The first procurator Coponius was accompanied by P. Sulpicius Quirinius, legate of Syria, who came to organize the new Roman province.
In Strabo's time they had passed under the Roman dominion, though still governed by their own petty chiefs and retaining to a considerable extent their predatory habits (giving rise to such wars as that carried on by Quirinius, about 8-6 B.C.).
- The birth of Christ took place at the time of a general census of the empire ordered by Augustus: " it was the first census, and was made at the time when Quirinius was governor of Syria."
6, Quirinius was governor of Syria, and did carry out an elaborate census.
20, the periodic census should fall in 9 B.C., but Ramsay alleges various;causes for delay, which would have postponed the actual execution of the census till 7 B.C., and supposes that Quirinius was an imperial commissioner specially appointed to carry it out.
St Luke's statement of a general census is in all probability erroneous, and the introduction of the name Quirinius appears to be due to confusion with the census of A.D.
But St Luke's account, when the name of Quirinius is subtracted from it, ceases to contain any chronological evidence.
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