The third of the Synoptic Gospels. Its attribution to St Luke is widely accepted. It forms a single work with the Acts of the Apostles. The prediction of the fall of Jerusalem in more precise terms than in Mt. and Mk. has suggested a date of composition after 70 ad, but this inference has been contested. Most modern scholars hold that the author drew on Mk. and the so-called ‘Q’; some think that his second source was Mt. He was perhaps writing for readers outside the Christian circle; he certainly presents his material in the most favourable light from the point of view of the Roman authorities.
The narrative opens with an account of the births of John the Baptist and of Christ, and then generally follows the same course as Mk. (and Mt.), though it differs at some points. Passages peculiar to Lk. stress the Lord's kindness and human understanding and His care for the outcast and the poor. There are many references to women not found in the other Gospels. Lk. assigns a more prominent place to prayer in the picture of Christ and stresses the activity of the Holy Spirit both in the events of the Lord's life and as the guide and inspiration of the Christian community. An important feature of Lk. and Acts is the insistence that the salvation offered by Christ's life, death, and teaching is addressed to all, and not to the Jews only.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.