History In The New Testament
Slaughtered All The Babies In Bethlehem,
Why Didn't This Make The News?
HUMANIST'S CLAIM: Matthew chapter 2 avers that shortly after the birth of
Jesus, King Herod ordered the massacre of all male children two years of age or
under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. In the book of Luke, which contains the only
other New Testament story of Jesus birth, there is no mention of this horribly
cruel order. Its also not recorded in any secular histories from the time
not even by writers who carefully described many far less wicked deeds
of Herod. The lack of corroboration means Matthews account was fabricated.
humanist accusation is that this "slaughter of the innocents" is not
recorded in secular history, so it must not have happened. But, this is an argument
from secular silence, and as such is not a valid argument. And history is not
silent on this. It was recorded in a reliable historical document, the Bible.
In Bethlehem Slaughtered!
Herod Orders All Babies Under Two
Years Old Killed!
That might might be the headline in the Jerusalem
Post today, if King Herod's slaughter of the babies in Bethlehem had happened
today. But, Jerusalem 2,000 years ago was a different place... a much different
Why wasn't this atrocious event recorded in secular history? Because,
it had no significance. Here's why:
How Many Babies Were Killed?
was a small village of, at most, 300 people. That means that there were, at most,
six or seven babies two years old and under. King Herod ordering seven babies
killed was no big deal. It was tragic for those families... but for Herod it was
just part of another normal day.
What Type of Person Was Herod?
going to quote from the Associates
For Biblical Research web site.
archaeologists have yet to excavate the archives of the Jerusalem Post from the
year 4 BC! Nor does the first century AD Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus record
this event in any of his writings. Even though secular history is silent on this
event it does not mean it did not occur. When the life of Herod the Great is examined,
this event is very consistent with his character and actions.
explained a recurring pattern in the life of Herod. He would hear a rumor that
somebody was going to bump him off and take over his throne, but Herod would kill
that person first. He would then go into depression. After awhile he would come
out of his depression and would build, build, build. He would hear another rumor
and would kill that person, then go into another depression. After awhile he would
come out of this depression and would build, build, build. This cycle repeated
itself a number of times in which numerous people were killed, including one of
his ten wives as well as three of his sons!
before he died, Herod executed his oldest son Antipater (Antiquities 17:187; LCL
8:457-459). During that time period he also executed, by burning alive, two leading
rabbis and then executed their students for participating in the eagle affair
in the Temple (Antiquities 17:149-167; LCL 8:439-449; Wars 1:655; LCL 2:311).
other words, Herod had no problem with casually killing anyone who might threaten
his throne. He had people killed, even his own family members, without a second
Paul L. Maier has pointed out,
Josephus wrote for a Greco-Roman audience, which would have little concern
for infant deaths. Greeks regularly practiced infanticide as a kind of birth control,
particularly in Sparta, while the Roman father had the right not to lift his baby
off the floor after birth, letting it die (1998:179).
are just a few quotes from a long article that thoroughly examines this question.
Use the above link to read the entire article.
By the way I was wondering
if you heard the news
about the slaughter of women and babies that took place recently... over
160 people massacred as they ran from their homes in West Mosal this past June
(2017). The news just came out today, December 23, 2017. You'd think that such
a slaughter of innocent people would have made headlines around the world. That
such an atrocity would result in a worldwide outcry for justice! But, my guess
is that you've not heard about it. Why? Because it was just another day of slaughtering
innocent people for ISIS... and so this news is not significant.
not forget about abortion. Babies are being killed by the thousands every day...
every day. Human babies slaughtered by the thousands EVERY DAY. Does it make the
news? No. It's normal that babies are killed by the thousands every day, and the
normal does not make the news... no matter how sad, tragic and horrifying abortion
The report in Matthew concerning
Herod having the babies in Bethlehem killed is true and accurate.
Matthew 27:45 alleges that while Jesus
was on the cross, there fell over the whole land a darkness lasting from midday
until three in the afternoon. Andrew White explains that although Romans such
as Seneca and Pliny carefully described much less striking occurrences of the
same sort in more remote regions, they failed to note any such darkness occurring
even in Judea.
And yet another argument from silence. Just because we have
not found a non-Biblical record of something that happened 2000 years ago, does
not mean it did not happen. I'm continually stunned by the bias. If Josephus wrote
about it, then it happened... even if it is not recorded anywhere else. And Josephus
is a very biased recorder of history (he had to keep his patrons happy). But,
if the Bible records an event as happening... it didn't happen unless that event
is recorded in a secular source. Okay... let's deal with this unwarranted bias
against the Bible. Click here for the