Although keeping up the historical dates was difficult, Herod from Hell: Confessions & Reminiscences is a most interesting novel by Craig R. Smith. The book begins when Herod’s tomb is found in 2007 and his soul is released from a 2000-year curse. The book is written in the first person with Herod the Great as the author, sharing his story from the lower realms of hell.
Herod explains that his enemies had cursed his soul and “entrapped it in the ossuary until it is discovered.” Upon release, his soul descends directly into hell for his misdeeds and unforgiven sins. As penance, Herod must share his honest autobiographical story in order to ascend into the higher levels of hell. As the result of this penance, Herod eventually ascends from his lower chamber up to chamber six. The book further develops additional historical insights with post-mortem conversations between Cesar Augustus, Cleopatra, Antipas, his son Herod Agrippa, to name a few.
Throughout the book, Herod recounts his life from childhood to his ruler as a King. The author displays a superb historical knowledge of the times and the figureheads surrounding the times of Jesus’ birth and death from his unique historical perspective. One point that Herod introduces is the confusion propagated by the repetitive family names of Herod and Antipas and the 21st-century media portrayal regarding his role in history.
He states, “…most people do not know the difference between Herod the Great – I ruled at the time of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) birth –and my son, Herod Antipas, who ruled at the time of Yeshua’s crucifixion.” Smith further clarifies that Herod was the ruler when the first-born Jewish males were murdered during Passover, while his son was the ruler which ordered Christ’s crucifixion. He states, “This narrative tries to set the record straight and along the way undo some other myths.”
Herod from Hell: Confessions & Reminiscences does just that and will particularly appeal to individuals well versed in the bible and interested in the progression of events that surrounded these polarizing times.