Greek New Testament the Bible

Making sense of the Census of Quirinius

by Mark Rogers

In regards to the year of Jesus’ birth there have been various proposals. In particular there has been some debate about what Luke 2:1-5 really means. The debate revolves around when the empire-wide censuses took place in relation to Christ’s birth. James Trimm outlines his explanation in Birth of Yeshua at Sukkot Luke 2:1-7.  Jonathan Sarfati outlines his proposal in The Census of Quirinius. Here I would just like to suggest that there may be a simpler explanation.

What I assert is that the answer is not to be found in the dubious idea that Quirinius ruled Syria twice. The simple proposal that I suggest here is that there are two entirely different Greek words used in Luke 2:1-5, and not one, which unfortunately for 2,000 years many theologians, Bible scholars, historians, linguists, and translators have failed to notice.