Why not? Depends on what "the beginning" is. If "the beginning" was the earthly ministry of Jesus, where he founded the fare of the gospel message in the world, which is referred to in the texts of gMark and gMatt by the very pregnant term "the Word" (and especially in gJohn, if one thinks Luke knew gJohn), then they also became "servants of the word from the beginning". This is actually precisely what Luke is saying in Acts 1:2, as I see it, that they were "apostles" when Jesus spoke to them before his ascension. So they had become "servants of the Word from the beginning". Jesus' ascension was the end of "the beginning". Then started the continuation, the period of the Church.neilgodfrey wrote: ↑Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:42 pmOne can understand being an eyewitness from the founding period of Jesus' ministry, but "servants of the word" from that same beginning?Stefan Kristensen wrote: ↑Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:14 amIndeed, the position of the temporal marker, "from the beginning" ("απ' αρχης"), seems to refer to their having become both "eyewitnesses" and "servants of the word" (or whatever way we understand these terms) at the same time. But what is this 'time' exactly, "the beginning"? This "beginning" can very naturally and unproblematically be understood simply as the founding period of Jesus' ministry. Where the disciples exactly became (γινομαι, Luke 1:2) "eyewitnesses" and "servants of the word".
"The beginning" in Luke 1:2 is not the beginning of the Christian community, it is the beginning of the era of the gospel, the "beginning of the Jesus Christ gospel", as Mark has as his superscription. And I propose that this is no coincidence, for his narrative is exactly about the earthly ministry of Jesus, the time when "the Word" came into the world in the shape of Jesus, "all those things he began to do and teach until the day he was taken up" (Acts 1:1). In this way he was indeed the Word in "the flesh", as John puts it. The fare of the Word only continues when others get the holy spirit, i.e. only after Jesus' resurrection, then the Word is carried on into the world, that is the continuation after the beginning.
In the gospel accounts Jesus functions in a central way as nothing more than the vessel of the Word, or more techincally a vessel of the holy spirit which is the carrier of the Word. The continuation, after this beginning, then, is naturally the Christian community which Luke himself also chronicles in Acts, where the main actor really is the holy spirit, or the Word. Acts relates how the gospel message spreads, that's the basic story in Acts. So I think Luke has an understanding that gLuke is the beginning and Acts is the continuation. The "orderly accounts" of Jesus' earthly ministry are accounts of "the beginning", as "handed down" orally from the disiples that were with Jesus in his earthly ministry, "eyewitnesses to, and assistents of, the Word, from the beginning".
God's gospel message has come into the world to launch the fulfilment of his promises of salvation, and so it needs to be preached to the whole world, starting with the conception of the holy spirit in Mary and going even to Rome (Acts 28:31). But before it could be carried into the world, Jesus had to come and train and teach the first people to do this, that was the beginning of God's gospel. Come to think of it, all four gospels in the NT, then, may indicate each in their own manner that the beginning of a new era, the coming of the gospel into the world, is parallel to a new creation (Matt 1:1: "Βιβλος γενεσεως ...", cf. Gen 2:4). It is the idea that when God chose to send his saving gospel into the word, then something new began.
What I see is Luke saying that the written accounts have come from oral tradition ("handed down") from the disciples who were with Jesus in "the beginning". Grammatically, the genitive in Luke 1:2, "of the word", doesn't have to apply to the "eyewitnesses", only to the "servants", but even if it does (which it can), then it still makes sense to refer to the disciples who witnessed Jesus' earthly ministry as "eyewitnesses to the Word". If Luke with "του λογου" is indeed talking about "the Word", which I think, and not about "books", then he is talking to this Theophilus character about a very, very pregnant theological concept, "the Word". The disciples were "eyewitnesses to the Word from the beginning", because they were eyewitnesses to the whole of Jesus' earthly ministry, "the beginning" of the Word. The Theophilus character whom Luke is addressing seems to have been taught orally in that Luke uses the verb κατηχεω, which generally carried the sense of oral teaching (literally "to sound over upon"; cf. catechism).However, the word for "eyewitness" has a special application when speaking of an "eyewitness of the word".
https://vridar.org/2012/12/09/what-did- ... esses-see/autoptai as guarantors of the tradition
The difference here from Bauckham’s view, of course, is that that tradition was literary, not oral.And what have ‘the autoptai [“eyewitnesses”] of the logos’ contributed to this process?
These people have continued to perform the function complementary to – although prior to – their function as hypēretai [“servants’]. They have responsibility for the library of the community, receiving and authenticating documents of the tradition. They are highly literate and have received their appointments from the community. They fill precisely the role Bauckham selected for his ‘specially authorised guarantors of the traditions’. What is more, they have done this ‘from the beginning’ of the community’s life as Christian disciples.
So Theophilus haven't read those "orderly accounts", he has received catechistic teaching, orally, and this is why Luke is writing his, "so that you may know the certainty of the things in which you have been (orally) taught" (1:4). Luke is telling him that he has put together a written account of the things Theophilus has been taught orally. And his written account, apparantly, establishes the "certainty" ("την ασφαλειαν", 1:4) of those things.