Background on the Gospel of St. Luke
Who was Luke
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE.—The name Luke is the abbreviated form of Lucanus, or of Lucilius.
Luke, the writer of the Gospel bearing his name was a native of Antioch in Syria, and is believed to have been educated as a physician.
The records suggest that Luke was not a Jew, Paul referring to him in Colossians as “he is not reckoned among them of the circumcision.” The date of his conversion is uncertain. It is probable that he was one of the seventy disciples (Luke 10:1-24) and it is also probable that he was one of the two who journeyed with the risen Christ to Emmaus(Luke xxiv).
He was a close friend and confidant of St. Paul, whom Paul referred to on occasion as ``the beloved physician.`` Luke traveled with Paul throughout his journeys, remaining with him through to the close of the apostle’s imprisonment in Rome. The details of these journeys Luke, the Author of the Acts of the Apostles, recovered in that volume.
Character of the Gospel
There is no doubt from the character of the writing that the Gospel was written in Greek. Whilst Hebraisms are frequent, classical idioms and Greek compound words abound.
Ancient tradition (Irenseus, Tertullian, Origen, and Eusebius) holds that Luke wrote his Gospel under the influence of Paul, but other scholars note that the language of the preface is against the notion of any exclusive influence of St. Paul. It seems more just to assume that the Evangelist, who was a highly spiritual man that dedicated his life to the study of the history of the saviour and wrote the document we now have, did so under the influence of the Spirit. It seems more likely that St. Luke gathered information from several sources, including from the preaching of his beloved master, St. Paul; and that Paul too, employed the knowledge collected from other sources by St. Luke.
This Gospel contains:
- A preface; chap. i. 1-4.
- An account of the time preceding the ministry of Jesus; chaps, i. 5 to.ii. 52.
- Several accounts of discourses and acts of our Lord, common to Luke, Matthew, and Mark, related for the most part in their order, and belonging to Capernaum and the neighbourhood; chaps, iii. 1 to ix. 50.
- A collection of similar accounts, referring to a certain journey to Jerusalem, most of them peculiar to Luke; chaps, ix. 51 to xviii. 14.
- An account of the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, common to Luke with the other Evangelists except as to some of the accounts of what took place after the resurrection; chap, xviii. 15 to the end.
Table of Contents
John's testimony of Christ
Christ tempted by Satan
Miraculous draught of fishes
The twelve apostles chosen
Christ's testimony of John
Jairus' daughter raised
How to attain eternal life
Seventy disciples sent out
A dumb devil cast out
Covetousness to be avoided
The crooked woman healed
The great supper
The prodigal son
The unjust steward
The power of faith
The importunate widow
Parable of the vineyard
The widow's two mites
Christ's death and burial
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