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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Enroll, Enrollment

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A — 1: ἀπογράφω
(Strong's #583 — Verb — apographo — ap-og-raf'-o )

primarily signifies "to write out, to copy;" then, "to enroll, to inscribe," as in a register. It is used of a census, Luke 2:1 RV, "be enrolled," for AV, "be taxed;" in the Middle Voice, Luke 2:3,5 , to enroll oneself, AV, "be taxed." Confirmation that this census (not taxation) was taken in the dominions of the Roman Empire is given by the historians Tacitus and Suetonius. Augustus himself drew up a sort of Roman Doomsday Book, a rationarium, afterwards epitomized into a breviarium, to include the allied kingdoms, appointing twenty commissioners to draw up the lists. In Hebrews 12:23 the members of the Church of the firstborn are said to be "enrolled," RV.

Note: For RV, 1 Timothy 5:9 , katalego, see TAKE , Note (18); for RV, 2 Timothy 2:4 , stratologeo, see SOLDIER , B, Note (2).

B — 1: ἀπογραφή
(Strong's #582 — Noun Feminine — apagraphe — ap-og-raf-ay' )

primarily denotes "a written copy", or, as a law term, "a deposition;" then, "a register, census, enrollment," Luke 2:2 ; Acts 5:37 , RV, for AV, "taxing." Luke's accuracy has been vindicated, as against the supposed inconsistency that as Quirinius was governor of Syria in A.D. 6, ten years after the birth of Christ, the census, as "the first" (RV), could not have taken place. At the time mentioned by Luke, Cilicia, of which Quirinius was governor, was separated from Cyprus and joined to Syria. His later direct governorship of Syria itself accounts for the specific inclusion of, and reference to, his earlier connection with that province. Justin Martyr, a native of Palestine, writing in the middle of the 2nd century, asserts thrice that Quirinius was present in Syria at the time mentioned by Luke (see Apol., 1:34,46; Trypho 78). Noticeable, too, are the care and accuracy taken by Luke in his historical details, 1:3, RV.

As to charges made against Luke's accuracy, Moulton and Milligan say as follows: "The deduction so long made ... about the census apparently survives the demonstration that the blunder lay only in our lack of information: the microbe is not yet completely expelled. Possibly the salutary process may be completed by our latest inscriptional evidence that Quirinius was a legate in Syria for census purposes in 8-6 B.C."

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Enroll, Enrollment'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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