Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee…
It has been said that St. Luke erred in stating that Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. [Strauss, "Leben Jesu," § 44.] Lysanias, it is said, died sixty years previously, and St. Luke has ignorantly made him alive, being deceived by the fact that Abilene continued to be called the Abilene of Lysanias, after its former ruler, for sixty or seventy years subsequently. Now, here it is in the first place assumed, without any word of proof, that the Lysanias who died B.C. 34, once ruled over Abilene. Secondly, it is assumed, also without any word of proof, that Abilene came to be known as the Abilene of Lysanias, from him. I venture to assert that there is absolutely no ground for believing that the old Lysanias was ever ruler of Abilene; and I venture to maintain that Abilene came to be called the Abilene of Lysanias from a second or later Lysanias, a son of the former one, who is the person intended by St. Luke. Till recently, Christian apologists were defied to show historically that there was ever more than one Lysanias, and were accused of inventing a second to escape a difficulty. But a few years since a discovery was made which must be regarded by all reasonable persons as having set the whole matter at rest. This was an inscription found near Baalbek, containing a dedication of a memorial tablet or statue to "Fenodorus, son of the tetrarch Lysanias, and to Lysanias, her children," by (apparently) the widow of the first and the mother of the second Lysanias. Fenodorus was already known as having succeeded the first Lysanias in his government. It is thus clear that there were, as previously suspected, two persons of the name, a father and a son, and there is not the slightest reason for doubting that the latter was tetrareh of Abilene in the fifteenth of Tiberius.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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,
WEB: Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,