As I write this article, Christmas is just a few days away. So, it’s only fitting that we study a part of the Christmas story that critics love to attack: The census. According to Luke’s gospel, Joseph and a very pregnant Mary travelled from Nazareth to Joseph’s home town of Bethlehem to be “registered” as part of a census decreed by Caesar Augustus. Here is the relevant passage, Luke 2:1-3 (ESV): Continue reading
In a previous article, we explored how critics falsely accuse Luke of gross inaccuracy in Luke 3:1. Here, we return to the same verse to explore another alleged mistake. Let’s review the relevant part of the passage, from the English Standard Version:
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea,…
Some critics have pointed out that Luke refers to Pontius Pilate as the governor or “hegemon” (ἡγεμών) of Judea, rather than by his actual title, which was prefect (νομάρχης). If, the critics say, Luke was wrong about something that simple, then he surely was wrong about other things, too. Continue reading
It seems that whenever one of the gospel accounts disagrees with that of a non-Christian historian, skeptical scholars assume it’s the gospel-writer who got it wrong. That’s a dangerous thing to assume.
Luke 3:1 is a passage that many critics have used to “prove” Luke’s incompetence as an historian. Here’s the passage (ESV): Continue reading