We apologize to the live listeners who did not hear the last 8 minutes of this podcast. Our streaming computer, which has been quite reliable these past few years, suddenly cut off and Windows 10 began updating itself. This behavior is, of course, contrary to the settings which are supposed to preclude it from doing that during a live program.
On the Gospel of John, Part 5: The Focus of the Disciple
All four of our Christian gospels are written in a very simple and forthright manner, and they describe very little outside of the interactions of Yahshua Christ with His disciples and the people who He had encountered directly, along with some of His teachings and the miracles which He had done, and, of course, His final clash with the authorities. While sometimes they mention a few significant historical figures or events which relate to the birth and life of Christ or the beginning of His ministry, little is described of the world outside of the immediate Gospel narrative. So there are no deep explanations or descriptions of history or current events, nor is there much concern for the political, economic or social conditions in Judaea or the greater part of the Roman empire.
The disciples of Christ are focused upon Yahweh their God and their own immediate circumstances, putting their trust in God, and evidently they did not care if the king was bombing Syria, or invading Arabia. Now, that may seem like a sarcastic allusion to today’s circumstances, and it certainly is, but there were similar things happening at the time of John the Baptist, and the writers of the gospels and the portrayals of the characters involved in the ministry of Christ had no concern for them at all.
Before continuing, we must have a digression. Herod the Tetrarch, or Herod Antipas, appears often in all of the gospel accounts of the ministry of Christ. He is a son of the first Herod known from Matthew chapter 2 at the birth of Christ. He is also mentioned in Luke 3:1 as “tetrarch of Galilee”, where we also find another Herod, called Philip, who is called the tetrarch “of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis”. Herod Agrippa I is the Herod of Acts chapter 12. His son Herod Agrippa II is the Agrippa of Acts chapters 25 and 26, and the Bernice mentioned there is the younger Agrippa’s sister, and she is also alleged to have been his wife. The elder Herod Agrippa’s sister is the Herodias of the accounts of the slaying of John the Baptist in the synoptic gospels, and the Herod mentioned there is Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas and Herod Philip were half-brothers, and they had another half-brother, Artistobulus IV, who was the father of the elder Herod Agrippa. All three of the half-brothers had different mothers. Not all writers used the same names consistently for each Herod, so they are very difficult to follow through Scripture and history.