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Herod’s Defensive Letter to Caesar!

Herod’s Defensive Letter to Caesar!

Letter form Herod Antipas to Tiberius Caesar and the Senate of Rome: “My Noble Lords, Greeting, As to what Pontius Pilate says in regard to my cowardice and disobedience in the case of Jesus of Nazareth, I will say in my own defense: I was informed by all the Jews that this was the same Jesus that my father aimed to destroy in his infancy; for I have it in my father’s private writings and accounts of his life, showing that when the report was circulated of three men inquiring where was he that was born King of the Jews, he called together the Hillel and Shammai schools, and demanded the reading of the sacred scrolls; that it was decided he was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea, as read and interpreted that night by Hillel. So when my father learned that there was a birth of a male child in Bethlehem under very strange circumstances, and he could not learn where or who the child was, he sent and had all the male children slain that were near his age. Afterward he learned that his mother had taken him and fled into the wilderness. For this attempt to uphold the Roman authority in the land of Judea the world has not ceased to curse him to this day; and yet the Caesar’s have done a thousand worse things, and done them a thousand times, and it was all well. Just think how many lives have been lost to save the Roman Empire; while those infants were only removed in their innocence from the evil to come. The proper way to judge of action is to let the actor judge, or the one with whom the action terminates. If this should be done, and there is a life of happiness beyond for innocence to dwell in, those infants as well as Rachels should be thankful to my father for the change. Again my Lord’s, Pilate is a higher officer than I; and you know in our law the lower court always has the right to appeal to the higher. As to Pilate’s saying that Jesus was a Galilean, he is mistaken. Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, as the records show. And as for his citizenship, he had none. He wandered about from place to place, having no home, making his abode principally with the poor. He was a wild fanatic, who had taken up the doctrines of John (but not his baptism), and was quite an enthusiast. He had learned sooth-saying, while in Egypt, to perfection. I tried to get him to perform some miracle while in my court, but he was too sharp to be caught in a trap; like all necromancers, he was afraid to show off before the intelligent. From what I could learn he had reprimanded some of the rich Jews for their meanness, and his reproaches were not out of the way, from what I heard they would have much better men if they had practiced what they preached.” Herod Antipas

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