Saturday, November 07, 2009

Jared Compton On Luke's Census

Jared Compton recently wrote an article that outlines much of the data relevant to the historicity of the census of Luke 2. If I'm reading Compton correctly, I agree with him about the best explanation for Quirinius' role in the census (namely, that he was involved in the earlier census in a different governmental role). I would avoid some of Compton's overly vague language that makes his position seem weaker than it actually is ("not impossible", etc.), but he seems to generally be headed in the same direction as I would take the issue.

Unfortunately, he makes reference to the material of Jerry Vardaman without mentioning some of the most significant problems with Vardaman's claims. See here.

Compton doesn't discuss some of the most significant data we have, the earliest reactions to Luke's account by Christian and non-Christian sources. I wrote a six-part series on that evidence a couple of years ago. You can access it here.

See, also, Chris Price's material on the census at the CADRE Comments blog. Put the word "census" in the search engine at the top of the screen. For example, here's an article from earlier this year on the subject of whether Luke actually says that the census required Joseph to return to the place of his ancestry.

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