the registration or census of Luke 2:2 - Tertullian

Steven Avery


[Tertullian (155-220 AD) : Against Marcion] Withdraw all the sayings of my Christ, His acts shall speak. Lo, He enters the
synagogue; surely (this is going) to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Behold, it is to Israelites first that He offers the
"bread" of His doctrine; surely it is because they are "children" that He shows them this priority. Observe, He does not yet
impart it to others; surely He passes them by as "dogs." For to whom else could He better have imparted it, than to such
as were strangers to the Creator, if He especially belonged not to the Creator? And yet how could He have been
admitted into the synagogue— one so abruptly appearing, so unknown; one, of whom no one had as yet been
apprised of His tribe, His nation, His family, and lastly, His enrolment in the census of Augustus — that most
faithful witness of the Lord's nativity, kept in the archives of Rome? They certainly would have remembered, if they
did not know Him to be circumcised, that He must not be admitted into their most holy places. And even if He had the
general right of entering the synagogue (like other Jews), yet the function of giving instruction was allowed only to a man
who was extremely well known, and examined and tried, and for some time invested with the privilege after experience
duly attested elsewhere. (Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book 4.15; ANF vol 3 <>.