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Tag Archives: Theophilus

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?

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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