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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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one to whom St. Luke addresses the books of his Gospel and Acts of the Apostles, which he composed, Acts 1:1 ; Luke 1:3 . It is doubted whether the name Theophilus be here the proper name of a man, or an appellative or common name, which, according to its etymology, may stand for any good man, or a lover of God. Some think this name is generic, and that St. Luke's design here is to address his work to those that love God; but it is much more probable that this Theophilus was a Christian to whom the evangelist has dedicated those two works; and the epithet of "most excellent," which is given to him, shows him to have been a man of great quality. OEcumenius concludes from thence that he was governor or intendant of some province, because such a personage had generally the title of "most excellent" given to him. Grotius conjectures he might be a magistrate of Achaia, converted by St. Luke.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Theophilus'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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