Gospel of Luke

Christopher R. Matthews

in Biblical Studies

ISBN: 9780195393361
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:
Gospel of Luke

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The Gospel of Luke provides a narrative account of the birth of Jesus, his public activities in Galilee and Judea, his travel to Jerusalem and teaching there, and his arrest, trial, execution, and resurrection. The same author, who nowhere identifies himself, continued the story in a second book, the Acts of the Apostles, which tells the story of the first decades of what will become the Christian church. Late 2nd-century tradition began to identify the author as Luke, an occasional collaborator with the apostle Paul (see Philem. 24; Col. 4.14; 2 Tim. 4.11), though this connection seems to owe more to apologetic needs (i.e., to establish some connection to an apostolic authority) than to any reliable information about the author’s identity. Modern scholars continue to refer to the author as “Luke,” even though this often is not meant as a claim that the person referred to in Paul’s letters was the actual author. Scholars tend to date the composition of Luke between 85–95 ce, though firm indications are not available (e.g., some would push the date into the 2nd century). The discussion about where Luke wrote is also inconclusive, though the portrayal of Paul in the second book, Acts, might suggest Luke was at home in the general area of the Pauline mission somewhere around the Aegean. In any case, Luke’s actual location in time and space undoubtedly had an important effect on how his Gospel was arranged and why some of its most important themes were treated in the manner in which they are. Accordingly modern readers must be cautious about taking everything they read in the Gospel as an indication of what was going on during the time of Jesus, since in various cases the actual focus of the author’s concern may well be on his own time. The bibliography that follows offers some indications of where to begin research on a variety of important topics that are of central importance to the Lukan Gospel or more generally Luke-Acts as a whole.

Article.  15592 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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