In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. . . .
The Lord — holy, sovereign, utterly independent — became incarnate in the person of Jesus. . . when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So, who is Quirinius? That he was governor of Syria is obvious enough. But this is such an apparently insignificant detail. What purpose does this serve in holy Scripture? Well, Quirinius was a real person, a real governor over a real Syria in a real world in real space and time. And God really stepped into this.
Here's one way to think about the chronology of the New Testam…