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Luke 1:3-4

Context
1:3 So 1  it seemed good to me as well, 2  because I have followed 3  all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account 4  for you, most excellent Theophilus, 1:4 so that you may know for certain 5  the things you were taught. 6 

1 tn The conjunction “so” is supplied here to bring out the force of the latter part of this Greek sentence, which the translation divides up because of English style. Luke, in compiling his account, is joining a tradition with good precedent.

2 sn When Luke says it seemed good to me as well he is not being critical of the earlier accounts, but sees himself stepping into a tradition of reporting about Jesus to which he will add uniquely a second volume on the early church when he writes the Book of Acts.

3 tn Grk “having followed”; the participle παρηκολουθηκότι (parhkolouqhkoti) has been translated causally.

4 sn An orderly account does not necessarily mean that all events are recorded in the exact chronological sequence in which they occurred, but that the account produced is an orderly one. This could include, for example, thematic or topical order rather than strict chronological order.

5 tn Or “know the truth about”; or “know the certainty of.” The issue of the context is psychological confidence; Luke’s work is trying to encourage Theophilus. So in English this is better translated as “know for certain” than “know certainty” or “know the truth,” which sounds too cognitive. “Certain” assumes the truth of the report. On this term, see Acts 2:36; 21:34; 22:30; and 25:26. The meaning “have assurance concerning” is also possible here.

6 tn Or “you heard about.” This term can refer merely to a report of information (Acts 21:24) or to instruction (Acts 18:25). The scope of Luke’s Gospel as a whole, which calls for perseverance in the faith and which assumes much knowledge of the OT, suggests Theophilus had received some instruction and was probably a believer.



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