Bible Answer

Who was Theophilus?

In the Book of Acts, who is the man Theophilus?

The man Theophilus is mentioned by Luke twice in scripture in his introductions to his two books, the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. 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. Luke's use of "most excellent" suggests that Theophilus was a real person of some distinction. The name was common in the Greek world. He may have been Luke's patron or publisher.

Luke did not address Theophilus in a way that enables us to know if he was a believer in Jesus when Luke penned these words. He had received some information about Christianity, specifically reports of the words and works of Jesus Christ. We do not know, either, if Theophilus was in danger of abandoning the faith, or if he just needed a strong foundation for immature faith. Luke's introduction promised a factual foundation.