The New International Encyclopædia/Herodians

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HERODIANS (Gk. Ἡρωδιανοί, Hērōdianoi, adherents of Herod, from Ἡρώδης, Hērōdēs, Herod). A party among the Jews, twice mentioned in the New Testament, and both times in connection with the Pharisees: (1) Mark iii. 6, on the occasion of Jesus' healing of the man with the withered hand in the Capernaum synagogue; (2) Mark xii. 13 (cf. Matt. xxii. 16), on the occasion of placing before Jesus the question about tribute to Cæsar. They were evidently not a religious sect, as the Pharisees and the Sadducees; nor the mere Court and family followers of the Herods, but rather a political party, whose object was the reëstablishment of the Herodian kingdom in the spirit of its traditional policy — the union of Judaism with Hellenism. (See Herod.) Their connection with the Pharisees, consequently, was not due to any sympathy of ideas with them, but to the instinctive conviction that in the spiritual mission of Jesus lay a danger common to them both. They were not necessarily pro-Roman in their feelings; though, in the nature of things, they would be more kindly disposed to the spirit of the pagan government than to that of the old theocracy, as represented by the Pharisees, or of the new Messianism involved in the religion of Jesus. It is probable that they had more in common with the religiously indifferent Sadducees than with any other Jewish party. Upon such a supposition there may be some bearing in the significant interchange of ‘Sadducees’ and ‘Herod’ in Jesus' warnings to His disciples as given in the parallels, Mark viii. 15 and Matt. xvi. 6.