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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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Luke 1:3

It seemed good to me also (edoxe 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 (parhkolouthkoti pasin).
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. Akribwv (accurately) means going into minute details, from akron, the topmost point. And he did it

from the first (anwten).
He seems to refer to the matters in Chapters 1:5-2:52, the Gospel of the Infancy.

In order (katexhv).
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 (kratiste Teopile).
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 Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 1:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=lu&chapter=001&verse=003>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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