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Old Testament theologian Walter Brueggemann famously says that, as far as the Bible is concerned, any Pharaoh is just a Pharaoh–Genesis and Exodus don’t take any time to distinguish between all the Hoteps and the Rameseses and the Tutankhamans–once you’ve seen one Pharaoh, you’ve seen ‘em all.  The New Testament tends to do the same with Herods–whether it’s the Herod ordering the Slaughter of the Innocents or the one Jesus taunts with his sayings about unfinished towers or the one who executes John the Baptist, with few exceptions they’re all just Herod.  Bruce Chilton wants us to take a closer look, though.  In his new book The Herods: Murder, Politics, and the Art of Succession from Fortress Press, he explores not only the complexity and the weirdness within the Herod family–and it’s a weird family–but the relationships of violence and sex and worship and paranoia that developed between this unbelievable Idumean family and some of the world’s power players of the day.  Christian Humanist Profiles is happy to welcome Bruce back to the show. 

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