Herod Agrippa II – the Embodiment or Extinction of Israel’s Hope?
October 1, 2021 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM On Demand Save the Date
King Herod Agrippa II is something of an enigma. The fact that he was the last of Herodian family to rule as a client king of Rome makes him a figure of some interest. Yet he is among the least studied of the main Herodian kings. What makes him a figure of interest in New Testament, and especially Lucan, scholarship is his role as Paul’s judge and interlocutor in Acts 26.
The climactic significance of this passage in Acts has long been recognised, as its records Paul’s last public speech which is often regarded as Paul’s apologia pro vita sua. Paul does not direct his attention to the charges which resulted in him being arrested in Jerusalem, imprisoned in Caesarea or sent to appear before the Emperor in Rome. Instead, he describes his conversion and apostolic calling and insists that he has been faithful both to that calling as well as to the faith of his people and to the hope of salvation for Israel.
Luke’s depiction of Agrippa in Acts 25–26 sets the scene for his presentation of Paul’s unceasing desire for the salvation of Israel in fulfilment of the eschatological promises of the Old Testament.
The significance of Agrippa II in this narrative has been variously understood. Is he an expert in Jewish customs; a mildly sympathetic agent of Rome; or just another Herodian king standing in opposition to Christ?
This paper will argue that Luke’s presentation of Herod Agrippa II stands in contrast to his presentation of other Herodian Kings in Luke-Acts in that there is an evangelistic dialogue between Paul and Agrippa. Moreover, Luke’s depiction of Agrippa in Acts 25–26 sets the scene for his presentation of Paul’s unceasing desire for the salvation of Israel in fulfilment of the eschatological promises of the Old Testament.
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- In The Last Days: Eschatology, the Spirit and the Church