THEUDAS, a false prophet in Judea during the administration of the Roman procurator cuspius fadus (44–46). Josephus describes how Theudas persuaded the masses (in Acts 5:36 it is stated that they numbered 400) to gather up their possessions and follow him to the Jordan, where at his command the river would part and provide easy passage. Fadus, however, sent a squadron of cavalry after them, and many of the impostor's followers were slain or captured. Theudas himself was caught and decapitated, and his head was sent to Jerusalem. There are certain discrepancies between the accounts of Theudas in Josephus and in Acts. Whereas the former   places the incident in 45–46 C.E., the allusion to Theudas in Acts is made by gamaliel several years earlier. Furthermore, Acts 5:37 states that Judah the Galilean (d. 6 C.E.) appeared in Galilee after Theudas. Josephus, on the other hand, immediately after recounting the Theudas incident, describes the crucifixion of Judah's sons. It would seem that Josephus is correct (Ant., 20:97–99). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schuerer, Hist, 225, 373f. (Isaiah Gafni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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