What's with all the name dropping?

In this week's Bible reading from Luke 3:1-6
  • Tiberius is emperor
  • Pilate is governor
  • Herod is the local ruler
  • Philip is local ruler nearby
  • Lysanias is another nearby local ruler
  • Annas and Caiaphas are the high priests
And John is mostly a nobody.

Are the names there just to show when this whole deal happened? Or maybe they're there to show that John isn't part of the establishment.  He's the voice calling out in the wilderness.  He's a voice of peace and justice away from the voices of corruption and greed.

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