Tag: historicity

A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census – 7

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan CensusConclusion As the Biblical scholar I. H. Marshall observes regarding the possible solutions scholars have posed to Schürer’s challenges, These considerations show that the character of the census described by Luke is far from impossible, and hence many recent writers are prepared […] 

A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census – 6

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census5.  Quirinius was not the Governor of Syria during Herod the Great’s Reign Schürer’s fifth challenge is the most difficult within the current discussion. A census held under Quirinius could not have occurred in the time of Herod, for Quirinius was never […] 

A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census – 5

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census4.  Josephus doesn’t mention a Roman Census before 6 CE Schürer, in his fourth challenge, rightly observes that Josephus does not mention a Roman census during Herod’s reign. Moreover, Schürer points out that Josephus referred to the Quirinian census of 6-7 CE […] 

A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census – 4

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census3.  A Roman Census in Judea? Schürer notes that a Roman census with the purpose of imposing a Roman tax would not have occurred in Judaea. For Schürer, the sovereignty extended to client kings precluded direct Roman intervention over administrative matters.12 However, […] 

A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census – 3

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census2. Did Joseph have to go to Bethlehem? Schürer here argues that Roman censuses did not require travel for registration purposes, pointing out that Rome would have considered such activities ‘troublesome’ and ‘inconvenient’, as well as outside the normal structure of a […] 

A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census – 2

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan CensusThe Five Challenges 1. An Empire-wide Census? Schürer interprets Luke 2:1 as describing a single, empire-wide Roman census ordered by Augustus around 6 BCE. There is currently no historical evidence of any such imperial edict. Current scholarship agrees, however, that Augustus did […] 

A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan Census – 1

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series A Survey of Schürer’s Challenges to the Lukan CensusIntroduction The 19th century theologian Emil Schürer outlined five challenges1 to the historicity of the Lukan census which still stand as representative2 of the ongoing controversy surrounding Luke 2:1-5.3 There is currently no historical evidence of an empire-wide census by Augustus. Joseph […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (2)

Some verses in Acts use the second person plural (‘we’), indicating that the writer is participating in the events he is describing. The traditional interpretation (that the writer was an eyewitness, the traditional Luke),1 was challenged in the twentieth century.2 Although there currently exists no scholarly consensus on the “we” passages,3 three interpretations in particular have become dominant: a) the […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (1)

How historically accurate is the book of Acts? Current scholarly attitudes range widely; 1 German theologian Adolf von Harnack’s extreme criticism has been discredited, 2 but Ramsay’s views 3 are considered exaggerated, 4 and Sherwin-White’s praise 5 is qualified. 6 Professor of Religion Charles Talbert judges Acts to be consistently accurate with regard to many details: 7 8 Thessalonican city […] 

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Discovery of the tunnel built by King Hezekiah to provide water to Jerusalem in time of siege (2 Kings 22:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:30), was confirmed by an accompanying inscription which dates to the reign of Hezekiah.1 Minimalist scholars2 John Rogerson and Philip Davies claimed that the inscription does not date to the reign of Hezekiah, but to the Hasmonean […]