Tag Archives: Caesar

Why Did Joseph Go to Bethlehem?

Joseph and Mary - 1

from Google Images

Throughout the world the oath of loyalty to Caesar was taken in the Temples of Augustus at the altars, but, as Josephus often shows, exceptions were always made for the Jews who worshiped only one God. Throughout Herod’s kingdom the people would have enrolled themselves at their local synagogues in the cities in which they lived (Luke 2:3), but Joseph and all those who were “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4) were an exception to this rule. Joseph and others who might be thought of as laying claim to David’s crown had to register in Bethlehem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 7, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Did Augustus Tax the World?

Pater Patriae - 2

from Google Images

In the King James version of Luke’s Gospel, it states that Caesar Augustus made a decree that the whole world should be taxed, and that this taxation occurred during the time when Cyrenius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:1-2). The problem with Luke’s statement[1] is that most historians would disagree on several counts. First, Cyrenius (Quirinius) wasn’t governor of Syria until cir. 6-7 AD, several years after the death of Herod the Great, whom Matthew claims was reigning at the time of the birth of Jesus (Matthew 2:1), as does Luke, who ties both infancy narratives together, showing John was only 6 months older than Jesus (Luke 1:26, 36), and Luke introduces Caesar’s decree by saying: “It came to pass in those days…” (Luke 2:1) i.e. in the days of Herod, the king of Judea (Luke 1:5; cf. Luke 1:39). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 30, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Who is Theophilus?

High Priest

(c) Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Knowing the identity of Theophilus (Luke 1:3), could be key to understanding important themes within the narrative. Is he a believer, as some suppose, who was already instructed in the truth whose faith Luke was hoping to strengthen (Luke 1:4)? Some suppose the name is simply a title for all Christians. The name, “Theophilus” means lover or friend of God. While this may be true concerning a Christian, no other New Testament book or epistle is addressed in this manner. Moreover, neither is any work or letter of the early church fathers addressed this way. Therefore, such a conclusion should be understood as based solely upon supposition, not related to anything within the text itself, or anything outside the text that could be tied to either Luke or Acts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 24, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Paul in Festus’ Court

Festus remained in Jerusalem about ten days before returning to Caesarea. He arrived there with an assembly of the Jewish ruling class. On the following day Festus sent for Paul and put him before his court. Luke says Paul was surrounded by men accusing him of wrongdoing (Acts 25:7), but none of them offered any proof to support what they claimed Paul had done. Once again, Luke shows that those who opposed Paul did so without merit, reminding us of the words of Jesus: “They hated me without cause” (John 15:25). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul in chains


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