Bible Notes

"Joseph ... went up from Galilee ... to be taxed" (Luke 2:4.)—The word rendered "to be taxed" is more literally "to enrol himself" (as in the Revised Version) or "to register," the reference being apparently to the taking of a census. At such times "particulars not only of the persons, but also of their property, were generally given in the census papers" (Souter: Greak Lexicon, p.31). It may be noted that "the 'registration' (apographe) did not necessarily involve a 'taxing' (apotimesis), though it was frequently the first step in that direction." (See Farrar: Commentary on St. Luke, p. 62.) Weymouth (fifth edition) translates: "Joseph went up from Galilee ... to have himself registered;" and Goodspeed: "Joseph went up from ... to register with Mary;" while Moffatt offers a similar rendering.

"I bring you good tidings" (Luke 2:10)—It is of interest to note that the noun "euangelion," which we translate "gospel" (good news), comes form the same root as the Greek word "euangelizomai," here translated "I bring you good tidings;" indeed, in Isaiah 61:1 the Septuagint uses the very same word to represent the Hebrew verb translated "preach good tidings" in our Common Version; while in Luke 4:18 it occurs again, and is there rendered "preach the gospel." Compare our English terms: "evangel" and "evangelist," and the French "evangile" (gospel).

February 20, 1937

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