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Who is Theophilus? Discovering the original reader of Luke-Acts

Jennifer M. Creamer, Aida B. Spencer, Francois P. Viljoen
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 48, No 1 | a1701 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v48i1.1701 | © 2014 Jennifer M. Creamer, Aida B. Spencer, Francois P. Viljoen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2013 | Published: 19 June 2014

About the author(s)

Jennifer M. Creamer, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Aida B. Spencer, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Francois P. Viljoen, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

The aim of this article is to investigate the nature of Theophilus as the original reader of Luke-Acts. A lexical and grammatical analysis of Luke 1:1–4 and of the broader literary context of the Luke-Acts narrative provided the basis for discovering the identity of Theophilus. This article proposes that Theophilus was a man of prominent position: a Gentile who had received some introductory teachings about Christ and who needed factual verification of the events surrounding the emergence of Christianity.

Die doel van hierdie artikel is om Theophilus, as die oorspronklike leser van Lukas-Handelinge, se identiteit te ondersoek. ’n Leksikale en grammatikale ontleding van Lukas 1:1–4, asook ’n ontleding van die breër literêre konteks van die Lukas-Handelinge-narratief, bied die basis vir die ontdekking van Theophilus se identiteit. Hierdie artikel stel Theophilus voor as ’n man met ’n prominente posisie: ’n nie-Jood wat basiese Christusonderrig ontvang het en wat die bevestiging van die gebeure rondom die opkoms van die Christendom voorop gestel het.


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