“I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus.”
Luke 8:3 (NRSV)
According to The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard edition, the authorship of The Gospel of Luke is unknown. The evidence for Luke is inconclusive, but many accept the tradition that the gospel and The Acts of the Apostles are to be attributed to the physician Luke, a Gentile convert, who was a friend of the Apostle Paul.
The writing of the gospel may have occurred in Antioch in the last third of the first century and the Acts of the Apostles must have been written within the last twenty years of the first century.
In the first book the writer presents an orderly account of the words and works of Jesus from the first day until He was taken up into heaven. In the second book the writer begins telling the story of Pentecost, the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit, who empowered Jesus’ disciples to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and the birth of the Church and its early expansion and growth.
In the notes (p. 77) we read that Theophilus is an unknown Christian, perhaps of some social prominence. In the notes, the editors tell us regarding Theophilus, which means ‘lover of God,’ that he may have been a Roman official, to whom the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles were written.” (p. 161) The editors note that Theophilus may refer to “any reader who loves God.” (p. 161) Granted when these books were written there may have been one or even more persons named Theophilus. Inasmuch as the salutation addresses “any reader who loves God.” That appellation applies to us, too, if we are readers of the scriptures who love God!
Blessed Lord, we thank You that as we read the scriptures and as our love grows for You, we too can have another name, “Theophilus.” As we love You we are reminded that You first loved us. Thank you, Lord! In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.