Luke, Gospel According to: Was written by Luke. He does not claim to have been an eye-witness of
our Lord's ministry, but to have gone to the best sources of
information within his reach, and to have written an orderly narrative
of the facts
(Luke 1:1-4) The authors of the first three Gospels, the
synoptics, wrote independently of each other. Each wrote his
independent narrative under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Each
writer has some things, both in matter and style, peculiar to himself,
yet all the three have much in common. Luke's Gospel has been called:
1. "the Gospel of the nations, full of mercy and hope, assured to the
world by the love of a suffering Saviour;"
2. "the Gospel of the saintly life;"
3. "the Gospel for the Greeks;
4. the Gospel of the future;
5. the Gospel of progressive Christianity, of the universality and
gratuitousness of the gospel;
6. the historic Gospel;
7. the Gospel of Jesus as the good Physician and the Saviour of
8. "the "Gospel of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man;"
9. "the Gospel of womanhood;"
10. "the Gospel of the outcast, of the Samaritan, the publican, the
harlot, and the prodigal;"
11. "the Gospel of tolerance."
The main characteristic of this Gospel, as Farrar (Cambridge Bible,
Luke, Introd.) remarks, is fitly expressed in the motto, "Who went
about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil"
(Acts 10:38) comp.
(Luke 4:18) Luke wrote for the "Hellenic world." This
Gospel is indeed "rich and precious." "Out of a total of 1151 verses,
1. 389 in common with Matthew and Mark,
2. 176 in common with Matthew alone,
3. 41 in common with Mark alone,
4. leaving 544 peculiar to himself.
5. In many instances all three use identical language."
6. There are seventeen of our Lord's parables peculiar to this Gospel
7. Luke also records seven of our Lord's miracles which are omitted by
Matthew and Mark.
The synoptical Gospels are related to each other after the following
scheme. If the contents of each Gospel be represented by 100 then when
compared this result is obtained:
Mark has 7 peculiarities, 93 coincidences.
Matthew 42 peculiarities, 58 coincidences.
Luke 59 peculiarities, 41 coincidences.
That is, thirteen-fourteenths of Mark, four-sevenths of Matthew, and
two-fifths of Luke are taken up in describing the same things in very
similar language. Luke's style is more finished and classical than
that of Matthew and Mark. There is less in it of the Hebrew idiom. He
uses a few Latin words
(Luke 12:6; 7:41; 8:30; 11:33; 19:20) but no
Syriac or Hebrew words except sikera, an exciting drink of the nature
of wine, but not made of grapes (from Heb. shakar, "he is
(Leviticus 10:9) probably palm wine. This Gospel contains
twenty-eight distinct references to the Old Testament. The date of its
composition is uncertain. It must have been written before the Acts,
the date of the composition of which is generally fixed at about 63 or
64 A.D. This Gospel was written, therefore, probably about 60 or 63
when Luke may have been at Caesarea in attendance on Paul, who was
then a prisoner. Others have conjectured that it was written at Rome
during Paul's imprisonment there. But on this point no positive
certainty can be attained. It is commonly supposed that Luke wrote
under the direction, if not at the dictation of Paul. Many words and
phrases are common to both; e.g., compare:
(Luke 4:22) with
(Luke 4:32) with
(1 Corinthians 2:4)
(Luke 6:36) with
(2 Corinthians 1:3)
(Luke 6:39) with
(Luke 9:56) with
(2 Corinthians 10:8)
(Luke 10:8) with
(1 Corinthians 10:27)
(Luke 11:41) with
(Luke 18:1) with
(2 Thessalonians 1:11)
(Luke 21:36) with
(Luke 22:19,20) with
(1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
(Luke 24:46) with
(Luke 24:34) with
(1 Corinthians 15:5)