Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
Note 1 at Lu 3:1: Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus Caesar and succeeded him in the throne. He was the second emperor of the Roman Empire and reigned from A.D. 14 to A.D. 37. Herod Antipas (who beheaded John) renamed the Sea of Galilee after Tiberius (Lake Tiberias) and built a city on the west side of that sea, which he also named in honor of this emperor (see note 1 at Lu 2:1).
Note 2 at Lu 3:1: Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea from A.D. 26 to A.D. 36. He also had command of the Roman forces in Judea and used them in the slaughter of the Galileans (see note 1 at Lu 13:1). He tried Jesus and eventually sentenced Him to be crucified (Lu 23:1-25). Pilate was deposed by Tiberius Caesar in A.D. 36 and banished to Gaul, where he died in A.D. 41.
Note 3 at Lu 3:1: This Herod was known as Herod Antipas, was the son of Herod the Great (see note 1 at Lu 1:5), and ruled over Galilee. His brother, Herod Archelaus, ruled Judea and Samaria (Mt 2:22). Another brother, Philip, who is mentioned in this verse, had a wife named Herodias (Lu 3:19) who was the daughter of yet another son of Herod the Great, Aristobulus, who is not mentioned in the New Testament. Herodias left her husband (and uncle), Philip, and married Herod Antipas for which they were rebuked by John the Baptist (Mr 6:17-20). Herodias finally prevailed over Antipas' objections and had John the Baptist beheaded. Herod Antipas' nephew, Herod Agrippa I, is mentioned in Ac 12 as being smitten by the angel of the Lord and eaten with worms. The grandnephew of Herod Antipas was Herod Agrippa II and was almost persuaded by Paul to become a Christian (Ac 26:28).