3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, 1 when Pontius Pilate 2 was governor of Judea, and Herod 3 was tetrarch 4 of Galilee, and his brother Philip 5 was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias 6 was tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 during the high priesthood 7 of Annas and Caiaphas, the word 8 of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 9
1 tn Or “Emperor Tiberius” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
sn Tiberius Caesar was the Roman emperor Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus, who ruled from
2 sn The rule of Pontius Pilate is also described by Josephus, J. W. 2.9.2-4 (2.169-177) and Ant. 18.3.1 (18.55-59).
3 sn Herod refers here to Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. He ruled from 4
4 sn A tetrarch was a ruler with rank and authority lower than a king, who ruled only with the approval of the Roman authorities. This was roughly equivalent to being governor of a region. Several times in the NT, Herod tetrarch of Galilee is called a king (Matt 14:9, Mark 6:14-29), reflecting popular usage.
5 sn Philip refers to Herod Philip, son of Herod the Great and brother of Herod Antipas. Philip ruled as tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis from 4
6 sn Nothing else is known about Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene.
7 sn Use of the singular high priesthood to mention two figures is unusual but accurate, since Annas was the key priest from
8 tn The term translated “word” here is not λόγος (logos) but ῥῆμα (rJhma), and thus could refer to the call of the Lord to John to begin ministry.
9 tn Or “desert.”