Yes, the power of the pyramid (scheme) is still with us. What are the few without the many, or the many without the few? It is the dialectical struggle of the ages. Maybe the only real debate is what angle the pyramid should ascend, and what are the rules for getting to and staying at the top. In the ancient world, you could not go up, only down.
The Jewish Temple became an extremely wealthy institution. I'm not exactly sure why. Contributions were largely voluntary and Jerusalem of Palestine was not particulary well situated. Control over it was nonetheless intensely coveted.
The Herodians initially derived their wealth from trade and business. Herod the Great was wealthy enough to build a new temple. Perhaps when Herodians and then Romans were not successful in controling the temple along with its wealth and influence, they decided to destroy it. But this was primarily because they did not need its wealth. It was perhaps more a matter of depriving others of influence. The High Priests from the family of Julius Tiberius and Philo had independent sources of wealth from their control over trade and customs in Egypt.
I also see a similarity with the Templars. The church and state could not control the Templar organization and so ultimately destroyed it. But it seems the idea of banking that they created was so powerful it was destined to emerge again. Possibly the current banking system is now beyond any church or state's ability to control or destroy? I don't know. It's not my area of expertise.
These new ideas about Paul as a Herodian are so new. It's going to take time for it to sink in, and to figure out what assumptions are still safe to make. I hope understand his role in the decision to destroy Jerusalem better with time, and this rift between him and other Herodians. For example, in Acts the final partner of Paul was Silas. Silas, it appears, becomes a leader in the Jewish Revolt. Paul, it appears, only helps provoke the Revolt to provide justification for Roman intervention. Could these two really have had different agendas?
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