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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

 

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Theophilus
        

Called "most excellent" or "noble" (kratiste), a magisterial designation (Luke 1:3; Acts 1; compare Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25). Luke addressed both his works, forming one whole in two parts, to him, in order to give a more orderly written narrative, from the very beginning clown to the journey of Paul to Rome, of those truths in which he had been "instructed" orally (katechethes). Tradition connects Theophilus with Antioch. The special adaptation of Luke's Gospel to Gentiles implies Theophilus was a Gentile.
        The "epithet" kratiste implies his rank, as also does the more elegant style of Luke's dedication (Luke 1:1-4) as compared with that of, the rest of the Gospel which is more derived from existing brief memoirs embodied by the evangelist. The idea of Theophilus being an imaginary person (the name meaning "friend of God") is at variance with the simplicity of the New Testament writers and especially the evangelists.


Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Theophilus' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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