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Theophilus, in Greek meaning lover of God, was the man to whom Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:3) and the Book of Acts (Acts 1:1). Nothing else is recorded about Theophilus, however from the formal manner that Luke addressed him in Luke, he was likely a Roman official of some sort, since Luke's referring to him as "most excellent" was an apparent Roman title (Christians did not use pompous titles for their teachers or leaders, such as the utterly blasphemous modern-day use of "The Holy Father" for a mere human) that was recorded by Luke for only two others in the Scriptures, both non-Christian Roman Procurators (governors) of Judea - "most excellent" Festus (Acts 26:25) and "most excellent" Felix (Acts 24:2). It is interesting however that in the later-written Acts, Luke refers to him simply and less formally as "O Theophilus," which, although could be the result of a number of things, or nothing at all, may also have been an indication that Theophilus gave up, or was removed from, his Roman position in favor of his obviously-strong interest in Christianity. To the Romans, their Emperor was idolized as a god (just as some modern-day political leaders are revered as divine), something that no Christian could ever accept (a great many Christians, and Jews, were martyred by the Romans for that very reason, and will be again - see Revelation 13).


Roman Ruins When we read the Gospel account of Luke, we are reading a report that was written for Theophilus:

"Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed." (Luke 1:1-4 RSV)

In the later Book of Acts, Luke continues his account of Bible History to Theophilus, which, as with the Gospel of Luke, includes much Prophecy:

"In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. To them He presented Himself alive after His passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the Kingdom of God."

"And while staying with them He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, "you heard from Me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." [see Pentecost]

"So when they had come together, they asked Him, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" [see "God Forbid, Lord!"]

"He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." [see The Border That Matters To God]

"And when He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight."

"And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come [see The Return Of Jesus Christ] in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:1-11 RSV)

Fact Finder: What eventually happened to the apostles?
See What Happened To The Apostles?

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