Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
HERODIANS ( Ἡρῳδιανοί).—Apart from the weakly attested reading in Mark 8:15, the Herodians are mentioned but three times in the NT and on only two occasions, Matthew 22:16 being parallel with Mark 12:13. The name Ἡρῳδιανοί does not occur in Josephus. In BJ i. xvi. 6 the form Ἡρῴδειοι is used of the party of Herod, and in Ant . xiv. xv. 10 the phrase οἰ τὰ Ἠρῴδου φρονοῦντες occurs (cf. also Ant . xiv. vii. 4). (For the formation in -ιανος like Χριστιανός, cf. Blass, Acta Apos . 136, Gram. of NT Greek , § 27, 4; Harnack, Mission u. Ausb. d. Christ . 294 ff.; Etym. Magn. s.v . Ἡρῳδιανός).
If the party of Herod in Josephus be the same as the Herodians of the NT (cf. O. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgeseh. 157 f., but, on the other hand, Cheyne, Encyc. Bibl . ii. 2034), then the origin of the party must be sought in the time of Herod the Great. This view of the origin of the party will also determine our conception of its nature. It cannot have been a religious sect or party like the Pharisees or Sadducees, but was most probably a political party composed of the adherents and supporters of the Herodian dynasty. From the combination of the Pharisees with the Herodians ( Mark 3:6), and their common action in Jerusalem ( Matthew 22:16, Mark 12:13), it is not unlikely that the Herodian party was composed principally of Sadducees (cf. Luke 20:19 and Mark 8:15 with Matthew 16:6). After the death of Herod the Great, the deposition of Archelaus, and the establishment of Roman rule in Judaea, the aims and purposes of the party would naturally centre in Antipas. The presence of the Herodians in Galilee, indicated in Mark 3:6, cannot he set aside with the remark of Cheyne: ‘This, however, is evidently a mistake. In the country of the tetrarch Antipas there could not be a party called the Herodians’ ( op. cit. ii. 2043). Members of a party which wished to see Antipas sit upon the throne of his father may have been in Galilee as well as in Jerusalem; for their ideal was a national one, differing from the ideal of the Zealots as royalist from democratic. Their union with the strong Pharisaic party, and their attempt to entrap Jesus with the question about tribute to Caesar, find explanation not in any sympathy with the Pharisees or fondness for the traditions which Jesus’ activity imperilled, but in their readiness to oppose and suppress any Messianic agitation of the people.
Other views attach some religious significance to the party, connect them with the Bœthusians or with the court of Antipas as members of the Herodian family, officers or servants, and attribute to them a friendly or hostile attitude towards the Roman sovereignty (cf. Tert. ad Omn. Haer. i.; Epiph. Haer. xx.; Steph. Thesaur. s.v .; Ewald, H I [Note: I History of Israel.] v. 409 f.; Renan, Vie de Jésus , 226; Edersheim, Life and Times , i. 237 ff., ii. 384; Bleek, Syn . ii. 327; Zahn, Matth. 528, n. [Note: note.] 44, 632, n. [Note: note.] 45).
Literature.—Keim in Schenkel’s Bibel-lexikon , iii. 65 ff.; B. F. Westcott in Smith’s D B [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] , ii. 1054 f.; Sieffert in PR E [Note: RE Real-Encyklopädie fur protest. Theologic und Kirche.] 3 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] , vii. 769; T. K. Cheyne in Encyc. Bibl . ii. 2043; D. Eaton in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible ii. 362; K. Kohler, Jewish Encyc . vi. 360; J. D. Davis, D B [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] 293.
W. P. Armstrong.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
a sect among the Jews at the time of Jesus Christ, mentioned Matthew 22:16; Mark 3:6; Mark 8:15; Mark 12:13; but passed over in silence both by Josephus and Philo. The critics and commentators on the New Testament are very much divided with regard to the Herodians; some making them to be a political party, and others a religious sect. The former opinion is favoured by the author of the Syriac version, who calls them the domestics of Herod; and also by Josephus's having passed them over in silence, though he professes to give an account of the several religious sects of the Jews. The latter opinion is countenanced by our Lord's caution against "the leaven of Herod," which implies that the Herodians were distinguished from the other Jews by some doctrinal tenets. M. Basnage supposes, that one thing meant by the leaven of the Herodians might be a conformity to Roman customs in some points which were forbidden the Jews: if this was the case, it is not strange that they are not mentioned by Josephus among the Jewish sects. St. Jerom, in his dialogue against the Luciferians, takes the name to have been given to such as owned Herod for the Messiah; and Tertullian, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, and Theophylact, among the ancients; and Grotius, and other moderns, are of the same sentiment. But the same St. Jerom, in his Comment on St. Matthew, treats this opinion as ridiculous; and indeed it must be highly improbable. He maintains that the Pharisees gave this appellation, by way of derision, to Herod's soldiers, who paid tribute to the Romans; agreeably to which the Syriac interpreters render the word by the domestics of Herod, that is, his courtiers. M. Simon, in his notes on the twenty-second chapter of St. Matthew, advances a more probable opinion. The name Herodian, he imagines to have been given to such as adhered to Herod's party and interest, and were for preserving the government in his family, about which there were, at that time, great divisions among the Jews. F. Hardouin will have the Herodians and Sadducees to have been the same; nor is it at all improbable that the Herodians were chiefly of the sect of the Sadducees; since that which is called by St. Mark "the leaven of Herod," is by St. Matthew styled "the leaven of the Sadducees."
2. Dr. Prideaux is of opinion that they derived their name from Herod the Great, and that they were distinguished from the other Jews by their concurrence with Herod's scheme of subjecting himself and his dominions to the Romans, and likewise by complying with many of their Heathen usages and customs. In their zeal for the Roman authority they were diametrically opposite to the Pharisees, who esteemed it unlawful to submit or pay taxes to the Roman emperor; an opinion which they grounded on their being forbidden by the law to set a stranger over them, who was not one of their own nation, as their king. The conjunction of the Herodians, therefore, with the Pharisees, against Christ, is a memorable proof of the keenness of their resentment and malice against him; especially when we consider that they united together in proposing to him an ensnaring question, on a subject which was the ground of their mutual dissension; namely, whether it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar. And provided he answered in the negative, the Herodians would accuse him of treason against the state; and should he reply in the affirmative, the Pharisees were as ready to excite the people against him, as an enemy of their civil liberties and privileges. Herod had introduced several Heathen idolatrous usages; for, as Josephus says, he built a temple to Caesar, near the head of the river Jordan; he erected a magnificent theatre at Jerusalem, instituted Pagan games, and placed a golden eagle over the gate of the temple of Jehovah; and he furnished the temples, which he reared in several places out of Judea, with images for idolatrous worship, in order to ingratiate himself with the emperor and the people of Rome; though to the Jews he pretended that he did it against his will, and in obedience to the imperial command. The Herodians probably complied with, acquiesced in, or approved these idolatrous usages. This symbolizing with idolatry upon views of interest and worldly policy, was probably that leaven of Herod, against which our Saviour cautioned his disciples.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
Matthew 22:15, etc.; Mark 12:13, etc. Upholders of the Herodian dynasty, regarding it as the safeguard against direct pagan rule which the Jews loathed, and also as the best compromise between the ancient faith and pagan civilization. Hence they were said to look upon Herod the Great, Antipus, and Agrippa successively as Messiah. Thus, the Herod's were forerunners of the coming antichrist, and like the Old Testament antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 8,11), they paved the way to apostasy by an introduction of Greek refinements, theaters, etc., and a blending of honours to pagan gods along with the recognition of Jehovah and the law. (See Herod above, and 1 Maccabees 1:10-16). A falsely presumed political necessity was their plea for supporting the Herod's, however unfaithful to God, and even for supporting the Roman government, in so far as the Herodian dynasty leant on it.
Thus on the side of maintaining the Jewish polity they coincided with the Pharisees; on the side of their lax and scarcely orthodox views and means for maintaining it, they had common ground with the Sadducees. Hence what is termed "the leaven of Herod" ( Mark 8:15) is "the leaven of the Sadducees" ( Matthew 16:6). After Christ's miracle on the sabbath "the Pharisees went forth and straightway took counsel with the H. against Him how they might destroy Him" ( Mark 3:6). The legal zealots joined with the Jewish politicians, adherents of the ruling dynasty, in getting rid of One who thwarted the views of both alike by setting up a spiritual kingdom adverse both to legalism and to the temporal kingdom of Herodianism.
The same coalition appears at the close of Christ's ministry: "the Pharisees sent unto Him their disciples with the Herod" as "spies, feigning themselves just men, that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor" ( Matthew 22:15-16; Mark 12:13; Luke 20:20). With flattering words to Him as "not accepting the person of any" (by which compliment they "tempted" Him to pronounce against Caesar) they asked "Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar?" designing if He said "no" to give Him up to the Roman governor, if "yes" to stir up the people against Him as violating the law ( Deuteronomy 17:15). "He perceived their craftiness, and said, Why tempt ye Me? show Me a penny."
Their acceptance of Caesar's currency showed they accepted as a fact Caesar's rule: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Man as made in the image of God owes himself to God ( Genesis 1:27; Genesis 9:6; Acts 17:29; James 3:9; Luke 15:8-9). Because Judah had not given herself to (God, she was now under Caesar. "Their question therefore was as if an adulterer were to ask, was it lawful for him to pay the penalty of his adultery" (Claudius).
2 Chronicles 12:8; Jeremiah 27:4-18; Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14; John 19:11. Obedience to Caesar is an application of the higher principle of obedience to God, from whom all power is; Christ's reply unites rather than separates the Christian's political and religious duties. Yet, such is man's perversity, they had the impudence soon after at Jesus' trial before Pilate to say, "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a king" ( Luke 23:2).
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary 
A sect among the Jews, at the time of our Saviour, Matthew 22:16 . Mark iii 6. The critics and commentators are very much divided with regard to the Herodians. St. Jerome, in his dialogue against the Luciferians, takes the name to have been given to such as owned Herod for the Messiah; and Tertullian and Epiphanius are of the same opinion. But the same Jerome, in his comment on St. Matthew, treats this opinion as ridiculous; and maintains that the Pharisees gave this appellation, by way of ridicule, to Herod's soldiers, who paid tribute to the Romans; agreeable to which the Syrian interpreters render the word by the domestics of Herod, 1:e. "his courtiers." M. Simon, in his notes on the 22d chapter of Matthew, advances a more probable opinion: the name Herodian he imagines to have been given to such as adhered to Herod's party and interest, and were for preserving the government in his family, about which were great divisions among the Jews. F. Hardouin will have the Herodians and Sadduces to have been the same. Dr. Prideaux is of opinion that they derived their name from Herod the Great; and that they were distinguished from the other Jews by their concurrence with Herod's scheme of subjecting himself and his dominions to the Romans, and likewise by complying with many of their heathen usages and customs. This symbolizing with idolatry upon views of interest and worldly policy was probably that leaven of Herod, against which our Saviour cautioned his disciples. It is further probable that they were chiefly of the sect of the Sadducees; because the leaven of Herod is also denominated the leaven of the Sadducees.
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
Were a sect of Jews, so called, perhaps, from appearing at the time of Herod the Great, and not before; though some have thought, that by way of complimenting Herod they assumed the name of Herodians. Certain it is, that Herod affected to be thought of the seed of David, though there could be but little doubt, that he was, by nation, an Idumean. But as the general expectation of the Jewish nation, at that time, was on the tiptoe for their king the Messiah to appear, to deliver them from the Roman yoke, and to raise an empire that should conquer the world, Herod was glad to fall in with this popular idea, not doubting but that they would regard him as the person. His disappointment at the birth of Christ, and the account the wise men who came from the east to Jerusalem, to seek for the new-born Prince, explains what we read of him, and his infamous cruelty. ( Matthew 2:1-18) This sect was evidently the creatures of Herod, and as such bore his name. Their endeavours to entangle Jesus in his talk, and to accuse him before the Roman government, very plainly prove how inimical they were to the doctrines of Christ. ( Matthew 22:15-16)
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Herodians ( He-Rô'Di-Anz ), (from Herod). Matthew 22:15 ff.; Mark 12:13 ff. Canon Cook describes these persons as "that party among the Jews who were supporters of the Herodian family as the last hope of retaining for the Jews a fragment of national government, as distinguished from absolute dependence upon Rome as a province of the empire. Supporters of the family of Herod, who held their dominions by the grant of the Roman emperor, would be in favor of paying tribute to the supreme power." Matthew 22:16.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Hero'dians. (From Herod). Matthew 22:15 ff.; Mark 12:13; ff. Canon Cook describes these persons as, "that party among the Jews who were supporters of the Herodian family as the last hope of retaining for the Jews a fragment of national government, as distinguished from absolute dependence upon Rome as a province of the empire." Supporters of the family of Herod, who held their dominions by the grant of the Roman emperor, would be in favor of paying tribute to the supreme power. Matthew 22:16.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
The name comes from Herod, and refers to those who took part with him and his successors in leavening the Jews with Grecian and Roman manners and licentiousness. In scepticism they sided with the Sadducees, but were strongly opposed to the Pharisees. This makes it the more striking that they should have united with the latter in endeavouring to entrap the Lord in His speech. Matthew 22:16; Mark 3:6; Mark 12:13 . Their evil principles may well come under the term 'the leaven of Herod.' Mark 8:15 .
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
HERODIANS . The name of a political party among the Jews, which derived its name from the support it gave to the dynasty of Herod. Perhaps they hoped for the restoration of the national kingdom under one of the sons of Herod. The Herodians appear in the Gospels on two occasions ( Mark 3:6 , Matthew 22:16 || Mark 12:13 ) as making common cause with the Pharisees against Jesus.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
The Herodians appear to have been a group of Jews who, unlike most of the Jews, were favourable to the rule of the Herods. Though the Pharisees would normally not be sympathetic to the Herodians, they were willing to cooperate with them in trying to find a way to have Jesus accused of law-breaking and, if possible, killed ( Matthew 22:15-17; Mark 3:6).
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
Partisans of Herod Antipas, Matthew 22:16; Mark 3:6 . Herod was dependent on the Roman power, and his adherents on the Roman power, and his adherents therefore maintained the propriety of paying tribute to Caesar, which the Pharisees denied. This explains Matthew 22:16 .
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Mark 3:6 12:13 Luke 20:20 Mark 8:15 Matthew 16:6
King James Dictionary 
HERO'DIANS, n. A sect among the Jews,which took this name from Herod but authors are not agreed as to their peculiar notions.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Hero´dians, a class of Jews that existed in the time of Jesus Christ, whether of a political or religious description it is not easy, for want of materials, to determine. The passages of the New Testament which refer to them are the following:;;; . They were associated with the emissaries of the chief priests sent to our Lord with the express but covert design of ensnaring him in his speech, that thus they might compass his destruction. The question they put to him was one of the most difficult—'Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar?' The way in which Jesus extricated Himself from the difficulty and discomfited his enemies is well known.
Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee, was at that time specially the ruler of Jesus, whose home was in that province. The Herodians then may have been subjects of Herod, Galileans, whose evidence the priests were wishful to procure, because theirs would be the evidence of fellow-countrymen, and of special force with Antipas as being that of his own immediate subjects .
Herod's relations with Rome were in an unsafe condition. He was a weak prince, given to ease and luxury, and his wife's ambition conspired with his own desires to make him strive to obtain from the Emperor Caligula the title of king. For this purpose he took a journey to Rome, and was banished to Lyons in Gaul.
The Herodians may have been favorers of his pretensions: if so, they would be partial hearers, and eager witnesses against Jesus before the Roman tribunal. It would be a great service to the Romans to be the means of enabling them to get rid of one who aspired to be king of the Jews. It would equally gratify their own lord, should the Herodians give effectual aid in putting a period to the mysterious yet formidable claims of a rival claimant of the crown.
We do not see that the two characters here ascribed to the Herodians are incompatible; and if they were a Galilean political party who were eager to procure from Rome the honor of royalty for Herod (, the name of king is merely as of courtesy), they were chosen as associates by the Sanhedrim with especial propriety.
The deputation were to 'feign themselves just men,' that is, men whose sympathies were entirely Jewish, and, as such, anti-heathen: they were to intimate their dislike of paying tribute, as being an acknowledgment of a foreign yoke; and by flattering Jesus, as one who loved truth, feared no man, and would say what He thought, they meant to inveigle Him into a condemnation of the practice. In order to carry these base and hypocritical designs into effect, the Herodians were appropriately associated with the Pharisees; for as the latter were the recognized conservators of Judaism, so the former were friends of the aggrandizement of a native as against a foreign prince.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
hē̇ - rō´di - anz ( Ἡρῳδιανοί , Hērōdianoı́ ): A party twice mentioned in the Gospels ( Matthew 22:16 parallel Mark 12:13; Mark 3:6 ) as acting with the Pharisees in opposition to Jesus. They were not a religious sect, but, as the name implies, a court or political party, supporters of the dynasty of Herod. Nothing is known of them beyond what the Gospels state. Whatever their political aims, they early perceived that Christ's pure and spiritual teaching on the kingdom of God was irreconcilable with these, and that Christ's influence with the people was antagonistic to their interests. Hence, in Galilee, on the occasion of the healing of the man with the withered hand, they readily joined with the more powerful party of the Pharisees in plots to crush Jesus ( Mark 3:6 ); and again, in Jerusalem, in the last week of Christ's life, they renewed this alliance in the attempt to entrap Jesus on the question of the tribute money ( Matthew 22:16 ). The warning of Jesus to His disciples to "beware of the leaven of Herod" ( Mark 8:15 ) may have had reference to the insidious spirit of this party.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
A party in Judea who from motives of self-interest supported the dynasty of the Herods.
- Herodians from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Herodians from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Herodians from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Herodians from Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
- Herodians from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Herodians from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Herodians from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Herodians from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Herodians from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Herodians from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Herodians from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Herodians from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Herodians from King James Dictionary
- Herodians from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- Herodians from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Herodians from The Nuttall Encyclopedia