The writer of this Gospel was also the author of Acts of the Apostles
(Acts 1:1 cf. Lk. 1:1-3). He was a fellow laborer and beloved companion
of Paul at certain times of his journeys. His name is recorded only
three times in the New Testament (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24; 2
Timothy 4:11). Of Paul's companions, only Luke and Titus are not
named in Acts. Luke was a Greek, traditionally from Antioch, but
possibly from Troas where he first joined Paul (Acts 16:10). He is
the only Gentile writer of the New Testament Books.
Internal evidence to Luke's authorship is dependent upon the "we"
passages in Acts as revealed in the change from third personal pronoun
"they" to first personal pronoun "we" (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18;
27:1-28:16). Additionally there is similarity of language in both
books including precise medical language.
External evidence comes from the writings of the "church fathers."
The strongest evidence is given by Irenaeus (A.D. 98-195), "Luke,
the companion of Paul, put down in his Book the gospel which Paul
preached" (A.D. 170). The Anti-Marcionite Prologue (c. A.D. 170)
identifies Luke, the Beloved Physician, as author of the third Gospel.
Justin Martyr (c. A.D. 100-165) quoted from Luke. The Muratorian
Canon (A.D. 160-200): "The Third Book of the Gospel, . . . Luke wrote
in his own name." Other testimony is found in writings of Eusebius
(c. A.D. 265-339), Origen (A.D. 185-254), and Jerome.
Dating of Luke antedates Acts (see Acts Introductory Notes). Luke
remained in Philippi seven years, after which he rejoined Paul (Acts
16:16,40; 20:6). This Gospel was written during the last three years
there (A.D. 55-58).
The purpose of Luke is to give historical certainty and orderly arrangement
to the perfect humanity (genealogy traced to Adam), the life, and the ministry
of Jesus, God's Ideal Man.
Luke is characterized by: universality of salvation--"all flesh" aspect of
Isa. 40:3-5 (cf. 3:6), "all people" (19:10), "light . . . for Gentiles" (2:32),
"among all nations" (24:47); language reflecting mastery of Greek style;
prayer (Jesus is praying 9 times); dei, - it is absolutely necessary" is used 19 times
This third Synoptic Gospel,' is also characterized by a loving interest in people,
recording a concern for individuals more than the other gospels and puts an
emphasis on the domestic affairs of life.
The ten scenes in Luke are: Jerusalem and environs (1:5-25; 2:22-39,41-50;
4:9-13; 19:28-24:12,33-49); Nazareth (1:26-38; 2:39,40,51,52; 4:16-30);
Bethlehem (2:1-22); Judea (1:39-80; 3:1-4:8); Galilee (4:14-8:21,40-9:2-50);
Gadara (8:22-39); Samaria (9:52-56; 17:11-34); Jericho (18-35-19:27);
Baythah-néeah (10:38-42; 24:50-53); and Ehmmahoús (24:13-32).
The Book may be outlined as follows:
I. The Man: Made like unto His brethren (1:1-3:38).
II. The Man: Tempted like as we are (4:1-13).
III. The Man: Touched with the feeling of our infirmities (4:14-19:27).
IV. The Man: Perfect through sufferings (19:28-23:56).
V. The Man in Resurrection and Ascension (24:1-53).
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