For the next many weeks, I will explore “Luke”. The Books of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts comprise some 27.5% of the writings of the New Testament, more than any other single author. Both books were written to tell a chronological story beginning with the birth of Jesus, through his life and his teachings, to his crucifixion and resurrection, and then through the Acts of those who followed Jesus, his Apostles, and the spread of early Christianity beyond the Jewish world into the Roman world.
During these weeks, I will try to answer many questions, including who was the author of these two books, when were they written, where were they written and why were they written. Having said that, I must add immediately, these questions are not subject to answers which are definitive. In most cases there are at least two school of thought: Luke was a companion of Paul, Luke was not a companion of Paul; they books were written in 59 to 63 AD, they were written in 80s to 90s or even later; the Gospel of Luke was written as a historical report, the Gospel of Luke was written as a Gospel. As we delve into the material, we will make sure to review the most important but contrary opinions that revolve around each issue. This means, however, that not every theory will be explored for some theories are without much support or evidence and on that basis, until greater support or evidence will be found, such theories will be disregarded. Nonetheless, if readers of this blog want certain theories investigated, then please feel free to contact this blog and they will be reviewed.
In the parts that follow we will examine other aspects, including the author’s style, characteristics of the manuscripts, the sources from which the books were written, the plan of each book, and the similarities of the books one to the other. We will look at the role and importance of dreams and visions in the narrative.
This process will call first for exploring each book separately and then looking at both books together. While we cannot explore every facet of these books, the inquiry will be exhaustive, rigorous, and complete, but still succinct and direct.
This blog hopes that this journey will be valuable to the reader and will hopefully bring greater clarity to the subject.