Forasmuch as ( ἐπειδὴπερ )
Only here in New Testament. A compound conjunction: ἐπεί , since, δή ,as is well known, and περ , giving the sense of certainty.
Have taken in hand ( ἐπεχείρησαν )
Used by Luke only. A literal translation. The word carries the sense of a difficult undertaking (see Acts 19:13), and implies that previous attempts have not been successful. It occurs frequently in medical language. Hippocrates begins one of his medical treatises very much as Luke begins his gospel. “As many as have taken in hand ( ἐπεχείρησαν ) to speak or to write concerning the healing art.”
To set forth in order ( ἀνατάξασθαι )
Only here in New Testament. The A. V. is true to the core of the word, which is τάσσω , to put in order, or arrange. Rev. happily gives the force of the preposition ἀνὰ , up, by the rendering draw up.
A declaration ( διήγησιν )
Only here in New Testament. From διά , through, and ἡγέομαι , to lead the way. Hence something which leads the reader through the mass of facts: a narrative, as A. V., with the accompanying idea of thoroughness. Note the singular number. Many took in hand to draw up, not narratives, but a narrative, embracing the whole of the evangelic matter. The word was particularly applied to a medical treatise. Galen applies it at least seventy-three times to the writings of Hippocrates.
Which are most surely believed ( τῶν πεπληροφορημένων )
From πλήρης ,full, and φορέω , the frequentative form of φέρω ,to bring, meaning to bring frequently or habitually. Hence, to bring full measure; tofulfil. Compare 2 Timothy 4:5, 2 Timothy 4:17. Also of full assurance. Applied to persons. Romans 4:21; Hebrews 10:22. As applied to things, therefore, the sense of the A. V. is inadmissible. Render as Rev., have been fulfilled. The word is chosen to indicate that these events happened in accordance with a preconceived design. Wyc., been filled in us.
Explained by the words in the next sentence, who were eye-witnesses and ministers.