A Question I Was Asked:



Where is the Evil 'Salome' in Scripture?








"I just watched a biblical film in which Salome asked for the head of John the Baptist in return for performing an erotic-type dance. I cannot find this in Scripture. Is this yet another pure invention of Hollywood?"


UK Apologetics Reply

No, not entirely, but this Salome is nothing to do with the lady of that name who was a follower of Jesus. That Salome is mentioned in both Mark 15 and 16:

38. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
39. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"
40. Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.
41. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there. (Mark 15:38-41).

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. (Mark 16:1).

The Salome that the questioner refers to is a daughter of Herodias. She is never actually named in Scripture but Josephus believed her name to be Salome. Her dancing is thought to have so pleased Herod that he promised her on oath anything she might request - up to half of his kingdom. It is thought that she was prompted by her mother to make the evil request of the head of John the Baptist:

When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. (Mark 6:22).

6. On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much
7. that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.
8. Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
9. The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted
10. and had John beheaded in the prison. (Matthew 14:6-10, NIV throughout).

I think that that probably answers your question.
Robin A. Brace. April 15th 2010.


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