Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 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, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Luke opens with a formal introduction in the best ancient Greek style, and certainly along with Acts, Luke is written in the most elegant formal Greek, standing out from all other New Testament writings. As he says in his introduction, it is organized along the formal lines of a Greek historian, and in that sense compares favorably to any of the ancient Greek historical texts.
The most important thing for us to take from the introduction is the reason Luke is writing this book; it was so the reader would be certain about the things they were taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, and in this there is a bit of apologetic in Luke’s writing that differs somewhat from the other Gospel authors. The idea of being “certain” about the things of God is not really a modern idea, for in our times we prefer to say that one cannot ever be entirely certain about anything other than science. Of course, science has found certainty in a great many things which were wrong, although we don’t like to talk about that. If we were to be entirely honest with ourselves, we would have to acknowledge that science sometimes continues to be certain about things which aren’t quite right today, especially when politics enter the picture.
In any case, Luke wants his readers to be certain, we will be reading, and I hope that our level of certainty will have increased greatly by the time we are finished.
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