Richard H. Anderson - Who are Johanna and Theophilus?: The Irony of the Intended Audience of the Gospel of Luke

Steven Avery

Johannes Weis (1863-1914) 1892 ref


In addition to the appearance of the name in the writings of Josephus, we have one other example of the occurrence of the name that conclusively establishes the historical existence of Theophilus the High Priest. Barag and Flusser have published in the Israel Exploration Journal [53] the inscription appearing on the limestone ossuary clearly identifying the bones therein as Yehohanah, granddaughter of the High Priest, Theophilus. Ossuaries are Jewish secondary burial containers, commonly found in Jerusalem dating from 100 B.C.E. to 100 A. D. [54]. The ossuaries are cut from a single block of soft limestone [55] found in the Jerusalem area. [56] The ossuary was found in Hizma (Beth 'Azmaweth) approximately 4.5 miles NNE of Jerusalem. The three line inscription reads as follows:

Yehohanah daughter of Yehohanan
son of Theophilus the high priest

The two brief mentions of Johanna in the Gospel of Luke are now seen to have a far greater role than preciously recognized. Luke has effectively
enlisted Johanna, the granddaughter of Theophilus, the High Priest as one of his witnesses.

Luke begins with a dedicatory address to 'most excellent Theophilus. The commentators uniformly state that we do not know to whom Luke
addressed the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. However, Alexander concludes that Theophilus was a real person knowledgeable
about the subject matter. [57] Several commentators have said that Theophilus was a person of social prominence in the group that the
author intended as his audience. Many commentators have concluded that Theophilus was a Roman government official.[58]


But Luke attributes no saving efficacy to the cross.


The earliest known person to suggest that most excellent Theophilus was none other than the High Priest was probably Theodore Hase who contributed a short article to Bibliotheca Bremensis some time prior to 1802 when this contribution is mentioned in the Introduction to the New Testament, tr. and augmented with notes by Johann David Michaelis and Herbert Marsh.

n. Bibl. Brem. Class. IV. Fascic. III. Dissert. 3.

(1) Dr. Heumann - p 483

Dissert 4 is Syriac -
(3)James Hase - Jewish convert in Alexandria - uses 10th century
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Steven Avery

John Lightfoot (1602-1675) actually considered him:

Whole Works: Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae or Hebrew and Talmudical
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