Question 24: In Acts 12, Herod Agrippa has James beheaded and plans to kill Peter. We know that earlier Stephen was stoned. Isn’t it true that under the law, only the Romans could order an execution? Was Herod acting outside the law?

Answer:  Herod Agrippa was a Roman officer. He was designated as king by the Roman government, and therefore that title is used of him in Acts 12:1. He was viewed as ruling the land as a Roman, not as a Jew. This is comparable to his grandfather’s status: Herod the Great was an Idumean, not a Jew, and he too had been given authority by the Romans to rule the land.

Herod Agrippa was ruling the land in place of any procurators during the period of A.D. 40-44. Just like his grandfather, he had the Roman authority to execute. The fact that he used this authority can be seen in Acts 12.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 23: In I John 5:6, What does it mean that Yeshua came “by water and blood”?

I John 5:6 – This is he that came by water and blood, even Messiah Yeshua; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.”

Answer:  I do not think that the verse is referring to Yeshua’s baptism and bloodline. I think John was referring to something else he had indicated earlier in his Gospel.

There is a section dealing with Yeshua on the cross that is only recorded in John 19:31-37. John pointed out that when a soldier pierced the Messiah, blood and water gushed from the wound. This is usually a sign of a failed heart where there might be an arterial rupture.

John alone witnessed the event, and he referred to it in I John 5:6. What he was saying in context is that the blood and water gushing from Yeshua’s side was the clear evidence of Messiah’s death, and by means of His death, He provided eternal life. That is also the witness of the Holy Spirit.

Click here to learn more about Ariel Ministries and to enjoy our many online resources. If you’d like to donate to Ariel Ministries, just  click

Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.