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

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

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

Luke 2:2 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

This taxing was first made when Cyrenius, etc. - The next difficulty in this text is found in this verse, which may be translated, Now this first enrolment was made when Quirinus was governor of Syria.

It is easily proved, and has been proved often, that Caius Sulpicius Quirinus, the person mentioned in the text, was not governor of Syria, till ten or twelve years after the birth of our Lord.

St. Matthew says that our Lord was born in the reign of Herod, Luke 2:1, at which time Quintilius Varus was president of Syria, (Joseph. Ant. book xvii. c. 5, sect. 2), who was preceded in that office by Sentius Saturninus. Cyrenius, or Quirinus, was not sent into Syria till Archelaus was removed from the government of Judea; and Archelaus had reigned there between nine and ten years after the death of Herod; so that it is impossible that the census mentioned by the evangelist could have been made in the presidency of Quirinus.

Several learned men have produced solutions of this difficulty; and, indeed, there are various ways of solving it, which may be seen at length in Lardner, vol. i. p. 248-329. One or other of the two following appears to me to be the true meaning of the text.

1. When Augustus published this decree, it is supposed that Quirinus, who was a very active man, and a person in whom the emperor confided, was sent into Syria and Judea with extraordinary powers, to make the census here mentioned; though, at that time, he was not governor of Syria, for Quintilius Varus was then president; and that when he came, ten or twelve years after, into the presidency of Syria, there was another census made, to both of which St. Luke alludes, when he says, This was the first assessment of Cyrenius, governor of Syria; for so Dr. Lardner translates the words. The passage, thus translated, does not say that this assessment was made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria, which would not have been the truth, but that this was the first assessment which Cyrenius, who was (i.e. afterwards) governor of Syria, made; for after he became governor, he made a second. Lardner defends this opinion in a very satisfactory and masterly manner. See vol. i. p. 317. etc.

2. The second way of solving this difficulty is by translating the words thus: This enrolment was made Before Cyrenius was governor of Syria; or, before that of Cyrenius. This sense the word πρωτος appears to have, John 1:30 : ὁτι πρωτος μου ην, for he was Before me. John 15:18 : The world hated me Before (πρωτον) it hated you. See also 2 Samuel 19:43. Instead of πρωτη, some critics read προ της, This enrolment was made Before That of Cyrenius. Michaelis; and some other eminent and learned men, have been of this opinion: but their conjecture is not supported by any MS. yet discovered; nor, indeed, is there any occasion for it. As the words in the evangelist are very ambiguous, the second solution appears to me to be the best.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


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...


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...

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

Acts 18:12 And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul...

Acts 23:26 Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix sends greeting.

Acts 26:30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:

December 25. "I Bring You Glad Tidings" (Luke ii. 10).
"I bring you glad tidings" (Luke ii. 10). A Christmas spirit should be a spirit of humanity. Beside that beautiful object lesson on the Manger, the Cradle, and the lowly little child, what Christian heart can ever wish to be proud? It is a spirit of joy. It is right that these should be glad tidings, for, "Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." It is a spirit of love. It should be the joy that comes from giving joy to others. The central fact of Christmas is
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Simeon's Swan-Song
'Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: 30. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.'--LUKE ii. 29,30. That scene, when the old man took the Infant in his withered arms, is one of the most picturesque and striking in the Gospel narrative. Simeon's whole life appears, in its later years, to have been under the immediate direction of the Spirit of God. It is very remarkable to notice how, in the course of three consecutive verses, the operation of that divine Spirit
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

"Nunc Dimittis"
We shall note, this morning, first, that every believer may be assured of departing in peace; but that, secondly, some believers feel a special readiness to depart now: "Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace;" and, thirdly, that there are words of encouragement to produce in us the like readiness: "according to thy word." There are words of Holy Writ which afford richest consolation in prospect of departure. I. First, then, let us start with the great general principle, which is full of comfort;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Christ About his Father's Business
But now I shall invite your attention, first, to the spirit of the Saviour, as breathed in these words, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" and then, secondly, I shall exhort the children of God, with all the earnestness which I can command, with all the intensity of power which I can summon to the point, to labour after the same spirit, that they too may unfeignedly say, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? " I. First, then note THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. It was
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

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 severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.

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

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

Acts 5:37
After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered.

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