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At any rate, it appears from the form of the

expression, that he had two táxings or enrolments in contemplation. And if Cyrenius had been sent upon this business into Judea, before he became

governor of Syria (against which supposition there is no proof, but rather external evidence of an enrolment going on about this time under some person or other *), then the

on all hands acknowledged to have been made by him in the beginning of his government, would form a second, so as to occasion the other to be called


the first

II. Another chronological objection arises upon a date assigned in the beginning of the third chapter of Saint Luke-t. “ Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of

* Josephus (Antiq. xvii. c. 2. sect. 6.) has this remarkable passage:

« When therefore the whole Jewish nation took an oath to be faithful to Cæsar, and the interests of the king." This transaction corresponds in the course of the history with the time of Christ's birth. What is called a census, and which we render taxing, was delivering upon oath an ac. count of their property. This might be accompanied with an oath of fidelity, or might be mistaken by Josephus for it,

4 Lardner, part. i. vol. ii. p. 768. VOL. II.


Tiberius Cæsar,--Jesus began to be about thirty years of age: for, supposing Jesus to have been born, as Saint Matthew, and Saint Luke also himself, relate, in the time of Herod, he must, according to the dates given in Josephus and by the Roman his torians, have been at least thirty-one years of age in the fifteenth year of Tiberius. If he was born, as Saint Matthew's narrative intimates, one or two years before Herod's death, he would have been thirtytwo or thirty-three years old at that time.

byta This is the difficulty: the solution turns upon an alteration in the construction of the Greek. Saint Luke's words in the original are allowed, by the general opinion of learned men, to signify, not that Jesus began to about thirty years of age,' bat' “ that he was about thirty years

of age when he began his ministry.” This construction being admitted, the adverb • about” gives us all the latitude we want, and more, especially when applied, as it is in the present instance, to a decimal number: for such numbers, even without this

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qualifying addition, are often used in a laxer sense than is here contended for*.

III. Acts, v. 36. « For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be some body; to whom a number of men, abour four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as, obeyed him, were scattered and brought to nought.”

Josephus has preserved the account of an impostor of the name of Theudas, who created some disturbances, and was slain; but according to the date assigned to this man's appearance (in which, however, it is very possible that Josephus may have been mistaken -t), it must have been, at the

Livy, speaking of the peace which the conduct of Romulus had procured to the state, during the whole reign of his successor (Numa), has these words 1 :-“ Ab illo enim profectis viribus datis tantum valuit, ut, in quadraginta deinde annos, tutam pacem haberet:" yet afterwards in the same chapter, “ Romulus,” he says, “ septem et triginta regnavit annos. Numa tres et quadraginta."

+ Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament (Marsh's translation), vol. i. p. 61.

. Liv. Hist. c. i. sect. 16.

least, seven years after Gamaliel's speech of which this text is a part, was delivered. It has been replied to the objection*, that there might be two impostors of this name: and it has been observed, in order to give a general probability to the solutions that the same thing appears to have happened in other instances of the same kind. : It is proved froin Josephus, that there were not fewer than four persons of the name of Simon within forty years, and not fewer than three of the name of Judas within ten years, who were all leaders of insurrections: and it is likewise recorded by this historian, that; upon the death of Herod the Great (which agréés very well with the time of the commotion referred to by Gamaliel, and with his manner of stating that time,“ before these days”), there were innumerable disturbances in Judeaf." Archbishop Usher was of opinion, that one of the three Judases above-mentioned was Gamaliel's Theudas..; and that with a less varia:son of the name than we actually find in


* Lardner, part. i. vol. ii. p. 922. + Antig. 1. xvii. c. 12. sect. 4.

Annals, p. 797.


the Gospels, where one of the twelve apo. stles is called, by Luke, Judạs; and by Mark, Thaddeus*. Origen, however he came at his information, appears to have believed that there was an impostor of the name of Theudas before the nativity of Christt.

IV. Matt. xxiii. 34.“ Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and

persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye

ye slew between the temple and the altar.

There is a Zacharias, whose death is related in the second book of Chronicles, in

* Luke, vi. 16. Mark, iii. 18. + Orig. cont. Cels. p. 44.

1And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the com

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