New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:2 Cyrenius. Caesar Augustus, the first and probably greatest true emperor of Rome, consolidated power under himself and effectively terminated the days of the Roman republic, in the period from 44 B.C. (when Julius Caesar was assassinated) until 27 B.C. He died in A.D. 14. Thus, Jesus was born in the later mid-years of his reign. Governors were appointed over the various provinces, and Cyrenius (or Quirinius) was made governor of Syria in 4 B.C., as confirmed archaeologically. The province of Syria included Judaea as a political subdivision. It has also been shown that there was, indeed, a taxing about this time. It is further agreed (see on Matthew 2:2) that 4 B.C. was probably about the date of Jesus’ birth. Although Luke’s accuracy as a historian used to be questioned, archaeological and historical studies by William Ramsay and others have shown that all his references to names, places and events are quite reliable, entirely apart from the further assurance of divine inspiration.