Frequent contributor to Jerusalem Perspective (JP), Dr. R. Steven Notley, has recently published the first volume of a new atlas of Bible lands in New Testament times entitled, In the Master’s Steps: The Gospels in the Land (Jerusalem: Carta, 2015). The atlas examines not only geographical issues related to the New Testament, but historical, literary and linguistic issues, as well. Professor Notley’s discussion in this article, which is meant to whet your appetite for this indispensable new resource, is further developed with greater detail in In the Master’s Steps: The Gospels in the Land.
Against the backdrop of looming danger Joseph is warned in a dream to take his family to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous intentions (Matt. 2:13-15). Only when Herod was dead would it be safe to return home. When the Judean king died in his winter palace in Jericho (4 B.C.E.), Herod’s will divided his kingdom between his surviving sons (Ant. 17:188-190; J.W. 1:664-669). Contrary to Herod’s final wishes, Augustus did not award Archelaus his father’s throne. He was instead appointed ethnarch of Judea, Idumea and Samaria (J.W. 2:93; Ant. 17:317). Herod Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Perea in the Transjordan, while Philip was appointed tetrarch over an amalgam of districts in the north (Gaulanitis, Trachonitis, Batanaea, Panias) on the frontier with Syria.