Herod’s tomb has apparently been discovered. The AP story, reprinted by both CNN and MSNBC, both get a minor detail wrong, reporting that Herod began ruling in Judea around 74 BC (which is actually about when he was born):

Herod became the ruler of the Holy Land under the Romans around 74 B.C.

Encyclopedia Brittannica gets it right (as does Wikipedia):

Herod the Great, Latin Herodes Magnus Roman-appointed king of Judaea (37–4 BC), who built many fortresses, aqueducts, theatres, and other public buildings and generally raised the prosperity of his land but who was the centre of political and family intrigues in his later years.

So, besides the date being wrong, it is also a bit imprecise in suggesting that he ruled the “Holy Land” when in fact he only ruled a piece of it: Judea.

I emailed MSNBC’s science editor at 6:04 PM PDT; as of 11:48 PDT the mistake remains. I wonder if they’ll ever bother to make a correction? I can’t imagine that they’ll actually pay any attention to an email from me, after all.


CNN’s website at least, has the correct date up now. Perhaps MSNBC will notice eventually and follow suit.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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