Fresh of "Atlantis Rising", Simcha Jacobovici has produced a new documentary (with his partner Professor James Tabor) about the Passion of Christ called "Last Days of Jesus".
Like Atlantis Rising, it is another poorly titled work. It appears to be something of a remake of another recent documentary, "The Last Days of Jesus", that features at least a couple of the same talking heads:
Bill O'Reilly also put out a work by this almost identical name:
In their rendition, Simcha and Tabor have built up a grand theory around the famous Gospel episode of "overturning the tables." They transform this event from a minor, token act into some kind of grand "Occupy the Temple" event. And because the authorities (Jewish and Roman) supposedly did nothing in response, Simcha and Tabor conclude that Jesus must have a secret deal with Herod Antipas to overthrow the existing Jewish priestly caste. As evidence, they point to the Gospel record that Herod Antipas' Steward, Joanna, was among the disciples and sponsors of the Jesus movement. Also, included in the entourage of Jesus was one Manahen, who is believed to have been raised with Antipas.
Simcha and Tabor assert that the conspiracy of Antipas and Jesus fell apart after the Roman thug Sejanus was brought down and Tiberius promulgated a new Roman policy of religious laissez faire, and particularly a "hands-off" policy toward the Jewish priesthood. With the Jewish establishment no longer a target sanctioned by Rome, Antipas had no further use for Jesus and had him arrested and killed. The problem with this argument is that the active participation of Joanna and Manahen did not end with the demise of Jesus. They remained among his leading followers well after the Passion.
The theory of Simcha and Tabor hinges on the Passion of Christ occurring at a very specific moment in time, that being the downfall of Sejanus in 31 AD. It is likely that the Passion took place between the births of Salome's oldest two sons, the first (Herodian) being sired by John around AD BC and the second (Jesus Justus) by Jesus around 32 AD. Regardless, it is time to now realize the Passion (in whatever form it actually took) was a scripted scenario and supported by the entire royal family to consciously cultivate a Messianic image for the heir apparent to the Great Throne. Retirement of the role of Sejanus (the former Caesarion and true father of Jesus/Aristobulus of Chalcis) in Rome did not jeopardize the succession of Jesus, but only signaled that it was all the more certain and imminent.
While I appreciate the amount of critical thinking that went into "Last Days of Jesus" (if not the title) the theory is still rather flimsy. And while I also share the idea that Jesus had royal connections, the success of Jesus as a savior-figure would not have depended upon the rise and fall of Sejanus or Herod Antipas for that matter. Jesus was the Messiah that the royal family had determined to give the Jews, and one that was also intended to be rejected by them. In other words, the "conspiracy" was not a failure in any respect, but accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do. The Jews were being punked by the royal family and that required cooperation by the entire royal family, including the High Priest Caiaphas himself!
P.S. In Grail tradition, even after Herod Antipas (a.k.a. "Joseph of Arimathea") was deposed and exiled to southern France, he remained a committed "follower of Jesus" and evangelized France and Britain on his behalf.