> Karel's response:
> >You may be right, for we have to do with surmises and evaluate them
> >which ones seem more probable than others. My vote goes to those, who
> >believe, Theophile, is an honorary title for the emperor. Luke wrote for
> >wider public. His books are an apologia for the christian Judeans in
> >Authors would do this, as
> >for instance Josephus.
> I am not aware of any one who has written that Theophile is an honorary
> title for the emperor prior to you. My first question would be, which
> emperor? and did the named addressee receive these writings? Why would the
> addressee not be identified? Why would 'most excellent' be an honorary
> for an emperor? Why do you think the audience is in Rome? Why would Luke
> write an apologia for the Christian Judeans in Rome? Why then would Luke
> have a heavy emphasis on the highpriests?
> Richard H. Anderson
1. You will agree that all of us, bible students, must work with and
evaluate hypotheses. For we lack, alas, sufficient factual knowledge of the
early christian movement. I wrote therefore "my vote goes to.." .
2. In the Introduction to Feine-Behm Kümmel we read, "By means of the
dedication to the 'kratistos theophilos', the book receives a still stronger
literary character, since the addressee had the obligation to tend to the
dissemination of the book. 'Kratistos', to be sure,
can be the title of a high official, but it is also used as a polite form of
3. Flavius Josephus, bore the name of the Flavian house of the emperor. His
books were meant to be enlighten the general public on the history of
Judaism certainly with the approval of the emperor.
4. Luke begins his story by recalling the 'golden' years of Caesar Augustus
to his readers, but sheds a light on the Judean history quite different from
that of Josephus in particular with regard to the governance of the high
We are dealing with a 'high official'. Josephus is nearly 100% silent on the
christian Judean movement, even though this very movement appeared to be
attractive to many in the empire and was at the same time rather
controversial in Rome.
It is generally recognized that Luke wrote an apologia on behalf of the
Christian Judean movement destined for the general public.
In light of the above, I find it plausible that Luke with his 'kratiste
theophile', was not the name of an unknown individual, but the honorofic
title of a known individual. He was as it were dedicating his works to the
emperor, but then in a general sense.
Of course, I cannot go further than the word 'plausible'.
Finally, I read somewhere that Josephus himself uses the term 'theophile'
in that sense.
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