Re: Cyrenius vs Quirinus

Stephen C. Carlson (
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 22:12:55 -0500

At 09:29 12/17/96 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 9:16 AM -0600 12/17/96, Vanetten.Edward wrote:
>> In Luke 2:2 the KJV translators used Cyrenius
>> instead of Quirinus. Does anyone know why?
>> Was Cyrenius a nickname, cognomen, Greek
>> transliteration of a Roman name, or what?
>My guess is that the KJV translators didn't know exactly who Quirinius was
>and that they thought the spelling of the name indicated it was derived
>from the North African Greek city of Cyrene. In fact, however, the Greek
>KYRHNIOS transliterates quite well--in the pronunciation of Luke's era--the
>pronunciation of the Latin name Quirinius--and of course it would be a
>Roman functioning as governor.

I checked the Vulgate and the Latin says "Cyrino" -- so the AV translation
is in keeping with the state of knowledge at it existed.

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson                   : Poetry speaks of aspirations,              : and songs chant the words. :               -- Shujing 2.35