Luke 2:1
New International Version
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

New Living Translation
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.

English Standard Version
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Berean Study Bible
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

Berean Literal Bible
And it came to pass in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the world.

New American Standard Bible
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

King James Bible
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Christian Standard Bible
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered.

Contemporary English Version
About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books.

Good News Translation
At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered.

International Standard Version
Now in those days an order was published by Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be registered.

NET Bible
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes.

New Heart English Bible
Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But it occurred in those days that a command also went out from Augustus Caesar that every nation of his empire would be registered.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire.

New American Standard 1977
Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

American King James Version
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

American Standard Version
Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled.

Douay-Rheims Bible
AND it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled.

Darby Bible Translation
But it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census should be made of all the habitable world.

English Revised Version
Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Weymouth New Testament
Just at this time an edict was issued by Caesar Augustus for the registration of the whole Empire.

World English Bible
Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.

Young's Literal Translation
And it came to pass in those days, there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world be enrolled --
Study Bible
The Birth of Jesus
1Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2This was the first census to take place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.…
Cross References
Matthew 22:17
So tell us what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Luke 2:3
And everyone went to his own town to register.

Luke 2:5
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child.

Luke 3:1
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,

Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

Caesar.

Luke 3:1
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

Acts 11:28
And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 25:11,21
For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar…

all.

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Mark 14:9
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

taxed.







Lexicon
Now
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

those
ἐκείναις (ekeinais)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 1565: That, that one there, yonder. From ekei; that one (neuter) thing); often intensified by the article prefixed.

days
ἡμέραις (hēmerais)
Noun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 2250: A day, the period from sunrise to sunset.

a decree
δόγμα (dogma)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 1378: A decree, edict, ordinance. From the base of dokeo; a law.

went out
ἐξῆλθεν (exēlthen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1831: To go out, come out. From ek and erchomai; to issue.

from
παρὰ (para)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 3844: Gen: from; dat: beside, in the presence of; acc: alongside of.

Caesar
Καίσαρος (Kaisaros)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2541: Of Latin origin; Caesar, a title of the Roman emperor.

Augustus
Αὐγούστου (Augoustou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 828: From Latin; Augustus, a title of the Roman emperor.

that a census should be taken
ἀπογράφεσθαι (apographesthai)
Verb - Present Infinitive Middle or Passive
Strong's Greek 583: From apo and grapho; to write off, i.e. Enrol.

of the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

entire
πᾶσαν (pasan)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

[ Roman ] world.
οἰκουμένην (oikoumenēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3625: Feminine participle present passive of oikeo; land, i.e. The globe; specially, the Roman empire.
II.

(1) There went out a decree.--The passage that follows has given rise to almost endless discussion. The main facts may be summed up as follows:--(1) The word "taxed" is used in its older English sense of simple "registration," and in that sense is a true equivalent for the Greek word. The corresponding verb appears in Hebrews 12:23. It does not involve, as to modern ears it seems to do, the payment of taxes. The "world" (literally, the inhabited world, ?????????, ?cumene,--the word from which we form the word "?cumenical" as applied to councils) is taken, as throughout the New Testament, for the Roman empire. What Augustus is said to have decreed, was a general census. (2) It may be admitted that no Roman or Jewish historian speaks distinctly of such a general census as made at this time. On the other hand, the collection of statistical returns of this nature was an ever-recurring feature of the policy of Augustus. We read of such returns at intervals of about ten years during the whole period of his government. In B.C. 27, when he offered to resign, he laid before the Senate a rationarium, or survey of the whole empire. After his death, a like document, more epitomised--a breviarium--was produced as having been compiled by him. There are traces of one about this time made by the Emperor, not in his character as Censor, but by an imperial edict such as St. Luke here describes. (3) Just before the death of Herod, Josephus (Wars, i. 27, ? 2; 29:2) reports that there was an agitation among the Jews, which led him to require them to take an oath of fidelity, not to himself only, but to the Emperor, and that 6,000 Pharisees refused to take it. He does not say what caused it, but the census which St. Luke records, holding out, as it did, the prospect of future taxation in the modern sense, sufficiently explains it. (4) It need hardly be said that the whole policy of Herod was one of subservience to the Emperor, and that though he retained a nominal independence, he was not likely to resist the wish of the Emperor for statistics of the population, or even of the property, of the province over which he ruled. (5) It may be noted that none of the early opponents of Christianity--such as Celsus and Porphyry--call the accuracy of the statement in question. St. Luke, we may add, lastly, as an inquirer, writing for men of education, would not have been likely to expose himself to the risk of detection by asserting that there had been such a census in the face of facts to the contrary.

Verses 1-20. - The Redeemer's birth. Verse 1. - There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed; more accurately, that there should be a registration, etc.; that is, with a view to the assessment of a tax. On the historical note of St. Luke in this passage much discussion has arisen, not, however, of much real practical interest to the ordinary devout reader. We will glance very briefly at the main criticism of this and the following verse. Respecting this general registration it is alleged

(1) no historian of the time mentions such a decree of Augustus.

(2) Supposing Augustus had issued such an edict, Herod, in his kingdom of Judaea, would not have been included in it, for Judaea was not formally annexed to the Roman province of Syria before the death of Archelaus, Herod's son; for some years after this time Herod occupied the position of a rex socius. In answer to (1), we possess scarcely any minute records of this particular time; and there are besides distinct traces in contemporary histories of such a general registration. In answer to (2), in the event of such an imperial registration being made, it was most unlikely that Herod would have claimed exemption for his only nominally independent states. It must be remembered that Herod was an attached dependent of the emperor, and in such a matter would never have opposed the imperial will of his great patron. 2:1-7 The fulness of time was now come, when God would send forth his Son, made of a woman, and made under the law. The circumstances of his birth were very mean. Christ was born at an inn; he came into the world to sojourn here for awhile, as at an inn, and to teach us to do likewise. We are become by sin like an outcast infant, helpless and forlorn; and such a one was Christ. He well knew how unwilling we are to be meanly lodged, clothed, or fed; how we desire to have our children decorated and indulged; how apt the poor are to envy the rich, and how prone the rich to disdain the poor. But when we by faith view the Son of God being made man and lying in a manger, our vanity, ambition, and envy are checked. We cannot, with this object rightly before us, seek great things for ourselves or our children.
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