Lucas 2:1-6 in enig recent onderzoek | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 51, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth as synchronous with Quirinius’ census (according to Josephus in 6 CE) has traditionally met with a triple criticism: (1) Herod I had then been dead for more than ten years and his kingdom was never subject to a Roman census; (2) no general decree about such a census is known to have been issued by Augustus around the beginning of our era; (3) in 6 CE Joseph in the tetrarchy of Galilee was not subject to a census in Judaea. Much of the difficulty here is removed by alternative interpretations of both ‘king Herod’ (Lk 1:5) and ‘in those days’ (Lk 2:1). Census-papyri found in Egypt and Judaea as well as other data make Joseph’s travel to Bethlehem less improbable than it is usually assumed to be.


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