🔼The name Antipas: Summary
- Instead Of The Father; Against The Father
- Against Everything
- From (1) αντι (anti), instead of, and (2) the noun πατηρ (pater), father.
- From (1) αντι (anti), opposite, and (2) the noun πας (pas), everything.
🔼The name Antipas in the Bible
The name Antipas occurs only once in the Bible, namely in the enigmatic statement that Jesus has John the Revelator submit to the angel of the church in Pergamum: "I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells" (Revelation 2:13).
The immediate question, of course, is: who is this Antipas whom Jesus finds so important but nobody else in the entire Bible appears to mention? Post-biblical tradition rushed to the rescue and invented a Saint Antipas, made him a bishop of Pergamum and devised a fittingly grizzly end for him to warrant his elevation to martyrdom. And all this to avert attention from the period's only obvious Antipas, namely Herod Antipas, who had been neither saint nor martyr, and certainly neither witness nor faithful one of Christ. Or so it has always seemed.
🔼Antipas, Antipater and the succession of Alexander
The name Antipas is a contracted form of Antipater (there's more to this, but see below). Certainly the most famous Antipater in antiquity was the Macedonian general who outlived Alexander the Great by about a year, and dapperly kept the empire together. That means that the popular understanding that Alexander's empire fell apart upon his death is not precisely correct: it fell apart upon the death of general Antipater, who was Alexander's rightful successor (by election).
For unclear reasons, and pretty much at the same time, a legend began to bud that told of a Persian-Greek woman named Barsine who, five years before his death, had been impregnated by Alexander (who was otherwise a dedicated homosexual). She gave birth to a boy whom she named Heracles of Macedon, and since he would have been the rightful successor of Alexander, his existence, or rather his Alexandrian pedigree, was immediately challenged or ignored by those who rather aimed to carve up the world into competing factions.
As every author will attest, text is never a window but always a canvass, and every report, no matter how realistic or fictional, is always also a commentary slanted by the author's personal views and sensibilities. In antiquity, there was no separation of state, philosophy and religion, and there was also no separation between journalism, science, mythology and metaphor. Alexander had created a world-wide empire based on the wisdoms of Aristotle, and the issue of a successor who might keep the world at peace and together (Matthew 12:25, Luke 12:51, 1 Corinthians 1:13) resonated with everybody's deepest sense of human essence and society and even divinity. Since Zeus was the Father of the whole human world (Acts 17:28), the issue of the succession of Alexander was at the core a theological one. As everybody in the first century knew, the failure of Alexander's enlightened empire had given opportunity for the rise of the much more sinister empire of Rome.
Rather significant to our present story is the assertion (by ancient authors Diodorus and Justin) that young Heracles had been brought up in, sure enough: Pergamum, whose angel Jesus addressed when he spoke of the faithful Antipas. Since Pergamum would become the home of the greatest library apart from the Alexandrian one (see our article on Pergamum), it's not unthinkable that, even though Heracles was quite real and claims to the throne in his name were actually made, to the broader guild of literary artists, Heracles was first and foremost a literary character, modelled upon the ancient hero Heracles but obviously the embodiment of all the formal (i.e. written down) wisdom of the natural world. As if the commentators, whether consciously or not and whether deliberate or not, had meant to say that the "true" nature of Alexander's empire was intellectual rather than military, and his "true" successor was the Logos (the formal description of everything) rather than some human king who pulled laws out of his hat and aimed to model the world after his own image.
🔼In the beginning was the Word
In our article on the name Logos, we assert that human consciousness (i.e. human collective consciousness, which manifests in language, which is always communal) underwent a massive revolution when it was realized that the world runs on permanent and inviolable rules rather than the ever changing whims of competing deities. Permanent rules make the universe literally lawful and thus predictable and thus manageable instead of lawless and thus chaotic and merciless. And mastery of the world and one's place in it comes from learning the rules that make nature work (rather than trying to please whatever deity is thought to be in charge of fate). A man who can't predict the actions of his deity is a slave to that deity but a man who masters the rules of the deity can be a friend of the deity (Exodus 33:11, John 15:15) and hence free to do whatever he wants.
Similarly, a society whose citizens all have a working understanding of the rules of nature is a perfectly just Socialistic Republic, without need of a central government. Monotheism comes from the understanding that all the many rules by which nature operates, and thus the Logos itself, are in fact One (Deuteronomy 6:4). This is where the many conservation laws come from (preservation of energy, momentum, electrical charge, baryon number), why what goes up must come down, and why the whole universe came out of Oneness, and is today still governed solely by Oneness. This is also why love, which is that which unifies, is divine (1 John 4:8).
God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4), which means that the nature of God is Unity (Romans 1:20), and partaking in that divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) is partaking in Unity (Ephesians 4:1-6). Not intelligence but the innate desire to unify (i.e. love) is what drove man out of the caves, into language, into rules, into cities, into the Global Republic that today is forming over our heads.
The material universe began as a singularity, and although the universe expands, the Oneness of the singularity was never compromised, and will exist until the universe enters into a state of Heat Death and all particles have drifted apart so far that no particle can detect or influence any other, and no hope remains that any ever will. How life emerged in the universe is not clear, but the most primitive form of life is also the most anti-social (simply because communication between living things requires a skill that the first living things still had to develop). That means that life began in a state that resembled the utter dispersal of material Heat Death, a Super-Diaspora, so to speak. But life learned and found other living things and began to communicate and form colonies and became multi-cellular and developed language and script. It was discovered that the universe runs on law, which displaced all idols and claims to the supernatural and became the One and only God to which life continued to gather.
Matter develops from singularity to diaspora (imagine a triangle with the singularity as its top and heat death as its fuzzy base), whereas life develops from diaspora to singularity (again, a triangle but opposite). These two triangles superimposed form the Star of David.
🔼The exact representation of the Father
In the Biblical arena, the Logos is precisely that which Jesus embodied: "And the Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Or in the words of Paul: "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:16-17). And: "He [the Son] is the radiance of His [God's] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). In Greek, all this would be summarized by the term Anti-Pater.
See our articles on Hellas and Homer for a closer look at the magnificent relationship between the Greek and Hebrew traditions, whose crucial difference is that to the Europeans, God is apart from mankind and needs vicarious representation on earth by a specially initiated elite, whereas to the Hebrews, God (or rather divinity or the divine nature: Oneness or Unification of any kind) is an emergent property of mankind: hence the concept of Immanuel (means God With Us), whose divine nature can be found within mankind, and embraced, understood and assumed via simple participation (Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Luke 17:21, Ephesians 5:1, 2 Peter 1:4, 1 John 4:16, 3 John 1:11).
The notion of a distant Sky Father (Jupiter = Zeu Pater = Father Zeus) is a hugely old and widely attested Indo-European idea, and the name Antipater very clearly refers to That Which Complements/Supports/Upholds The Father: that which is not the Father but perfectly performs the will of the Father in his name and in his absence. In short: the name Antipater expresses the desire for a human world that has no borders and no kings and only a single living cultural soul from which all men derive their personal natures (Ephesians 3:14-15).
There were several noted philosophers and military men named Antipater in antiquity, but the shortened form, Antipas, was in the first century as unique and obligating as the name John F. Kennedy is in ours. If Jesus had meant to discuss some other and otherwise wholly unknown Antipas, he would have added: "... and no, I don't mean Herod Antipas!" He would have given this other Antipas a secondary epithet, perhaps a defining quality, an ethnonym or toponym; anything that would prevent the audience from understandably concluding that he was talking about the one and only Antipas known in those days: Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, who had killed John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12) and had been more than instrumental in the torture and execution of Jesus (Luke 23:8-12).
General Antipater had kept Alexander's empire from falling apart into four separate ones (and "four" always means "world-wide", which is where the four corners of the world and hence the four-horned world-wide altar and thus the swastika come from; compare Exodus 20:24 and 27:2 to Revelation 6:9, 8:3-5, 9:13 and so on). The royal title of Herod Antipas was "tetrarch", which combines the words τετρα (tetra), four, and αρχων (archon), chief or ruler. This word tetrarch literally means "ruler of four" but was used to mean ruler of a fourth [part]. Antipas had inherited only a fourth of the realm of his father, Herod the Great, whose other three heirs were son Archelaus (Judea, Samaria and Idumea), son Philip (Ituraea and Trachonitis) and sister Salome (Jabneh and other cities).
Herod the Great's first born son and original heir was named Antipater as well. But this first-born Antipater and his mother Doris fell out of Herod's favor and with the formal blessing of Emperor Augustus, first-born Antipas was executed (in 5 BC). The next in line to the throne was Herod Antipas. Both Herod Antipas and his unfortunate older half-brother, the first-born Antipas, had been named after their paternal grandfather Antipater the Idumaean, who in turn continued the name of his father, which was Antipas. The latter had been a governor of Idumaea and converted to Judaism during the rise of the autonomous Jewish Kingdom of the Hasmoneans, which existed from about 140 BC, upon the Maccabean victory over the Persians, but lost its autonomy in 63 BC to the invading Romans, and was terminated in 37 BC, when the original Antipas' own grandson, namely Herod the Great-to-be, sold out to the Romans and so took hold of the throne.
Herod the Great was an outrageously blood-thirsty and mentally unstable mass-murderer of, among many others, the innocents of Bethlehem. Though by claim Jewish, he had sided with the Roman enemy and had terminated the Hasmonean royal line by murdering his own Hasmonean wife Mariamne (the namesake of Mary, the mother of Jesus) and two decades later their two sons and last of the Hasmonean heirs Alexander and Aristobulus (who were then, in 7 BCE, in their late 20s). But Herod the Great had nine wives, including Herod Antipas' mother, who had been a Samaritan whom Herod the Great may have met in Samaria in 28 BC, when he was recovering from a life-threatening affliction (perhaps to do with his bowels, possibly from excess consumption, brought about by remorse over having killed Mariamne — but those are traditional guesses). Her name was Malthace, from μαλθακος (malthakos), meaning tender or gentle, which may have helped inspire the story of the Good Samaritan (i.e. Herod Antipas, who was thus half-Edomite, half-Samaritan — note that the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were half-Egyptian).
Mariamne the Hasmonean was Herod the Great's second wife, and while he probably met Malthace right after Mariamne's execution, Malthace became Herod's fourth wife because in the meantime he married yet another Mariamne, a daughter of a high priest (i.e. someone from a high-priestly family), who among her qualities claimed family origins in the Diaspora (with a father from Jerusalem but grandfather from Alexandria), which was rather cosmopolitan and excellent for public relations. They married, but eventually Mariamne II was found to be in league with Herod the Great's treacherous first-born son Antipater, and was dismissed. The Second Mariamne's own son, conveniently also called Herod, was disinherited, making way for Herod Antipas (and note the mild similarities with the rise of Judah, son number four, to the top position in Israel).
Herod Antipas' famous daughter Salome wasn't really his daughter but the daughter of his niece Herodias with Herod Antipas' brother Herod Philip. But Herodias had divorced Philip and moved in with Antipas (hence Matthew 14:3-4), and since adoption was all the rage in those days (even Augustus himself had been adopted as son by the later deified Julius, who was his maternal great-uncle by birth), Salome became Antipas' daughter.
Young Salome (i.e. Salome the Third; Salome the Second was a daughter of The Great with one of his later wives) was named after Herod the Great's sister Salome (the First), who had inherited Jabneh, which was the city to which the Sanhedrin fled due to the sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD, so as to save Judaism. The evangelists discussed the destruction of Jerusalem in terms of the crucifixion of Jesus (John 2:19-22), and the decapitation of John obviously tells of the relocation of the Sanhedrin.
From our modern point of view, Herod Antipas may seem like a bad spawn of an even worse family, but, he had barely been as bad as king David (speaking of Bethlehem), who married the wives of men he had bullied, threatened or assassinated (Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba), who executed the two sons of Rizpah, Saul's concubine, and the five sons of Merab, Saul's daughter, merely to appease some Gibeonites, and who routinely lied and repeatedly committed genocide against civilians while under the protectorate of the enemy king Achish of Gath, where also his most famous victim Goliath had hailed from. David's loyal assassin Joab murdered his colleague assassin Abner after the latter had killed Joab's brother Asahel, Bathsheba's husband Uriah, David's own son Absalom, and Amasa the son of David's sister Abigail. On his deathbed David condemned Joab, and David's son Solomon had Joab executed while he held on to the four horns of the templar altar (1 Kings 2:28-35, compare with 1 Kings 1:50). Solomon also had his half-brother Amnon killed, ultimately because he had raped Tamar, the full sister of Solomon and Absolom. And then, Solomon built the First Temple.
Perhaps comparable, the Bible's epitome of the evil empire is Babylon (Revelation 17:5), whereas Babylon's signature king was Nebuchadnezzar, whose armies destroyed the First Temple and dragged Judah away from the Promised Land and into exile. Nevertheless, through Jeremiah, God refers to Nebuchadnezzar as My Servant (Jeremiah 25:9, 27:6).
Babylon was succeeded by the Persian Empire, whose most celebrated emperor, Cyrus, organized, designed and funded the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:3-5). "Moreover, I [emperor Darius] issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of this house of God: the full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces beyond the River, and that without delay."
The desecration of this Persian Second Temple by the Seleucid king Antiochus triggered the Maccabean revolt, which made way for the Hasmonean dynasty (see our article on Hanukkah). That dynasty was terminated by Herod the Great, who sided with the Romans and who also massively expanded the temple complex. This Roman Temple (still the Second Temple) was the one in which Jesus walked and taught, and whose destruction his crucifixion depicted.
🔼Good Guys versus Bad Guys
The court of public opinion tends to divide the world into Good Guys and Bad Guys, but that may be the very fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Matthew 7:1, Luke 6:37, Romans 2:1, 1 Corinthians 4:5, James 4:12). That same popular court tends to think of the Jesus movement as a small and local movement of lovable fanatics, who had come up with something wholly new and who operated wholly isolated from the Big Bad World at large. This too is incorrect.
The kings and governors of Judea had better things to do than to pay attention to every peasant with a grievance against the Romans. Neither Jesus and Paul preached in a vacuum, and Judea had been in a continuous state of uproar, rebellion or national strike since general Pompey had annexed it in 63 BC. The fact that both Jesus and Paul were brought in front of the three main bodies of government (the Sanhedrin, the Jewish king and the Roman governor) demonstrates that neither of them were minor players, and that in a political sense. Paul even appealed to the Emperor (Nero at the time), who ruled over 25 million subjects, half of which had a bone to pick with him. But Paul went, and evidently indeed ended up in Nero's court to be heard. Now, why would the Emperor of the entire known world be interested in speaking with a man like Paul?
We moderns like to think of the Roman Empire as an enlightened marvel of human communality, but when it was conceived, it was widely considered a complete disaster. Certainly, the Roman Republic hadn't been without sin (the rapes of Carthage and Corinth jump to mind), but the scales and levels of depravity and disdain for human dignity that signified the Empire had never been seen in the world and have never been repeated, not even in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's USSR or Mao's China.
Most crucially, the Republic had been governed by a Senate in which all goings on were exhaustively debated by hundreds of learned men (see our article on παρθενος, parthenos, virgin), whereas the Empire was governed by a single man, who literally stood above the law and whose utter lack of accountability commonly lead to his insanity and death by murder or suicide. Not life or wisdom but power and money were considered the highest goods in Rome, and the client kings of Rome would even murder their own children in order to secure their positions (this indeed in stark contrast to David's response to Absalom). While the Republic sought the divinity of freedom, the Empire enslaved, destroyed and murdered. The mythology of the Jews didn't really feature a hell (which is why the Bible never speaks of heaven and hell and always of heaven and earth), but for Rome they made an exception, in order to account for the endless trains of slaves that were driven in to be worked to death or slayed for sport in the arenas, and the rivers of money that were extracted from the Empire's work force to be spilled on the fleeting whims of the elite. Rome was a death-machine, a crusher of souls, an underworld where a mad monarch oversaw the slaughter of the human world, "creating a wasteland, and calling it peace" (Tacitus Agricola.1.30).
Proponents of the Empire only supported it because they found it more appealing than the alternative, which was an unchecked descent into world-wide anarchy and beastliness. Opponents hoped to restore the Republic and rather preferred facing anarchy than a reversal back to the stifling primitivity of monarchy. For five long centuries, the Roman Republic had resounded the cry of Brutus, slayer of the last Roman king: "I will suffer neither them nor any other to be king in Rome!" (Livy.Hist.1.59, translation of B. O. Foster). But the glorious Republic destabilized (see our article on Pyrrhus), the generals rebelled against the Senate and as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the bruised and battered Republic breathed its last and died, like a one's fierce bull that had been invaded by a deadly pathogen through some minor scrape or cut.
When Caesar became dictator-for-life and named Octavian as his successor, the Beast called Roman Empire began to be: the deadly wound — Rome was a colony of Troy, which means wound, and from the name Priam, of Troy's signature king, comes the name Pergamum; there's that name again — had been healed, and the hated monarchy restored. Soon after, three dozen senatorial opponents banded together under the banner Liberators (namely the world from tyranny) and murdered Caesar. Among the Liberators, most notably, was Brutus, a descendant and namesake of the ancient king-killer. But at the Battle of Philippi, the last of the Liberators were killed, and the Empire rose like a zombie from the Republican ashes.
The most urgent challenge the Empire had to meet was the justification of its existence. And so myths were spun: the Phoenix had risen! The gods sent comets to show their approval! The great Father Julius Caesar was deified and his Son Octavian became Augustus, the King of Kings, the Son of God and Savior of the World. Many peoples fought the Beast and were defeated (see our article on the Illyrian Revolt). But in Judea, these imperial titles began to be applied to a non-violent movement around a certain hard to pin-point figure: an elusive kind of anti-emperor, who spoke of a perfect republic in which all men were free (ελευθερια, eleutheria, freedom-by-law; Galatians 5:1) and no man dominated any other (1 Corinthians 15:24). He was obviously synthetic; a literary character devised to comment on the affairs of the world, but paradoxically based on a common craftsman of no notable education but still eloquent enough to hold his own against both clergy and government. Whatever real-world phenomenon this literary character related to, he might just have had the antidote to the biggest problem in the world: how to get the Imperial Beast back into the pit and resurrect from the dead the World-Wide Republic.
🔼A cloud that surrounds us
All these considerations appear to have attracted the attentions of Pontius Pilate, whom history remembers as a most evil man but who in fact may have been one of the Good Guys, and supportive of Jesus insofar his political position and intellectual reach allowed him to be (read our article on the name Pilate for a closer look at this). And so Pilate said: "You brought this man [Jesus] to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod [Antipas], for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him" (Luke 23:15).
The literary character Jesus, as it happens, had been born in the decade between the death of Herod the Great (4 BC; Matthew 2:19) and the ascension of Quirinius as governor in Syria (6 AD; Luke 2:2). Epithets explain a person like an adjective modifies a noun (their heritage, education, connections and so on) but Jesus proverbially came from Nazareth, which was a town that no literary source had ever mentioned and whose reference obviously wasn't very effective as an epithet. But Nazareth may not even be a town. The name Nazareth looks like a Hebrew word that means scattering, in which case it doesn't refer to a town at all but rather to the Diaspora in the world at large. That means that Jesus was not born on one specific day and he was not born in one specific town, but rather over the course of a decade and within a very large area.
We moderns like to think that Paul sowed the seeds of the gospel upon perfectly candid and virgin soil, but at that time there was no candid or virgin soil anywhere in Europe, and there was also no formal gospel (the four gospels we have all stem from post 70 AD). In Paul's time, the world was roaring with indignation and everybody was dug in and trenched up, thinking about the nature of things and coming up with ways to either fight the Romans or those who fought the Romans. All Paul did was unite Europe's great many centers of learning (mostly synagogues), who were well advanced in formalizing what would become the gospel, within a common vernacular (1 Thessalonians 1:8). Of course, there was only ever one Logos, but the Jesus movement (the global quest for the one Logos) did not radiate out from a single epic center but rose from the whole ground like the mist of old (see Genesis 2:6, and compare Genesis 2:7 to Acts 2:4, via Galatians 3:7 and Genesis 13:16).
Jesus warned against the "yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod [Antipas]" (Mark 8:15), but the warning was against the yeast, not the bread (Exodus 12:8). The Pharisees appear to have derived their name from the Persians, where the Second Temple was conceived and the birth of the King of the Jews first understood (Matthew 2:1). The Pharisees, much alike the Europeans to whom Paul preached, were collectively so close to finding the Christ that many actually did: Nicodemus, Nathanael, Simon the Host, Gamaliel, and most probably Simon of Cyrene, the apostle Paul and even the historian Josephus were or had been Pharisees (for more on Josephus, see our article on Dalmanutha).
And Herod Antipas? According to Josephus the historian, Herod Antipas and his brother Archelaus had been brought up with a "certain private man at Rome" (Ant.17.19). We don't know who that private man might have been, but in Acts 13:1 we learn that the church in Antioch was home to several prophets and teachers, among whom a man named Manaen, the συντροφος (suntrophos), literally the co-fed (that is: one raised together with) Herod the tetrarch (that's Herod Antipas).
Contrary to popular imaginations, the enterprise which Jesus embodied was not one of hippies and hobos, but rather one of think tanks, deep learning and a vast network of literary excellence. It had existed for many centuries and was very well funded (compare 1 Kings 10:25 to Matthew 2:11). Jesus' outfit was complex enough to require the attentions of a treasurer, and the money stream was big enough to skim off the top without it being noticed (John 12:6). This treasurer, of course, was the unfortunate Judas Iscariot, whom history too has sorely vilified (the other disciples obviously hated him, and Dante placed Judas in the mouth of Lucifer to be perpetually mauled in the very heart of hell), but who merely facilitated the inevitable, indeed the divinely decreed (John 6:64, Acts 1:16). Jesus could not resurrect if he hadn't died, and since he was very famous in Jerusalem and the wide surroundings, Judas didn't really have to point him out, let alone kiss him. So why did Jesus proclaim woe to the man by whom the Son of Man would be betrayed? (Mark 14:21). Why exactly did Judas kill himself? (See our article on Stephen for a few hints.)
The global Jesus movement had always been sponsored from the regular contributions of many women (i.e. private enterprises rather than formal governments), among whom Joanna, who was the wife of Chuza, who was the chief of staff of Herod Antipas (Luke 8:3). By the time Paul and Luke wrote, obedience to the State had begun to outweigh the natural authority of the Logos, and the Jesus movement was rapidly becoming illegal (Acts 18:2). That means that the great many personal names in the New Testament most certainly don't refer to actual human persons but rather schools of thought, principles and portentous figures of history (see this discussed in our articles on Onesimus, Carpus, Sergius). Herod Antipas is of course a historical figure, but the construction Luke presents, namely money flowing from Antipas to Chuza to Joanna to Judas to Jesus, may not be a matter of some entitled housewife supporting her favorite cause out of the household money she separates from her husband's salary that he gets from the royal treasury, but rather an entry in a coded book of financial records that suggests that Antipas was directly and willingly funding Jesus' operation, rather like Cyrus the Great had centuries before.
In 18 CE, Antipas began to build the city of Tiberias, which was named after emperor Tiberius and after which was named the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee (John 21:1). Josephus tells that while Vespasian and Titus besieged Jerusalem, Jewish zealots within the city, amidst the horror and panic, were executing members of rivalling Jewish factions or simply people they didn't like. Many tried to flee, but were caught by Roman soldiers and publicly crucified: men, women and children, up to 500 per day. Within that utter and unabating nightmare, a Rabbi named Yohannan ben Zakkai managed to smuggle himself out of the city and into an audience with Vespasian, predicted his ascension to the Roman throne (which may have helped him decide to march to Rome and settle the civil war there) and arranged a safe transit of the Sanhedrin, plus books, to Jabneh, from which it moved to Galilee (Mark 14:28). Tiberias subsequently became a formidable center of Jewish learning. In the 3rd century, the Mishnah was compiled in Tiberias, and two centuries later, the first Masoretes began their massive work there. Without Yohannan ben Zakkai and the Tiberians, there would have been no modern Judaism, and certainly no modern Bible, no Christianity, and no Logos-based Western world as we know it.
For complicated reasons, Antipas' nephew-and-brother-in-law Agrippa (brother of Herodias) accused his uncle of conspiring against the Roman Emperor (which was Caligula at the time), which at least demonstrates that Antipas was not in perfect harmonic line with his Roman overlords. It certainly takes more than a rumor and some slurs for a Roman Emperor to find an incumbent client king guilty of high treason. But in 39 AD (about five years after the death of Stephen and two years after the removal of Pilate), Caligula ruled against Antipas, relieved him of rank and properties and sent him into exile to southern Gaul (see our article on αποκτεινω, apokteino, to condemn to death or excommunicate). Nephew-and-brother-in-law Agrippa became king Herod Agrippa I; his son, Agrippa II, would be the last king of Judah, who at the outbreak of the Great Revolt in 66 AD fled to Rome where he died in 100 AD (and note the similarities with the final Davidic kings Jehoiachin and Zedekiah).
Whether Herod Antipas and Herodias with him, continued to challenge the Roman Empire in exile isn't told, but for unclear reasons and pretty much at the same time, a legend began to bud that told of Mary Magdalene, now pregnant, having landed on those same shores to preach the Gospel of Freedom to the broken Gaul.
🔼Etymology of the name Antipas
The name Antipas consists of two elements, the first being the familiar prefix αντι (anti), opposite:
The familiar preposition αντι (anti) means against, but more often in a complementary than in a competitive sense. On occasion it describes the contrariness of an adversary, but more often it means instead of, and indicates previousness or even substitution. As such it may relate to earlier times (antiquity) and even to monetary economy (substituting money for goods and back again).
The second part of our name Antipas comes from the familiar noun πατηρ (pater), meaning father, with an obvious wink to the word πας (pas), meaning all:
The familiar noun πατηρ (pater) means father, or rather: central authority figure, as it first and foremost applies to social leaders. It comes with a substantial list of compound derivations.
In names, the element πατηρ (pater) tends to be contracted into πας (pas), which is identical to the (unrelated) word meaning whole or all.
The Herodian dynasty was obviously obsessed with the name Antipas, but the reason for this is not clear and may even have morphed a bit over de years. The original Antipas may have been named after the rightful successor of Alexander and express the hope for a global Socialistic Republic, in which everyone is equal and free, rather than an Empire based on financial and physical violence, in which social ranks and classes dictate one's purpose and ultimately everybody lives in a state of bondage and slavery. That would give our name the meaning of Representation Of The Father in a Hermetic "on earth as it is in heaven" sort of way: Representative Of God On Earth.
Otherwise, the word "father" may also refer to older and more primitive ways, which hip and sophisticated generations are eager to surpass and replace. In that sense, the name Antipas means something like Progress or Young And Exiting or Out With The Old; In With The New. Herod began a new dynasty, but his throne had been wrought by the Hasmonean dynasty, who had replaced the Davidic dynasty. The name Antipas testifies of this.
Note that violence against the paternal generation may seem a great idea but quickly turns sour when the son becomes the father and now faces extinction from the third generation. Indeed fearing death by his own sons, Herod the Great murdered his own children, and anybody familiar with the Greek classics immediately remembered Cronos, who castrated his father Uranus and ate his own children, except for Zeus, who subsequently overthrew and imprisoned him, and reigned supreme until his own son, Apollo, began to rebel against him.
Herod the Great may simply have meant to honor his own father by naming his sons after him. But he may also have meant to continue the tradition of spiritual patricide which his father had started (by switching religion) and would now suffer. In Matthew 2:22 the author jocularly notes that Archelaus was reigning αντι Ηρωδου του πατρος αυτου (anti Herodou patros autou), or "instead of Herod the father of him". The father of Archelaus was Herod the Great but he succeeded Herod Antipas, his brother.
When naming his son(s) Antipas, it would certainly have occurred to Herod the Great that the widely recognized spiritual father of the Roman world was Julius Caesar, and the name Antipas would have expressed both the Herodian faithful representation of Rome in Judea, as well as the anti-Rome sentiment that had been gaining momentum his entire reign and would culminate in the destruction of Jerusalem and the reinvention of Jewry (as told in the story of Jesus). That would give Antipas the meaning of Representation Of The Roman Emperor but also Opposed To The Roman Emperor.