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Luke 1:3 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

3. It seemed good to me also This seeming good to himself does not exclude a concurrence with the influence of inspiration, nor a use of the aid of Paul. So in the letters of the counsel at Jerusalem, it is said, “it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.” Act 15:28.

Having had perfect understanding Having completely traced out by investigation to the utmost. Luke here writes in the true conscientious historical spirit. Though he had not studied in the schools of modern criticism, he had all the means of immediate investigation, of which the rules of modern criticism seek to supply the want. Conscientiousness and common sense, with facts and witnesses so near at hand, were incomparably superior to any critical apparatus of the modern professor. Besides, he had more than any secular historian can claim. He had a providential commission, a divine inspiring guidance, and the endowment of the discerning of spirits. He so wrote by order of the great Head of the Church, and his record was accepted by the Church in its gifted and blessed first age.

From the very first This refers to the early point to which Luke’s investigations carried the beginning of his history back, namely, to the angel’s announcement to Zacharias in Luk 1:5.

In order Not a mere unarranged miscellany, or series of swings or doings, but a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. This does not pledge Luke to an absolutely accurate observance in details of chronological order; for of that his documents may not have always furnished him the means. Yet no evangelist is so careful to connect his events chronologically with contemporaneous secular history as Luke; no error, we firmly believe, has ever been truly detected in his professed chronological statements; and if the investigations of Wieseler be reliable, Luke has well sustained any professions of a chronological order which he can be supposed to have here made.

Most excellent Theophilus As the name Theophilus signifies a lover of God, some have supposed that it stands as a symbol to represent any Christian reader. But the literal writings of the New Testaments know no such use of symbolic names. The epithet most excellent indicates not affection simply for a friend, but respect for elevated character or rank. Theophilus, therefore, must be considered as a Christian of influential character; a convert, perhaps, of Luke. Of his residence we have but one indication. The Acts of the Apostles is also addressed by Luke to Theophilus, (Act 1:1;) and it has been noted that Luke, when his narrative brings him into Italy and near Rome, mentions such minute places as Appii Forum and the Three Taverns (Act 28:15) precisely as if they were known to Theophilus. The inference is that he was a resident of Rome. Although, however, the name of Theophilus is not symbolic, yet Theophilus himself stands as a representative man for every Christian reader. Neither the Gospel nor the Acts are to be viewed as a mere private letter to him. In a similar way, Cicero addressed his treatises on Old Age and on Friendship to Atticus; Horace addressed his Art of Poetry to the Pisoes; and Plutarch addressed his Treatise on Divine Delay to Cynius.

This address, although it was usually attended with some personal references, yet, like a modern dedication of a book, was simply a token of respect for an honoured friend; and the composition itself was none the less a work for the public and posterity.

Consult other comments:

Luke 1:3 - Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Luke 1:3 - The Greek Testament

Luke 1:3 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Luke 1:3 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Luke 1:3 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Luke 1:3 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Luke 1:3 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Luke 1:3 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Luke 1:3 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Luke 1:3 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Luke 1:3 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Luke 1:3 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

Luke 1:3 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Luke 1:3 - Geneva Bible Notes

Luke 1:3 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Luke 1:3 - Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 1:3 - Godet Commentary (Luke, John, Romans and 1 Corinthians)

Luke 1:3 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

Luke 1:3 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Luke 1:3 - Lightfoot Commentary Gospels

Luke 1:3 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

Luke 1:3 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Luke 1:3 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Luke 1:3 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 1:3 - Scofield Reference Bible Notes

Luke 1:3 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Luke 1:3 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Luke 1:3 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

Luke 1:3 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Luke 1:3 - Combined Bible Commentary

Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments