jbarach at telusplanet.net
Thu Dec 23 17:02:58 EST 1999
Yes, I know Luke 2:2 is a thorny verse. I am aware of four
interpretations of PRWTH here:
(1) PRWTH is superlative: this was the first of a series of censuses.
(2) PRWTH is an adjective modifying APOGRAFH: this was the first
census, [while] Quirinius [was] governing.
(3) PRWTH has the sense of "before" and the verse should read: "This
census was *before the census* which Quirinius, governor of Syria, made"
(Turner, _Grammatical Insights_ 23-24; cf. F. F. Bruce, _NT History_;
this view seems to be held by J. van Bruggen, _Matteus_, as well).
(4) PRWTH is adverbial: "This census took place *before* Quirinius
was governor of Syria" (Higgins).
The problem with (2) is, of course, historical. Was Quirinius
governor, not only in AD 6 (Josephus) but also earlier, just before the
time of Jesus' birth? B-Greek is probably not the place to discuss this
The problem with (4) is that PRWTH agrees in gender with APOGRAFH,
making it much more likely to be an adjective than an adverb (cf.
My question is whether (3) is still considered plausible. Wallace
cites Winer-Moulton: this reading is "awkward, if not ungrammatical."
John Barach (403) 317-1950
Pastor, Trinity Reformed Church (URCNA)
113 Stafford Blvd. N.
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