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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

Luke

- Luke

by Rhoderick D. Ice

INTRODUCTION TO LUKE

Luke, “our dear doctor” (Colossians 4:14), was a doctor of medicine and a historian. He was a close companion of Paul, and was with him during both the first and second imprisonments at Rome (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:11). He was not a Jew. His name, his style of writing, and his pattern of thought, all point to Greek training. He may have been one of the first Gentile converts at the metropolitan city of Antioch (Acts 11:20-21), where the first Gentile church outside the borders of Palestine was planted.

Both Matthew and John were “eyewitnesseses” of the life of Christ. Mark based his work on the “eyewitness account” of Peter. Luke draws on authentic material already in circulation, and carefully studies and compares it [he says this in Luke 1:1-4], probably consulting with Paul about it. In every case, these writers wrote under the guidance of God [INSPIRATION] and what they wrote was EXACTLY what God wanted them to write (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Evidence points to Luke writing this Gospel while Paul was imprisoned at Caesarea (Acts 23:33; Acts 24:27). Luke probably wrote the Acts during Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome, since he was there with him, and, because the Book of Acts terminates with Paul’s first imprisonment and mentions nothing of the years between the release in 63–64 A.D. and the second imprisonment of 68 A.D. Luke’s statement in Acts 1:1 shows the Gospel of Luke already written when the Acts is begun. With the death of Jesus being in 30 A.D. [by the corrected calendar], this means both Luke and Acts were written within 34 years of the Cross. In fact, of all the New Testament writers, only John wrote later than this, toward the end of the First Century [the Gospel of John , 1, 2, 3 John, Revelation].

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From THE BIBLE, AUTHORIZED VERSION to commemorate THE THIRD JUBILEE of THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. 1804–1954.