Tag: Luke historian

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 (5)

Paul’s Commission: Acts 9:1-2 It has been claimed there is no historical basis for Paul’s commission from the High Priest to extradite from Damascus to Jerusalem any Jews who had become Christians,1 and that neither the High Priest nor the Sanhedrin had any jurisdiction in Damascus.234 Evidence & Commentary Peerbolte raises a parallel in the history of the Maccabees, in […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (4)

The historicity of Acts is taken seriously (though not accepted completely), even by highly regarded critical scholars such as Gerd Lüdemann,1 Alexander Wedderburn,2 Hans Conzelmann,3 and Martin Hengel.4 Furthermore, recent modern studies are far more positive in their assessment of the historicity of Acts than many previous critical commentaries.5 Acts 1:1-14: Visions of Christ Lüdemann acknowledges the historicity of Christ’s […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (3)

Peter’s address: Acts 4:4 Robert Grant claimed that the population of Jerusalem was too small for 5,000 converts to Christianity.1 Grant’s estimate of the population of Jerusalem relied on an influential study by Jeremias in 1943, 2 3 but did not mention that Jeremias calculated a far higher population figure for festival seasons such as passover, at which he estimated […]