corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.03.26
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 1:3

it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus;

Adam Clarke Commentary

Having had perfect understanding - Παρηκολουθηκοτι ανωθεν, Having accurately traced up - entered into the very spirit of the work, and examined every thing to the bottom; in consequence of which investigation, I am completely convinced of the truth of the whole. Though God gives his Holy Spirit to all them who ask him, yet this gift was never designed to set aside the use of those faculties with which he has already endued the soul, and which are as truly his gifts as the Holy Spirit itself is. The nature of inspiration, in the case of St. Luke, we at once discover: he set himself, by impartial inquiry and diligent investigation, to find the whole truth, and to relate nothing but the truth; and the Spirit of God presided over and directed his inquiries, so that he discovered the whole truth, and was preserved from every particle of error.

From the very first - Ανωθεν, from their origin. Some think ανωθεν should, in this place, be translated from above; and that it refers to the inspiration by which St. Luke wrote. I prefer our translation, or, from the origin, which several good critics contend for, and which meaning it has in some of the best Greek writers. See Kypke.

Theophilus - As the literal import of this word is friend of God, Θεου φιλος, some have supposed that under this name Luke comprised all the followers of Christ, to whom, as friends of God, he dedicated this faithful history of the life, doctrine, death, and resurrection of our Lord. But this interpretation appears to have little solidity in it; for, if all the followers of Christ are addressed, why is the singular number used? and what good end could there be accomplished by using a feigned name? Besides, κρατιϚε, most excellent, could never be applied in this way, for it evidently designates a particular person, and one probably distinguished by his situation in life; though this does not necessarily follow from the title, which was often given in the way of friendship. Theophilus appears to have been some very reputable Greek or Roman, who was one of St. Luke's disciples. The first four verses seem a private epistle, sent by the evangelist with this history, which, having been carefully preserved by Theophilus, was afterwards found and published with this Gospel.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

It seemed good - I thought it best; or, I have also determined. It seemed “to be called for” that there should be a full, authentic, and accurate account of these matters.

Having had perfect understanding … - The literal translation of the original here would be, “having exactly traced everything from the first;” or, “having, by diligent and careful investigation, “followed up” everything to the “source,” to obtain an accurate account of the matter.” This much better expresses the idea. Luke did not profess to have seen these things, and this expression is designed to show how he acquired his information. It was by “tracing up” every account until he became satisfied of its truth. Here observe,

1.That in religion God does not set aside our natural faculties. He calls us to look at evidence; to examine accounts; to make up our own minds. Nor will any man be convinced of the truth of religion who does “not” make investigation and set himself seriously to the task.

2.We see the nature of Luke‘s inspiration. It was consistent with his using his natural faculties or his own powers of mind in investigating the truth. God, by His Holy Spirit, presided over his faculties, directed them, and kept him from error.

In order - This word does not indicate that the exact order of time would be observed, for that is not the way in which he writes; but it means distinctly, particularly, in opposition to the confused and broken accounts to which he had referred before.

Most excellent Theophilus - The word Theophilus means “a friend of God,” or a pious man; and it has been supposed by some that Luke did not refer to any particular “individual,” but to any man that loved God; but there is no reason for this opinion. Significant names were very common, and there is no good reason to doubt that this was some individual known to Luke. The application of the title “most excellent “proves it further. It would not be given to an unknown man. The title “most excellent” has by some been supposed to be given to express his “character,” but it is rather to be considered as denoting rank or office. It occurs only in three other places in the New Testament, and is there given to men “in office” - to Felix and Festus, Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25. These titles express no quality of the “men,” but belong to the “office;” and we may hence learn that it is not improper for Christians, in giving honor to whom honor is due, to address men in office by their customary titles, even if their moral character be altogether unworthy of it. Who “Theophilus” was is unknown. It is probable that he was some distinguished Roman or Greek who had been converted, who was a friend of Luke, and who had requested an account of these things. It is possible that this preface might have been sent to him as a private letter with the gospel, and Theophilus chose to have them published together.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-1.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

It seemed good to me also,.... Being moved to it by the Holy Ghost; for he did not undertake this work of himself, merely by the motion of his own will, but was influenced, and directed to it by the Spirit of God, as well as by him assisted in it:

having had perfect understanding of all things; relating to the subject of this Gospel, concerning the conception, birth, ministry, baptism, and death of John the Baptist; concerning the conception, birth, private and public life of Christ, together with his sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension. The Syriac and Persic versions refer the word "all" to persons, to the eyewitnesses and ministers of the word; rendering the clause thus, "who have been studiously near to them all": and both senses may be taken in, and the meaning be, that Luke had diligently sought after, and had attained unto a perfect knowledge of all the affairs of Christ; having studiously got into the company of, and intimately conversed with all, or as many as he could, who had seen Christ in the flesh; and were, from the very first of his ministry, attendants on him, that he might have the most certain and exquisite account of things, that could be come at:

from the very first; and to the last; from the conception of John, the forerunner of the Messiah, which is higher than any other evangelist goes, to the ascension of Christ; though some choose to render the word here used, "from above", as it may be, and sometimes is; and may signify, that the evangelist had his perfect knowledge of things by a revelation from above, by divine inspiration; and this moved him to write, and which he mentions, that Theophilus, to whom he writes, and every other reader, may depend, with certainty, on what is said in it. This clause is omitted in the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions, but is in all copies, and by all means to be retained: this being the case, these reasons prevailed upon him, as he says,

to write unto thee, in order, most excellent Theophilus; which regards not so much the order of time, which he does not always strictly observe, as the particulars of things, related in order, and with great exactness: who this Theophilus was, to whom he writes his Gospel, cannot be said; by his title, which is such as was given to governors of provinces, as to Felix and Festus, Acts 23:26, he seems to be, or to have been, a civil magistrate in some high office; for though not many rich, and mighty, yet some have been, and are, called by grace. TheophylactF11Ut supra. (Epiphan. contra Haeres. l. 2. Haeres. 51. Theophylact. in Argument in Luc.) says, he was of the order of the senators, and perhaps a nobleman, or prince: however, this name was not a general name, for every "lover of God", as the word signifies, as SalvianF12Salonio Epiat. p. 237. thought; but the name of a particular man, who believed in Christ, and was an acquaintance of Luke's; though EpiphaniusF13 makes a doubt of it which it should be,


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things c from the very first, to write unto thee in order, d most excellent Theophilus,

(c) Luke began his gospel a great deal further in the past than the others did.

(d) It is "most mighty", and therefore Theophilus was a very honourable man, and in a place of great dignity.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

from the very first — that is, from the very earliest events; referring to those precious details of the birth and early life, not only of our Lord, but of His forerunner, which we owe to Luke alone.

in order — or “consecutively” - in contrast, probably, with the disjointed productions to which he had referred. But this must not be pressed too far; for, on comparing it with the other Gospels, we see that in some particulars the strict chronological order is not observed in this Gospel.

most excellent — or “most noble” - a title of rank applied by this same writer twice to Felix and once to Festus (Acts 22:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25). It is likely, therefore, that “Theophilus” was chief magistrate of some city in Greece or Asia Minor [Webster and Wilkinson].


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-1.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

[Having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first.] This is not indeed ill rendered, having understood these things from the very first: but it may perhaps be better, having attained to an understanding of these things from above,--from heaven itself. So from above signifies from heaven, John 3:3,31, 19:11; James 1:17, 3:17, &c. For,

I. This version includes the other: for he that hath a perfect understanding of these things from above, or by divine inspiration, did understand them from the beginning.

II. Take notice of the distinction that is in Josephus, He that undertakes to give a true relation of things to others, ought himself to know them first very accurately, having either very diligently observed them himself, or learned by inquiry from others. Now if St. Luke had writ his history as "he had learned from others" (as they wrote whom he instances in verse 1), then he had been amongst those that had learned from others. Nor could he promise more than they might do, of whom he said, that many had taken in hand, &c.

[Most excellent Theophilus.] There is one guesses this most excellent Theophilus to have been an Antiochian, another thinks he may be a Roman; but it is very uncertain either who or whence he was. There was one Theophilus amongst the Jews, at that very time, probably, when St. Luke wrote his Gospel; but I do not think this was he. Josephus mentions him; "King Agrippa, removing Jesus the son of Gamaliel from the high priesthood, gave it to Mathias the son of Theophilus: in whose time the Jewish war began."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-1.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

Most excellent Theophilus. The name means "A lover of God." He is named in Acts 1:1, but of him nothing more is known.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "People's New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-1.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

It seemed good to me also (εδοχε καμοιedoxe kamoi). A natural conclusion and justification of Luke‘s decision to write his narrative. They had ample reason to draw up their narratives. Luke has more reason to do so because of his fuller knowledge and wider scope.

Having traced the course of all things (παρηκολουτηκοτι πασινparēkolouthēkoti pāsin). The perfect active participle of a common verb of the ancient Greek. Literally it means to follow along a thing in mind, to trace carefully. Both meanings occur abundantly in the ancient Greek. Cadbury (Appendix C to Beginnings of Christianity, Vol. II, pp. 489ff.) objects to the translation “having traced” here as implying research which the word does not here mean. Milligan (Vocabulary) is somewhat impressed by this argument. See my discussion of the point in Chapter XVI of Studies in the Text of the N.T. (The Implications in Luke‘s Preface) where the point is made that Luke here claims fulness of knowledge before he began to write his book. He had the traditions of the eyewitnesses and ministers of the word and the narratives previously drawn up. Whether he was a personal contemporary with any or all of these events we do not know and it is not particularly pertinent. He had mentally followed along by the side of these events. Galen used this verb for the investigation of symptoms. Luke got himself ready to write before he began by full and accurate knowledge of the subject. ΑκριβωςAkribōs (accurately) means going into minute details, from ακρονakron the topmost point. And he did it from the first (ανωτενanōthen). He seems to refer to the matters in Chapters 1:5-2:52, the Gospel of the Infancy.

In order (κατεχηςkathexēs). Chronological order in the main following Mark‘s general outline. But in 9:51-18:10 the order is often topical. He has made careful investigation and his work deserves serious consideration.

Most excellent Theophilus (κρατιστε Τεοπιλεkratiste Theophile). The name means god-lover or god-beloved. He may have been a believer already. He was probably a Gentile. Ramsay holds that “most excellent” was a title like “Your Excellency” and shows that he held office, perhaps a Knight. So of Felix (Acts 23:26) and Festus (Acts 26:25). The adjective does not occur in the dedication in Acts 1:1.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Having had perfect understanding ( παρηκολουθηκότι )

Incorrect. The verb means to follow closely, and hence to trace accurately. See 2 Timothy 3:10, where Rev. reads thou didst follow for thou hast fully known. Rev. renders here having traced the course. The word occurs frequently in medical writings, and sometimes, as here, with ἀκριβῶς ,accurately. Tynd., having searched out diligently.

From the very first ( ἄνωθεν )

Lit., from above; the events being conceived in a descending series.

Accurately ( ἀκριβῶς )

From ἄκρον ,the highest or farthest point. Hence to trace down to the last and minutest detail.

In order ( καθεξῆς )

Used by Luke only.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

To write in order — St. Luke describes in order of time; first, The Acts of Christ; his conception, birth, childhood, baptism, miracles, preaching, passion, resurrection, ascension: then, The Acts of the Apostles. But in many smaller circumstances he does not observe the order of time.

Most excellent Theophilus — This was the appellation usually given to Roman governors. Theophilus (as the ancients inform us) was a person of eminent quality at Alexandria. In Acts 1:1, St. Luke does not give him that title. He was then probably a private man. After the preface St. Luke gives us the history of Christ, from his coming into the world to his ascension into heaven.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-1.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first1, to write unto thee in order2, most excellent Theophilus3;

  1. Having traced the course of all things accurately from the first. And being therefore thoroughly fitted to write the gospel.

  2. To write unto thee in order. Not in chronological, but in topical order.

  3. Theophilus. Luke also dedicated the Book of Acts to this man. Nothing is known of Theophilus, but he is supposed to have been a Greek of high official rank.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-1.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

We learn from this verse that the inspiration of the sacred writers was not a divine illumination and impulse, which revealed to them, supernaturally, in all cases, a knowledge of the facts, or which made them the mere passive instruments for recording words which the Holy Spirit dictated; but that it was rather of the nature of a superintendence and control over the exercise of their own memory and judgment, and powers of investigation and expression. Even Luke's determination to write his history, was his own determination; "it seemed good to me." And he felt qualified for the work on account of the facilities which he enjoyed for acquiring a correct knowledge of the facts by the exercise of his own mental powers. This being true in respect to inspired men, of course those uninspired religious teachers, of all ages, who expect such an influence from the Holy Spirit as shall render unnecessary their own personal efforts for mental cultivation, and for the acquisition of knowledge, very greatly err.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-1.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.Having carefully examined all things The old translator has it, having followed out all things; (20) and the Greek verb παρακολουθεῖν is taken metaphorically from those who tread in the footsteps of others, that nothing may escape them. So that Luke intended to express his close and laborious investigation, just as Demosthenes employs the same word, when, in examining an embassy against which he brings an accusation, he boasts of his diligence to have been such, that he perceived every thing that had been done as well as if he had been a spectator.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-1.html. 1840-57.

Ver. 3. Tradition emanating from the apostles was the common source, according to Luke 1:2, of all the first written narratives. The general accuracy of these accounts follows from καθώς, in conformity with that which. This conjunction can only refer to the principal thought of Luke 1:1, to compose a narrative, and not to the secondary idea πεπληροφορημἑνων, as Olshausen thinks, who translates, "fully believed in conformity with the account of the first witnesses."

As the two substantives, αὐτόπται and ὑπηρέται, witnesses and ministers, have each certain defining expressions which especially belong to them (the first, ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς, from the beginning, and the second, γενόμενοι, become, and τοῦ λόγου, of the word), the most simple construction appears to us to be to regard οἱ, the, as a pronoun, and make it the subject of the proposition: they (the men about to be pointed out). This subject is defined by the two following substantives, which are in apposition, and indicate the qualification in virtue of which these men became the authors of the tradition. 1. Witnesses from the beginning. The word ἀρχή, beginning, in this context, can only refer to the commencement of the ministry of Jesus, particularly to His baptism, as the starting-point of those things which have been accomplished amongst us. Comp. Acts 1:21-22, for the sense; and for the expression, John 15:27; John 16:4. Olshausen would extend the application of this title of witnesses from the beginning to the witnesses of the birth and infancy of Jesus. But the expression became ministers of the word does not allow of this application. 2. Ministers of the word; become ministers, as the text literally reads. This expression is in contrast with the preceding. These men began afterwards to be ministers of the word; they only became such after Pentecost. It was then that their part as witnesses was transformed into that of preachers. The sense then is: "Those who were witnesses from the commencement, and who afterwards became ministers of the word."

If ὑπηρέται, ministers, is thus taken as a second noun of apposition with οἱ, parallel to the first, there is no longer any difficulty in referring the complement τοῦ λόγου, of the word, to ὑπηρέται, ministers, alone, and taking this word in its ordinary sense of preaching the gospel. This also disposes of the reason which induced certain Fathers (Origen, Athanasius) to give the term word the meaning of the eternal Word (John 1:1), which is very forced in this connection. Only in this way could they make this complement depend simultaneously on the two substantives, witnesses and ministers The same motive led Beza, Grotius, and Bleek to understand the term word here in the sense in which it is frequently taken—the thing related: "eye-witnesses and ministers of the Gospel history." But in passages where the term word bears this meaning, it is fixed by some defining expression: thus, at Luke 1:4 by the relative proposition, and in Acts 8:21; Acts 15:6 (which Bleek quotes), by a demonstrative pronoun.

With the third verse we reach the principal proposition. Luke places himself by the κᾀμοὶ, myself also, in the same rank as his predecessors. He does not possess, any more than they, a knowledge of the Gospel history as a witness; he belongs to the second generation of the ἡμεῖς, us (Luke 1:2), which is dependent on the narratives of the apostles.

Some Italic MSS. add here to mihi, et spiritui sancto (it has pleased me and the Holy Spirit),—a gloss taken from Acts 15:28, which clearly shows in what direction the tradition was gradually altered.

While placing himself in the same rank as his predecessors, Luke nevertheless claims a certain superiority in comparison with them. Otherwise, why add to their writings, which are already numerous ( πολλοί), a fresh attempt? This superiority is the result of his not having confined himself to collecting the apostolic traditions current in the Church. Before proceeding to write, he obtained exact information, by means of which he was enabled to select, supplement, and arrange the materials furnished by those oral narratives which his predecessors had contented themselves with reproducing just as they were. The verb παρακολουθεῖν, to follow step by step, is not used here in the literal sense; this sense would require πᾶσιν to be taken as masculine: all the apostles, and thus would lead to an egregiously false idea; the author could not have accompanied all the apostles! The verb, therefore, must be taken in the figurative sense which it frequently has in the classics: to study anything point by point; thus Demosth. de coronâ, 53: παρακολουθηκὼς τοῖς πράγμασιν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς. Comp. 2 Timothy 3:10, where we see the transition from the purely literal to the figurative meaning. The πάντα, all things, are the events related (Luke 1:1). Luke might have put the participle in the accusative: παρακολουθηκότα; but then he would only have indicated the succession of the two actions,—the acquisition of information, and the composition which followed it. This is not his thought. The dative makes the information obtained a quality inherent in his person, which constitutes his qualification for the accomplishment of this great work.

Luke"s information bore particularly on three points: 1. He sought first of all to go back to the origin of the facts, to the very starting-point of this res christiana which he desired to describe. This is expressed in the word ἄνωθεν, literally from above, from the very beginning. The author compares himself to a traveller who tries to discover the source of a river, in order that he may descend it again, and follow its entire course. The apostolic tradition, as current in the Church, did not do this; it began with the ministry of John the Baptist, and the baptism of Jesus. It is in this form that we find it set forth in the Gospel of Mark, and summarized in Peter"s preaching at the house of Cornelius, and in Paul"s at Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 10:37 et seq., Luke 13:23 et seq.). The author here alludes to the accounts contained in the first two chapters of his Gospel.—2. After having gone back to the commencement of the Gospel history, he endeavoured to reproduce as completely as possible its entire course ( πᾶσιν, all things, all the particular facts which it includes). Apostolic tradition probably had a more or less fragmentary character; the apostles not relating every time the whole of the facts, but only those which best answered to the circumstances in which they were preaching. This is expressly said of St. Peter on the testimony of Papias, or of the old presbyter on whom he relied: πρὸς τὰς χρείας ἐποιεῖτο τὰς διδασκαλίας (he chose each time the facts appropriate to the needs of his hearers). Important omissions would easily result from this mode of evangelization. By this word πᾶσιν, all things, Luke probably alludes to that part of his Gospel (Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:14), by which the tradition, as we have it set forth in our first two synoptics, is enriched with a great number of facts and new discourses, and with the account of a long course of evangelization probably omitted, until Luke gave it, in the public narration.—3. He sought to confer on the Gospel history that exactness and precision which tradition naturally fails to have, after being handed about for some time from mouth to mouth. We know how quickly, in similar narratives, characteristic traits are effaced, and the facts transposed. Diligent and scrupulous care is required afterwards to replace the stones of the edifice in their right position, and give them their exact form and sharpness of edge. Now the third Gospel is distinguished, as we shall see, by the constant effort to trace the continued progressive development of the work of Jesus, to show the connection of the facts, to place each discourse in its historical setting, and to exhibit its exact purport.

By means of this information bearing upon the three points indicated, the author hopes he shall be qualified to draw a consecutive picture, reproducing the actual course of events: καθεξῆς γράψαι, to write in order. It is impossible in this connection to understand the phrase in order in the sense of a systematic classification, as Ebrard prefers; here the term must stand for a chronological order.

The term καθεξῆς is not found in the New Testament except in Luke.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/luke-1.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

from

"From the very first": (Greek - ἄνωθεν," "from above)." So translated in John 3:31 ; John 19:11; James 1:17; James 3:15; James 3:17. In no other place is ANOTHEN translated "from the very first." The use by Luke of anothen is an affirmation that his knowledge of these things, derived from those who had been eye-witnesses from the beginning Luke 1:2 was confirmed by revelation. In like manner Paul had doubtless heard from the eleven the story of the institution of the Lord's Supper, but he also had it by revelation from the Lord (cf) 1 Corinthians 11:23 and his writing, like Luke's anothen knowledge, thus became first-hand, not traditional, merely.

understanding (Greek - ἄνωθεν," lit). followed alongside of; or, closely traced.

in order The words "in order" are emphatic, indicating Luke's purpose to reduce to order the Gospel story.


Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 1:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-1.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

Ver. 3. Having had perfect understanding] Or, following them close at heels, and (as we say) hot-foot, παρηκολουθηκοτι.

From the very first] Or, from above, ανωθεν, as inspired from heaven.

To write unto thee in order] καθεξης, distinctly, and yet coherently. A singular praise in a historian, for the which Ambrose much admireth this our evangelist above all the other.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 1:3. Having had perfect understanding—from the very first, &c.— By tracing them from their first rise. Παρηκολουθηκοτι πασιν ακριβως, plainly signifies that accuracy of investigation, on which the perfect understanding of his subject was built. To write in order, may signify to give a particular detail, in opposition to an abridgement, or a concise account; and the evangelist may, with great propriety, be said to have given an orderly account of the history of Christ, as the leading facts are in their due series, though some particulars are transposed. The title of most excellent, Κρατιστε, was commonly given to persons in the highest stations of life. Accordingly St. Paul, speaking to the governors Felix and Festus, uses it in his addresses to them; wherefore their opinion seems to be groundless, who, attending to the signification of the Greek wordTheophilus, "beloved of God," imagine that the evangelist does not mean any particular person, but all true Christians, and lovers of God. Theophilus seems to have been a Greek, and a person of high rank. Probably Luke, while in Greece with St. Paul, had received particular civilities from him, and in testimony of his respect, inscribedhis two books to him, bestowing on him thereby a fame which will last while Christianity subsists. St. Luke might have a thorough knowledge of the facts which he here refers to, by intimate conversation with the apostles, and particularly St. Paul; or, he might have been present himself ata number of the transactions which he has recorded. The assurance with which he speaks of his own knowledge of these things, leads us to think that he was an eye-witness of some of them. On this supposition, his reasoning in the preface to his history, will be more conclusive than on any other, and will stand thus: "Seeing many have written from the information of eye-witnesses, and ministers of the word, I, who from the very first have had perfect knowledge of all things, both by conversing with the eye-witnesses, and by being present myself at many of the transactions of Jesus, thought it incumbent on me to write his history, for the more certain information of mankind."

See commentary on Luke 1:1


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-1.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3. ἔδοξεν κἀμοί] Luke by this classes himself with these πολλοί, and shews that he intended no disparagement nor blame to them, and was going to construct his own history from similar sources. The παρηκ. ἄν. πᾶσιν ἀκρ. which follows, implies however a conscious superiority of his own qualification for the work. There is here no expressed claim to inspiration, but at the same time no disclaimer of it. (The addition et spiritui sancto, after κἀμοί, which is found in 3 lat. mss. and in got(5)., makes the following clause an absurdity.)

παρηκ.] having traced down (by research), and so become accurately acquainted with. The word is used in just this sense by Demosth., περὶ τ. στ., p. 285: ἐκεῖνος ὁ καιρὸς καὶ ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη οὐ μόνον εὔνουν καὶ πλούσιον ἄνδρα ἐκάλει, ἀλλὰ καὶ παρηκολουθηκότα τοῖς πράγμασιν ἐξ ἀρχῆς, καὶ συλλελογισμένον ὀρθῶς τίνος ἕνεκα ταῦτʼ ἔπραττεν ὁ φίλ., καὶ τί βουλόμενος.

ἄνωθεν] from the beginning—i.e. as in Luke 1:5;—as distinguished from those who only wrote of the official life of the Lord, or only fragments perhaps of that.

καθεξῆς, consecutively: see reff. By this word we must not understand Luke to lay claim to any especial chronological accuracy in writing;—which indeed is not found in his Gospel. He traced the events in order as they happened: but he may have arranged them as other considerations led him. The word is of later usage, e.g. by Plutarch, Ælian, &c. The classics have ἐφεξῆς.

κράτ. θ εόφ.] It is wholly unknown who this person was. The name was a very common one. The conjectures about him are endless, and entirely without value. It appears that he was a person of dignity (see reff. on κράτιστ.), and a convert to Christianity.

The idea of the name being not a proper, but a feigned one, designating ‘those who loved God’ (found as early as Epiphanius, Hær. ii. 51, p. 429, εἴτουν τινὶ θεοφίλῳ τότε γράφων τοῦτο ἔλεγεν, ἢ παντὶ ἀνθρώπῳ θεὸν ἀγαπῶντι: and adopted again recently by Bp. Wordsworth), is far-fetched and improbable.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 1:3. Apodosis, which did not begin already in Luke 1:2.

ἔδοξε κἀμοί] in itself neither excludes nor includes inspiration. Vss. add to it: et Spiritui sancto. By the use of κἀμοί Luke places himself in the same category with the πολλοί, in so far as he, too, had not been an eye-witness; “sic tamen ut etiamnum aliquid ad ἀσφάλειαν ac firmitudinem Theophilo conferat,” Bengel.—. παρηκολουθ.] after having from the outset followed everything with accuracy. παρακολ., of the mental tracing, investigating, whereby one arrives at a knowledge of the matter. See the examples in Valckenaer, Schol. p. 12; Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor. p. 344 f. Comp., moreover, Thucyd. i. 22. 2 : ὅσον δυνατὸν ἀκριβείᾳ περὶ ἑκάστου ἐπεξελθών.

πᾶσιν] namely, those πράγμασι, not masculine (Syr.).

ἄνωθεν] not: radicitus, fundamentally (Grotius), which is comprised in ἀκριβ., but: from the first, see on John 3:3. From the beginning of the history it is seen that in his investigation he started from the birth of the Baptist, in doing which, doubtless, he could not but still lack the authentic tradition of Luke 1:2. Nevertheless the consciousness of an advantage over those πολλοί expresses itself in παρηκ. ἄνωθεν.

καθεξῆς] in orderly sequence, not out of the order of time, in which they occurred one after the other.(17) Only Luke has the word in the N. T. (Luke 8:1; Acts 3:24; Acts 11:4; Acts 18:23); it occurs also in Aelian, Plutarch, et al., but the older classical writers have ἐφεξῆς.

κράτιστε θεόφιλε] See Introd. § 3. That in Acts 1:1 he is addressed merely θεόφιλε, proves nothing against the titular use of κράτιστε. See on the latter, Grotius.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 1:3. ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ, it seemed good to me also) A holy inclination, worthy of an evangelical man.— παρηκολουθηκότι, having traced up [followed up: Engl. Vers. having had perfect understanding]) A choice and happy word: it is said of him who has been all but present himself at all the events, and who has learned them from those who were actually present; for instance, Paul uses it of Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:10 [ παρηκολούθηκάς μου διδασκαλίᾳ, thou hast fully known my doctrine], as being one whom Paul brought about with him presently after the persecutions, which he endured at Antioch, etc. The antithetic term is ἀπολέλειμμαι, the thing has escaped me, I do not comprehend it. Thus the cause is implied, why Luke regarded it as a fixed thing that he both could and ought to write. He is the person who in Acts 13:1, or at least in Acts 16:10, was already discharging an evangelical function.— ἄνωθεν, from above [tracing upwards]) i.e. “from the beginning,” Luke 1:2; Luke 1:5. [He intimates by this term, that he meant to supply those particulars which Mark has omitted.—Harm., p. 37.] Scripture hands down to us the first commencements [origines] of things, even those of the Gospel and of the Church.— πᾶσιν) τοῖς πράγμασιν. All these matters had been followed up by Luke accurately [ ἀκριβῶς].— καθεξῆς, deinceps, successively, subsequently; [in order]) ἐξῆς, afterwards; καθεξῆς, successively (‘deinceps’), subsequently. As Luke had followed up [ascertained] all things, it was the next thing [ καθεξῆς] to follow, that he should describe them. And indeed this Preface savours of fresh [recent] joy, such as would be felt at the coming to the knowledge of [joyful] facts. Moreover he describes in order (for καθεξῆς has this force also), first, the Acts of Christ, His Conception, Nativity, boyhood, Baptism, gracious deeds done by Him, preaching, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension: then next the Acts of the apostles. Yet this very fact [viz. his narrating these events in order] does not prevent his at times joining together some events which were separated from one another in point of their respective times: ch. Luke 1:80, Luke 3:20, etc.— κράτιστε θεόφιλε, most excellent Theophilus) This Theophilus belonged to Alexandria, as the ancients testify (see Ord. Temp., p. 225), Ed. ii., p. 196, and Harm. Ev. Ed. ii., p. 80; and that was a city in which especially flourished κατήχησις, Luke 1:4. He was a most noble man, as the title given him by Luke shows: comp. Acts 28:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25. The same title is not given to the same Theophilus in Acts 1:1, either because he was then in private life, or because his excellence and Luke’s intimacy with him had increased. Moreover this title of respect serves as an argument, that the Gospel history is a true one, and allowed itself from the very beginning to be offered for acceptance to the most distinguished personages. The holy examples of illustrious men, described in these books, were calculated to stimulate Theophilus to imitate them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 1:1"


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 1:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-1.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

To me; Luke, the writer of this gospel.

Having had perfect understanding; literally, having gone to the source, and accurately traced every thing from the first.

Most excellent; a title of honor given to men in office. Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25.

Theophilus; friend of God: supposed to be the name of a distinguished individual of Luke’s acquaintance.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

3. That the holy and awestruck reticence of the Virgin accounts for the absence of their earlier publicity.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
"Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/luke-1.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

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.” Acts 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 Luke 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, (Acts 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 (Acts 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.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-1.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Until now Luke had described the work of previous writers. Now he referred to his own Gospel. Hebrews , too, had done careful research and proceeded to write an orderly account. Significantly Luke did not describe himself as an eyewitness of Jesus" ministry but as a researcher of it.

"In consecutive order" (NASB, Gr. kathexes, "orderly" NIV) does not necessarily imply chronological order. It probably means that Luke wrote according to a plan that God led him to adopt. All the Gospel writers seem to have departed from a strictly chronological arrangement of events occasionally for thematic purposes.

This is one of the clearest proofs in the Bible that God did not always dictate the words of Scripture to the writers who simply copied them down. That view is the dictation theory of inspiration. He did this with some passages (e.g, Exodus 20:1-17; et al.) but not most.

Theophilus" name means "lover of God." This fact has led to some speculation about whether "Theophilus" was really a substitute for the real name of Luke"s addressee, or perhaps Luke wrote generally to all lovers of God. The use of "most excellent" (Gr. kratiste) suggests that Theophilus was a real person of some distinction (cf. Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25). The name was common in the Greek world. He may have been Luke"s patron or publisher. [Note: See E. J. Goodspeed, "Some Greek Notes: I. Was Theophilus Luke"s Publisher?" Journal of Biblical Literature73 (1954):84. See also Bock, Luke , pp23 , 42-43 , for further speculation about Theophilus" identity.]


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-1.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 1:3. To me also. He thus places himself in the ranks of the ‘many,’ but in what follows indicates his superior qualification for the work. He does not claim, but certainly does not disclaim, inspiration. Some old Latin manuscripts add here: et spiritui sancto, ‘and to the Holy Spirit;’ but how could the Holy Spirit be said to make historical researches?

Having traced down, etc. The inspired writers were moved by the Holy Spirit, not as passive machines, but as rational and responsible persons, who exercised their memory, judgment, and used all means of information, under divine guidance.

From the first. This extends further back than ‘the beginning’ (Luke 1:2). We may therefore expect full statements about the early events. Luke could find many still alive from whom these facts would be learned, and that he had met James, ‘the Lord’s brother,’ is evident from Acts 21:17. All these statements are about matters occurring in the same family circle (Mary, Elisabeth, etc.).

In order. Luke lays claim to chronological accuracy in his Gospel, though his narrative in this respect plainly falls behind that of Mark. The comparison is, however, with the fragmentary sketches, referred to in Luke 1:1. He claims at all events systematic arrangement.

Most excellent. An official term, like our word ‘honorable,’ not referring to moral character. (Comp. Acts 23:6; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25; in all three cases applied to an immoral heathen governor.)

Theophilus. Evidently a man of mark and a Christian (Luke 1:4), but otherwise unknown. It has been inferred from Acts 23:8, that he was not a Jew, and from chapters 27, 28, that he lived in Italy, since those chapters assume an acquaintance with localities near Rome. The name means ‘lover of God,’ and this had led some to the unsupported fancy, that the name was a feigned one, to designate believers. Ambrose: ‘It you are a lover of God, a Theophilus, it is written to thee;’ Ford: ‘The name Theophilus imports the temper of mind which God will bless in the Scripture student.’


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-1.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 1:3. ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ: modestly introducing the writer’s purpose. He puts himself on a level with the πολλοὶ, and makes no pretensions to superiority, except in so far as coming after them, and more comprehensive inquiries give him naturally an advantage which makes his work not superfluous.— παρηκολουθηκότι ἄν. π.: having followed (in my inquiries) all things from the beginning, i.e., not of the public life of Jesus ( ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, Luke 1:2), but of His life in this world. The sequel shows that the starting point was the birth of John. This process of research was probably gone into antecedent to the formation of his plan, and one of the reasons for its adoption (Meyer, also Grimm, Das Proömium des Lukasevangelium in Jahrbücher f. deutsche Theologie, 1871, p. 48. Likewise Calvin: omnibus exacte pervestigatis), not merely undertaken after the plan had been formed (Hahn).— ἀκριβῶς, καθεξῆς σ. γρ. explain how he desired to carry out his plan: he wishes to be exact, and to write in an orderly manner ( καθεξῆς here only in N. T., ἐφεξῆς in earlier Greek). Chronological order aimed at (whether successfully or not) according to many (Meyer, Godet, Weiss, Hahn). Schanz maintains that the chronological aim applies only to the great turning points of the history, and not to all details; a very reasonable view. These two adverbs, ἀκρ., καθ., may imply a gentle criticism of the work of predecessors. Observe the historical spirit implied in all Lk. tells about his literary plan and methods: inquiry, accuracy, order, aimed at at least; vouchers desired for all statements. Lk. is no religious romancer, who will invent at will, and say anything that suits his purpose. It is quite compatible with this historic spirit that Lk. should be influenced in his narrations by religious feelings of decorum and reverence, and by regard to the edification of his first readers. That his treatment of materials bearing on the characters of Jesus and the Apostles reveals many traces of such influence will become apparent in the course of the exposition.— κράτιστε θεόφιλε. The work is to be written for an individual who may perhaps have played the part of patronus libri, and paid the expenses of its production. The epithet κράτιστε may imply high official position (Acts 23:26; Acts 26:25). On this see Grotius. Grimm thinks it expresses only love and friendship.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-1.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Having diligently obtained. Here we see, that although the Holy Ghost regulated the pen of the holy writers, that they might not err; they still employed human means to search and find out the truth of things they mentioned. Even so do general councils, and the president thereof, the holy pontiff, discuss and examine all causes by human means, although they have the promise from Jesus Christ of the aid, assistance, and direction of his holy Spirit; (St. John xvi. 13,) as is manifest from the very first council of the apostles, held at Jerusalem. (Acts xv. 7. and 28.) --- Most excellent Theophilus. This word, Theophilus, by its etymology, signifies a lover of God: but here we may rather understand some particular person, by the title given him of most excellent, or best: which, at that time, was given to persons in dignity; as to to Felix, Acts xxiii. 26. and to Festus, Acts xxvi. 25. (Witham) --- Greek: Kratiste, may signify most powerful from Greek: Kratos, strength, or Greek: Kratein, to conquer; or, as most generally given, from Greek: Kreitton. --- Greek: Theophilos, may be interpreted either a lover of God, or one beloved of God. Whoever, therefore, loves God, and desires to be beloved by Him, should consider this gospel as penned for himself, and should preserve it as a pledge deposited in his hands. (Ven. Bede)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

having had perfect understanding = having followed up accurately.

all. The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version omitted this "all".

from the very first = from above. Greek. anothen. As in Matthew 27:51 (the top, Mark 15:38). John 3:3, John 3:7 (again), John 3:31 (from above); Luke 19:11, Luke 19:23. James 1:17; James 3:1, James 3:17. It may mean from the beginning, as in Acts 26:5, but there is no need to introduce that meaning here, as it is already in Luke 1:2. Moreover, havingunderstood them "from above", he necessarily understood them from the very beginning, as well as perfectly, or accurately. The greater includes the less.

in order = with method. most excellent. A title of social degree, not of moral quality. See Acts 23:26; Acts 26:25.

Theophilus. A common Roman name = beloved of God.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of [ pareekoloutheekoti (G3877) - rather, 'having closely followed,' or 'traced along'] all things from the very first , [ anoothen (Greek #509) pasin (Greek #3956) akriboos (Greek #199)] - 'all things with precision from the earliest;' referring particularly to the precious contents of his first two chapters, for which we are indebted to this Evangelist alone,

To write unto thee in order , [ kathexees (Greek #2517) = efexees] - i:e., consecutively; probably in contrast with the disjointed productions he had just referred to. But we need not take this as a claim to rigid chronological accuracy in the arrangement of his materials (as some able Harmonists insist that we should do); a claim which, on a comparison of this with the other Gospels, it would be difficult in every case to make good.

Most excellent, [ kratiste (G2903)] Theophilus. Since the term here applied to Theophilus was given to Felix and Festus, the Roman governors (Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25), he probably occupied some similar official position.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Having had perfect understanding of all things.—Better, having traced (or investigated) all things from their source. The verb used is one which implies following the course of events step by step. The adverb which follows exactly answers to what we call the origines of any great movement. It goes further back than the actual beginning of the movement itself.

In order.—The word implies a distinct aim at chronological arrangement, but it does not necessarily follow, where the order in St. Luke varies from that of the other Gospels, that it is therefore the true order. In such matters the writer, who was avowedly a compiler, might well be at some disadvantage as compared with others.

Most excellent Theophilus.—The adjective is the same as that used of Felix by Tertullus (Acts 24:3), and implies at least high social position, if not official rank. The name, which means “Friend of God,” might well be taken by a Christian convert at his baptism. Nothing more can be known of the person so addressed beyond the fact that he was probably a Gentile convert who had already been partially instructed in the facts of the Gospel history.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
seemed
Acts 15:19,25,28; 1 Corinthians 7:40; 16:12
in
1; Psalms 40:5; 50:21; Ecclesiastes 12:9; Acts 11:4
most
Acts 1:1; 23:26; 24:3; 26:25; *Gr:

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-1.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
the Third Week of Lent
There are 26 days til Easter!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology