Luke Introduction Index
Research Material

TITLE:

  • The earliest manuscripts having the tile of this Gospel read, "According to Luke." Later manuscripts read, "The Gospel According to Luke," or, "The Holy Gospel According to Luke." (1BC 663)

AUTHORSHIP:

  • The ancient and unanimous consensus of Christian tradition points to Luke as the author of the Gospel that bears his name. In his Ecclesiastical History (iii. 4. 6) Eusebius (died c. 340) specifically designates Luke as the author of this Gospel. A century earlier Tertullian (died c.230) spoke of Paul as the "illuminator" or Luke, that is, the one who encouraged Luke and provided him with much of the information contained in Luke's writings. About the year A.D. 185 Irenaeus wrote: "Luke, the follower of Paul, put in a book the gospel that was preached to him." The famous Muratorian Fragment, a portion of a document written toward the close of the 2nd century, agrees with Irenaeus, stating that the third Gospel was written by Luke the physician, a companion of Paul. Early tradition thus unanimously favors Luke as the author of the Gospel that bears his name. There is no evidence that points to anyone other than Luke as the author. (1BC 663)
  • Luke and the Acts may be considered as volumes 1 and 2 of a work that might appropriately entitled "The Origin and Early Development of Christianity." The introduction to the book of acts (Acts 1:1) clearly points to the common authorship of the two books. Literary style and diction are manifestly the same in both. Both are dedicated to the same man, Theophilus (Luke 1:3). The sections in the book of Acts where the author uses the personal pronoun "we" indicate that he was a close companion of Paul, particularly during his closing years of ministry. From Troas, it appears that the author was associated with Paul during the pioneer days of the gospel in Greece (Acts 16:10-18), was with him on his final visit to Palestine (Acts 20:5 thru Acts 21:18). In (Colossians 4:14) and (Philemon 23; Philemon 24), Luke was a colaborer with Paul, sends greetings to those to whom these epistles are addressed. Toward the close of his final imprisonment in Rome, Paul wrote Timothy, "Only Luke is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11). The apostle's other companions had either been dispatched on missions to one or another of the churches or had forsaken him. Amid the gathering shadows of his last days, Paul must have felt a profound appreciation for the tender and competent ministry of a man such as the "beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). This man, it seems clear, was the author of Acts and of the Gospel that bears his name. (5BC 663-664)