Luke 2:2
New International Version
(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

New Living Translation
(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

English Standard Version
This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Berean Study Bible
This was the first census to take place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Berean Literal Bible
This registration first took place when Quirinius was governing Syria.

New American Standard Bible
This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

King James Bible
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

Christian Standard Bible
This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

Contemporary English Version
These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Good News Translation
When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

International Standard Version
This was the first registration taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

NET Bible
This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

New Heart English Bible
This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
This census was the first in the government of Quraynus in Syria.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

New American Standard 1977
This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Jubilee Bible 2000
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

King James 2000 Bible
(And this taxing was first made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

American King James Version
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

American Standard Version
This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Douay-Rheims Bible
This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.

Darby Bible Translation
The census itself first took place when Cyrenius had the government of Syria.

English Revised Version
This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Webster's Bible Translation
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

Weymouth New Testament
It was the first registration made during the governorship of Quirinius in Syria;

World English Bible
This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Young's Literal Translation
this enrolment first came to pass when Cyrenius was governor of Syria --
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. 3And everyone went to his own town to register.…
Cross References
Matthew 4:24
News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering acute pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed--and He healed them.

Luke 2:1
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

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

Acts 5:37
After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and drew away people after him. He too perished, and all his followers were scattered.

Treasury of Scripture

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

taxing.

Acts 5:37
After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

governor.

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 13:7
Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

Acts 18:12
And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,







Lexicon
This [was the]
αὕτη (hautē)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3778: This; he, she, it.

first
πρώτη (prōtē)
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4413: First, before, principal, most important. Contracted superlative of pro; foremost.

census
ἀπογραφὴ (apographē)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 582: An enrollment, census-taking, record. From apographo; an enrollment; by implication, an assessment.

to take place [while]
ἐγένετο (egeneto)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

Quirinius
Κυρηνίου (Kyrēniou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2958: Cyrenius or Quirinius, governor of Syria. Of Latin origin; Cyrenius, a Roman.

was governor
ἡγεμονεύοντος (hēgemoneuontos)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2230: To govern. From hegemon; to act as ruler.

of
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive 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.

Syria.
Συρίας (Syrias)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4947: Syria, a great Roman imperial province, united with Cilicia. Probably of Hebrew origin; Syria, a region of Asia.
(2) And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.--Here we come upon difficulties of another kind. Publicius Sulpicius Quirinus ("Cyrenius" is the Greek form of the last of the three names) was Consul B.C. 12, but he is not named as Governor of Syria till after the deposition of Archelaus, A.D. 6, and he was then conspicuous in carrying out a census which involved taxation in the modern sense; and this was the "taxing" referred to in Gamaliel's speech (Acts 5:37) as having led to the revolt of Judas of Galilee. How are we to explain the statement of St. Luke so as to reconcile it with the facts of history? (1) The word translated "first" has been taken as if it meant "before," as it is rendered in John 1:15; John 1:30. This cuts the knot of the difficulty, but it is hardly satisfactory. This construction is not found elsewhere in St. Luke, and his manner is to refer to contemporary events, not to subsequent ones. It is hardly natural to speak of one event simply as happening before another, with no hint as to the interval that separated them, when that interval included ten or twelve years. (2) Our knowledge of the governors of Syria at this period is imperfect. The dates of their appointments, so far as they go, are as follows:--

B.C. 9.--Sentius Saturninus.

B.C. 6.--T. Quintilius Varus.

A.D. 6.--P. Sulpicius Quirinus.

It was, however, part of the policy of Augustus that no governor of an imperial province should hold office for more than five or less than three years, and it is in the highest degree improbable that Varus (whom we find in A.D. 7 in command of the ill-fated expedition against the Germans) should have continued in office for the twelve years which the above dates suggest. One of the missing links is found in A. Volusius Saturninus, whose name appears on a coin of Antioch about A.D. 4 or 5. The fact that Quirinus appears as a rector, or special commissioner attached to Caius Caesar, when he was sent to Armenia (Tac. Ann. iii. 48), at some period before A.D. 4, the year in which Caius died--probably between B.C. 4 and 1--shows that he was in the East at this time, and we may therefore fairly look on St. Luke as having supplied the missing link in the succession, or at least as confirming the statement that Quirinus was in some office of authority in the East, if not as praeses, or proconsul then as quaetor or Imperial Commissioner. Tacitus, however, records the fact that he triumphed over a Cilician tribe (the Homonadenses) after his consulship; and, as Cilicia was, at that time, attached to the province of Syria, it is probable that he was actually "governor" in the stricter sense of a term somewhat loosely used. St. Luke is, on this view, as accurate in his history here as he is proved to be in all other points where he comes in contact with the contemporary history of the empire, and the true meaning is found by emphasising the adjective, "This enrolment was the first under Quirinus's government of Syria." He expressly distinguishes it, i.e., from the more memorable "taxing" of which Gamaliel speaks (Acts 5:37). St. Luke, it may be noted, is the only New Testament writer who uses the word. Justin Martyr, it may be added, confidently appeals to Roman registers as confirming St. Luke's statement that our Lord was born under Quirinus.

Verse 2. - (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) Hostile criticism makes a still more direct attack upon the historical statement made by St. Luke here. Quirinius, it is well known, was governor (legatus or praeses) of Syria ten years later, and during his office a census or registration - with a view to taxation - which led to a popular disturbance, was made in his province. These critics say that St. Luke mentions, as taking place before the birth of Jesus, an event which really happened ten years after. Much historical vestigation has been made with a view to explain this difficulty. It has been now satisfactorily demonstrated that, strangely enough, this Quirinius - who ten years later was certainly governor (legatus) of Syria - at the time of the birth of the Savior held high office in Syria, either as praeses (governor) or quaestor (imperial commissioner). The Greek word rendered by the English "governor" would have been used for either of these important offices. On the whole question of these alleged historical inaccuracies of St. Luke, it may be observed:

(1) Strangely enough, none of the early opponents of Christianity, such as Celsus or Porphyry, impugn the accuracy of our evangelist here. Surely, if there had been so marked an error on the threshold of his Gospel, these distinguished adversaries of our faith, living comparatively soon after the events in question, would have been the first to hit so conspicuous a blot in the story they hated so well. And

(2) nothing is more improbable than that St. Luke, a man of education, and writing, too, evidently for people of thought and culture, would have ventured on a definite historical statement of this kind, which would, if wrong, have been so easily exposed, had he not previously thoroughly satisfied himself as to its complete accuracy. Generally, the above conclusions are now adopted, lately, amongst others, by Godet, Farrar, Plumptre, and Bishop Ellicott (in his Hulsean Lectures). Godet has an especially long and exhaustive note on this subject. The conclusions are mainly drawn from the researches of such scholars as Zumpt and Mommsen. Cyrenius; Latin, Quirinus. He is mentioned by the historians Tacitus and Suetonius. He appears to have been originally of humble birth, and, like so many of the soldiers of fortune of the empire, rose through his own merits to his great position. He was a gallant and true soldier, but withal self-seeking and harsh. For his Cilician victories the senate decreed him a triumph. He received the distinguished honor of a public funeral, A.D. 21 (Tac., 'Ann.,' 2:30; 3:22, 48; Suet., 'Tib.,' 49). 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.
Jump to Previous
Census Enrollment First Governor Itself Numbering Registration Ruler Syria Taxing
Jump to Next
Census Enrollment First Governor Itself Numbering Registration Ruler Syria Taxing
Links
Luke 2:2 NIV
Luke 2:2 NLT
Luke 2:2 ESV
Luke 2:2 NASB
Luke 2:2 KJV

Luke 2:2 Bible Apps
Luke 2:2 Biblia Paralela
Luke 2:2 Chinese Bible
Luke 2:2 French Bible
Luke 2:2 German Bible

Alphabetical: This census first governor of place Quirinius Syria Syria taken that the This took was while

NT Gospels: Luke 2:2 This was the first enrollment made when (Luke Lu Lk) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Luke 2:1
Top of Page
Top of Page