1 SINCE [as is well known] many have undertaken to put in order and draw up a [thorough] narrative of the surely established deeds which have been accomplished and fulfilled in and among us, 2 Exactly as they were handed down to us by those who from the [official] beginning [of Jesus’ ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word [that is, ofthe doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God], 3 It seemed good and desirable to me, [and so I have determined] also afterhaving searched out diligently and followed all things closely and traced accurately the course from the highest to the minutest detail from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 [My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed. Luke 1:1-4
Today I begin a journey into Luke. Luke, Acts, and Ephesians are the only books of the New Testament of which I have yet to do a deep study on. So I am very excited about Luke which has the most complete/thorough recount of the Birth of Jesus, life, death, and resurrection of the Gospels.
I feel a little embarrassed that I did not know that the bool of Luke was written at about AD 60 and to a person named Theophilus. Although there were other accounts of the gospel, Luke wanted to write and ‘orderly’ account. Very likely Luke was a converted Gentile from Antioch in Syria, who joined Paul at Troas on his second missionary journey. The language and structure of Luke and Acts (which Luke also wrote) reflect a man of high literary ability, excellent education, and a Greek background and perspective.
Here in this opening we see Luke’s acknowledgement of ‘many who have undertaken’ the drawing up of a narrative of the life of Christ but also his desire to write an account after much study, tracing, and following of courses to specific detail for this orderly account for Theophilus (name means “Lover of God”). Luke’s purpose is to document so that Theophilus will know the full truth with certainty against error. I am so looking forward to this study as I imagine I will have a hard time stopping my reading and capturing my thoughts succinctly. <smiley face>