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Tag Archives: Theophilus

The Signs of the End

Sign of the End

from Google Images

According to Luke’s record, the very first sign Jesus offered, showing the end was near was Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies (Luke 21:20). Nothing before that time, whether heavenly signs or wars, persecution or other kinds of trouble, pointed to the time of the end, which is the coming of Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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In Defense of the Resurrection

Defending the ResurrectionJesus began by telling the Sadducee intellectuals that they didn’t know the scriptures and, therefore, erred in their understanding (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24). However, Luke doesn’t mention this insult (Luke 20: 34-35)! Why not? No doubt, Luke doesn’t put the Sadducees in a bad light here or anywhere else in his Gospel, because it was Luke’s intention to give a copy of his narrative to Theophilus, the high priest at the time of his writing (37-40 AD), who was also a Sadducee. It doesn’t make sense to insult the man one hopes in influence to change his mind and stop the then current persecution of the Hellenist Jewish believers, which is exactly what Theophilus ended up doing (cf. Acts 9:31 – cir 39 AD). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Heart of God Toward the Sinner

Prodigal Son - 1

from Google Images

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, when his young son was still on his path home, his father ran to him, while his son was still some distance away (Luke 15:20b). It is implied in this verse that our heavenly Father meets us at some point in our journey back to him. He makes certain that we don’t have to make the full journey of repentance alone. The fact that the father of the young man ran to him would seem quite unfitting in the custom of the day, and this expresses the idea that our heavenly Father will not react toward us, in the manner in which we expect of him. Far from being angry over what we’ve done, he is always ready to give us much more than we desire. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Who Were Jesus’ Accusers?

Accusers

from Google Images

For about two and one half years Jesus had been publicly presenting himself as the Jews’ Messiah. While he never said in so many words, “I am the long awaited Messiah!” He did read a Messianic passage of Scripture in Nazareth, and immediately afterward say: “This day, is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:21). He was rejected in Nazareth, but he operated afterward out of Capernaum and performed many miracles there, but the authorities in Galilee challenged his doctrine and even plotted how they might get rid of him (Luke 6:11; cf. Matthew 12:14; Mark 3:6). So, in Luke 9:51 Jesus set his face like a flint to ascend to Jerusalem and present himself as the Messiah there. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Luke’s Apparent Eyewitness Testimony!

Eyewitness Testimony - 1

from Google Images

When we consider the reasoning among the Apostles in Luke 9:46 and John’s statement in Luke 9:49, we are forced to ask: which mission was more important: sending out the Twelve (Luke 9:1-6) or sending out the Seventy (Luke 10:1-16)? Nevertheless, we must conclude that neither is more important than the other (1Corinthains 3:4-6). Having said this, to what might we account for the greater detail we find in Luke 10:1-12 when it is compared to Luke 9:1-6? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Spies of the First Century AD

Spies - 2

from Google Images

It is inferred by Luke that Annas, the high priest, had sent Ananias and Sapphira into the nascent church (cf. Acts 5:1-13) in order to spy out what was done and bring believers under the authority of the high priest. The same is inferred in Galatians 2:12-13, once one realizes that James didn’t send these people to do what they had done (cf. Galatians 2:4). From time to time Paul had to rebuke a wrong spirit of prophecy or a message or letter that was allegedly from him or one of the other apostles (2Thessalonians 2:2), inferring that others were seeking to gain a foothold in the churches he raised up. Moreover, John also shows there were people who had identified themselves with the apostles but broke away, showing ulterior motives existed among those who did so. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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This Day this Scripture is Fulfilled

Spirit of the Lord is upon me -1

from Google Images

It is interesting that Matthew punctuates his entire Gospel with the theme of Christ fulfilling all things under the Old Covenant. Luke doesn’t do that. Rather, except for a few statements in the final week of Jesus’ public ministry, Luke brackets the whole of Jesus’ words and deeds between Luke 4:19 and 24:44 under the theme of what in Scripture was to be fulfilled. Here in Luke 4:19 Jesus claimed he was the Messiah by saying Isaiah 61 was fulfilled in the ears of his family and friends at Nazareth. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus told his disciples in the upper room that all things in the Law, Prophets and Writings (Psalms) that were written about him had to have been fulfilled by him. Luke sets forth these two Scriptures as an inclusio.[1] That is, everything that falls between these two verses, he intends for us (and his addressee, Theophilus – Luke 1:3) to understand they concern Jesus fulfilling the Scriptures. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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What Is the Wrath to Come?

Wrath to Com

from Google Images

In Luke 3:7 John the Baptist warned of the wrath to come. What is John referring to? The wrath to come is actually the coming wrath. That is, it is already present, coming continually upon the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2; 5:6; Colossians 3:6). The wrath itself is judgment (John 3:36; Romans 1:18; cf. Romans 8:1, 5). The particular judgment that John referred to concerned the mistreatment of the Jewish nation by the gentiles, which culminated in the Jewish war of 66-70 AD. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Who Were the Generation of Vipers?

Corruption

from Google Images

God sent John, the son of Zacharias, to prepare the people of Israel for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. From the very beginning of Luke’s Gospel, we get the idea that something is wrong. Luke doesn’t come right out and say what’s wrong, but what he does say implies corruption, and his implications cannot be missed by Theophilus, the high priest, to whom Luke’s Gospel is addressed. Earlier, Luke alluded to the days of Samuel, the prophet, when the high priesthood was corrupt. The implication is that in John’s day it was no different. Nevertheless, one cannot openly accuse one’s leadership of wrongdoing during the 1st century AD and expect to live a long life. John accused Herod of committing adultery by taking his brother’s wife for himself, and John was beheaded not long afterward. Jesus openly confronted the Jewish leadership (Matthew 21:23-46) and was crucified within a week. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and Anna, the Prophetess

Anna the prophetess

from Google Images

While Simeon was still testifying about Jesus, Luke says a prophetess named Anna (Hannah) of the tribe of Asher, who lived in Jerusalem entered the Temple compound (Luke 2:36-38). Why would he write what amounts to three verses, describing a widow of about eighty-four years of age, who had been married for only seven years when she was very young? He uses two verses to describe her, only to say that she gave thanks (presumably over what Simeon had said) and spoke of Jesus to anyone who looked forward to the coming of the Messiah (Luke 2:38). Why was this important enough for Luke to mention it to Theophilus (Luke 1:3), as an apologetic to support the fact that Jesus was the Messiah? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Luke’s Preface

Ceartanty of Jesus

from Google Images

There have been many presumptions made about the author of Luke’s Gospel narrative, and about how he formulated his narrative and what his purpose was with respect to his recipient, Theophilus, and by extension to us, Luke’s larger audience. It may be fun to explore these ideas further. I hope to do this not only by demanding proof of our more traditional assumptions about Luke and his labor in the Gospel, but also by presenting an alternative perspective that may fit the context of his work better. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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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 of Luke and Acts?

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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Was Luke an Eyewitness?

Eyewitness

from Google Images

The idea that Luke couldn’t be an eyewitness of Jesus’ teaching and work comes from the fact that most Biblical scholars believe his Gospel was written later in the 1st century AD, perhaps in the 80s, but some would date it even later. Therefore, the premise of Luke being an eyewitness seems out of the question, and even the proposition that there existed eyewitnesses of Jesus ministry at these late dates seems improbable, unless they were quite young witnesses at the time; for example, a witness in his 20s during Jesus’ ministry would be at least in his 70s by the time of the most accepted date for writing Luke. What can we say of these things? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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