Tag Archives: Theophilus

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 »


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 »


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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Was Luke an 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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How Luke Relates to Acts

chiasm - 1

from Bing Images

It may be surprising to some that Luke connects his two theses together by more than simply naming their addressee, Theophilus. It is through the literary use of chiasms that Luke shows us that both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts need to be understood together as one complete work. In doing so, Luke unveils important details in both works that might otherwise be lost. The use of chiastic patterns as a literary tool is commonly found in ancient works of importance like the Iliad and the Odyssey. Likewise, the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament both employ chiastic structures to illustrate or emphasize certain facts the authors view as particularly significant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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The Gospel of Luke

Jesus according to LukeIf one is to understand the importance of the Gospel of Luke one must take into consideration to whom it was written, why it was written, and when it was written. If the who is of little import, how then could its content be significant? If the why is unknown, how could its content be properly interpreted? If the when is mistakenly placed in the wrong era, Luke’s content, no matter how important, couldn’t ever be received with much authority. I hope to address each of these questions properly in their proper places in this study. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 15, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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