodians, and sent an embassy to Jesus designing to trap him in his speech. As tetrarch of Galilee, Herod Antipas was the ruler of the province which was Jesus' home, and the Jews doubtless argued that Herod would be pleased if they could convict Jesus of being a rival claimant to the crown. The Pharisees were a Jewish sect who held rigidly aloof from other sects, claimed to be free from every kind of impurity and united to keep the Mosaic laws, to which they gave the closest study. They were frequently denounced by our Saviour for their self-righteousness and their assumption of superior piety. The Sadducees were another sect, originally a religious body, but which had developed into a body of freethinkers. They rejected the oral law and the prophets, but believed in the Pentateuch; they denied the resurrection and they held different views from other Jews on various other important points while claiming to be the most aristocratic and conservative of all the bodies.