My understanding of the physical condition of King Herod the Great during his last days cause me not to be riled to the degree you are [Bart Ehrman re: Bill O'Reilly's book, Killing Jesus]. I thought it was a generally accepted fact that there were gruesome elements to his health during his last days.

King Herod willed himself to stay alive until “justice” was brought against his son who couldn’t wait for the throne. Herod went against the wishes of Rome and executed his son. As I have read and understand the situation, Herod killed so many people from the royal family before him and maybe his son was an innocent to the extent that Herod the Great should have stepped down when his son saw the writing on the wall that his father’s time was short on this Earth.

I don’t know how you translate the killing of the innocents historically but I translate it as I’ve just written: Herod the Great killed a number of people of the prior royal family and he killed people in his own royal family, in addition to his son. THE BIG QUESTION IS did he or did he not kill his son’s wife who was the daughter of the prior king? Why not include her in the conspiracy? If he was so against his predecessor’s bloodline, why not send her to her death with Antipater?

I think in Herod the Great’s last months, weeks, and days, he was concerned with Antipater getting his throne and not some newborn. I have to fault the Bible and teachers of the Bible for putting Jesus on Herod the Great’s mind in front of Herod’s own flesh and blood. The only killing on Herod the Great’s mind was killing his son who could take his throne immediately, not Jesus who could take the throne more than a decade later.

Now, IF Jesus were the son of Antipater and the daughter of the preceding king (Antigonus) who he ousted, then maybe he had Antipater killed and sought to kill Antipater’s heir IF the newborn was not a girl.

So, to help me agree with you, explain why you think Herod the Great was in better health?

Second, the killing of the innocents is not over with the statement, it did not happen in Bethlehem or wherever Jesus was born. If Antigonus was the biological father of Jesus, father and son were enemies of Herod the Great.

Is your take on the Killing of the Innocents: paranoid Herod the Great did not kill any innocent people? My takeaway is that he earned his reputation for killing the innocent and those who mythologized the Jesus story used that well known reputation to build Jesus up by association with Herod the Great (Jesus is Great because a Great king was threatened by him).

But we are back to Herod the Great’s paranoia about Antipater having a son by his first wife or his second wife. In all fairness, I think the giving one’s son the death penalty and seeking out a grandson was his last efforts. Any other hunt for a baby fulfilling the Star Prophecy was outside the real biography of Herod the Great.