|The Gospel of Luke is a synoptic Gospel, and is the third and longest
of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament. The text narrates the life
of Jesus of Nazareth. The gospel opens with the miraculous births of John the
Baptist and of Jesus. Jesus, born to the Virgin Mary, has a humble birth in a
stable, and is attended by shepherds. Jesus leads a ministry of preaching,
exorcism, and miracles in Galilee. His divine nature is revealed to chosen
disciples at the Transfiguration, after which he and his disciples travel to
Jerusalem, where he stolidly accepts crucifixion according to divine plan. The
resurrected Jesus appears to his disciples on Sunday and ascends bodily to
heaven that evening.
The author, traditionally identified as Luke the Evangelist, is
characteristically concerned with social ethics, the poor, women, and other
oppressed groups. Certain popular stories on these themes, such as the prodigal
son and the good Samaritan, are found only in this gospel. This gospel also has
a special emphasis on prayer, the activity of the Holy Spirit, and joyfulness.
Donald Guthrie claimed, ?it is full of superb stories and leaves the reader with
a deep impression of the personality and teachings of Jesus."
The author intended to write a historical account bringing out the theological
significance of the history. The author's purpose was to portray Christianity as
divine, respectable, law-abiding, and international. Scholarship is in wide
agreement that the author of Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. In fact,
"the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles originally constituted a
two-volume work." In some editions of the Bible, Luke-Acts has been presented as
a single book. Both Luke and Acts are addressed to Theophilus, and there are
several theories concerning why.
Modern critical scholarship concludes that Luke, like Matthew, relied on Mark
for its chronology and on the sayings gospel Q for many of Jesus' teachings.
Luke might also rely on independent written records. There are two serious
possibilities regarding the date of composition, either being in the early 60s,
or in the later decades of the 1st century. Also missing from the Gospel is any
mention of the Death of James in 62 AD. Along with the absence of the
destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD, this clearly points to an earlier
date for the writing of the Gospel.
View the Chapters Of Luke: