1866 PHILIP SCHAFF Letter New-York Sabbath Committee


SIZE: 8 x 10 inches approx.


Several months after the brith of our Lord, who, according to Matthew II was born some months or weeks at least before the death of Herod. From this it seems to follow that Quirinius could have no share in the census mentioned by Luke in connection with the birth of Christ.

But I am unwilling to give up the apologetic advantage promised by the fact of a double governorship of Quirinius, until you can show me conclusively the chronological impossibility .

The difference is in the worst case only one of a few months and invites attempts at a solution.

I beg leave to submit to you two suggestions which are intruiserally[?] probably and meet the difficulty:

1. Quirinius may have received, and no doubt did receive, his appointment several months before he actually entered upon the discharge of the duties of his office.

2. The census may have been begun under Varus (say A.M. 749 or early in 750), and this mainly under Herod's own direction in Palestine, but was naturally interrupted by his death and the consequent political changes and confusion, and was then resumed and completed under Quirinius with whose name it would therefore be properly connected rather than with that of Varus or Herod.

All this is on the assumption that
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