The Book of Luke is the third book of the New Testament, and is named after its author, Saint Luke. In the Bible, the gospel of Luke was written around the same time as the gospel of Mark, and likely took into consideration its contents. It is believed that one of Jesus’ disciples, John Mark, was the author of the gospel of Mark, but who wrote Luke? Some Bible scholars believe that Luke was not an eyewitness of the events described in this book and thus could not have written it himself, while other scholars agree that he was a companion of Paul and a key witness to the events in the gospel.
The traditional authorship of the gospel of Luke is often attributed to the Doctor of the Church St. Luke. St. Luke was considered one of the four evangelists, along with Matthew, Mark and John. Although he is not explicitly named in the gospel, it is believed that the gospel of Luke was written by the same author as Acts (the continuation of the gospel). The author of the gospel of Luke was likely a Gentile Christian, since he wrote in Greek, which was not the language of Jesus’ original preaching. In the Acts of the Apostles, the author of Luke and Acts mentions Paul’s journey to Rome, thus it is assumed that he was a travel companion of Paul and so he was an eyewitness to some of the events.
There are several clues in the Bible which point to St. Luke as the author of the gospel.Theophilus, is mentioned in Luke 1:3 as the person to whom the gospel is addressed, and Old Testament references used in the gospel point to a Gentile author. Some Bible scholars also believe that the Greek style of writing and the grammatical constructions indicate that its author was a well-educated Greek-speaking gentile.
The earliest Christian writings—Clement of Alexandria, Origin, Iraneus and Origen—all confirm that the gospel of Luke was written by Saint Luke. Moreover, both Clement of Alexandria and Origin positively attribute the authorship of the gospel to Saint Luke. Furthermore, Tertullian and Eusebius record that Saint Luke was a companion of St. Paul, lending credibility to the theory that the gospel was written by a Gentile Christian.
Analysis of the Evidence
The evidence for who wrote the gospel of Luke is both internal and external. On the one hand, certain textual clues in the gospel point to St. Luke as its author, such as Old Testament references and the Greek style of writing and grammar. On the other hand, external evidence from Christian sources also support St. Luke as the author of the third gospel.
The circumstances of St. Luke’s authorship of the gospel is significant in the development of the New Testament canon and biblical theology. Although the authorship of Luke is not explicitly stated in the book itself, the early church accepted it as written by St. Luke based on external evidence. This then lends credence to the canonical legitimacy of this gospel, as well as its importance in the development of Christian theology.
Significance to Christianity
The book of Luke is the longest among the four gospels, and has played a profound role in the development of the Christian faith. The book emphasizes the importance of In the gospel, Jesus is presented as the perfect example of how to lead a holy and virtuous life, and his teachings and miracles illustrate his power, love and mercy. Thus, the book of Luke serves as an example of Christian faith and a model for living a life of righteousness and virtue.
Messiah and Redeemer
The book of Luke portrays Jesus as the Messiah and redeemer of the world. He is presented as the fulfilment of the promises of God to Israel, the son of the Most High who will bring peace and reconciliation to God’s followers. He is revealed to us as our Saviour who came to save us from sin, death, and the law. Through his teachings and his ultimate gift of sacrifice and resurrection, Jesus offered us a way to a life of faith and peace.
The book of Luke is an important part of the formation of Christology—the study of the nature, purpose and mission of Jesus—which is the foundation of Christian theology. Throughout the gospel of Luke, Jesus is presented as the Messiah the prophet Isaiah spoke of, and the one sent from God with a mission to redeem the world from sin and death. He is presented as the divine son of God who came to save us from our sins, and to give us hope for life beyond death.
The book of Luke is an integral part of the New Testament and has been embraced by Christians over the centuries as a key source of faith, hope, and understanding. Whether written by St. Luke or not, its message of God’s mercy and grace, Jesus’ example of love and forgiveness, and His mission to redeem the world all articulate the Christian faith. As we look at the gospel of Luke, we can gain insight into the life and ministry of Jesus, the example of what it means to be a faithful follower of God, and a reminder of the power of grace and redemption.