5In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
This, and the story following it, imply that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great. He died in 4 B.C.E.
¹In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
This is the beginning of the story of the trip to Bethlehem, and Jesus’ actual birth. We know from other historical sources that (a) the first census ordered by Caesar Augustus did indeed occur while Quirinius was governor of Syria; and (b) that occurred in the years 6-9 C.E.
Luke 1:5 implies that Jesus was born no later than 4 B.C.E. Luke 2:2 implies that Jesus was born no earlier than 6 C.E., ten years later.
Originally posted 2015-10-21.