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Luke says that, in the time when Cyrenius (Quirinius) was governor of Syria, Caesar Augustus decreed a census for taxation purposes, and everybody had to go 'to his own city'. David, if he existed, lived nearly a thousand years before Mary and Joseph.Why on earth would the Romans have required Joseph to go to the city where a remote ancestor had lived a millennium earlier?

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These facts have led some scholars to cast doubt on Jesus's entire existence.

It seems highly likely that Luke, when writing of the events that surrounded Jesus' birth, was thinking of the famous Roman myth (that was around well before the Jesus' myth) of Romulus and Remus - who also were born by a virgin, and also had a king ordering the slaughter of all the other children in the same area.

How can it be that even early Christians did not know where Jesus' parents lived?

Some conclude that it is because the entire story is merely a re-write of earlier, pagan god-man myths and that a historical Jesus never existed.

And what of the 3 wise men who follow the bright star to Jesus's birthplace, bearing gifts?

Other star gazers of the time, who meticulously recorded many stellar events, did not notice it.

The earliest Greek form of this word is "Nazoraios," which is derived from "Natzoriya," the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew "Notzri." (Recall that "Yeishu ha-Notzri" is the original Hebrew for "Jesus the Nazarene.") The early Christians conjectured that "Nazarene" meant a person from Nazareth and so it was assumed that Jesus lived in Nazareth.

Even today, Christians blithely confuse the Hebrew words "Notzri" (_Nazarene_, _Christian_), "Natzrati" _Nazarethite_) and "nazir" (_nazarite_), all of which have completely different meanings.

At no point did the Romans require people to return to their place of birth for a census.

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