Why the Gospel According To Luke Should Be Discounted
About the Author, Luke the Greek Gentile
Dr. Luke had the distinct honor of being the only non-Jewish writer of the New Testament. If that is the case, then it would rule out Church traditions that identified him with Lucius (Acts 13:1; Rom. 16:21; Wenham 1991b; Lewis 2010), or one of the "seventy" (Luke 10:1-20), or the companion of Cleopus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24; 13-33). In fact, Luke implies in the introduction to his gospel that he had not seen the Lord, but rather, heard about events in the life of the Lord Jesus from other eye-witnesses (Luke 1:2) (Luke The Physician: with 'Medicine for the Souls' www.biblearchaeology.org).
He was born in Antioch to Greek parents. Apparently, his parents were well off because he was able to obtain an unusual education and training to be a medical doctor. However, it is said that he was raised in the "Hellenistic Way". This means that Luke grew up believing in the teachings and philosophies of Socrates and Plato. Thus, it was only natural that he believed that he had an immortal soul, which would survive physical or biological death. Did Luke's socialization or upbringings influence his style of writing? In all likelihood, it did, given that Luke was a human being like the rest of us and indeed was influenced according to what he grew up believing.
Although he was probably a contemporary of Jesus Christ (i.e., he was actually alive during Christ's life), he did not witness anything that Christ did during his three and half year ministry. He was a Greek Gentile. He probably heard about Christ after his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. It is possible that he was among the Greek Jews, although he was not Jewish by birth, who witnessed the impact of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. He probably heard them speaking in his language although they had not been educated men like himself. It is possible that he became convicted and probably became a member of the Body of Christ, or early Church in Jerusalem. There is no written evidence that he actually became a Christian, but subsequent letters from the Apostle Paul whom he joined on missionary journeys referred to him as a brother in Christ.
Luke Gospel Is A "Hearsay" Gospel
If Luke was the author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, the course and nature of his ministry maybe sketched in more detail from both texts. He excludes himself from those who were eyewitnesses of Christ's ministry. He indicates participation in the Pauline mission by the use of the first person in the 'we' sections of Acts. They suggest that Luke shared in instructing persons in the Christian message and possibly in performing miraculous healings www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Luke).
The Gospel writer Luke as educated and eloquent writer as he was, never witnessed anything that Jesus did during his ministry. His Gospel writing along with that of Mark are basically pieced together from other Gospel books, or as theologians and Bible scholars say from those eyewitnesses who were with Jesus Christ during the time of his three and half year ministry. However, the actual number of followers is said to be about one hundred and twenty (120) people in total. Thus, it is possible that Luke managed to obtain details from several of these individuals. Nevertheless, the Gospel according to the famous Dr. Luke is a hearsay Gospel. What does "hearsay" mean? According to Webster dictionary:
Hearsay is information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate; rumor. In law it is defined as the report of another person's words by a witness, usually disallowed as evidence in a court of law.
Hearsay is unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge (www.Dictionary .com)
Given the definition of hearsay, the obvious question that a reasonable person should raise is why would any Christian believer put any credence in the Gospel according to Luke. Luke may have been well educated and a doctor, but he never witnessed any aspect fo Christ's ministry and thus his work should not be relied on by any Christian believer over the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of John. It is possible that many of the words written by Luke could have been made up, or simply did not come out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. Again, a reader must consider Luke's background as well as Jesus Christ background. Luke was born raised a Greek and Christ a Jew. The Jews and Greeks when it came to religion were miles apart in what they believed and accepted.
Luke's Gospel Advocates Consciousness After Death
It has been argued by theologians and Bible scholars that the Gospel according to Luke was placed in the canonized Bible to support the fact that the Catholic Church embraced the "immortality of the soul" theology. This theology is encapsulated in the parable of "the Richman and Lazarus" (Luke 16: 19-32). It is the only Gospel book that has this parable. Despite the fact that it was supposedly a parable that Christ taught and many argue it should not be taken literally, the writer achieved his intended purpose of convincing believers that there is consciousness after Adam's death. If a Christian believer accepted this teaching, they would indeed believe that they possess an immortal soul which supposedly cannot die. Luke further attempted to reinforce his belief in the immortal soul in Luke 23:40-42 with the crucifixion of Christ and two thieves. Every Christian believer clearly understands the question asked by the thief on the left and the answer that Jesus gave. Proponents of the immortal soul theology point to this passage of scripture. In addition, they point to Paul's comments at Philippians 1:21. Despite an overwhelming consensus, these scriptures do not support the immortal soul or even entrance into Heaven. What many Christian believers do not comprehend is that the dead do not know that they are dead (Ecclesiastes 9:1-10), and thus are not aware of the passage of time. Even if Paul implied that he would be with Christ as soon as he died, he probably was not aware of the fact that an enormous about of time would be before his resurrection. The same argument could apply to the thief on the cross. This argument is further strengthened by Job's comments at Job 14: 13-15. What is interesting that most Christian believers miss is that there can be no ascension into Heaven until a person is resurrected from the dead. Christ had to await his resurrection prior to his initial ascension to Heaven (John 20:17). The Bible states that Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected and transformed, but that many would follow (see Romans 8:29
Moreover, Luke's Gospel directly conflicts with Old Testament books like Psalm and Ecclesiastes as well as Job and Ezekiel. While these books advocate that the body, including soul, returns to the grave (i.e., Psalm 16 calls it "Sheol"), but the spirit returns to the Maker, Luke strongly advocates conscious thought after death (i,e., Adam's death). Luke creates confusion for Christian believers and forces them to indeed believe that they possess immortal souls. Luke's Gospel is the only book in the Bible that blatantly conflicts with or simply contradicts other books, especially Ezekiel 18:4. It also conflicts directly with another Gospel book, John 3:13.
Lake of Fire & Brimstone
Luke Gospel Does Not Mention the Lake of Fire & Brimstone
Despite the reference to torment and torture in Luke 16:19-32, the Gospel does not specifically refer to the actual Lake of Fire and Brimstone. The "Hell" referred to in Luke 16:19-32 is a place of torment and torture. The beings undergoing the torment and torture are indeed human souls. What is interesting about Luke 16:19-32 is that Satan is never mentioned, nor are any of the demons. Of course, Satan was not there because he told us in Job 1 that he spends his time roaming the earth supposedly looking for victims to deceive. This Hell that Luke refers to is a non-existent hell. It is made up, and is the basis for the Catholic Church's purgatory, or the Greek Hades.