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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

I. Information as to his History

1. In the Pauline Epistles. -The Pauline Epistles contain various references to a certain Luke, who is in tradition always identified with the author of the Acts and Third Gospel. These references are: (1) ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Λουκᾶς ὸ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητός ( Colossians 4:14); (2) ἀσπάζεταί σε … Λουκᾶς ( Philemon 1:24); (3) Λουκᾶς ἐστιν μόνος μετʼ ἐμοῦ ( 2 Timothy 4:11). From these scanty allusions we can gather that Lute was a companion of St. Paul at the time that Colossians (with its appendix Philemon) and 2 Timothy were written, and also that he was a physician. The trustworthiness of these statements may reasonably be regarded as falling short of the highest grade. The authenticity of Colossians ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ) is probable, but cannot be regarded as quite so certain as that of the earlier Epistles; there is a difference between the group Colossians-Ephesians and the group Corinthians-Galatians-Romans which extends to thought as well as to language, and raises the suggestion that the former group is either un-Pauline or has been much edited. It is on the whole perhaps probable that this doubt ought to be put aside on the ground that the theories of interpolation or pseudepigraphy cause more difficulties than they solve, but the point has not yet been sufficiently discussed by critics. In the same way and in somewhat greater measure the reference in 2 Timothy must be discounted, on the ground of doubts as to the authenticity of the Epistle. So long as these doubts exist, the possibility cannot be entirely excluded that the references to Luke ought to be regarded as the result of the tradition, rather than as the proof of its accuracy.

A similar element of doubt attaches to the question of the place in which Luke and St. Paul were working together (συνεργοί μου in  Philemon 1:24 covers Luke). There is no critical agreement as to whether the so-called Epistles of the Imprisonment were written from Caesarea, from Rome, or (according to a more recent hypothesis) from Ephesus. It is, however, noticeable that, as Harnack points out ( Lukas der Arzt , Leipzig, 1906, p. 2), Luke is not referred to as a ‘fellow-prisoner,’ and there is consequently a presumption that he had accompanied St. Paul in freedom and as a friend.

2. In tradition. -Very little is added by tradition to the information in the Pauline Epistles except ( a ) the constant attribution to Luke of the Third Gospel and Acts; ( b ) the statement that he was an Antiochene Greek; ( c ) somewhat less frequently, statements that he died in Bœotia, Bithynia, or Ephesus; ( d ) the statement, found only in late Manuscripts, that the Gospel was written in Alexandria. The most important expressions of tradition are those of (1) Eusebius; (2) Jerome; (3) the Monarchian Prologues, found in Vulgate Manuscripts, and possibly of Priscillianist origin; (4) notes appended to NT Manuscripts.

(1) Eusebius

Δουκᾶς δὲ τὸ μὲν γένος ὤν τῶν ἀπʼ Ἀντιοχείας, τὴν δὲ ἐπιστήμην ἰατρός, τὰ πλεῖστα συγγεγονὼς τῷ Παύλῳ, καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς δὲ οδ παρέργως τῶν ἀποστόλων ὡμιληκώς, ἦς ἀπὸ τούτων προσεκτήσατο ψυχῶν θεραπευτικῆς ἐν δυσίν ἡμῖν ὑποδείγυατα θεοπνεύστοις καταλέλοιπε βιβλίοις τῷ τε εὐαγγελίῳ, ὃ καὶ χαράξαι μαρτυρεῖται, καθὰ παρέδοντο αὐτῷ οἱ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου οἶς καὶ φησιν ἐπάνωθεν ἄπασι παρηκολουθηκέναι, καὶ ταῖς τῶν ἀποστόλων πράξεσιν ἅς οὐκέτι διʼ ἀκοῆς ὀφθαλμοῖς δὲ αὐτοῖς παραλαβὼν συνετάξατο. φασὶ δὲ ὡς ἄρα τοῦ κατʼ αὐτὸν εὐαγγελίου μνημονεύειν εἴωθεν ὁ Παῦλος ὁπηνίκα ὡς περὶ ἰδίου τινος εὐαγγελίου γράφων ἔλεγε· ‘κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιόν μου’ ( HE [Note: E Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.).]iii. 4, 6).

This, which is the basis of almost all later statements, shows no knowledge beyond what can be deduced from the Epistles, combined with (i.) the belief that the same Luke wrote Acts and Gospel; (ii.) the statements in the preface to the Gospel; (iii.) the (undoubtedly mistaken) view that St. Paul was referring to a book when he spoke of ‘his gospel’ ( Romans 2:16,  2 Timothy 2:8); (iv.) possibly the text in some Manuscripts(which may belong to that I recension which, on von Soden’s view, was familiar to Eusebius) of  Acts 11:27 f.: ἐν ταύταις ταῖς ἡμέραις κατῆλθον ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων προφῆται εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν· συνεστραμμένων δὲ ἡμῶν ἔφη εἶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ὀνόματι Ἅγαβος κτλ. (D p w Aug.); this is, however, by no means certain; and there is no proof that this text was known to Eusebius.

(2) Jerome

‘Lucas medicus Antiochensis, ut eius scripta indicant, Graeci sermonis non ignarus fuit, sectator apostoli Pauli et omnis peregrinationis eius comes scripsit evangelium, de quo idem Paulus: Misimus, inquit, cum illo fratrem cuius laus est in evangelio per omnes ecclesias; ed ad Colossenses: Salutat vos Lucas, medicus carissimus; et ad Timotheum: Lucas est mecum solus. Aliud quoque edidit volumen egregium quod titulo πράξεις ἀποστόλων praenotatur: cuius historia usque ad biennium Romae commorantis Pauli pervenit, id est, usque ad quartum Neronis annum. Ex quo intelligimus in eadem urbe librum esse compositum. Igitur περιόδους Pauli et Theclae, et totam baptizati leonis fabulam, inter apocryphas scripturas computamus. [Then there follows the well-known passage about the Acts of Paul, quoting Tertullian (see Acts [Apocryphal])] … Quidam suspicantur quotiescumque in epistolis suis Paulus dicit, Iuxta evangelium meum, de Lucae significare volumine, et [?at] Lucamnon solum ab apostolo Paulodidicisse evangelium, qui cum domino in carne non fuerat, sed a ceteris apostolis; quod ipse quoque in principio sui voluminis declarat, dicens: Sicut tradiderunt nobis qui a principio ipsi viderunt et ministri fuerunt sermonis. Igitur evangelium, sicut audierat, scripsit. Acta vero apostolorum sicut viderat ipse composuit. Vixit octoginta et quattuor annos, uxorem non habens. Sepultus est Constantinopoli, ad quam urbem vicesimo Constantii anno ossa eius cum reliquiis Andreae apostoli translata sunt de Achaia’ ( de Vir. Illustr. vii.).

(3) The Monarchian Prologues

‘Lucas Syrus natione Antiochensis, arte medicus, discipulus apostolorum, postea Paulum secutus usque ad confessionem eius, serviens deo sine crimine. Nam neque uxorem umquam habens neque filios lxxiiii annorum obiit in Bithynia plenus spiritu sancto-qui cum iam descripta essent evangelia per Matthaeum quidem in Iudaea, per Marcum autem in Italia, sancto instigante spiritu in Achaiae partibus hoc scripsit evangelium, significans etiam ipse in principio ante alia esse descripta. Cui extra ea quae ordo evangelicae dispositionis exposcit, ea maxime necessitas laboris fuit, ut primum Graecis fidelibus omni perfectione venturi in carnem dei manifestata, ne ludaicis fabulis intenti in solo legis desiderio tenerentur neque hereticis fabulis et stultis sollicitationibus seducti excederent a veritate, elaboraret, dehinc ut in principio evangelii Iohannis nativitate praesumpta cui evangelium scriberet et in quo electus scriberet, indicaret, contestans in se completa esse quae essent ab aliis inchoata, cui ideo post baptismum filii dei a perfectione generationis in Christo inpletae et repetendae a principio nativitatis humanae potestas permissa est ut requirentibus demonstraret, in quo adprehendens erat, per Nathan filium introitu recurrentis in deum generationis admisso indispartibilis dei, praedicans in hominibus Christum suum perfecti opus hominis redire in se per filium facere, qui per David patrem venientibus iter praebebat in Christo. Cui Lucae non in merito etiam scribendorum apostolicorum actuum potestas in ministerio datur, ut deo in deum pleno ao filio proditionis extincto oratione ab apostolis facta sorte domini electionis numerus compleretur, sicque Paulus consummationem apostolicis actibus daret, quem diu contra stimulos recalcitrantem dominus elegisset. Quod legentibus ac requirentibus deum etsi per singula expediri a nobis utile fuerat, scientes tamen, quod operantem agricolam oporteat de fructibus suis edere, vitavimus publicam curiositatem, ne non tam volentibus deum videremur quam fastidientibus prodidisse’ (the full text of the Monarchian Prologues is given in Kleine Texte , i., by H. Lietzmann, Bonn, 1902, and there is a full discussion by P. Corssen in Texte and Untersuchungen xv. 1 [1896]).

(4) Information in Manuscripts of the Gospels .-Almost all the later Manuscriptscontain statements at the beginnings or ends of the various books relating to their authors. They are of course important as representing ecclesiastical tradition rather than as containing historical evidence. The most complete list of the Greek ones, is given by von Soden in Die Schriften des NT , i., Berlin, 1902, p. 293ff. The most important items referring to Luke are the following:

(i.) συνεγράφη τὸ κατὰ Δουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον μετὰ χράνους ιε (15) τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀναλήψεως ἐνʼ Αλεξανδρείᾳ Ἐλληνιστί. There is also a form of substantially the same note beginning: ἐξεδόθη πρὸς Θεόφιλον ἐπίσκοπον Ἀντιοχείας, πρὸς ὅν καὶ αἱ πράξεις. This form is found in many late Manuscriptswith a great number of textual variants. (ii.) A remarkable form is found in ε 377: τὸ κατὰ Δουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον καὶ τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων αἱ πράξεις ὑπηγορεύθησαν ὑπὸ Πέτρου καὶ παύλου τῶν ἀποστόλων μετὰ χρόνους πέντε καὶ δέκα τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀναλήτεως. Δουκᾶς δὲ ὁ ιατρὸς συνέγραφε καὶ ἐκήρυξε καὶ ἐκοιμήθη ἐν Θηβαῖς ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσαρων. (iii.) Further information confirming the Eusebian tradition that Luke was an Antiochene is found in some Manuscripts, e.g. οὖτος ὁ εὐαγγελίστης Δουκᾶς ἦν μὲν Ἀντιοχεῦς ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων (ε 1156), and ὁ μακάριος Δουκᾶς ὁ ευαγγελίοτης γέγονε Σῦρος (ε 3006).

Added to these note may be made also of the famous pseudo-Dorotheus, and the longer Sophronius. The text of the former is sufficient to illustrate their character:

Δουκᾶς ὁ εὐαγγελίστης Ἀντιοχεὺς μὲν τὸ γένος ἦν, ἰατρὸς δὲ τὴν τεχνήν· συνεγράψατο δὲ τὸ μὲν εὐαγγέλιον κατʼ ἑπιτροπὴν Πέτρου τοῦ ἀποστόλου, τὰς δὲ πράξεις τῶν ἀποστόλων κατʼ ἐπιτροπὴνχ Παύλου τοῦ ἀποστόλου· συναπεδήμησε γὰρ τοῖς ἀποστόλοις καὶ μάλιστα τῷ Παύλῳ, οὖ καὶ μνημονεύσας ὁ Παῦλος ἔγραψεν ἐν ἐπιστολῇ ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Δουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἐν κυρίῳ. ἀπέθανε δὲ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ καὶ ἐταφη ἐκεῖ. μετετέθη δὲ ὕστερον ἐν Κανσταντινουπόλει μετὰ καὶ Ἀνδρέου καὶ Τιμοθέου τῶν ἀποστόλων κατὰ τοὺς καιποὺς Κωνσταντίου βασιλεως υἱοῦ Κωνσταντίνου τοῦ μεγάλου (the text, and that of Sophronius, are given in von Soden’s Die Schriften des NT , i. 1, p. 306ff.).

II. ‘ Luke As An Author .-The foregoing paragraphs summarize all that is known as to the ‘historic Luke.’ It now remains to discuss (1) the internal evidence supplied mainly by the Acts for and against the tradition which identifies the ‘historic Luke’ of the Epistles with the ‘literary Luke’ who wrote the Gospel and Acts; (2) the sources used by the ‘literary Luke’; (3) his literary methods. It would also have been desirable to discuss his theology, but this has already been done in articleActs of the Apostles.

1. The arguments for and against the Lucan authorship of the Third Gospel and Acts .-In favour of the Lucan authorship Harnack argues that the redactor of Acts, like Luke, was (1) a fellow-worker with St. Paul; (2) an Antiochene Greek; (3) a physician; (4) the writer of the ‘wesections.’ The reasons for this argument are stated in his Untersuchungen zu den Schriften des Lukas (Leipzig, 1906-08) with great power, but with a certainty which is sometimes too great.

(1) It is of course abundantly evident that the Acts represents in the ‘we-sections’ the evidence of a companion of St. Paul, but until the linguistic argument has been accepted as convincing it does not follow that the redactor of the whole was the author of the ‘we-sections.’

(2) In the same way it is abundantly clear that a great part of the Acts is concerned with Antioch; but if, as Acts states, Antioch was really the centre of the Gentile Christian movement, this is really a sufficient explanation, and throws no necessary light on the provenance of the writer. If anyone were to write the history of economics in England in the 19th cent., he would constantly be speaking of Manchester, but it would not follow that he was a Mancunian: similarly, the writer of Acts constantly speaks of Antioch, but he need not have been an Antiochene. That Luke was a Greek rather than a Jew is possibly true, but the evidence is poor. Harnack says:

‘Lukas war geborener Grieche-Evangelium und Actazeigen, was eines Beweises nicht erst bedarf, dass sie nicht von einem geborenen Juden, sondern von einem Griechen verfasst sind,’ and adds in a note: ‘Ob der Verfasser bevor er Christ wurde jüdischer Proselyt gewesen ist, lässt sich nicht entscheiden. Seine Erwähnung der Proselyten in der Apostelgeschichte lässt keinen Schluss zu. Seine virtuose Kenntnis der griechischen Bibel kann er sich sehr wohl erst als Christ angeeignet haben. Für seinen griechischen Ursprung zeugt übrigens allein schon das οἱ βάρβαροι in c.[Note: . circa, about.]28, 2. 4’ ( Lukas der Arzt , ch. i. [Eng. translation, 1907, p. 12f.]).

It may fairly be urged that Harnack does not sufficiently emphasize the complete absence of direct evidence that Luke was a Greek. The facts seem to be quite adequately covered if we suppose that Luke was a Hellenistic Jew.

(3) That Luke was a physician is argued by Harnack-following up and greatly improving on the methods of Hobart-on the ground of his use of medical language. The argument is of course cumulative, and cannot be epitomized. It is beyond doubt that Luke frequently employs language which can be illustrated from Galen and other medical writers. The weak point is that no sufficient account has been taken of the fact that much of this language can probable be shown from the pages of Lucian, Dion of Prusa, etc., to have been part of the vocabulary of any educated Greek. It is, for instance, too ‘keen’ when it is alleged that the Lucan phrase καὶ ἐπέστρεψεν τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτῆς καὶ ἀνέστη παραχρῆμα in  Luke 8:55 is a medical improvement on the Marcan καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέστη τὸ κοράσιον ( Mark 5:42). Could we stamp a writer as a physician at the present time because he spoke of ‘bacilli,’ or described a state of mind as ‘pathological’? Yet it is doubtful whether there is anything so ‘medical’ in the Third Gospel or Acts as these expressions. The truth seems to be that, if we accept on the ground of tradition the view that the Gospel and Acts were written by a physician, there is a certain amount of corroborative detail in the language; but if we are not inclined to accept this view, the ‘medical’ language is insufficient to show that the writer was a physician, or used a more medical phraseology than an educated man might have been expected to possess.

(4) Far more important than these lines of argument, which seem to attempt to prove too much from too little evidence, is the thesis that linguistic argument shows that the writer of the ‘we-sections’ is identical with the redactor of the Third Gospel and the Acts. Here again the cumulative nature of the argument prohibits its complete reproduction. The pages of Harnack must be studied in detail. But the main outline is that, if we study the Third Gospel in comparison with Mark and any sort of reconstructed Q, we shall find out which idioms are especially Lucan, in the sense of belonging to the redaction of the Gospel. If then we find that the ‘Lucan’ phraseology is especially marked in the ‘we-sections,’ it follows that the writer of the ‘we-sections’ was the redactor of the whole. John C. Hawkins, in Horae Synopticae (Oxford, 1899, 21909), had already drawn attention to the fact that this line of research pointed to the unity of the Lucan writings and the identity of the scribe of the ‘we-sections’ with the redactor of the whole, and in Lukas der Arzt Harnack elaborates the argument very fully, and may be regarded as having proved his point, if it be granted that no redactor would have completely ‘Lucanized’ the ‘we-sections’ without altering the characteristic use of the first person. Unfortunately, this is a rather large assumption, and it is not impossible that the redactor kept the first person, because it implied that his source was here that of an eye-witness. It is clear from the preface to the Gospel that he attached importance to the evidence of eye-witnesses.

The arguments against the Lucan authorship of Acts (and the Third Gospel goes with them) have been given at length in dealing with Acts. In summary they are that a comparison between the Acts and the Epistles shows that, wherever Luke and St. Paul relate the same facts, they give discordant testimony, and that the Pauline and Lucan theology are evidently different (see Acts). It is not impossible to give an explanation of these facts consistent with the Lucan authorship, but their obvious bearing is to render that theory improbable, so that the results of these two lines of investigation, the linguistic and the historical and theological, do not point in quite the same direction. The linguistic argument as stated by Harnack goes a long way towards proving that the redactor of the Third Gospel and Acts is identical with the author of the ‘we-sections’ and the narratives immediately cohering with them. This conclusion is not seriously impaired if it be granted that in telling his story the writer often makes use of clichés relating to miraculous episodes found in the literary work of this or a slightly later period, e.g. in Philostratus,*[Note: This seems to be the most important result of E. Norden’s Agnostos Theos (Leipzig, 1913); he does not really prove that the story of St. Paul at, Athens or similar incidents are free literary compositions, and void of all historical foundation, but does show that a considerable use was made of library clichés in setting out, illustrating, and adorning a narrative.]and perhaps in the lost writings of Apollonius of Tyana. On the other hand, the historical and theological arguments support the contention that the author can scarcely have been a companion of St. Paul. Whenever it is possible to compare Acts and Epistles, discrepancies of varying seriousness are to be found, and the Acts shows very few or no signs of acquaintance with the Atonement-theology or the Christology of the Epistles.

Two ways may be suggested of combining these conflicting results. On the one hand, it is possible that the prima facie evidence of the linguistic facts is fallacious. The central point of Harnack’s argument is that the same linguistic characteristics are to be found throughout the whole work as in the ‘we-sections.’ It is assumed that the latter and the cohering narratives may be taken as normative, and that they have been unchanged. But if this assumption be challenged, the argument falls to the ground. Suppose that the redactor found a source relating the greater part of St. Paul’s life, and in places claiming that the writer was an eye-witness by the use of the first person, it would be not unnatural for the redactor carefully to preserve these important indications of the value of his source, while at the same time rewriting or touching up the rest of the language. It would then present all those signs of identity of literary style with the rest of the book which Harnack has emphasized. This theory circumvents the literary argument, and enables us to accept easily the historical and theological results which render doubtful the view that the redactor was a companion of St. Paul.

On the other hand, it may be that we are demanding too high a standard of accuracy in the Acts: after all, the inaccuracies and mistakes-for they can scarcely be anything less-are chiefly found in the earlier parts of Acts, and Luke may have been a companion of St. Paul, and yet never have thought of making very careful inquiry from him as to the events of his early career. This would be especially probable if, as the suggested use of Josephus implies, Luke wrote his two treatises for Theophilus late in life (circa, abouta.d. 90). The theological difficulty is more serious: it is very difficult to understand how a companion of St. Paul can have had a theology and Christology which are on the whole more archaic than those of the Epistles. To some extent, no doubt, this can be explained by the different objects of the works. To some extent also it is no doubt true that we have gone altogether too far in reconstructing a ‘Pauline theology’ out of the Epistles; these were St. Paul’s answers to controversial points, not statements of his central teaching. Probably the preaching of St. Paul was much more like the Acts than systems of Paulinismus reconstructed out of the Epistles. At the same time, it is doubtful whether these considerations really carry us all the way. The theology of Acts-not linguistic characteristics or historical inaccuracies-is the greatest difficulty which faces those who accept the authorship of the Third Gospel and Acts by a companion of St. Paul. At present the matter is sub judice , and Harnack’s powerful advocacy has turned the current of feeling in favour of the traditional view, but he has really dealt adequately with only one side of the question and dismissed the theological and (to a somewhat less extent) the historical difficulty too easily. It will not be surprising if a reaction follows when these points have been more adequately studied and expounded.

2. Luke’s sources .-In the complete absence of any definite statements as to the sources used by Luke, with the exception of the preface to the Gospel, internal evidence can alone be used, and the results of its study are necessarily only tentative.

In the preface to the Gospel Luke tells us that he was acquainted with many previous attempts to give a διήγησιν τῶν πεπληροφορημένων ἐν ἡμῖν πραγμάτων-a difficult phrase, which, however, much more probably means ‘the things accomplished among us’ than the ‘things most surely believed among us’-in accordance with the tradition of the original eye-witnesses, and that he also had decided to write an account of them because he was παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν. From this passage it has sometimes been concluded that Luke disapproved of the previous efforts, and regarded himself as altogether superior to his predecessors. This, however, is not the natural meaning of the Greek; Luke says: ‘Inasmuch as many … it seemed good to me also ’ (κἀμοί), and the force of the ‘also’ is to class him with and not above his predecessors. A more serious problem is provided by the exact exegesis of πᾶσι, in  Luke 1:3. Does it refer to the πολλοί of  Luke 1:2, or to the πραγμάτων of the same verse, or to the αὐτόπται of  Luke 1:2? No decision is possible; the probability is rather in favour of a reference to πολλοί, as carrying on and explaining the ἐπειδήπερ πολλοί of the opening words, but the other alternatives are possible. In any case, the main object of Luke was to provide Theophilus with the proof (ἵνα ἐπιγνῷς … τὴν ἀσφάλειαν) of the λόγοι in which he had received oral instruction (κατηχήθης). Luke is therefore writing history with the object of giving the historical basis of the statements (presumably theological) which were current in the oral instruction given to converts.

( a ) The written sources used by Luke .-In the Gospel at least two written sources can be detected. (1) Mark, either exactly in the form now extant, or in one only slightly differing from it, was certainly used by Luke. This is one of the most secure results of the criticism of the Synoptic Gospels. (2) Besides Mark, Luke used a document commonly called Q ( Quelle ), which was also used by Matthew, and, according to some scholars (not, the present writer thinks, correctly), by Mark. The exact contents of Q cannot be defined. Nor can we say with certainty whether Q represents one or many documents. These points are at present among the most warmly debated and most intently studied problems in the Synoptic question. If, however, Q be used to cover all the material common to Matthew and Luke, and it be assumed that Q is only one document, it must have been Greek, not Aramaic, as the agreement between Matthew and Luke is often too close to admit the possibility that the two narratives represent two translations of a single Aramaic document. In the same way the Mark used by Matthew and Luke must have been Greek; it is, however, possible, though no sufficient proof has been given even by Wellhausen, that behind the Greek Mark and the Greek Q there were originally Aramaic texts. (3) It is doubtful whether Luke used other written sources in his Gospel. It is possible that the Peraean section  Luke 9:51 to  Luke 18:1 may have had a written source, and the same may be said of the ‘Jerusalem narrative’ of the Passion and Resurrection; but it is also possible that their peculiarly Lucan passages rest on oral tradition. (4) In the Acts much depends on the view taken of the critical questions, but in any case the ‘we-sections’ must be referred to a written source, even though their source may have been a diary of the editor of the whole book. Whether the ‘Antiochene’ source was a written document is doubtful, and the same may be said of source B in the Jerusalem-Caesaraean tradition. It is, however, as probable as any point which is supported merely by literary evidence can be that source A (containing Acts 3-4, probably  Luke 8:5-40, and possibly also ch. 5) depends from a written Creek source (see articleActs for the fuller treatment of the question of the sources of Acts).

( b ) The use of the Septuagint .-It remains a question which criticism has as yet found no means of solving whether Luke used, besides the foregoing sources, an Aramaic document for his narrative of the Nativity in the Gospel, or gave his version of a tradition which he had heard, casting it into a form based on the Septuagint. It is in any case certain that the Septuagint, and not the Hebrew, was the form of the OT which he habitually used, and his diction seems to have been greatly influenced by it.

( c ) The use of other writings .-No other books seem to have been certainly used by Luke, with the possible (or, in the present writer’s opinion, probable) exception of Josephus. The facts relating to Josephus in connexion with Theudas seem to point very strongly to a knowledge of the Antiquities (see articleActs).

( d ) The use of the Epistles .-There is no reason to suppose that Luke was acquainted with any of the Pauline Epistles. There is nothing in the Acts which resembles a quotation, and is relating facts alluded to in the Epistles there is more often difference than agreement, even though it be true that the difference is not always very serious.

3. Luke’s methods .-In using his materials Luke’s methods are in the main those of other writers of the same period. They are quite unlike those of modern writers. A writer of the present day seeks to tell his story in his own words and his own way, giving references to, and, if necessary, quotations from, his sources, but carefully avoiding all confusion between traditional fact and critical inference, and certainly never altering the direct statement of the earlier documents without expressly mentioning the fact. The method of antiquity was as a rule almost the reverse. The author of a book based on earlier materials strung together a series of extracts into a more or less coherent whole, giving no indication of his sources, and modifying them freely in order to harmonize them. Sometimes he would select between several narratives, sometimes he would combine, sometimes he would give them successively, and by a few editorial comments make a single narrative of apparently several events out of several narratives of a single event. As a method this is obviously inferior to modern procedure, but even an inferior method can be well or badly used. That Luke used this method is clear from a comparison of the Third Gospel with Matthew and Mark, but on the whole he seems to have used it well, especially if it be remembered that his avowed object was not to ‘write history’ but to provide the historical evidence for the Christian instruction which Theophilus had received. The crucial evidence for this view is the use made of Mark, which we can fortunately control. A comparison of Mark with Luke shows that Luke has been on the whole loyal to his source, though he has consistently polished the language. At the same time, it must be admitted that he had no objection to deserting it, or to changing its meaning. Two examples must suffice. (1) In Mark the call of Peter precedes the healing of his mother-in-law; in Luke a different account of Peter’s call is given the preference over the Marcan one, and the healing of his mother-in-law is placed before it, apparently to afford a motive for the obedience of Peter to the call. (2) In the narrative of the Passion and Resurrection Luke obviously prefers an alternative narrative to that of Mark. This narrative is different in the essential point that it places all the appearances of the Risen Christ in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, whereas Mark in  Mark 14:28, etc., is clearly leading up to appearances in Galilee. But the story of the woman at the tomb seems to be taken from Mark, and this includes the message of the young man to the women to tell the disciples to go to Galilee, where they will see Jesus. This is inconsistent with the ‘Jerusalem narrative,’ and is changed by Luke into ‘Remember how he spoke to you while he was still is Galilee,’ and the whole narrative is freely re-written. If this were quite certain, it would show that Luke cannot be depended upon not to change the whole meaning of his sources. It is, however, possible that his modification is based on some other source; if so, this source can hardly have been originally independent of Mark. A detailed examination of the Lucan changes in the Marcan material, which has never yet been sufficiently thoroughly undertaken, is likely to give valuable evidence as to Luke’s methods in dealing with his sources and the extent to which his statements may be trusted as really representing the earliest tradition, or discounted as being editorial alterations. It may be suggested that a study of the Lucan parallels to Mark 13 is especially needed; a superficial examination suggests that it will show that he was inclined to remove eschatological sayings or explain them in some other sense.

Another characteristic-or what at first sight appears to be one-is a tendency to separate and give to definite historical circumstances sayings which in Matthew are brought together. From this contrast between Matthew and Luke it has been assumed that Luke made special endeavours to find out the exact circumstances under which each saying was uttered. But this conclusion is more than the facts warrant. All that can really be said is that a comparison between Matthew and Luke shows either that Luke separated, or that Matthew combined, or that each did a little of both; but, as we do not know what was the arrangement of the material in the source, we cannot decide between these possibilities. It is sometimes overlooked that reconstructions of Q such as Harnack’s or Wellhausen’s, though otherwise admirable, are useless for this purpose, as they necessarily assume an answer to the question at issue. It is perhaps worth notice that the only safe guide which we have is Luke’s treatment of the Marcan source. Here we find no trace of the supposed separation of sayings, nor do we find any traces in Matthew of the supposed combination of sayings. The logical deduction is that Luke and Matthew did not use the same edition of Q, if indeed there ever was a single document Q. Of course it is hazardous to press this point, but insufficient attention has hitherto been given to the value of Luke’s treatment of Mark as the only objective standard which exists for deciding what his methods probably were in dealing with other sources.

Literature.-Besides the works already quoted in the body of the article see B. Weiss, Die Quellen des Lukasevangeliums , Stuttgart, 1907; J. Moffatt, Introd. to Literature of the New Testament (Moffatt). , Edinburgh, 1911; E. Norden, Agnostos Theos , Leipzig, 1913; R. Reitzenstein, Hellenistische Wundererzählungen , do. 1906; E. C. Selwyn, St. Luke the Prophet , London, 1901; H. McLachlan, St. Luke - Evangelist and Historian , London and Manchester, 1912; W. M. Ramsay, Luke the Physician and other Studies in the History of Religion , London, 1908; Th. Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament , Eng. translation, Edinburgh, 1909.

K. Lake.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

The New Testament informs us of very few particulars concerning St. Luke. He is not named in any of the Gospels. In the Acts of the Apostles, which were, as will hereafter be shown, written by him, he uses the first person plural, when he is relating some of the travels of St. Paul; and thence it is inferred, that at those times he was himself with that Apostle. The first instance of this kind is in the eleventh verse of the sixteenth chapter; he there says, "Loosing from Troas, we came up with a straight course to Samothracia." Thus, we learn that St. Luke accompanied St. Paul in this his first voyage to Macedonia. From Samothracia they went to Neapolis, and thence to Philippi. At this last place we conclude that St. Paul and St. Luke separated, because in continuing the history of St. Paul, after he left Philippi, St. Luke uses the third person, saying, "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis," &c,   Acts 17:1; and he does not resume the first person till St. Paul was in Greece the second time. We have no account of St. Luke during this interval; it only appears that he was not with St. Paul. When St. Paul was about to go to Jerusalem from Greece, after his second visit into that country, St. Luke, mentioning certain persons, says, "These going before tarried for us at Troas; and we sailed away from Philippi,"   Acts 20:5-6 . Thus again we learn that St. Luke accompanied St. Paul out of Greece, through Macedonia to Troas; and the sequel of St. Paul's history in the Acts, and some passages in his epistles,  2 Timothy 4:11;  Colossians 4:14;  Philippians 1:24 , written while he was a prisoner at Rome, informs us that St. Luke continued from that time with Paul, till he was released from his confinement at Rome; which was a space of about five years, and included a very interesting part of St. Paul's life, Acts 20-28.

Here ends the certain account of St. Luke. It seems probable, however, that he went from Rome into Achaia; and some authors have asserted that he afterward preached the Gospel in Africa. None of the most ancient fathers having mentioned that St. Luke suffered martyrdom, we may suppose that he died a natural death; but at what time, or in what place, is not known. We are told by some that St. Luke was a painter, and Grotius and Wetstein thought that he was in the earlier part of his life a slave; but I find, says Bishop Tomline, no foundation for either opinion in any ancient writer. It is probable that he was by birth a Jew, and a native of Antioch in Syria; and I see no reason to doubt that "Luke, the beloved physician," mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians,  Colossians 4:14 , was Luke the evangelist.

Lardner thinks that there are a few allusions to this Gospel in some of the apostolical fathers, especially in Hermes and Polycarp; and in Justin Martyr there are passages evidently taken from it; but the earliest author, who actually mentions St. Luke's Gospel, is Irenaeus; and he cites so many peculiarities in it, all agreeing with the Gospel which we now have, that he alone is sufficient to prove its genuineness. We may however observe, that his testimony is supported by Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Jerom, Chrysostom, and many others. Dr. Owen and Dr. Townson have compared many parallel passages of St. Mark's and St.

Luke's Gospels; and Dr. Townson has concluded that St. Luke had seen St. Mark's Gospel, and Dr. Owen, that St. Mark had seen St. Luke's; but there does not appear to be a sufficient similarity of expression to justify either of these conclusions. There was among the ancients a difference of opinion concerning the priority of these two Gospels; and it must be acknowledged to be a very doubtful point.

There is also great doubt about the place where this Gospel was published. It seems most probable that it was published in Greece, and for the use of Gentile converts. Dr. Townson observes, that the evangelist has inserted many explanations, particularly concerning the scribes and Pharisees, which he would have omitted if he had been writing for those who were acquainted with the customs and sects of the Jews. We must conclude that the histories of our Saviour, referred to in the preface of this Gospel, were inaccurate and defective, or St. Luke would not have undertaken this work. It does not, however, appear that they were written with any bad design; but being merely human compositions, and perhaps put together in great haste, they were full of errors. They are now entirely lost, and the names of their authors are not known. When the four authentic Gospels were published, and came into general use, all others were quickly disregarded and forgotten.

St. Luke's Gospel is addressed to Theophilus; but there was a doubt, even in the time of Epiphanius, whether a particular person, or any good Christian in general, be intended by that name. Theophilus was probably a real person, that opinion being more agreeable to the simplicity of the sacred writings. We have seen that St. Luke was for several years the companion of St. Paul; and many ancient writers consider this Gospel as having the sanction of St. Paul, in the same manner as St. Mark's had that of St. Peter. Whoever will examine the evangelist's and the Apostle's account of the eucharist in their respective original works, will observe a great coincidence of expression, Luke 22; 1 Corinthians 11, St. Luke seems to have had more learning than any other of the evangelists, and his language is more varied, copious, and pure. This superiority in style may perhaps be owing to his longer residence in Greece, and greater acquaintance with Gentiles of good education, than fell to the lot of the writers of the other three Gospels. This Gospel contains many things which are not found in the other Gospels; among which are the following: the birth of John the Baptist; the Roman census in Judea; the circumstances attending Christ's birth at Bethlehem; the vision granted to the shepherds; the early testimony of Simeon and Anna; Christ's conversation with the doctors in the temple when he was twelve years old; the parables of the good Samaritan, of the prodigal son, of Dives and Lazarus, of the wicked judge, and of the publican and Pharisee; the miraculous cure of the woman who had been bowed down by illness eighteen years; the cleansing of the ten lepers; and the restoring to life the son of a widow at Nain; the account of Zaccheus, and of the penitent thief; and the particulars of the journey to Emmaus. It is very satisfactory that so early a writer as Irenaeus has noticed most of these peculiarities; which proves not only that St. Luke's Gospel, but that the other Gospels also, are the same now that they were in the second century.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

According to evidence from early records, Luke was a Gentile who was born in Antioch in Syria. By profession he was a doctor ( Colossians 4:14), but he also became a skilled historian. His most memorable writing was a lengthy account of the development of Christianity from the birth of its founder to the arrival of its greatest missionary in Rome. The first part of this record is called Luke’s Gospel, the second part the Acts of the Apostles ( Luke 1:1-4;  Acts 1:1-2).

Luke first appears in the biblical record when he joined Paul and his party in Troas during Paul’s second missionary journey. This is shown by Luke’s inclusion of himself in the narrative – ‘we sought to go into Macedonia . . . we made a direct voyage’ ( Acts 16:10-11). Luke went with Paul to Philippi ( Acts 16:12;  Acts 16:16) and remained there when Paul and his party moved on (indicated by the use of ‘they’, not ‘we’, in  Acts 17:1). It seems that Luke lived in Philippi for some time. When Paul passed through Philippi on his way to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey, Luke rejoined Paul’s party. This is indicated by the renewed use of ‘us’ and ‘we’ in the narrative ( Acts 20:5-6). (For a map of the area of Luke’s movements see Acts, Book Of )

From this time on, Luke kept close to Paul. This explains why the sea journey to Palestine and the events that followed in Jerusalem and Caesarea are recorded in some detail (Acts Chapters 20-26). Paul and his party were in Palestine for at least two years ( Acts 24:27), and Luke no doubt used this time to gather information from eye-witnesses of the life of Jesus to include in his Gospel. He was a very thorough and discerning person, who was careful to see that his story of Jesus was meaningful and accurate ( Luke 1:1-4).

Luke travelled with Paul on the eventful sea voyage to Rome ( Acts 27:1;  Acts 28:16) and remained with him during his two years imprisonment there ( Acts 28:30;  Colossians 4:14; Philem 24). Although he was close to Paul throughout those years, Luke says almost nothing about himself in his record. He seems to have been a humble person, never self-assertive, but always dependable. When the aged Paul, after being released and later recaptured, sat cold and lonely in prison awaiting his execution, Luke alone stayed with him ( 2 Timothy 4:11).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Luke. (Light-Giving). Luke or Lu'cas , is an abbreviated form of Lucanus. It is not to be confounded with Lucius,  Acts 13:1;  Romans 16:21, which belongs to a different person. The name Luke occurs three times in the New Testament -  Colossians 4:14;  2 Timothy 4:11;  Philemon 1:24 - and probably in all three, the third evangelist is the person spoken of.

Combining the traditional element, with the scriptura, l we are able to trace the following dim outline of the evangelist's life. He was born at Antioch in Syria, and was taught the science of medicine. The well known tradition that Luke was also a painter, and of no mean skill, rests on the authority of late writers.

He was not born a Jew, for he is not reckoned among those "of the circumcision" by St. Paul. Compare  Colossians 4:11 with  Colossians 4:14. The date of his conversion is uncertain.

He joined St. Paul at Troas, and shared his Journey into Macedonia. The sudden transition to the first person plural in  Acts 16:9 is most naturally explained, after all the objections that have been urged, by supposing that Luke, the writer of the Acts, formed one of St. Paul's company from this point. As far as Philippi, the evangelist journeyed with the apostle. The resumption of the third person, on Paul's departure from that place,  Acts 17:1, would show that Luke was now left behind.

During the rest of St. Paul's second missionary journey, we hear of Luke no more; but on the third journey, the same indication reminds us that Luke is again of the company,  Acts 20:5, having joined it apparently at Philippi, where he had been left. With the apostle, he passed through Miletus, Tyre and Caesarea to Jerusalem.  Acts 20:6;  Acts 21:18.

As to his age and death, there is the utmost uncertainty. He probably died a martyr, between A.D. 75 and A.D. 100. He wrote the Gospel that bears his name, and also the Book of Acts.

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Colossians 4:14 Acts 16:10-17 Acts 20:5-15 Acts 21:1-18 Acts 27:1-28:16 2 Timothy 4:11

Early church fathers Jerome (about A.D. 400 and Eusebius (about A.D. 300) identified Luke as being from Antioch. His interest in Antioch is clearly seen in his many references to that city ( Acts 11:19-27;  Acts 13:1-3;  Acts 14:26;  Acts 15:22 ,Acts 15:22, 15:35;  Acts 18:22 ). Luke adopted Philippi as his home, remaining behind there to superintend the young church while Paul went on to Corinth during the second missionary journey ( Acts 16:40 ).

Paul identified Luke as a physician ( Colossians 4:14 ) and distinguished Luke from those “of the circumcision” ( Colossians 4:11 ). Early sources indicate that Luke was a Gentile. Tradition holds that he was Greek. The circumstances of Luke's conversion are not revealed. An early source supplied a fitting epitaph: “He served the Lord without distraction, having neither wife nor children, and at the age of 84 he fell asleep in Boeatia, full of the Holy Spirit.” See Gospel Of Luke

T. R. McNeal

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [6]

(See Acts.) Contracted from Lucanus , as Silas is contracted from Silvanus . A slave name. As Luke was a "physician," a profession often exercised by slaves and freedmen, he may have been a freedman. Eusebius (H.E. iii. 4) states that Antioch was his native city. He was of Gentile parentage before he became a Christian; as appears from  Colossians 4:11,14: "Luke the beloved physician" (One Of "My Fellow Workers Unto The Kingdom Of God Which Have Been A Comfort Unto Me") is distinguished from those "of the circumcision."

That he was not of "the seventy" disciples, as Epiphanius (Haer. i. 12) reports, is clear from his preface in which he implies he was not an" eye witness"; the tradition arose perhaps from his Gospel alone recording the mission of the seventy. His history in Acts is first joined with that of Paul at Troas ( Acts 16:10), where the "we" implies that the writer was then Paul's companion. He accompanied the apostle in his journey to Jerusalem and Rome, at Paul's first Roman imprisonment "Luke my fellow labourer," Philemon ( Philemon 1:24) written from Rome, as also Colossians ( Colossians 4:14); also in Paul's last imprisonment there, when others forsook him Luke remained faithful ( 2 Timothy 1:15;  2 Timothy 4:11 "only Luke is with me".) His death by martyrdom between A.D. 75 and 100 is generally reported.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

The evangelist, probably the same person who is called by St. Paul, "the beloved physician,"  Colossians 4:14 . The name Luke, or Lucas,  Philippians 1:24 , is the same as Lucanus in Latin. Luke was the writer of the gospel, which bears his name, and of the Acts of the Apostles, having been the friend and companion of St. Paul in most of the journeys recorded in the latter book. Thus, in  Acts 16:11 , he first uses the word "we," and shows that he was with Paul at Troas and in his first Macedonian tour. After they reach Philippe, an interval of separation occurs; but they are again together at Philippi when Paul sails thence for Jerusalem, and from that time he continues with the apostle in his labors, voyages, and sufferings, to the close of his first imprisonment at Rome,  Acts 17:1   20:5,6,13-16   21:1-28:31   Philippians 1:24   2 Timothy 4:11 . His personal history before and after this period of his companionship with Paul, is unknown, or rests on uncertain traditions. His own narrative contains the least possible mention of himself; yet we cannot doubt that he was eminently useful to the early church, by his learning, judgment, fidelity, and even his medical skill, besides leaving to the church universal the invaluable legacy of his writings.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [8]

Luke ( Lûke ),  Colossians 4:14; called also Lucas,  Philemon 1:24, A. V. A physician and distinguished companion of Paul, and writer of the third Gospel and the book of the Acts. The diction of these books in the New Testament, the gospel and the Acts, is such as to persuade some that he must have been a Jew. But Paul, writing to the Colossians, after mentioning all "of the circumcision" who had been a comfort unto him, adds the salutation of" Luke, the beloved physician."  Colossians 4:10-14. The inference is that Luke was not a Jew. Luke is traditionally said to be a native of Antioch; this, however, has no better foundation than the confounding of him with that Lucius who is reckoned among the teachers at Antioch,  Acts 13:1; from whom he must certainly be distinguished.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [9]

The beloved physician, whose praise is in the gospel. His name is borrowed from a Latin word signifying light. He was Paul's companion in several journies, as appears from  Colossians 4:14;  2 Timothy 4:11;  Philippians 1:23-24. The church is highly indebted to this man, under the Holy Ghost, for the blessed gospel which bears his name, and the Acts of the Apostles. (See, in confirmation,  Acts 1:1)

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 Luke 1:2 Acts 17:1 Philippians 1:24 Colossians 4:14 2 Timothy 4:11

There are many passages in Paul's epistles, as well as in the writings of Luke, which show the extent and accuracy of his medical knowledge.

Webster's Dictionary [11]

(a.) Moderately warm; not hot; tepid.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

the evansgelist, and author of the Acts of the Apostles. Although himself not an apostle, he has admirably supplemented their labors by his pen, and has thus laid the literary world under lasting obligation.

I. His Name . This, in the Greek form, Λουκᾶς , is abbreviated from Λουκανός , the Graecized representative of the Latin Lucanues, or Λουκιλιός , Lucilius (comp. Silas for Silvanus ; Annas for Annanus ; Zenas for Zenodorus : Winer, Gram . page 115). The contraction of Ανός into Α͂ς is said to be characteristic of the names of slaves (see Lobeck, De Substantiv. in Α͂ς Exeuntibus , in Wolf, Analect . 3:49), and it has been inferred from this that Luke was of heathen descent (which may also be gathered from the implied contrast between those mentioned  Colossians 4:12-14, and the Οἱ Ἐκ Περιτομῆς ,  Colossians 4:11), and a libertus, or freedman. This latter idea has found confirmation in his profession of a physician ( Colossians 4:14), the practice of medicine among the Romans having been in great measure confined to persons of servile rank (Middleton, De Medicoruam Apud Roman. Degent. Conditione ). To this, however, there were many exceptions (see Smith, Dict. Of Class. Antiq . s.v. Medicus), and it is altogether an insufficient basis on which to erect a theory as to the evangelist's social rank. So much, however, we may probably safely infer from his profession, that he was a man of superior education and mental culture to the generality of the apostles, the fishermen and tax-gatherers of the Sea of Galilee.

II. Scripture History . All that can be with certainty known of Luke must be gathered from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul. The result is but scanty. He was not born a Jew, for he is not reckoned among them " of the circumcision" by Paul (comp.  Colossians 4:11 with  Colossians 4:14). If this be not thought conclusive, nothing can be argued from the Greek idioms in his style, for he might be a Hellenistic Jew, nor from the Gentile tendency of his Gospel, for this it would share with the inspired writings of Paul, a Pharisee brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. The date of his conversion is uncertain. He was not, indeed, "an eyewitness and minister of the Word from the beginning" ( Luke 1:2), or he would have rested his claim as an evangelist upon that ground. His name does not once occur in the Acts, and we can only infer his presence or absence from the sudden changes from the third to the first person, and vice versa, of which phenomenon, notwithstanding all that has of late been urged against it, this, which has been accepted since the time of Irenaeeus ( Contr. Haer . 3:14), is the only satisfactory explanation. Rejecting the reading Συνεστραμμένων Δὲ Ἡμῶν ,  Acts 11:28 (which only rests on D. and Augustine, De Serm. Dom. 2:17), which would bring Luke into connection with Paul at a much earlier period, as well as the identification of the evangelist with Lucius of Cyrene ( Acts 13:1 :  Romans 16:21), which was current in Origen's time (ad Romans 16:39; see Lardner, Credibility , 6:124; Marsh, Michaelis , 4:234), and would make him a kinsman of Paul, we first find Luke in Paul's company at Troas, and sailing with him to Macedonia ( Acts 16:10-11). A.D. 48. Of his previous history, and the time and manner of his conversion, we know nothing, but Ewald's supposition ( Gesch. D. V. Isr. 6:35, 448) is not at all improbable, that he was a physician residing in Troas, converted by Paul, and attaching himself to the apostle with all the ardor of a young convert. He may also, as Ewald thinks, have been one of the first uncircumcised Christians. His conversion had taken place before, since he silently assumes his place among the great apostle's followers without any hint that this was his first admission to the knowledge and ministry of Christ. He may have found his way to Troas to preach the Gospel, sent possibly by Paul himself. There are some who maintain that Luke had already joined Paul at Antioch ( Acts 11:27-30; see Journal Of Sacred Literature , October 1861, page 170, and Conybeare and Howson's Life Of Paul , chapter 5, new ed. Lond. 1861).

He accompanied Paul as far as Philippi, but did not share in the imprisonment of his master and his companion Silas, nor, as the third person is resumed ( Acts 17:1), did he, it would seem, take any further part in the apostle's missionary journey. The first person appears again on Paul's third visit to Philippi, A.D. 54 ( Acts 20:5-6), from which it has been gathered that Luke had spent the whole intervening time a period of seven or eight years in Philippi or its neighborhood. If any credit is to be given to the ancient opinion that Luke is referred to in  2 Corinthians 8:18 as "the brother whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the churches" (a view adopted by the Church of England in the collect for Luke's day), as well as the early tradition embodied in the subscription to that epistle, that it was sent from Philippi "by Titus and Lucas," we shall have evidence of the evangelist's missionary zeal during this long space of time. If this be so, we are to suppose that during the "three months" of Paul's sojourn at Philippi ( Acts 20:3) Luke was sent from that place to Corinth and this errand, the word "gospel" being, of course, to be understood, not, as Jerome and others erroneously interpret it, of Luke's written gospel, but of his publication of the glad tidings of Jesus Christ. The mistaken interpretation of the word "gospel" in this place has thus led some to assign the composition of the Gospel of Luke to this period, a view which derives some support from the Arabic version published by Erpenius. in which its writing is placed " in a city of Macedonia twenty-two years after the Ascension," A.D. 51. From their reunion at Philippi, Luke remained in constant attendance on Paul during his journey to Jerusalem ( Acts 20:6 to  Acts 21:18), and, disappearing from the narrative during the apostle's imprisonment at Jerusalem and Csesarea, reappears again when he sets out for Rome ( Acts 27:1). A.D. 56. He was shipwrecked with Paul (28:2), and traveled with him by Syracuse and Puteoli to Rome ( Acts 27:12-16), where he appears to have continued as his fellow-laborer ( Συνεργός ,  Philemon 1:24;  Colossians 4:4) till the close of his first imprisonment, A.D. 58. The Second Epistle to Timothy (4:11) gives us the latest glimpse of the "beloved physician," and our authentic information regarding him beautifully closes with a testimony from the apostle's pen to his faithfulness amidst general defection, A.D. 64.

III. Traditionary Notices . The above sums up all we really know about Luke; but, as is often the case, in proportion to the scantiness of authentic information is the copiousness of tradition, increasing in definiteness, be it remarked, as it advances. His Gentile descent being taken for granted, his birthplace was appropriately enough fixed at Antioch, "the center of the Gentile Church, and the birthplace of the Christian name" (Eusebius, H.E. 3:4; comp. Jerome, De Vir. Illust. 7; In Matt. Praef.), though it is to be observed that Chrysostom, when dwelling on the historical associations of the city, appears to know nothing of such a tradition. He was believed to have been a Jewish proselyte, ignorant of Hebrew (Jerome, Quaest. in Genesis c. 46), and probably because he alone mentions their mission, but in contradiction to his own words ( Luke 1:23) one of the seventy disciples who, having left our Lord in offense ( John 6:60-66), was brought back to the faith by the ministry of Paul ( Epiphan. Haer . 51:11); one of the Greeks who desired to "see Jesus" ( John 12:20-21), and the companion of Cleopas on the journey to Emmaus ( Theophyl. Proem In Luc .). An idle legend of Greek origin, which first appears in the late and credulous historian Nicephorus Callisus (died 1450), Hist. Eccl. 2:43. and was universally accepted in the Middle Ages, represents Luke as well acquainted with the art of painting ( Ἄκρως Τὴν Ζωγράθφου Τέχνην Ἐξεπιστάμενος ), and assigns to his hand the first portraits of our Lord, his mother, and his chief apostles (see the monographs of Manni [Florent. 1764] and Schlichter [Hal. 1734]).

Nothing is known of the place or manner of his death, and the traditions are inconsistent with one another. Gregory Naz. reckons him among the martyrs, and the untrustworthy Nicephorus gives us full details of the time, place, and mode of his martyrdom, viz., that he was crucified to a live olive-tree in Greece, in his eightieth year. According to others, he died a natural death after preaching (according to Epiphanius, Contra Haer. 51:11) in Dalmatia, Gallia, Italy, and Macedonia; was buried in Bithynia, whence his bones were translated by Constantius to Constantinople (Isid. Hispal. c. 82; Philostorgius volume 3, chapter 29). See generally Ko Ö hler, Dissert. de Luca Ev. (Lipsiae, 1695); Credner, Einleit. ins N.T. 1:124.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

This name is a contraction of Lucanus, and indicates that Luke was descended from heathen ancestors, and that he was either a slave or a freedman. According to ecclesiastical tradition, the author of the Gospel is the same Luke who is mentioned in Paul's Epistles (;; ), and who is called, in the last-mentioned passage, 'the physician.' This tradition is confirmed by the Acts of the Apostles, according to which the author of that work accompanied the Apostle Paul in his journeys (, sq.; ). Luke accompanied Paul also in his last journeys to Jerusalem and Rome (; Acts 27; Acts 28). The profession of a physician harmonizes also with the condition of a freedman, indicated by the form of the name. The higher ranks of the Romans were disinclined to practice medicine, which they left rather to their freed-men. It harmonizes with this that Paul distinguishes Luke from the Christians of Jewish descent, whom, in , he styles, 'being of the Circumcision.' Eusebius states that Antioch in Syria was the native city of Luke. In this city there was at an early period a congregation of Christians converted from heathenism. Since Luke was a physician, we must suppose that he was a man of education. To those skeptics who excuse their disbelief of the miracles recorded in the Gospels, by the assertion that their authors were ill-informed Jews, greedy of the marvelous, it must appear of some importance to meet in Luke a well-informed Greek, skilled even in the medical sciences. The higher degree of his education is further proved by the classical style in which the introduction to his Gospel, and the latter portion of the Acts, are written; and also by the explicit and learned details which he gives in the Acts on various antiquarian, historical, and geographical subjects.

It is important to notice what he himself says, in his introduction, of the relation borne by his writings to those of others. It is evident that even then 'many' had attempted to compose a history of our Lord from the statements of eyewitnesses and of the first ministers of the word of God. As these 'many' are distinguished from eye-witnesses, we must suppose that many Christians wrote brief accounts of the life of Jesus, although they had not been eye-witnesses. It is possible that Luke made use of such writings. He states that he had accurately investigated the truth of the accounts communicated, and that, following the example of the 'many,' he had made use of the statements of eye-witnesses, whom he must have had frequent opportunities of meeting with when he traveled with Paul.

The Gospel of St. Luke contains exceedingly valuable accounts, not extant in the books of the other evangelists; for instance, those concerning the childhood of Jesus, the admirable parables in Luke 15-16, the narration respecting the disciples at Emmaus, the section from to , which contains particulars mostly wanting in the other evangelists. It has been usual, since the days of Schleiermacher, to consider this portion as the report of a single journey to the feast at Jerusalem; but it is evident that it contains accounts belonging to several journeys, undertaken at different periods.

As to the statements of the ancients concerning the date or time when the Gospel of St. Luke was written, we find in Irenaeus, that Mark and Luke wrote after Matthew. According to Eusebius, Origen stated that Luke wrote after Matthew and Mark; but Clemens Alexandrinus, according to the same writer, asserted, on the authority of the 'tradition of the earlier elders,' that the Gospels containing the genealogies were written before the others. According to this view, Mark was written after Luke. It is however likely that this statement arose from a desire to explain why the genealogies were omitted by Mark and John.

From the circumstance that the book of Acts leaves St. Paul a captive, without relating the result of his captivity, most critics have, with considerable probability, inferred that Luke accompanied St. Paul to Rome, that he employed his leisure while there in composing the Acts, and that he left off writing before the fate of Paul was decided. Now, since the Gospel of St. Luke was written before the Acts, it seems to follow that it was written a considerable time before the destruction of Jerusalem.

It is likely that Luke, during Paul's captivity at Cesarea, employed his leisure in collecting the accounts contained in his Gospel in the localities where the events to which they relate happened. The most ancient testimonies in behalf of Luke's Gospel are those of Marcion, at the beginning of the second century, and of Irenaeus, in the latter half of that century.

Besides the Gospel which bears his name, Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles. This work contains the history of the foundation of the Christian church in two great sections: the first embracing the spread of Christianity among the Jews, chiefly by the instrumentality of Peter (Acts 1-12); and the second, its spread among the heathen, chiefly by the instrumentality of Paul (Acts 13-28).

That the accounts of Luke are authentic may be perceived more especially from a close examination of the inserted discourses and letters. The characteristic marks of authenticity in the oration of the Roman lawyer Tertullus, in Acts 24, and in the official letters in , sq.; 15:23, sq.; can scarcely be overlooked. The address of Paul to the elders of the Ephesian church is characteristically Pauline, and even so full of definite allusions and of similarity to the Epistle to the Ephesians, that it furnishes a confirmation of the authenticity of that letter.

As for the testimonies in behalf of the authenticity of the Acts, they are the same as for Luke's Gospel. Clemens Alexandrinus, Irenaeus, and Tertullian, expressly mention the Acts, and Eusebius reckons them among the Homologoumena. However, the book of Acts was not read and quoted so often in the early church as other parts of Scripture.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

uthor of the third Gospel, as well as the Acts, born in Antioch, a Greek by birth and a physician by profession, probably a convert, as he was a companion, of St. Paul; is said to have suffered martyrdom and been buried at Constantinople; is the patron saint of artists, and represented in Christian art with an ox lying near him, or in the act of painting; his Gospel appears to have been written before the year 63, and shows a Pauline interest in Christ, who is represented as the Saviour of Jew and Gentile alike; it was written for a Gentile Christian and in correspondence with eye-witnesses of Christ's life and death.