Gospel According To Luke
Writer:   Internal and External Evidence:   Purpose:
Characteristics and Scenes

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:

  1. Jerusalem and environs (1:5-25; 2:22-39,41-50; 4:9-13; 19:28-24:12,33-49);
  2. Nazareth (1:26-38; 2:39,40,51,52; 4:16-30);
  3. Bethlehem (2:1-22);
  4. Judea (1:39-80; 3:1-4:8);
  5. Galilee (4:14-8:21,40-9:2-50);
  6. Gadara (8:22-39);
  7. Samaria (9:52-56; 17:11-34);
  8. Jericho (18-35-19:27);
  9. Baythah-néeah (10:38-42; 24:50-53);
  10. 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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