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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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The Authentic Boast

from Google Images

from Google Images

“Before concluding his letter Paul returns once more to the antithesis of cross and circumcision, setting them forth this time as representing respectively the true and the false ground of boasting, and thus carrying a stage further his polemic against the Judaizers and their way of legal observance (Galatians 5:2-12).”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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From Persecutor to Preacher

from Google Images

from Google Images

Paul persecuted the nascent Church, because he believed that the fact Jesus was crucified indicated both he and his message were cursed by heaven (Deuteronomy 21:23). One might conclude that not only was he responsible for Stephen’s death, but that he was also behind the first persecution of the Church (Acts 7:58-60; 8:1, 3). As a result of the posture Paul assumed toward believers in Jesus, he became the Jewish authorities’ go-to person to get the job done concerning putting down this new Jewish movement (Acts 9:1-2). He excelled where others failed (Galatians 1:14). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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The Gospel Cannot Be Hindered

Luke ends his thesis in Acts 28:30-31, showing Paul in his rented house welcoming all—Jews or gentiles—who would come to him, and there he preached the Kingdom of God and those things that concerned the Lord, Jesus Christ, with no one forbidding him. Luke shows us that Paul did this for at least two years, and afterward nothing more is written about Paul or anything further about any of the acts of the Apostles. This, I believe, is meant to be the end of Luke’s thesis. It is not an accident than nothing further is written. Acts has a real ending, and it ends here. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Triumphal Entry

It seems that Luke continues his theme of presenting the final acts of Paul in a similar fashion that he presented those of Jesus in Luke 19:29-40. Just as Jesus had a triumphal entry into the capital of Judea, so Paul, although he is a prisoner of Rome, is presented as having a triumphal journey to the capital of the world (Acts 28:14-16). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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This Is Madness!

One of the most often used criticisms of Christianity today is that our trust in the validity of the Scriptures is a clear expression of our ignorance of reality. Anyone who is claims to be Christian and pursues a career in science is viewed with suspicion—after all isn’t a Christian scientist an oxymoron? Like jumbo-shrimp the two words simply don’t go together. Centuries ago nearly all the great universities of the west were run and financed by Christians, yet today we’re seen as a bunch of coneheads who are simply irrelevant when it comes to education or politics.[1] Perhaps it may come as a surprise that this attitude of being out of touch with reality can also be found in the 1st century CE among the movers and shakers of the times. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa

The king gave Paul permission to speak, and Paul raised his hand in salutation to Agrippa (Acts 26:1). The Greek expression is different here.[1] In both Acts 13:16 and in 21:40 the gesture was intended to invite silence, but here Paul meant to express respect to the king’s office. He began by admitting it was his (Paul’s) honor to discuss his case before Agrippa, whom, Paul claimed, was well aware of the traditions of the Jews, as well as those matters in which they vigorously debated among themselves (Acts 26:2-3). Thus, with the matter of his being accused of treason against Caesar taken out of the way by Festus (Acts 25:25, cp. 25:18-19), Paul framed his charges around that of Jewish tradition and theology. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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