When God’s authors recorded important events in the Bible, they often took time to verify their accuracy. One way was by referring to historical events generally known apart from the Bible. Another way was by mentioning historical figures who could be dated apart from the Bible. Some events were so important the Bible writer would double-reference or even triple-reference the event, intersecting two or three historical people to pinpoint an event. Such was the case with the birth of Jesus.
NAME: “One Who Governs”
DATE; 1st Century AD
IDENTIFICATION: Roman governor of Syria during the time of Jesus’ birth
STORY LINE: Quirinius supervised the Roman census in his region
READ IT IN THE BIBLE: Luke 2:1-20
Luke records, “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria” (Luke 2:1-2). The first intersecting life at Jesus birth was Caesar Augustus who ruled Rome from 44 BC until AD 14. But the census registration that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem also occurred when Quirinius was governor of Syria. That’s intersecting life number two.
According to the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals 3.48), Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was elected consul of Syria in 12 BC. Around 7 BC, he became governor of Syria during the reign of Herod the Great, the third intersecting life dating Jesus’ birth. Since Quirinius became governor of Syria in 7 BC and Herod died at Jericho in the spring of 4 BC, the birth of Jesus had to be sometime from 7 BC to 4 BC.
How masterfully accurate God’s Word is!
The more we read it, the more reasons we have to be convinced of its veracity and accuracy. Take some time today to mine the gold that is found only in God’s Word.
by Woodrow Kroll