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Theophilus and the Infancy Narratives

Infancy Narratives

from Google Images

One of the problems we are faced with, if we insist Luke’s mention of Theophilus in Luke 1:3 refers to a new gentile believer whose faith needs to be strengthened (Luke 1:4), is that he is very vague about the content of his infancy narratives. For example, Luke mentions the priestly course of Abajah—what does that mean to a gentile. He also mentions offering incense, which to the Jews concerned prayer but not necessarily so for the gentile. Why does Luke do this? However, if we believe Theophilus (Luke 1:3) is an unbelieving Jew who needs proof of that which he has been informed (Luke 1:4), the whole matter needs no further explanation! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Theophilus and the Herod Family

High Priest - 2

from Google Images

Luke’s preface to his Gospel shows that he intended his Gospel narrative to be an apologetic (Luke 1:4) for Most Excellent Theophilus (Luke 1:3). Thus, Luke identifies him as an official of some rank, for he quotes several people addressing the Roman governors, Felix and Festus, in very same manner (see Acts 23:26; 24:3; 26:25). While most scholars conclude that Theophilus must have been an official of some kind, they conclude he was a new gentile convert to Christianity, but this doesn’t seem plausible when one considers the context of Luke’s uncluttered narrative. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Who is Theophilus?

High Priest

(c) Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Knowing the identity of Theophilus (Luke 1:3), could be key to understanding important themes within the narrative. Is he a believer, as some suppose, who was already instructed in the truth whose faith Luke was hoping to strengthen (Luke 1:4)? Some suppose the name is simply a title for all Christians. The name, “Theophilus” means lover or friend of God. While this may be true concerning a Christian, no other New Testament book or epistle is addressed in this manner. Moreover, neither is any work or letter of the early church fathers addressed this way. Therefore, such a conclusion should be understood as based solely upon supposition, not related to anything within the text itself, or anything outside the text that could be tied to either Luke or Acts. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Who is Luke’s Joanna?

Luke mentions a woman named Joanna in Luke 8:3 where she is identified as the wife of Herod’s steward, Chuza, and Luke tells us that she was one of the women who ministered to Jesus from her own wealth. Later, in Luke 24:10 we are told that Joanna was one of the women who visited the tomb of Jesus and found it empty, but she learned from an angel who appeared to her and others at the tomb that Jesus had risen. Both she and the women with her ran to the apostles and told them. This is all that can be clearly understood from the Gospel narratives, because only Luke mentions her in these two places of his work. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in Gospel of Luke, Theophilus

 

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A Contrast of Paul’s Conversion Accounts

Luke records Paul’s conversion three times in Acts, first in chapter 9 where he simply narrates the event, and secondly, through Paul’s testimony in chapter 22 before the Jews after they tried to kill him, and finally before Festus and King Agrippa in chapter 26. Each have similarities, but there are also difference in the accounts, and some have tried to make a point that the differences prove either the event never occurred, or that one cannot know for certain what happened. Is this true? The simple answer is, no; there are reasons for the differences in the accounts, just as there are reasons for the similarities. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Why Didn’t Felix Release Paul?

Luke leaves us at the end of Acts 24 with Paul still in bonds. Usually, when a procurator left his office he either executed the prisoners he had taken captive for crimes worthy of death or released others. Yet, Paul’s fate was left for the next Roman governor to decide, while Felix returned to Rome to answer to Caesar for how he handled certain a certain insurrection that developed in Caesarea. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul Before the Sanhedrin

It has been argued that, due to a lack of a plaintiff argument, the Sanhedrin proceedings were informal.[1] However, strictly speaking Claudius Lysias, the Roman tribune who commanded the Roman army in the Antonia and second in authority only to Felix, called the court together. How informal could that have been? Whether the intention was to hear Paul as a kind of grand jury to determine whether or not Paul had committed a crime or whether the court was convened in the manner in which Festus had thought to do in Acts 25:9 is uncertain. Nevertheless, a formal hearing was called, and judging from the cry of innocence by some of the members of the court (Acts 23:9), it functioned as either an authentic trial on Paul’s life or as a kind of grand jury. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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