Hopefully you are as excited as I am. While it's tempting to jump to all sorts of conclusions, I am still grounding this in terms of your existing Herodian typology.
1) I suspect now that we have uncovered some clear evidence linking the (Herodian typecast) gospel apostles with the evangelization of areas like Turkey and Armenia. Before, we seemed to lack the context of "why", and as you have discussed in the case of Paul, "how" (edessa for example). I wonder if we can ultimately identify clear cut linkages to authors like "John of Patmos" and other early eastern christian figures. I definately think we can get to "helen", whose name now seems all too appropriate. I wonder if Eisenman is going here in JtBoJ part II- perhaps Joe can give us a clue, being in that west coast orbit.
2) There is the tantalizing possibility of actual character overlaps to the Herodian dynasty. There are no "actual" names of the Arsacids, and in fact, as far as we know, they may not have been Parthian- but they were the lords of vassal parthian fiefdoms- and for all we know, could have lived anywhere. Maybe the lineage itself is merely a geneology "map" of actual rulers.
This I leave to you- the master.
3)The presence of "the Magi" at "the birth" can no longer be ignored-especially since their traditional identification as being of three different races, and their well established Levitical roots, points strongly to the idea that upon Herod's death, there was direct Parthian influence in his succession. Furthermore, in looking at the putative reaction of Herod to the Magi, i.e.: 'In Bethlehem' and 'the purge of infants', we can see a clear graft from the historical story of PhraatesIV. By borrowing it, the Herodian Gospel authors would need to transpose the well-observed event to bolster their legitimacy (or possibly- it is indeed the same story)
Here it is:
Tiridates took with him a hostage son of Phraates who Augustus later exchanged in 20 B.C. for the Roman legionary standards captured from Crassus' legions at Carrhae in 53 B.C., Saxa in 40 B.C. and Marc Anthony in 36 B.C. Also included in the exchange was the gift to Phraates of a slave girl named Musa, by whom he had a son, Phraataces. In time this concubine became Phraates' queen. In 10 B.C., she persuaded the king to send his own sons to Rome for their safety. All rivals to her son's succession were then systematically murdered, then she poisoned Phraates in 2 B.C., and Phraataces succeeded his father to the throne.
Shocking, is it not? A Roman slave girl? Isn't this always the manner in which the scribes report dynastic mergers -slaves, handmaids, consorts?
"from bethlehem" (note Bethleham- House of Ham- short form "hasmonean?")
"from the House of David through PHARES- phraates- parthia" !
Note also how it links with the "virgin birth" - the coming king "who has no father"-
who furthermore is completely absent during his formative years- in rome!
who returns and preaches both a platonic ideal, and obeissance to Rome.
I'll think on that for awhile
4) Finally, I think the Helen, Agbarus, Izates, Simon, Silas, Paul relationship comes out.
I have to make you wait on that, since I've been spending much too much time on this site, and I have to go photograph some Punic inscriptions on a dolmen that my associates have discovered locally. Also some pretty exciting stuff, so don't be offended- I'll be gone for a few days.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.