HERODIANS, a sect or party mentioned in the New Testament together with the *Pharisees as opponents of Jesus (Mark 3:6; 12:13; Matt. 22:16). There are differences of opinion as to their identity, and the Church Fathers already put forward various theories all connected in one form or another with the name of *Herod the Great. Some recent scholars identify the Herodians with the "partisans of Herod" mentioned by Josephus (Ant., 14:479), though he mentions them as living at the beginning of Herod's rule in Judea. Others connect the name with Herod *Antipas, the son of Herod. In the absence of clear evidence, these must be regarded as mere conjectures. A. Schalit, who identifies the Herodians with the partisans of Herod, is of the opinion that they were his supporters among the Jewish community who urged the people to accept his sovereignty and spread messianic ideas which they applied to Herod and his rule.


Bickerman, in: RB, 47 (1938), 184–97; Avi-Yonah, in: IEJ, 16 (1966), 264; A. Schalit, Koenig Herodes (1969), 479ff.

[Uriel Rappaport]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.