Who Is Theophilus?

Theophilus (the-oph'-i-lus)

Literally, the name means "lover of God." Davis Bible Dictionary says it means "loved by God." Smith's Bible Dictionary, Harpers Bible Dictionary, and Holman Bible Dictionary give the meaning as "friend of God."

1. The person to whom the books of Luke and Acts were written (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). However, his exact identity is unknown. Some scholars believe Theophilus was a wealthy relative of Caesar; others, that he was the benefactor who paid for Luke's Doctor Degree; still others, that Theophilus was a pseudonym for someone who wanted to remain anonymous; or that Luke wanted to mask his identity with secrecy because of potential persecution.

Standing before his old friend, Luke,
Theophilus receives the book which Luke wrote
in order that Theophilus might know fact
from fiction in the life of Jesus.
(Luke 1:1-4)

2. The name of a comic strip, created by Bob West, which first appeared in print on February 6, 1966. At first West envisioned many characters in the strip, not any of whom would occupy a central role. The second strip, published a week later, introduced an unassuming character with a pointed nose, carrying a Bible. Readers immediately liked this little man with the spindly legs. He was humble, warm, devoted to his Lord, and always searching for truth. Readers liked him so well that he became Theophilus. Over the years, Theophilus cartoons have appeared around the world in various media.

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