Luke 3:1

New Testament

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low, and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth, 6 and all humanity will see the salvation of God.’”

Josephus Antiquities of the Jews 19.5


1 Now when Claudius had taken out of the way all those soldiers whom he suspected, which he did immediately, he published an edict; and therein confirmed that Kingdom to Agrippa, which Caius had given him: and therein commended the King highly. He also made an addition to it; of all that countrey over which Herod, who was his grandfather, had reigned; that is Judea and Samaria. And this he restored to him as due to his family. But for Abila of Lysanias, and all that lay at mount Libanus, he bestowed them upon him, as out of his own territories. He also made a league with this Agrippa, confirmed by oaths, in the middle of the forum, in the city of Rome. He also took away from Antiochus that Kingdom which he was possessed of; but gave him a certain part of Cilicia, and Commagene. He also set Alexander Lysimachus the alabarch at liberty, who had been his old friend, and steward to his mother Antonia: but had been imprisoned by Caius. Whose son married Bernice, the daughter of Agrippa. But when Marcus, Alexander’s son, was dead, who had married her when she was a virgin, Agrippa gave her in marriage to his brother Herod: and begg’d for him of Claudius the Kingdom of Chalcis.

 Notes and References

"... In addition to the parallels considered in this and earlier chapters, several less significant ones may be mentioned: (i) Luke's mention of "Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene" (Luke 3:1; cf. Wizr2.215,247; Ant. 19.275); (ii) Luke's parable of the man who traveled to another country to receive his kingship, but was hated by his own people, whom he punished with death, which seems like a thinly veiled reference to the family of Herod as described by Josephus (Luke 19:12-27; War 1.282-285); (iii) Luke's description of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, including a reference to the slaughter of children (Luke 19:43-44; cf. War 6 in general); and (iv) Luke's reference to a famine during the reign of Claudius, in which Barnabas and Saul brought relief to Jerusalem from Antioch (Acts 11:28-29; cf. Ant. 3.320; 20.51-53, 101). Although they do not seem at first to describe the same incident, (v) Luke's reference to Pilate's attack on some Galileans (Luke 13:1) sounds somewhat like Josephus' account of Pilate's dealings with some Samaritans at Mt. Gerizim (Ant. 18.85-87). In my view, these parallels are too vague to establish a relationship between the texts. Nevertheless, the affinities discussed above and in earlier chapters do indicate such a relationship. In any given case—say, the connection of the Egyptian with the sicarii or with the desert—one might be content to dismiss the affinity with Jo­sephus as a coincidence. But a series of half a dozen such coincidences of narrative detail, combined with the coinci­dence that Luke happened to include some key features of Josephus' story (the census, the three rebel figures), makes the hypothesis that Luke had some knowledge of Josephus more likely than not ..."

Mason, Steve Josephus and the New Testament (p. 282) Hendrickson Publishers, 2003

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