Vol VI   No. III About 2,000 Years Ago Price: 1/16 Denarius  

Caesar Declares Census To Be Taken

This Time Jews To Be Included In Roman Census
   (LUKE 2:1-5) The primary reason for a census to be taken by Rome is to register young men for service in the Roman army. But not this time. Caesar Augustus has put out a decree that all people living in the Roman empire territories will register in this census including all Jews living in Palestine.
   "It is what needs to be done at this time," Caesar said about the census. "This great idea of a census just came to me. Therefore, so it is written, so it shall be done."
   Many Jews look at this census differently. "Rome will eventually look at the information they collect as a means of taxation." said one Jew from Jerusalem. "It is just another way for them to oppress God's chosen people."
   All Jews registering in this census are required to do so in their ancestral home town. This means over the next few months there will be many people traveling around and through Palestine. The census bureau believes that many small towns, such as Bethelem, will have many people show up for this census. They suggest everyone register as early as possible.
(soldier discussing census with Quirinius)
Quirinius Warns Against Possible Rebellion
   Quirinius, the governor of Syria, issued a warning to everyone about the upcoming census. "Let no one even consider the thought of rebellion in response to this census," Quirinius announced sternly. "Or there will be major consequences!"
   At this time all seems to be quiet in the region of Palestine. But the authorities are on full alert and have given orders to the Roman Army to immediately quench any uprising as a result of this census.
Strange "Star" Appears In Night Sky
   (MATTHEW 2:1,2) Over the past several months there has been a bright star glowing in the eastern sky. And as the nights move on, the star appears to grow larger and larger. Local followers of the stars claim they do not know why it is occuring or what it may signify.
   "We don't know if it is prophetic or not," admits one scribe. "We diligently study the Scriptures but learn nothing there. Perhaps a Greek astrologer or someone wise from another country may know of its significance. We have no clue."
   In spite of its unusual brilliance, most people do not seem to be worried or excited. "It means nothing," said one man, "because nothing new or exciting ever happens around here."

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