The name Theophilus were mentioned only in two verses in the Bible, Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1.

Luke 1:3 NIV: With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,

Acts 1:1 NIV: In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach.

Luke addressed both his works, forming one whole in two parts, to him, in order to give a more orderly written narrative, from the very beginning clown to the journey of Paul to Rome, of those truths in which he had been “instructed” orally.

The meaning of Theophilus

thḗ – of´i – lus ( Θεόφιλος , Theóphilos), literally means “loved by God”, or “beloved of God”, and carries the idea of “friend of God”.

Who Was Theophilus?

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.

From the honorable epithet “most excellent,” (Κράτιστε) applied to Theophilus in  Luke 1:3, compared with the use of the same epithet as applied by Claudius Lysias and Tertullus severally to Felix, and by Paul to Festus ( Acts 23:26;  Acts 24:3;  Acts 26:25), it has been argued with much probability, but not quite conclusively, that he was a person in high official, to whom the evangelist has dedicated those two works.

Some think this name is generic, and that St. Luke’s design here is to address his work to those that love God, or any “friend of God”. In John 15:14-15 Jesus said “You are my friends if you do what I command…  I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

There were many people who were called friends of God in the Bible. David was called “a man after his own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). There was Moses, to whom God spoke “face to face, as one man speaks to another” (Ex 33:11). And Abraham was known as God’s friend by early Christians (James 2:23).

Interestingly, the title “most excellent,” was given in Luke, but omitted in Acts.

Compiled from BiblePortal Wiki