Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-3 (New International Version)
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.”
Thought for the day:
Over the years, there has been much debate over the accuracy of this verse – I believe that we need to have FAITH in the middle of questions and not run away from them. The Word of God is true and can handle anything thrown against it. We can look with eyes of faith and interpret the facts after looking through a correct lens. Note that evidence and facts only tell part of the story. The absence of evidence does not imply the presence of truth. I remember selling insurance to someone who didn’t have a birth certificate. The evidence of birth wasn’t there in paper form. At a future date after this lady’s death, we could look through the family’s paperwork and deduce from the absence of a birth certificate that this lady was never born! The family will tell you a different story and I would give definite evidence of having seen her.
So the absence of evidence does not necessarily imply truth. Much weight is given to Josephus’ writings but the same level of scrutiny isn’t normally applied to what he writes as it is to the Scripture. Luke records something and it is critically analysed and compared to other writings of the time. If Josephus writes something that is at odds with Luke, then Josephus’ writings are normally assumed to be correct.
As a Christian, I believe that the starting position for truth is God’s Word. If Luke has written something, then I will assume that to be correct and expect Josephus to support the evidence. Not the other way around. If there is no evidence to support Luke, then the logical approach is that the evidence hasn’t been found yet. I mix the Word with faith based on years of seeing science and literature change their positions numerous times. When I was in school I was taught many different things as ‘fact’ that have since been discredited by the very people who now stand by a ‘new truth’. It’s anyone’s guess how long it will be before the next truth comes along. They are quite prepared to accept that they were wrong only based on this new enlightening. The Word of God stands true – ‘Forever Oh Lord Your Word is settled in heaven’. Let us fully accept God’s Word as true with enlightened eyes that see Him as creator, provider, Saviour and King.
Prayer and Application:
Read Luke 2:1-7. Please read this passage every day this week and ask God to open your eyes to new revelation from His Word. If possible, choose a different translation each day to read from.