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The Death of Herod: The Narrative and Theological Function of Retribution in Luke-Acts
O. Wesley Allen, Jr.
Publication Date
January 1998


Acts 12:19b-24 tells of the strange death of King Herod at the hand of the angel of the Lord because of his failure to give the glory to God. Beginning with a comparison of the death of Herod in Acts to death scenes of other tyrants in biblical and Greco-Roman literature, this study moves to an exhaustive narrative analysis of divine retribution in Luke-Acts. The author demonstrates both the conventional and creative sides of Luke's use of this theme. This work provides new insights into a much neglected aspect of Lukan theology, offers provocative suggestions concerning the plot development and narrative structure of Luke-Acts, and examines how a better understanding of Luke's use of retribution contributes to the discussion concerning the genre of Luke's two-volume work.

“Allen’s literary analysis is strong and full … a very useful literary and thematic analysis of Acts 12.”
Catholic Biblical Quarterly