But the census mentioned by Josephus took place A.D. 6, not at the time of Christ’s birth!

The Catholic Answers

There was a previous census at the time of Christ’s birth, of which Josephus makes no mention. St. Luke is a perfectly reliable historian. Both in his Gospel and in the Acts he proves his exact knowledge of Graeco-Roman affairs, and begins his Gospel with a reference to his diligence in verifying the facts he narrates. He would not at once proceed to make serious and easily avoidable errors. The census did not necessarily take place simultaneously in all parts, and the distinct census St. Luke mentions in his Gospel c. II., V., I could easily refer to a preliminary census according to Jewish customs. His very expression “In those days” suggests a long drawn-out process.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty

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