Theophilus (Acts 1:1)

“In the first book,

O Theophilus!

I wrote about

All that Jesus did

And taught

From the beginning.”

Τὸν μὲν πρῶτον λόγον ἐποιησάμην περὶ πάντων, ὦ Θεόφιλε, ὧν ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς ποιεῖν τε καὶ διδάσκειν,

The author of this book referred to his first book or words (Τὸν μὲν πρῶτον λόγον).  He also named the recipient of this work as Theophilus (ὦ Θεόφιλε).  He said that he had written or composed (ἐποιησάμην) all about (περὶ πάντων) what Jesus (ὁ Ἰησοῦς) both did (ποιεῖν τε) and taught (καὶ διδάσκειν) from the beginning (ὧν ἤρξατο).  This author was referring to the Gospel of Luke that was all about what Jesus did and taught.  Luke, chapter 1:3, said that he had studied these issues.  He wanted to write an orderly careful account (ἀκριβῶς καθεξῆς σοι γράψαι) to the most excellent Theophilus (κράτιστε Θεόφιλε).  Who was this Theophilus?  The name means literally, lover or friend of God.  This may be a name to include all people who love or are friendly with God.  He may have been Luke’s benefactor supporting him.  However, it could also be a highly literate Christian Roman official, since he was called most excellent (κράτιστε) in Luke, which is a title of honor.  In any case, the Acts of the Apostles, also was addressed to Theophilus.  Most of the educated Romans were fluent in Greek.  Thus, from the start there was a clear connection between Luke and the Acts.  Quite often the two works are considered one as Luke-Acts.  Are you a lover of God?

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