Biblical dating records
But another thing that I discovered in my research is that the well-known historian, Josephus, never documented the slaughter of the innocents, even though he had written quite extensively about Herod the Great.It would seem that Josephus would write something about the mass slaughter of children.Wayne Spencer Jesus Christ's crucifixion is one of the most important events in the history of the world. Yet there has not been a good consensus among scholars about the exact date of the crucifixion.
Let's look at the Biblical passage in question and then we'll take it apart to see what specific historical claims are made.
Given these facts, scholars generally date Jesus' birth anywhere between 6 B. Records exist to show that Roman-controlled Egypt had begun a census as early as 10 B. In Chapter 34 of Res Gestae Augustus also notes, "When I administered my thirteenth consulate (2 B. E.), the senate and Equestrian order and Roman people all called me father of the country, and voted that the same be inscribed in the vestibule of my temple".3 Josephus also mentions a time "When all good people gave assurance of their good will to Caesar".4 These types of tributes would also require an enrollment of individuals from across the empire. Either Luke is wrong on his dating of Jesus' birth or Matthew made up the story of Herod the Great and the killing of the infants. In studying this problem, there are two main solutions that Christian scholars offer, and each has some good merit.
Orosius, a fifth century Christian, links this registration with the birth of Jesus saying that "all of the peoples of the great nations were to take an oath".5 Taking all of this together, we have at least three censuses in the area of Judea - one in 8 B. The first point is the terminology Luke uses when writing about Quirinius' governorship over Syria.
But Luke also wrote that Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem for a census by Quirinius while she was still pregnant, and this event has been dated at 6 A.
D., or ten years after Herod the Great died in 4 B. There have been no historical records to indicate that any Roman census was held prior to 6 A. I've done some research into this apparent discrepancy and have wondered if, perhaps, it was not actually Herod the Great, but one of his heirs apparent that was King at the time of Jesus' birth.