A Vindication Of Luke Chap. 2:1, 2 When Did The Taxing Spoken Of In These Verses Take Place? -- By: R. D. C. Robbins

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:3 (Aug 1844)
Article: A Vindication Of Luke Chap. 2:1, 2 When Did The Taxing Spoken Of In These Verses Take Place?
Author: R. D. C. Robbins


A Vindication Of Luke Chap. 2:1, 2
When Did The Taxing Spoken Of In These Verses Take Place?

R. D. C. Robbins

From the German, by R. D. C, Robbins, Resident Licentiate, Theol. Sem., Andover.

[The following discussion is translated from Tholuck, on the Credibility of the Evangelical History.1 This work was called forth by Strauss’s Life of Jesus, and very frequent allusions are made to him and his works as well as to other skeptical writers, in the volume. A part of the section upon “the proof of the credibility of the evangelical history from Luke’s Gospel,” was thought of sufficient interest to warrant its publication apart from the remainder of the volume. Some of the allusions of a local nature, which although important for the readers for whom the work was originally designed, are not so for an English reader, and also some things which connect this with other parts of the volume have been omitted or modified in the translation. Quotations from Latin and Greek authors, and in some cases references which in the volume are in the text, have been thrown into notes. In other respects the form of the discussion in the original has been substantially retained. Some leading points of the argument for the trust-worthiness of Luke, which immediately precedes and is closely connected with this particular discussion, are here given.

Two questions arise when we examine the credibility of an historian; first, whether he intends to write history or fiction, and secondly, whether he is fitted by his objective relations and subjective qualities to present the truth which he professes to give.

As it respects Luke, the first question is answered by the introduction to his Gospel, chap. 1:14. Josephus says in the beginning of his history of the Jewish War: ‘Since so many have related from doubtful authority concerning the war of the Romans with the Jews, things of which they were not eye-witnesses, and others have given false accounts of things which they have witnessed, from a desire to flatter the Romans or from hatred to the Jews, I, who at first fought against the Romans and was compelled to be present at what was done afterwards, have undertaken to give an account of these things.’ No one can doubt that the author intends to have it understood by this, that the events which he is about to record actually occurred. No one would accuse him of professing to write a fictitious narrative. Shall we deny to Luke what we accord to Josephus? It is true that his introduction differs in some particulars from that of the Jewish Historian. The evangelist...

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