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Christ in the Gospels John A Battle Th D Western Reformed Seminary www wrs edu CHAPTER 4 CHRONOLOGY OF JESUS LIFE Harmony Essay 11 Chronology of the Life of Christ See W R Thompson Chronology of the NT Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible and other encyclopedia articles Precision is impossible but a general outline is possible Date of Jesus Birth Census of Quirinius Full name Publius Sulpicius Quirinius Mentioned in Luke 2 1 2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria The KJV Cyrenius spelling is caused by the translation of the name from Latin into Greek into English Augustus was the Roman emperor 30 B C A D 14 Under him various men served as governors of Syria C Sentius Saturninus P Quintilus Varus Quirinius 9 6 B C 6 4 B C A D 6 7 Note that Quirinius was not in that official position during the probable time of Jesus birth Rather he was a military leader in the region the representative of Augustus in Pisidia in Asia Minor 12 B C 2 B C Luke 2 2 uses the word hegemoneuo which means to be leader 4 1 command rule order as well as to be governor That word would adequately describe Quirinius position as the chief military official in the region Sir William Ramsay Was Christ Born in Bethlehem 1898 has noted the existence of a damaged inscription in the Lateran Museum which mentions an unnamed Roman who governed Syria twice who Ramsay suggests could be Quirinius thus allowing for his being governor at an earlier time and ordering the census mentioned by Luke There was a census which Quirinius as governor did order in A D 6 7 which is well known and referred to in Acts 5 37 and in Josephus Ant 17 13 5 and 18 1 1 There is no extant direct evidence of an earlier census under him except Luke 2 1 2 However an earlier census is quite possible The custom was to hold such a census every 14 years Census papers have been found for

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