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Who is Theophilus?

High Priest

(c) Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Knowing the identity of Theophilus (Luke 1:3), could be key to understanding important themes within the narrative. Is he a believer, as some suppose, who was already instructed in the truth whose faith Luke was hoping to strengthen (Luke 1:4)? Some suppose the name is simply a title for all Christians. The name, “Theophilus” means lover or friend of God. While this may be true concerning a Christian, no other New Testament book or epistle is addressed in this manner. Moreover, neither is any work or letter of the early church fathers addressed this way. Therefore, such a conclusion should be understood as based solely upon supposition, not related to anything within the text itself, or anything outside the text that could be tied to either Luke or Acts. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Death of Agrippa

It is interesting as we come to the end of Acts 12 that Herod should die at the hand of God. Josephus, who never puts Agrippa in a bad light, seems to agree, in that Herod himself saw an owl and took it as an omen from God announcing his death [Josephus: Antiquities 19.8.2]. Therefore, although put in different words, Josephus and Luke agree that God killed Herod, because he accepted without rebuke the praise of the people saying he was a god! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Agrippa, Persecution

 

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From Where Did the Church Gain Rest?

Luke writes in Acts 9:31 that the churches throughout all Judea, Samaria and Galilee had rest. Rest from what? It seems to me that he speaks of the persecution that had begun in Jerusalem in Acts 8:1. Luke has this rest occur immediately following his account of Paul’s leaving Jerusalem for his own city of Tarsus in Syria-Cilicia. Nevertheless, this rest from persecution could not, as some seem to believe, to arise out of Paul’s ceasing to persecute the believing community. First of all Paul had already ceased his persecuting the Church for three years; and secondly, his persecution seemed to have been limited to Jerusalem and his going to Damascus, because the rest of the churches of Judea didn’t know him personally (Galatians 1:22). So, what was responsible for the **rest** that the Church experienced in Acts 9:31? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Persecution

 

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Fixing the Date of Stephen’s Death

Fixing Stephen’s death (Acts 7:51-60) to an exact day involves using prophecy, which if true, will offer not only an element of certainty to this study but also a degree of importance of his death. That is, Stephen’s death would have particular significance for the new body of believers and for the kingdom of God. As I hope to show, Stephen’s death is tied up in the 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel 9. This prophecy identifies the Messiah. That is, it points to him beyond all doubt and identifies Jesus as the long awaited Son of David, the Anointed of God. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles, Chronology

 

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