Theophilus ben Ananus
Theophilus was the High Priest in the Second Temple in Jerusalem from AD 37 to 41 according to Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews. He was a member of one of the wealthiest and most influential Jewish families in Iudaea Province during the 1st century. A growing belief points to this person as the person to whom the Gospel of Luke is addressed.
Theophilus was the son of Annas and the brother of Eleazar, Jonathan, Matthias and Ananus, all of whom served as High Priests. He was also the brother-in-law of Joseph Caiaphas, the High Priest before whom Jesus appeared. In addition, his son Matthias served as the next to the last High Priest before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.
Archeological evidence confirming the existence of Theophilus, as an ossuary has been discovered bearing the inscription, "Johanna granddaughter of Theophilus, the High Priest".} The details of this ossuary have been published in the Israel Exploration Journal. Therefore Theophilus had at least one other son named Jonathan, father to Johanna. Johanna appears twice in the New Testament in the Gospel of Luke. First as one of women healed by Jesus who travels with Jesus and the disciples to Jerusalem. Her second appearance also in the Gospel of Luke is on Easter Sunday when she and other women visits the empty tomb.
- 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 Bremensissome 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. David L. Allen, Lukan Authorship of Hebrews (2010); Richard H. Anderson, Who are Theophilus and Johanna? The Irony of the Intended Audience (2010); “Theophilus: A Proposal,” Evangelical Quarterly 69:3 (1997) 195-215; “The Cross and Atonement from Luke to Hebrews,” Evangelical Quarterly71:2 (1999), 127-149; “Luke and the Parable of the Wicked Tenants,” The Journal of Biblical Studies, Jan-Mar 2001, Vol. 1, No. 1; “A la recherche de Theophile,” Dossiers d'Archeolgie, Dec 02-Jan 03; Josep Rius-Camps, Jenny Read-Heimerdinger, The message of Acts in Codex Bezae: a comparison with the Alexandrian tradition, Volume 4, (2009) 3-4 and prior volumes
- D. Barag and D. Flusser, The Ossuary of Yehohanah Granddaughter of the High Priest Theophilus, Israel Exploration Journal, 36 (1986), 39-44.
- This article is a summary of an article appearing in Dossiers d’Archeologie as “A la recherche de Theophile”, Dec 02-Jan 03; A detailed description of the ossuary mentioned in this article is contained in an article by D. Barag and D. Flusser, The Ossuary of Yehohanah Granddaughter of the High Priest Theophilus, Israel Exploration Journal, 36 (1986), 39-44.
Jonathan ben Ananus
|High Priest of Israel
Simon Cantatheras ben Boethus