GOSPEL is assigned by the common voice of the
primitive Church to Luke, "the beloved physician"
and companion of Paul. Of his earlier history nothing is recorded.
There is no proof that he ever saw the Lord or that he became a
believer until some time after his death. He was not a Jew, his name is
Greek, his style and modes of thought point to Greek training, and it
has been generally believed that he was one of "the Grecians who turned
to the Lord" in the great commercial city of Antioch
where the first Gentile church beyond Palestine was founded. From the
incidental references to himself in the Acts we learn that he was the
constant companion of the later ministry of the great apostle to the
Gentiles, and this is confirmed by the allusions to him in the
Philem. 24; 2 Tim. 4:11,
we learn that he was a Gentile, a physician, that he remained with Paul
in his imprisonment at Cæsarea and attended him to Rome, where he
was his companion during his long sufferings
GOSPEL of Luke differs from the other three in its
sources of information. Matthew wrote as an eye witness; Mark probably
recalled the recollections of Peter; John recalled his own personal
memories of the life and words of the Lord, but Luke draws from the
authentic sources of information then accessible, and he carefully
presents the results in an orderly narrative. There are reasons for
believing that during the period when Paul was a prisoner at
Cæsarea, Luke, under his direction, set in order the facts of the
Life of Christ in order to furnish an account fitted for the use of
Gentile converts, and Gentiles who desired to learn of the Lord. "As
Paul was the apostle, so in a faint degree Gentile Luke was the
evangelist, of the Gentiles. He traces the genealogy up, not merely to
Abraham, but Adam, the son of God. He makes Christ's first teachings at
Nazareth commemorate the extension of God's mercy beyond the limits of
He shows how the sinner is forgiven upon condition of obedient faith.
The publican is, in Paul's favorite term, justified. Evidently
their narrative of the Lord's supper is the same tradition.
Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5."
Luke's two books, his Gospels and the Acts, are properly two successive
parts of one Christian history; and as the latter terminates at the
point where Paul has lived two years at Rome, in the year 64, so the
Gospel must have been written before that period, namely during the 27
years after Christ's death. For as Luke terminates his Acts abruptly
with the close of Paul's two years' imprisonment, without adding a
syllable of that apostle's later history, it is very certain that the
Acts was published at that time. Yet, we know from the preface to Acts
that the Gospel had been already written. Thus, it is evident, that it
was written 27 years after the crucifixion.