Christ and the Census

Date recorded: 23 May 2017 | Speaker: Andreas Gerstacker | Event: ELF Workshop
Topic: History


For decades Luke's report about the birth of Jesus, the census, a Roman official named Quirinius, and the journey to Bethlehem has caused serious discussions concerning its historical reliability. While critical scholarship has denied the historicity of many if not most aspects of the story, conservative scholars have proposed various theories to rehabilitate Luke's credibility. In this talk we will look at the problem and some of the most popular and important proposals for solving it from the perspective of a Roman historian. What reasons are there to trust Luke's testimony about Jesus and the Census? How far can historical scholarship get us? Where are its limits? And, what about the birth story in Luke 2:1-7 as a whole? Is it properly based on real historical events?