Robertson's Word Pictures of the New TestamentLuke 3:1
- Now in the fifteenth year (en etei de pentekaidekatwi).
- Tiberius Caesar was ruler in the provinces two years before Augustus Caesar died. Luke makes a six-fold attempt here to indicate the time when John the Baptist began his ministry. John revived the function of the prophet (Exxe Homo, p. 2) and it was a momentous event after centuries of prophetic silence. Luke begins with the Roman Emperor, then mentions Pontius Pilate Procurator of Judea, Herod Antipas Tetrarch of Galilee (and Perea), Philip, Tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis, Lysanias, Tetrarch of Abilene (all with the genitive absolute construction) and concludes with the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas (son-in-law and successor of Annas). The ancients did not have our modern system of chronology, the names of rulers as here being the common way. Objection has been made to the mention of Lysanias here because Josephus (Ant. XXVII. I) tells of a Lysanias who was King of Abila up to B.C. 36 as the one referred to by Luke with the wrong date. But an inscription has been found on the site of Abilene with mention of "Lysanias the tetrarch" and at the time to which Luke refers (see my Luke the Historian in the Light of Research, pp. 167). So Luke is vindicated again by the rocks.