CLUE #9 of  “The Great Jesus Whodunnit Mystery Contest” is now posted

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If you have followed the first eight clues of the “Great Jesus Whodunnit Mystery Contest” my guess is you are an individual who fearlessly unlocks the gates of secrecy concealing millennia of Christian dogma. I won’t be giving too much away to sum up your investigation’s success so far: A. There were no Jews who ever testified Jesus said he was “King of the Jews.” (So none of them accused him of sedition, the capitol crime). B. Jews who supposedly preferred “Satan’s spawn” (Bar-abbas) choosing his life over Jesus (God’s son, as the Gospels portray) had no basis for identifying the Jews with Satan. Jesus never called the Hebrew People satanic and constantly sought his disciples’ return to the traditions of the Hebrew community. C. Upon looking into the matter (the Gospel texts), you have discovered there was somebody else who did want to kill Jesus. He was the tetrarch of the Galilee. D. His motive for wanting to kill Jesus required the necessary Roman charge of sedition just as was inscribed atop the cross (perchance a legal charge he may have brought) which is as as yet unlinked directly to him. However, you have learned from a neighbor about an individual whom the tetrarch did execute for being “exactly like Jesus.” E. Upon investigating this other fellow’s grim fate, you have learned that he had made provocative speeches decrying the tetrarch’s adulterous marriage, insulting both him and his sinful wife. What you now have garnered about that marriage: When he took her to bed as his wife, the tetrarch was already married to an Arab woman named Phaesalis, the daughter of a famed Nabatean warrior king, Aretas who fled from the lovenest of his new bride. Indeed, the tetrarch’s new wife was especially offended because she was accused not only of still being married–but to the half brother of her own new husband. Philip, in fact, was quite alive enough to complain bitterly he had never given her a divorce, nor would he grant her one. Well, the Romans had done that even if the administrative ceremony  stood little stead with the one who had put himself at risk, snarking his castigations. Even more precarious to his well-being, he had mustered his faithful following to cheer on the warriors of Aretas when they entered the Galilee to avenge Phaesalis’ humiliating banishment from the palace home. F. AND, so, as your investigation has revealed, he indeed went too far, inciting his followers to support the Nabatean’s revenge in a military incursion. SEDITION!  and was guilty of a Roman capitol crime…falling prey to the legal talons of the tetrarch’s eagle, let loose upon him by the administrative laws of Rome.

But, were John’s set of circumstances cast in the same mold as Jesus?

Clue #9  (Context)

Time to let the “gnat” out of the bag. (Didn’t think I could keep his identity a secret forever, did you?) John (uh-huh) later called the “Baptist,” Jesus’ beloved cousin who was born just six months before him to his aunt Elizabeth, had publicly scorned the un-sanctioned marriage (Ok, the tetrarch was Herod the Great’s  son, Antipas who basically stole his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias) and went on to incite northern Galileans (according to Josephus) to support Aretas’ revenge for humiliating his former, true wife, Phaesalis. Forget the head on the platter and that sexy dance by the daughter, please.

Now we come to some serious investigative stuff. When you examine the “neighborhood”of Antipas’ palace not too many days after John is executed, you receive a report from different local palace workers who have overheard Antipas. He is very upset about something.

He has heard that after he executed John there was a gathering of his followers, and a new leader (Jesus) appeared. Somebody who seemed to speak to the mourners appeared to console and even take his place. Antipas wants to know everything about him. Here’s some of what they can tell him, as your investigation of the Gospels reveals:

First, you may be surprised that Antipas doesn’t even know who he is. Therefore he asks, “Who is this I’m hearing about?” (Luke 9:9).

Sarcastically, he wonders aloud whether John has come back to life, since word has reached him that they all went into the water with him just like they always did with John. But then his spies who were at the gathering say what they overheard: he spoke of Antipas’ city council as bending whatever way the political winds might blow, scoffing they only appreciated people who dressed like they belonged in a palace…or only cared when it came to judging others–then solemnly warned God would judge them by their own false accusations of John.

If Antipas, upon hearing these reports, would have dismissed Jesus as a harmless annoyance, he was soon forced to change his mind–inasmuch as a matter of serious proportion arose. Jesus had just about completed his words with a profound homage to John, declaring for all to hear: “Truly, I say to you, there has never been anyone greater than John!” when he paused and looking directly at Antipas’ spies a ways from the water’s edge, as they waited for him to finish so they might return to their tetrarch with the report, proclaimed, “And not only may no man divorce his wife, but no woman may divorce her husband. And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery!” (Mark 10:11-12)

CLUE #9: Antipas has learned that Jesus echoed the insult to Herodias for which he executed John. He wants to kill him for “being another John.” But what does the tetrarch need to do in order to build a case against Jesus which will stand the test of Roman jurisprudence. (Accusing the tetrarch and his wife are not a capitol offense, and there must be a supportable capitol charge for an execution).