Sunday, April 11, 2010

NT Pod 34: Was Luke a Historian?

NT Pod 34 asks "Was Luke a Historian?".

It is just under thirteen minutes long. Feel free to leave your comments below.

NT Pod 34: Was Luke a Historian? (mp3)

NT Pod 34: Was Luke a Historian? (mp3) (Alternative location)

Key texts: Luke 1.1-4, Luke 2.1, Luke 3.1-2, Luke 4.16-30, Luke 9.51

Thanks to Ram2000, Me and You, for the opening theme, released under a Creative Commons agreement.


  1. Mark, you mentioned that Theophilus means "lover of God" and that some people take this to be evidence that he was not a real person. However, "Theophilus" is just the sort of name that we would expect a Christian benefactor to be given. Consider the recently discovered Megiddo mosaic that honored a Christian benefactor named "AKEPTOUS H FILOQEOS" (Akeptous also called Philotheos). Consider also Plutarch's statement, "Hence those kings who were unwilling to be proclaimed a god or son of a god, but rather Philadelphus or Philometor or Euergetes or Theophiles, were ungrudgingly honoured by those who gave them these noble yet human titles." Consider also the name "Theophorus", taken by Ignatius, and mentioned at the start of all his letters.

    Commentators rightly point out that if the name represented all Christians he would not be called "most excellent". But I think they are wrong to assume that "Theophilus" must have been his birth name. It may well have been his new name/title.

    Perhaps you could blog on why you think Acts takes chronological liberties. As I mentioned before, the 'his disciples' thing requires only that Luke omitted the visit to Arabia and the conversions that took place there.

  2. Thanks, Richard. I am inclined to agree with you on Theophilus and appreciate the support there. I would enjoy blogging on Acts again in due course. I'll be teaching Paul again in the fall and will be doing a lot of thinking around these subjects between now and then.