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Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data

|| Matthew 3:1-12;[1] Mark 1:1-8[2]

LK3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar[3] – [when] Pontius Pilate[4] was governor of Judea, Herod[5] was the tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip[6] was the tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanius[7] was tetrarch of Abilene, LK3:2 also Annas[8] and Caiaphas[9] were chief priests – God’s message[10] came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.


[1] Matthew 3:1-12: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew. The symbol || indicates parallel information in another Gospel.

[2] Mark 1:1-8: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark.

[3] The fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar: One absolute date in human history is the year Augustus died and Tiberius became Emperor of Rome – 14 AD – thus this is the year 29 AD in the fall. This is the exact year Daniel foretold when Messiah would appear. [Daniel 9:24-27]

[4] Pontius Pilate: He was appointed Roman governor of Judea in 26 AD by Tiberius. Josephus mentions him. [Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 55-59 (iii, 1); (Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 60-62 [iii, 2]; The Jewish War, II, 175-177 [ix, 4])] As does the Jewish theologian Philo of Judea who is not flattering. [The Embassy to Gaius, XXXVIII, 299-305] An inscription was uncovered in 1961 confirming the existence of Pilate.

[5] Herod: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew 14:1.

[6] Philip: Son of Herod the Great by Cleopatra of Jerusalem.

[7] Lysanius: An inscription confirms his existence. [Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, Vol. 3, No. 4521]

[8] Annas: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew 26:3, John 18:13, and Acts 4:6.

[9] Caiaphas: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew 26:65; John 11:49-53; 18:12-14; Acts 5:17.

[10] God’s message: Or, word, command.

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BS notes:

Philon.jpg

Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BCE – c. 50 CE), also called Philo Judaeus, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Roman Empire.

Philo of Alexandria of Philo of Judea (Greek: Φίλων, Philōn; c. 20 BCE – c. 50 CE), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Roman Empire and led a delegation of Alexandrian Jews to the emperor Caligula in 40 CE to protest the recent ill treatment of Jews by Greeks in their city. His account of the proceedings survives in the treatise entitled Legatio ad Gaium.

The emperor Caligula wanted to be celebrated as a god but recognised that the Jews did not want to believe that he had been given a divine nature.

As a religious believer, Philo was convinced that the truth of things was to be found ultimately in the teachings of Moses who believed in Only One God Who had given His word to Moses and to Abraham that Word was the Logos and as Being The Word of God it was the most important element for the Judean people. As a philosopher, he felt a need to express this truth in terms that were intelligible to a world imbued with the ideas of Greek philosophy. But trying to bring philosophy in unison with the language of Scriptures made that several people started to give more attention to the philosophical thoughts instead of the Scriptural thoughts.

Philo believed God is the Most High Who has always existed and shall always exist. It is a Spirit or Being which has no beginning but also no end and as such is the only reality that is eternal. It is the Eternal Force which is totally “other” than human beings and unknowable. His providence is “individual, ” manifesting itself in direct intervention in the universe, with suspension, if need be, of laws of nature for the benefit of meritorious individuals. Of His own goodwill, He, Jehovah God, endows the human soul with immortality. These views were strongly contrasted by Philo with Greek views, such as those found in Plato’s Phaedo and Timaeus, in which both matter and the Ideas are said to be coeternal with God; Providence is said to be manifested in the basic laws of nature, and the human soul is said to be of its very nature immortal.
In his attempt to reconcile both his belief in a uniquely transcendent, eternal Creator and his general acceptance of the Platonic theory of Ideas. He rejects the Ideas as eternal, transcendent entities. Rather, they are temporal and part of God’s creation. Their exemplars, however, do exist eternally — as thoughts in the mind of God. The home of the Ideas he called the Logos, or Reason, and this Logos, like the Ideas, was said to exist both transcendentally, as an eternal exemplar in the mind of God, and temporally, as part of God’s creation. With this doctrine Philo attempted to bridge the gap between a God who is totally “other” and the material universe; the Logos, being (unlike God) both transcendental and temporal, was the all-important intermediary linking man and the universe to their creator. But the linking to man made many scholars link Logos also to the human person and as such made Jesus into the Logos and considering because Logos is masculine that it could only be a man. But when they think that way Wisdom being feminine would make it to be a woman and when God is Wisdom would make God to be a woman.

According to Philo Logos is the intermediary through which God’s will acts and is thus the creative power that orders the world. Along with the Logos, Philo posited a whole realm of beings or potencies that bridge the gap between the Creator and his creation. Only fragments of Philo’s works remain, but numerous quotations from his writings are found in early Christian literature.

In a way he understood where the apostle John was pointing at, namely looking at the New Creation the disciple of Christ saw in his master the one who only wanted to do the Will of his Father, whom he wanted all the world letting Him be known. The apostles came to understand that their rabbi was the first-born of the New Creation and as such understood that The Word of God had brought into existence that New Creation. The Speaking of God had made everything possible. God His words brought by His messenger to the mother of John the baptist and to the mother of Jesus had brought insight into those women of the tribe of Juda. Having had the Word (the Logos) brought to king David, the Logos given to the young woman from the tribe of kind David came into fulfilment.

The messengers where the intermediaries through which God’s will acted and by which the two men came into existence by which salvation would become pronounced and by which the intermediary through which God’s will could act for those who were sinners but could find whitewashing in the one provided by the Most High, having become a reality by the Logos (the Speaking of God). The Voice of God or the Word of God coming to the world by the Speaking of God by the birth of Christ had now become flesh. It was not God Himself who had become flesh or a human being but the Words of God having become a reality, being his promise made at the Garden of Eden becoming into being or becoming true.

In the Holy Scriptures God has given His Words. They are the “Logos” which we can carry in our hearts and as such take God in our hearts. by taking the words of the Bible at heart it will not make us into gods or becoming god the Creator, like it did not with Christ Jesus who only did the wish of his Father and always declared he could not do anything without his Father.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19 NIV)

“Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”” (John 20:17 NIV)

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV)

“to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24 NIV)

“5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV)

“Now I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 NIV)

“When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28 NIV)

The Logos shall return to God, and the full circle shall be able to be closed when Jesus shall hand over the Kingdom of God again to his Father, Jesus and all his followers in subjection to the Most High Word of the world and the whole universe, the Only One God Who is One, Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Philo – Woodcut from Die Schedelsche Weltchronik

Philo wrote mainly dealing with the Pentateuch. “De Opificio Mundi” brings his thought on the Creation, “De Vita Mosis” (On the Life of Moses), “Legum Allegoriae” (Allegorical Interpretation), “De Somniis” (On Dreams), “Quaestiones et Solutiones in Genesin” (Questions and Answers on Genesis).
In addition, he produced various philosophical treatises on such subjects as providence and the eternity of the world. He also wrote works (of great historical importance for understanding the situation of the Jews in Alexandria) against the oppression of Jews by Flaccus, and concerning the cruelty of the Roman emperor Gaius.

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Preceding article: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple + Luke 2:51-52 – Jesus continued to be in subjection to his parents

Connecting articles:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

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  1. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  2. Incomplete without the mind of God
  3. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  4. Is there an Immortal soul
  5. Dying or not
  6. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  7. We will all be changed
  8. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  9. Secret or public return of Jesus

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  • Saturday – Third Week of Advent (johnsramblings.com)
    In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
  • Herod and Pontius Pilate . . . Gentiles . . . peoples of Israel (proclaimingthegospelofchrist.wordpress.com)
    Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. (Acts 4:27)
  • Jesus in Extra-Biblical Sources – Apologetics Canada (christianreasons.com)
    Like Suetonius, Tacitus was also a Roman historian. He is best known for his Annals which records events from the death of Roman emperors Augustus to Nero in 14-68 AD.6 In Annals 15.44, Tacitus makes a reference to Jesus:
    +
    Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.
  • Commentary On The Gospel Of Mark Chapter 15:1-3 (studyoftheword.com)
    Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea and was appointed by Tiberius in A.D. 26. He was in charge of the Roman army of occupation, in charge of the taxes going to Rome, had life and death power over his subjects, appointed high priests and decided cases involving capital punishment. He was a weak governor who let his personal and political agenda interfere with his duties. He knew that in Jesus’ case that justice was not being done and he did not want the Roman officials to know that he could not control the situation because this had already been brought to Tiberius’s attention.
  • Something about St. John the Baptist (englishminor1215.wordpress.com)
    St. John the Baptist was born in the city Orini , family priest Zechariah. Elizabeth , his mother, was a descendant of the tribe of Aaron . The birth of the prophet John spent six months before the birth of Jesus . Birth was given by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias while he was serving in the temple. To not give credence to those proclaimed by the angel Gabriel, Zechariah will remain silent until the release of his son ‘s name .
    +
    The fame of John the Baptist was so great , according to the evangelists Matthew and Mark that Herod come to believe that Jesus is actually John the Baptist risen from the dead to do wonders . The belief was widespread among Hebrew , as seen when Jesus asks his disciples who the crowds say that he is.
  • The Existence of Jesus Christ (gratiaetnatura.wordpress.com)
    There is one thing I have discovered–that those who do not wish to accept Jesus as the Christ will go as far as to deny even atheist scholars’ claims that He lived from around 4 B.C.E.-29 C.E. in ancient Palestine. One recently claimed that only a branch of scholars influenced by Christian apologetics accept the existence of Jesus. My sense is that someone who is ready to deny the vast majority of scholarship, not only Christian, but also atheist, agnostic, and Jewish scholarship, is unlikely to be persuaded by a blog post.
    +
    Both Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the Younger (in his letter to the Roman emperor Trajan, 112 C.E.) mention Jesus as the founder of Christianity and that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate. These are the sure references to Jesus in extrabiblical literature of the second century. There is a reference, though later edited by Christians, to Jesus in Josephus, a first century Jewish historian.
    +
    Mainstream scholarship of all creeds or lack thereof accepts Jesus existence–if we denied it on the critics’ grounds, we would have to deny the existence of Plato, Julius Caesar, Herod the Great, and other ancient historical people. The similarity of the Jesus story to dying and rising god stories proves nothing about Jesus existence. The critics are inconsistent–they demand absolute, quasi-mathematical proof for Jesus’ existence, but not for other historical figures they accept as having existing.
  • A Brief Sample of Archaeology Corroborating the Claims of the New Testament (str.typepad.com)
    Sir William Mitchell Ramsay, a 19th century English historian and prolific writer, held a pervasive anti-Biblical bias. He believed the historical accounts in the Book of Acts were written in the mid-2nd century. Ramsay was skeptical of Luke’s authorship and the historicity of the Book of Acts, and he set out to prove his suspicions. He began a detailed study of the archaeological evidence, and eventually came to an illuminating conclusion: the historical and archaeological evidence supported Luke’s 1st century authorship and historical reliability:“(There are) reasons for placing the author of Acts among the historians of the first rank” (Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, p. 4).

    Ramsay became convinced of Luke’s reliability based on the accurate description of historical events and settings. Ramsay wasn’t the only scholar to be impressed by Luke’s accuracy:

    “One of the most remarkable tokens of (Luke’s) accuracy is his sure familiarity with the proper titles of all the notable persons who are mentioned . . . Cyprus, for example, which was an imperial province until 22 BC, became a senatorial province in that year, and was therefore governed no longer by an imperial legate but by a proconsul. And so, when Paul and Barnabas arrived in Cyprus about AD 47, it was the proconsul Sergius Paullus whom they met . . .’ (F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, p. 82).

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    For many centuries, Luke was the only ancient writer to use the word Politarch to describe “rulers of the city.” Skeptics doubted that it was a legitimate Greek term until nineteen inscriptions were discovered. Five of these were in reference to Thessalonica (the very city in which Luke was claiming to have heard the term).

  • A Kenyan Lawyer Sues King Herod, Israel, And Italy over the Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (mojiakubudel.com)
    Mr Indidis, a Roman Catholic, and former spokesperson for the Kenyan Judiciary, filed the lawsuit regarding Jesus’ death with the International Court of Justice, the primary judicial branch of the United Nations based at The Hague in the Netherlands.He filed the lawsuit against Pontius Pilate, several Jewish elders, King Herod, Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel.

     “I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidis told the Nairobian in a recent interview.
  • New Ebook Released, just in time for Christmas!!! (sheiladeeth.wordpress.com)
    hat happened in those hidden years, those intervening decades between the return to Nazareth and the time when Jesus began his public ministry? Ms. Deeth fills this gap using logic, imagination and a subtle sense of humor. In so doing, she presents everyday life in Nazareth for the boy Jesus. Throughout the book’s fifty-plus chapters he assists Joseph in his carpentry work, interacts with friends and neighbors, and experiences the wider world beyond his hometown. The reader meets a young, but self-aware Jesus filled with boyish curiosity yet often wise beyond his years. Ever alert to the world around him, he catalogs the ups and downs of First Century life compiling a treasure trove of memories. And it’s from those memories and experiences that Jesus extracts the nuggets of wisdom for his parables.
  • Josefo, sobre Fílon de Alexandria (filal.wordpress.com)
    We find a brief reference to Philo by the 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus. In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus tells of Philo’s selection by the Alexandrian Jewish community as their principal representative before the Roman emperor Gaius Caligula. He says that Philo agreed to represent the Alexandrian Jews in regard to civil disorder that had developed between the Jews and the Greeks in Alexandria, Egypt. Josephus also tells us that Philo was skilled in philosophy, and that he was brother to an official called Alexander the alabarch (Josephus, Antiquities viii. 8. 19). According Josephus, Philo and the larger Jewish community refused to treat the emperor as a god, to erect statues in honor of the emperor, and to build altars and temples to the emperor. Josephus says Philo believed that God actively supported this refusal.
  • In those days: some notes (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    Matthew 3:1 in those days: This is an OT expression that marks the beginning of the new period, not necessarily a precise indication of time (see Mt 13:1; 24:22, 29, 36; 26:29). Here it marks the time-shift from the infancy narrative to the adult Jesus’ appearance.  the desert of Judea: wilderness would perhaps be the better word for modern English. The area is the barren region west of the Dead Sea extending up the Jordan valley.
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