"To Her Excellency, Theophile (Luke 1.3, Acts 1.1)"

by Robert A. Kraft (read "by title" at the SBL Middle Atlantic Section Annual Meeting, 26 April 1964[?])

Abstract submitted for SBL Annual Meeting, 1-2 January 1964:

Two of the apparent side-interests in Luke-Acts -- the concern with the relationship of women to the gospel message, and the problem of riches/status -- suggest the possibility that the named recipient/patron, "Theophile" (vocative), may have been a sympathetic noble-WOMAN in Greco-Roman society."

Luke-Acts shows interest in women, especially widows and rich women.

Theophile is an attested female name or appelation; technically, the eta ending would be masculine vocative, while feminine vocative would end in epsilon. Such confusions run rampant in ancient manuscripts. Similarly with the patronizing word "kratiste."

Is it likely that a woman would be addressed as kratiste?

What evidence is there for female patrons in the first century?

[see file for detailed notes]