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The Gospel According to Luke

also known as: Gospel of Luke

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This book of the Bible was written by Luke the evangelist. 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.

  1. What is The Gospel According to Matthew?
  2. What is The Gospel According to Mark?
  3. The Gospel According to Luke
  4. What is The Gospel According to John?

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…

The main characteristic of this Gospel, as Farrar (Cambridge Bible, Luke, Introduction) remarks, is fitly expressed in the motto, “Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38; compare Luke 4:18).

This Gospel is indeed “rich and precious.”

“Out of a total of 1151 verses, Luke has 389 in common with Matthew and Mark, 176 in common with Matthew alone, 41 in common with Mark alone, leaving 544 peculiar to himself. In many instances all three use identical language.” (See MATTHEW; MARK; GOSPELS.)

There are 17 of our Lord's parables unique to this Gospel. Luke also records 7 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 Hebrew: shakar, “he is intoxicated”, Leviticus 10:9), probably palm wine.

This Gospel contains 28 distinct references to the Old Testament.

The date of its composition is uncertain. Luke also wrote the Acts of the Aposles, so his Gospel must have been written before 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:

  1. Luke 4:22; with Col. 4:6.
  2. Luke 4:32; with 1 Corinthians 2:4.
  3. Luke 6:36; with 2 Corinthians 1:3.
  4. Luke 6:39; with Romans 2:19.
  5. Luke 9:56; with 2 Corinthians 10:8.
  6. Luke 10:8; with 1 Corinthians 10:27.
  7. Luke 11:41; with Titus 1:15.
  8. Luke 18:1; with 2 Thess. 1:11.
  9. Luke 21:36; with Ephesians 6:18.
  10. Luke 22:19-20; with 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.
  11. Luke 24:46; with Acts 17:3.
  12. Luke 24:34; with 1 Corinthians 15:5

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Article Version: April 15, 2022