THE GOSPEL OF LUKE
1. Who wrote the Gospel of Luke?
Like the other synoptic gospels, the Gospel of Luke is anonymous. It should be noted, however, that the Gospel of Luke is the first half of a two-volume work, the other half being the Book of Acts (see Acts 1:1). Since the same author wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, the latter may be used in helping us to answer some of the six questions relating to the former.
1.1. Internal Evidence
There is no internal, direct evidence for determining the authorship of the Gospel of Luke, but there is some internal, indirect evidence.
1.1.1. The author of the Gospel of Luke described the process by which he prepared himself to write his gospel in Luke 1:2-3. What does this imply about the author?
It implies that the author of the Gospel of Luke was not an eyewitness to the events that he narrated, but was dependent on others for his information.
1.1.2. Judging from the quality of the Greek, the author had a thorough Hellenistic education. The literary quality of the Greek of the Gospel of Luke varies, perhaps depending on the author's sources, but in some places it imitates classical Greek (e.g., Luke 1:1-4). What might this imply about the author’s identity?
It may imply that the author was not a Palestinian Jew, and, therefore, not an apostle. Generally Palestinian Jews were resistant to Hellenism, although this was not always the case.
1.1.3. Inferentially, it is possible to compile a list of candidates for authorship of the Gospel of Luke on the assumption that the author of the Book of Acts is the same as the author of the Gospel of Luke.
A. There are three "we-sections" in the Book of Acts, in which the author describes events in the first person plural; this implies that the author was a participant in the events being related. In particular, the author appears to have been a companion and co-worker of the apostle Paul, because the "we-sections" occur in descriptions of events that occur during Paul’s travels: 1. From Troas to Neapolis (16:10-17); 2. From Philippi to Caesarea Maritima (20:5-21:18); 3. From Caesarea Maritima to Italy (27:1-28:16).
B. The Relevant We-Sections
1. Acts 16:10-17
2. Acts 20:(4)5-15
C. Determination of Authorship of Luke/Acts from We-Sections
By a process of elimination, from two of the"we-sections" and other references in the New Testament, it is possible to infer that Luke was one possible author of the Gospel of Luke. Beginning in Acts 16:10, the author of the Book of Acts includes himself in the narrative, as indicated by his switch to the first-person plural from the third person. (Presumably, the author first joined up with Paul in Troas.) Leaving Troas with Paul, he traveled with him to Samothrace, to Neapolis and then to Philippi (Acts 16:11-12). It seems that Paul then left the author in Philippi, because the author reverts to the third person in describing Paul's activities upon leaving Philippi (see Acts 17:1). While the author was in Philippi, Paul traveled to Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, and then returned to Antioch (Acts 17:1-18:22). Paul next went to Ephesus, where he stayed for three years (see Acts 20:31); he then traveled to Macedonia, spent three months in Greece, went back to Macedonia and then to Troas in Mysia. At this point, the author reappears in the narrative, again as indicated by the fact that he uses the first-person plural. While Paul and his entourage waited for them, the author and some other unidentified people traveled from Philippi (Acts 20:4-6) to Troas. Since he could not have been one of the men who were waiting with Paul in Troas, who was not the author of the Book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke (Acts 20:4)?
The author of the Book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke was not Sopater, son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus (Acts 20:4).
D. If it is possible to compile a complete list of Paul's associates, one of Paul’s associates not listed in Acts 20:4 must be the author of the Book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke. There are two other lists of Paul's associates.
1. Col 4:7-17
The list of Paul’s associates in this list include: Tychicus, Aristarchus, (John) Mark, Jesus who is called Justus, Epaphras, Luke the physician, and Demas.
2. Phlm 23-24
The list of Paul’s associates included in this list include: Epaphras, (John) Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke.
E. Other of Paul's associates mentioned in the Book of Acts and/or in Paul's letters include: Titus, Barnabas, Erastus (Acts 19:22; Rom 16:23; 2 Tim 4:20); Aquila/Priscilla (Acts 18:18; Rom 16:3; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19); Artemas (Titus 3:12); and possibly Tertius (Rom 16:22).
Assuming that these references in conjunction those in Acts 20:4 represent all of Paul's associates, who could have written the Book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke?
The author of the Book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke must have been one of the following: (John) Mark, Epaphras, Demas, Jesus who is called Justus, Luke, Titus, Barnabas, Aquila/Priscilla, Artemas or Erastus. But several of these can be eliminated because they are is referred to in the third person in the Book of Acts, whereas Luke refers to himself in the first person (albeit in the first person plural). Those who must be eliminated for this reason include: (John) Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37, 39), Barnabas (Acts 4:36, 9:27; 11, 12, 13, 14, 15), Aquila/Priscilla (Acts 18) and Erastus (Acts 19:22). This leaves Epaphras, Demas, Jesus who is called Justus, Luke, Titus and Artemas.
1.2. External Evidence
The external, direct evidence from second century sources agrees unanimously that Luke wrote the gospel that bears his name. (Remember that Luke is one of the possible authors, inferred from the internal evidence.)
1.2.1. The Muratorian canon (c. 170) states, "Luke, the physician...wrote in his own name what he had been told (ex opinione), though he himself had not seen the Lord in the flesh."
1.2.2. Irenaeus (130-c.200) writes, "Luke the companion of Paul set forth in a book the gospel a preached by him (Paul)" (Adv. Haer. 3.1.1; see also Adv. Haer. 3. 14.1-3).
1.2.3. Tertullian (c. 160-225) attributes the Gospel of Luke to Luke (Adv. Marc. 4.2.1-5).
1.2.4. The Anti-Marcion Prologue (2nd century) says that Luke the physician from Antioch, Syria wrote the gospel known as the Gospel of Luke.
1.2.5. The Monarchian Prologue (2nd or 3rd century) affirms that Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke.
1.2.6. The oldest manuscript of Luke, the Bodmer Papyrus XIV (p75), dated about 175-225, attributes the Gospel of Luke to Luke, using the title "The Gospel according to Luke."
1.3. Taking both the internal and external evidence into account, what do you conclude about the authorship of the Gospel of Luke?
It is reasonable to conclude that the Luke was the author of the Gospel of Luke.
1.4. Information about Luke is available from internal and external sources.
1.4.1. Based on the occurrence of the first "we-section," it seems that Luke first meets Paul in Troas during the latter's second missionary journey. He then travels with Paul to Macedonia (Acts 16:8-12). After Paul appeals to Cæsar, Luke (and Aristarchus) accompany him from Cæsarea to Rome; this explains the detailed account of the journey and shipwreck (Acts 27-28). Not surprising, Paul mentions Luke in some of his "prison letters" (Col 4:14; Phlm 24). There are three explicit references to Luke in the New Testament (Col 4:14; 2 Tim 4:11; Philemon 24). From what Paul says in Col 4:10-14 it can be inferred that Luke was a gentile. Paul relays greetings to the Colossian church from Aristarchus, Mark, and "Jesus who is also called Justus," and then remarks that "these are the only Jews among my fellow workers." Somewhat later, Paul sends greetings from Luke (Col 4:14); the implication is that he was not a Jew. (See also Acts 1:19, where Luke refers to Aramaic as "their language," implying that he is not to be included as one of "them.") Also in Col 4:14, Paul identifies Luke’s profession as that of a physician. During Paul's second imprisonment, Luke alone remained with Paul (2 Tim 4:11).
1.4.2. External sources give further information about Luke.
A. The Anti-Marcionite Prologue says the following about Luke: “Luke is a Syrian of Antioch, a physician by profession. Having been a disciple of the apostles and later having accompanied Paul until his martyrdom, he served the Lord without distraction, unmarried, childless, and he fell asleep at the age of eighty-four in Boeotia, full of the Holy Spirit.” (Boeotia is in Achaia.)
B. The Monarchian Prologue is almost identical to the Anti-Marcionite Prologue, except it states that Luke died at the age of seventy-four in Bithynia. Some suspect, however, that the word "Bithynia" is a copyist's error for "Boeotia."
C. Eusebius says that Luke was a companion of Paul and by race an Antiochean (a Greek from the city of Antioch). According to Eusebius, Paul adopted Luke’s gospel as his own gospel: “And they say that Paul was actually accustomed to quote from Luke’s gospel since when writing of some gospel as his own he used to say, ‘According to my gospel’” (H.E. 3.4.7; see Quaest. Ev. 4.1.270).
D. Jerome reports that Luke was from Antioch, was a competent writer of Greek, and was associated with Paul: "Luke, a physician of Antioch as his writings indicate, was not unskilled in the Greek language. An adherent of the apostle Paul, and companion of all his journeying, he wrote a Gospel" (de vir. ill. 7). In addition, Jerome says, but without identifying his source, that the man whom Paul sent to Corinth ahead of himself was none other than Luke (2 Cor 8:18: "We send with him a brother whose praise in the gospel is among all the churches"). Jerome also adds that Luke was "buried at Constantinople to which city, in the twentieth year of Constantius, his bones together with the remains of Andrew the apostle were transferred."
E. Epiphanius says that after the death of Paul, Luke preached in Italy, Gaul, Dalmatia, and Macedon. (By Gaul some understand Cisalpine Gaul and others Galatia). (Haer. 51).
1.4.3. Is the information about Luke from the external sources consistent with what is known about him from the New Testament? Do you think that the information about Luke in the external sources is historically reliable?
The information in the external sources about Luke is consistent with what is known about him from the New Testament. Both affirm that Luke was a physician, a gentile and a companion and co-worker of Paul; the external sources further identify Luke as an Antiochean, which is consistent with Luke’s being a gentile. The information about Luke’s marital status is believable, but there may be a discrepancy about when and where Luke died and where he is buried. What Eusebius says about Paul’s use of Luke’s gospel as his own is credible given Paul’s close association with Luke. Epiphanius' statement that Luke preached in certain places after Paul's death is also plausible. Jerome's assertion that Luke is the "brother" mentioned in 2 Cor 8:18 is possible but not provable.
1.5. Luke's Method of Composing His Gospel
Luke's prologue indicates something about his method of composing his gospel (Luke 1:1-3).
From what he says, the following what you conclude about the process by which Luke wrote his gospel? In particular, what do you conclude about Luke's method from his statement that, "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word"? (See also Acts 1:21-22.)
From what Luke says, it must be true that there were previous attempts to write accounts of Jesus' life and work, "the things that were fulfilled among us" or, as Luke says in Acts 1:1, what "Jesus began to do and teach. These writers used as their material information handed down by "eyewitnesses and servants of the word," a designation that probably denotes one group of people, the disciples of Jesus. These men were the ultimate source of information about Jesus. Luke, in dependence upon these previous attempts "to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us" and on the original eyewitness testimony, in whatever form this took, assumed the task of writing a gospel.
In addition, what do you conclude about the process by which Luke wrote his gospel from his statement: "Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, in order that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught"?
his work as being both complete--he says that he investigated everything
from the beginning--and as accurate--he says that his investigation
has been careful and that he has written an orderly account. His goal
was to write a definitive work on the life of Jesus from all the available
2. For whom was the Gospel of Luke written?
2.1. Whom did Luke identify as his intended reader in the Prologue (Luke 1:3).
Luke identified his intended reader as Theophilus.
2.2. It could be that Theophilus
was Luke's patron, paying whatever costs were incurred by the writing
of the gospel. Luke's designation of Theophilus as "most excellent"
probably indicates that he was a man of some rank (see Acts 24:3; 26:25).
But Luke probably also intended a wider readership than just Theophilus.
3. When was the Gospel of Luke written?
3.1. Internal Evidence
There is no internal, direct evidence for dating the composition of the Gospel of Luke, but there is some internal, indirect evidence.
3.1.1. Given that the Gospel of Luke was written before the Book of Acts (Acts 1:1), and that, at the end of the Book of Acts Paul has been a prisoner in Rome for two years (60-62) (Acts 28:30-31), what might you conclude about the date of the composition of the Gospel of Luke?
It is arguable that the Book of Acts was written before Paul's release from his first imprisonment. Luke said nothing about Paul’s release, because it had not yet happened. This would mean that the Gospel of Luke was written even before that.
3.1.2. The Muratorian canon, however, offers this explanation for why Luke omitted events that took place after Paul's two-year imprisonment in Rome as follows:
It seems that the explanation is that Luke did not include accounts of Peter’s death or Paul’s further journeys after his release from his Roman incarceration (to Spain?) because he was not an eyewitness of these events (and presumably because he did not have access to other eyewitness accounts).
If true, what effect would this explanation have on the conclusion about the date of the composition of the Gospel of Luke reached on the basis of Acts 28:30-31?
It would nullify any conclusion that could be drawn from that fact that Paul remains in prison at the close of the Book of Acts.
3.2. External Evidence
Dating the composition of the Gospel of Luke depends on one's conclusions about the nature of the literary relationship between Luke and Mark and Luke and Matthew. (Luke does imply that he used sources in writing his gospel [1:1-3], and the Anti-Marcionite prologue says that Luke had Matthew and Mark available to him when he wrote his own gospel.) If, as is probable, he used the Gospel of Mark as a source, what is the earliest possible date for Luke to have written his gospel?
Luke could not have written his gospel until some time after Mark had written his, in the late 60's.
3.3. What do you conclude about the date of composition of Luke?
of Luke was written after Mark's gospel in the late 60's, but how much
after is difficult to know.
4. Where was the Gospel of Luke written?
There is no internal evidence
for determining where Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke. External evidence
is limited to the statement in the Anti-Marcion Prologue that Luke composed
his gospel "in the regions around Achaia." This is consistent with Luke's
being an associate of Paul, because Paul worked in Achaia.
5. What is the Gospel of Luke?
5.1.1. The Gospel of Luke shares the basic structure of the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew. Luke followed the same geographical outline of a Galilee ministry followed by Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, leading to his arrest, execution and resurrection. As in Mark and Matthew, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus, having hitherto restricted his ministry to Galilee and surrounding regions, sets out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51; see Mark 10:1). This is the major transition in the Gospel of Luke. The reason for this departure is explained not only in Luke 9:51 ("And it happened that when the time had come for him [Jesus] to be received up..."), but also in Luke 18:31-34 = Mark 10:32-34. Jesus' departure for Jerusalem, as in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, is anticipated by Jesus' two predictions of his death (Luke 9:22 = Mark 9:31-33; Luke 9:43b-45 = Mark 9:30-32).
5.1.2. The section before the major transition can be divided into four sections. The author begins the gospel with a Prologue (1:1-4). Following this is a Birth Narrative and Events in Jesus' Childhood (1:5-2:52), after which comes the Preparation for Jesus' Ministry (Luke 3:1-4:13 = Mark 1:1-3). After Jesus' Preparation for Ministry comes Jesus' Galilean Ministry (4:14-9:50). The Gospel of Luke does not have, however, two phases of Jesus' Galilean ministry, because the gospel does not have "Jesus' Rejection at Nazareth" as a middle point in Jesus' Galilean ministry. (Luke's version of Jesus' rejection at Nazareth is positioned at the beginning of Jesus' Galilean ministry [4:16-30].)
5.1.3. The section after the major transition can be broken down into two sub-sections. First comes the Travel Narrative and Judean Period of Jesus' Ministry (9:51-19:27). Chronologically, Jesus leaves Galilee and travels to Jerusalem; this section in Luke is comparatively much longer than its corresponding section in Mark. Following the Travel Narrative and Judean Period of Jesus' Ministry is The Passion and Resurrection Narratives (22:1-24:53).
5.1.4. As will become clear, an analysis of the Gospel of Luke indicates that Luke has used four blocks of Markan material. Although he omits sections of Mark, Luke only infrequently interpolates non-Markan material into these Markan blocks of material: Block One: Luke 4:31-6:11 = Mark 1:21-3:6; Block Two: Luke 8:4-9:50 = Mark 3:31-9:40; Block Three: Luke 18:15-43 = Mark 10:13-52; Block Four: Luke 19:29-22:13 = Mark 11:1-14:16. Also, Luke generally follows the Markan order of the material.
5.2. Outline of the Gospel of Luke
(* = indicates that Luke has substantially more material than that found in Mark, parallel to material in Matthew)
In the Prologue, Luke introduces
his work and dedicates it to the most excellent Theophilus.
B. 1:5-2:52 Birth Narratives and Events in Jesus' Childhood
Gabriel, an angel of the Lord, appears to the priest Zechariah in the Temple and announces that his wife, Elizabeth, will, in her advanced years, give birth to a son, whom he is to name John. This one will be filled with the Spirit and turn to hearts of the father to their children in the spirit and power of Elijah. Because Zechariah does not believe the angel's words, he is struck dumb. Elizabeth becomes pregnant.
Gabriel announces to Mary that she will become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to a son, whom she will name Jesus. Her son will rule on the throne of his father David and his kingdom will have no end.
Mary visits Elizabeth, who, filled with the Holy Spirit, pronounces Mary blessed.
Mary sings to the Lord (The Magnificat).
Elizabeth give birth to John, and Zechariah receives back the power of speech, after he confirms his wife's decision to name their son John.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Zechariah praises God for remembering the covenant with the father and raising up a horn of salvation in the house of his servant David. He also prophesizes that his son will be a prophet and go before the Lord to prepare his ways.
Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem because of a Roman census. While there, Jesus is born.
Angels announce to shepherds that a savior, the Messiah, has been born. They go to Bethlehem to see the newly-born Jesus.
9. 2:21-38 Jesus is circumcised and later Mary goes to Jerusalem to be purified and to offer Jesus to the Lord as her firstborn male. While in the Temple, Simeon rejoices over the sight of Jesus and the prophetess Anna praises God on account of Jesus.
Joseph and Mary return to Nazareth in Galilee with Jesus.
When he is twelve, Jesus
and his parents visit Jerusalem for Passover, but Jesus is left behind.
When later discovered in the Temple by his parents, Jesus expresses
surprise that they would not know that he would be in his Father's house.
C. 3:1-4:13 = Mark 1:1-13 Preparation for Jesus' Ministry
1. 3:1-20 = Mark 1:2-8 (John the Baptist)
* = Matt 3:1-12
2. 3:21-22 = Mark 1:9-11 (Jesus' baptism)
Jesus’ genealogy is provided.
4. 4:1-13 = Mark 1:12-13 (Jesus' temptation)
* = Matt 4:1-11
D. 4:14-9:50 = Mark 1:14-9:41 Jesus' Galilean Ministry
1. 4:14-15 (see Mark 1:14-15)
Jesus, filled with the Spirit, returns to Galilee. A report about him spreads throughout the area and he begins to teach in synagogues.
2. 4:16-30 (see Mark 6:1-6)
In the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus reads Isa 61:1-2 and announces that this prophecy has been fulfilled in their hearing. His Nazarene hearers reject his claim, demanding that he perform miracles to verify his claims. Jesus says that a prophet has no honor in his hometown. He cites the example of Elijah, whom God sent to care for a widow in Sidon and Elisha who heals the Naaman the Syrian, at which the people become angry.
3. 4:31-37 = Mark 1:21-28 (Jesus' exorcism of a man with an unclean spirit)
4. 4:38-41 = Mark 1:29-34 (Jesus' healing of Peter's mother-in-law and others)
5. 4:42-44 = Mark 1:35-39 (Jesus' preaching, healing and exorcising in Galilee)
6. 5:1-11 = Mark 1:16-20 (Jesus' calling of four disciples)
7. 5:12-16 = Mark 1:40-45 (Jesus' healing of a leper)
8. 5:17-26 = Mark 2:1-12 (Jesus' healing of paralytic)
9. 5:27-32 = Mark 2:13-17 (Jesus' calling of Levi)
10. 5:33-39 = Mark 2:18-22 (Jesus' response to criticism that his disciples do not fast)
11. 6:1-5 = Mark 2:23-28 (Jesus' defense of his disciples for plucking grain on Sabbath)
12. 6:6-11 = Mark 3:1-6 (Jesus' healing of man with withered hand)
13. 6:12-16 = Mark 3:13b-19 (Jesus' calling of his disciples)
14. 6:17-20a = Mark 3:7-13a (Jesus' healing and exorcising of many)
In this section, Jesus teaches while standing on a plain.
a. 6:20-23 = Matt 5:1-12 (Beatitudes)
Jesus pronounces woes.
c. 6:27-36 = Matt 5:38-48 (Love of enemies)
d. 6:37-42 = Matt 7:1-5 (Judging)
e. 6:43-45 = Matt 7:15-20 (Tree and its fruit)
f. 6:46-49 = Matt 7:21-27 (House built on rock)
16. 7:1-10 = Matt 8:5-13 (Healing of Roman Centurion)
Jesus raises from the dead the son of a widow at Nain.
18. 7:18-23 = Matt 11:2-6 (Jesus' answer to the question of John the Baptist)
19. 7:24-35 = Matt 11:7-19 (Jesus' Witness concerning John the Baptist)
At a meal, a prostitute bathes Jesus' feet with tears, wipes them with her hair, kisses them and anoints them with perfume. When criticized for allowing such a woman to touch him, Jesus tells a parable about two men, one of whom is forgiven a small debt, while the other a large debt. Jesus asks which of these would love more; the correct answer is the one who is forgiven the larger debt. Jesus then explains the woman is showing great love in gratitude for the forgiveness of her many sins.
Jesus goes through cities and villages proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. A list of some of the women who follow Jesus is provided.
22. 8:4-8 = Mark 4:1-9 (Parable of the sower)
23. 8:9-10 = Mark 4:10-12 (Purpose of parables)
24. 8:11-12 = Mark 4:13-20 (Explanation of parable of sower)
25. 8:16-18 = Mark 4:21-25 (Other parables)
26. 8:19-21 = Mark 3:31-35 (Jesus' true mother and brothers)
27. 8:22-25 = Mark 4:35-41 (Jesus' calming of storm)
28. 8:26-39 = Mark 5:1-20 (Jesus' exorcism of demoniac)
29. 8:40-56 = Mark 5:21-43 (Jesus' healing of woman with bleeding problem and raising of Jairus' daughter)
30. 9:1-6 = Mark 6:7-13 (Jesus' sending out of disciples)
31. 9:7-9 = Mark 6:14-16 (see Mark 6:17-29) (The death of John the Baptist)
32. 9:10-17 = Mark 6:30-44 (Feeding of five thousand)
33. 9:18-20 = Mark 8:27-29 (Peter's confession)
34. 9:21-22 = Mark 8:30-33 (Jesus' prediction of his death)
35. 9:23-27 = Mark 8:34-9:1 (Sayings on discipleship)
36. 9:28-36 = Mark 9:2-10 (Jesus' transfiguration)
37. 9:37-43a = Mark 9:14-27 (Healing of the boy with unclean spirit)
38. 9:43b-45 = Mark 9:30-32 (Jesus' second prediction of his death)
39. 9:46-48 = Mark 9:33-37 (Jesus' teaching about greatness)
40. 9:49-50 = Mark 9:38-41 (The strange exorcist)
E. 9:51-19:27 The Travel Narrative and Judean Period of Jesus' Ministry
On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples are rejected by a Samaritan village. James and John want to call down fire from heaven to destroy the village, but Jesus rebukes them.
2. 9:57-62 = Matt 8:18-22 (The would-be followers of Jesus)
3. 10:1-12 = Matt 9:37; 10:16, 9-10a, 11-13, 10b, 7-8, 14-15 Jesus' sending out of the seventy-two (Note that Matthew has this material in combination with Markan material relating to the sending out of the twelve [Mark 6:6b-13 = Matthew 10:1-16 = Luke 9:1-6])
4. 10:13-16 = Matt 11:20-24 (see Matt 10:40) (Woes to unrepentant cities)
The seventy-two return to Jesus and announce that even demons submit to them. Jesus says that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven, and tells them to rejoice that their names are written in heaven.
6. 10:21-24 = Matt 11:25-27; 13:16-17 (Jesus' rejoicing over the mission of the seventy-two)
7. 10:25-28 (see Mark 12:28-34)
To test him, a scribe asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him what is written in the law. The scribe responds by quoting Deut 6:5 (Love God) and Lev 19:18 (Love neighbor). Jesus commends him for his answer, and says that he fulfils these two commands he will live.
In response to the question of who is one's neighbor, Jesus tells the parable of the good Samaritan. A Samaritan is the only one of four travelers to stop to help a wounded man. Jesus asks which of the four was a neighbor to the wounded man: it is the one who showed him mercy.
While Jesus is staying with the sisters Mary and Martha, Martha complains to him that Mary is not helping her with the work. Jesus gently chides her, saying that Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken from her.
10. 11:1-4 = Matt 6:9-13 (The Lord's prayer)
In order to illustrate the need for persistence in prayer, Jesus tells the parable of a man who importunes his neighbor at midnight, asking him for bread. Jesus says that the neighbor will give the man what he wants simply because of his persistence.
12. 11:9-13 = Matt 7:7-11 (Encouragement to pray)
13. 11:14-23 = Mark 3:20-27 (Jesus and Beelzebub)
* = Matt 12:22-30
14. 11:24-26 = Matt 12:43-45 (The return of the unclean spirit)
Jesus teaches that true blessedness consists in hearing the word of God and obeying it.
16. 11:29-32 = Matt 12:38-42 (Demand for a sign)
17. 11:33 = Matt 5:15 (see Mark 4:21) (Lamp on the lamp stand)
18. 11:34-36 = Matt 6:22-23 (Eye as the lamp of the body)
19. 11:37-54 = Matt 23:25-26, 23, 6-7, 4, 29, 34-36, 13 (Some of the material in Luke is unparalleled in Matthew.) (Jesus' denunciation of the Pharisees and the scribes)
20. 12:1 (see Matt 16:5-6 = Mark 8:14-15)
Jesus warns his disciples against the leaven, i.e., hypocrisy, of the Pharisees.
21. 12:2-9 = Matt 19:26-33 (Confession before men and other sayings)
22. 12:10 = Matt 12:32 (see Mark 3:29) (Sin against the Holy Spirit)
23. 12:11-12 = Matt 10:19 (Assistance of the Holy Spirit)
Jesus warns against greed, and tells the parable of the rich fool, who accumulated much wealth, but did not count of dying. Jesus concludes that a person should store up riches in heaven.
25. 12:22-32 = Matt 6:25-34 (Exhortation not to worry about earthly matters)
26. 12:33-34 = Matt 6:19-21 (Having treasure in heaven)
27. 12:35-48 = Matt 24:43-51 (Exhortation to be watchful servants)
28. 12:49-53 = Matt 10:34-36 (Jesus as the cause of divisions)
29. 12:54-56 (see Matt 16:2-3)
Jesus rebukes his hearers for being able to predict the weather by observing the earth and the sky, but not being able to interpret "this time."
30. 12:57-59 = Matt 5:25-26 (Settling with one's accuser)
Jesus warns his hearers that they must repent or be destroyed.
Jesus tells the parable of a fig tree that does not produce fruit. The landowner orders the gardener to cut it down, but the gardener asks for one more year for the tree, during which time he will add manure to the soil. If after the year the tree is still barren, he will cut it down.
Jesus heals a woman who is bent over because of a demon on the Sabbath. When criticized for healing on the Sabbath, Jesus argues that if a Jew is allowed to water animals on the Sabbath, how much more should he be allowed to heal.
34. 13:18-21 = Matt 13:31-33 (see Mark 4:30-32) (Parables of the mustard seed and the leaven)
35. 13:22-30 = Matt 7:13-14, 22-23 (The narrow door and exclusion from the Kingdom)
36. 13:31-35 = Matt 23:37-39 (Jesus' lament over Jerusalem)
37. 14:1-6 Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath. When censured for healing on the Sabbath, Jesus argues that if a Jew is allowed to pull an animal out of a well on the Sabbath, he should be allowed to heal.
Noticing that people choose places of honor for themselves, Jesus tells the parable of a man who goes to a dinner party and, to his humiliation, is removed from the place of honor he chose for himself in favor of another. The man should have chosen a place of lesser honor and have waited to be moved to a place of greater honor by the host. Jesus concludes that the one who exalts himself will be humbled, while the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
39. 14:15-24 (see Matt 22:1-10)
Someone says to Jesus that blessed is the man who eats bread in the kingdom of God. In response, Jesus tells the parable about a banquet to which none of the invited guests would come. As a result, the host orders his servants to compel the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame to come, for none of the invited will eat of his dinner.
40. 14:25-33 = Matt 10:37-38 (Counting the cost before becoming disciples)
41. 14:34-35 = Matt 5:13 (see Mark 9:49-50) (Parable of salt)
In response to being condemned for eating with sinners, Jesus tells three parables to make the point that God rejoices over the repentance of the lost.
a. 15:1-7 (see Matt 18:12-14)
A shepherd will rejoice more over a sheep that was lost but now is found than he would over the other ninety-nine sheep that were never lost. Jesus concludes that there is more joy in heaven over the one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous.
A woman who loses a coin will look for the lost coin and rejoice when she finds it. In the same way, there is joy among the angels over one sinner who repents.
c. 15:11-32 Parable of the lost son
A son asks his father for his inheritance and, upon receiving it, squanders it in a far-off land. When the son comes to his sense and returns, his father rejoices, although the other brother resents his father's attitude towards his wastrel brother.
Jesus tells a parable about a servant, who when threatened with dismissal for his dishonesty, quickly takes it upon himself to forgive the debts of his master's clients in order to curry favor with them. His master commends him for his shrewdness.
Jesus says that the children of this age are shrewder in dealing with their own generation than the children of light. He advises that his hearers use money to make friends for themselves in order that they be welcomed into eternal dwellings. He adds that whoever is faithful in little is faithful in much, but whoever is dishonest in little is dishonest in much. If a person has been dishonest with money, no one will entrust him with the true. Also if a person has been unfaithful with what belongs to another, no one will entrust to him something of his own.
45. 16:13 = Matt 6:24 (The impossibility of serving two masters)
Jesus rebukes the Pharisees because they make themselves in the sight of others, but God knows the heart.
47. 16:16-17 = Matt 11:12-13; 5:18 (Jesus' teaching about the law and the kingdom)
48. 16:18 = Matt 19:9 (see Mark 10:11-12) (Jesus' teaching about divorce)
Jesus gives the account of a rich man and the beggar Lazarus. When alive, the rich man lived in luxury, while Lazarus lived in poverty. After death, Lazarus goes to be with Abraham, while the rich man is in Hades. The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers, but Abraham says that if they do not heed Moses and the prophets, they will not repent if someone comes back from the dead.
50. 17:1-3a = Matt 18:6-7 (see Mark 9:42) (Jesus' warning against causing offence)
51. 17:3b-4 = Matt 18:15 (Jesus' teaching on forgiveness)
52. 17:5-6 = Matt 17:20 (Jesus' teaching on faith)
Jesus says that, in the same way that a master does not commend his slave for doing what he is supposed to do, so human beings are not to commend themselves for obeying God, but are to consider themselves worthless servants.
On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus heals of ten lepers; only one of them, a Samaritan, returns to thank Jesus and praise God.
When the Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God is coming, Jesus says that the kingdom of God is among them.
56. 17:22-37 = Matt 24:27, 37-39, 17-18, 40-41, 28 (Jesus' description of the day of the son of man)
In order to illustrate the need to pray always and not lose hope, Jesus tells the story of a woman, who, when denied justice, pesters the judge until he becomes so tired of her that he grants her justice. Jesus concludes that God will grant justice to his elect who cry out to him. He asks in conclusion whether the son of man will find faith on the earth when he comes.
Jesus tells a parable in order to warn against the attitude of self-righteousness. A Pharisee and a tax-collector both come to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee thanks God that he is righteous, unlike the tax-collector. The tax-collector simply asks God to be merciful to him, a sinner; only he goes home justified. Jesus adds that the one who exalts himself will be humbled, while the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
59. 18:15-17 = Mark 10:13-16 (Jesus' blessing of children)
60. 18:18-23 = Mark 10:17-22 (Jesus' conversation with the rich young ruler)
61. 18:24-30 = Mark 10:23-31 (The difficulty of the rich being able to enter the kingdom of God)
62. 18:31-34 = Mark 10:32-34 (Jesus' third prediction of his death)
63. 18:35-43 = Mark 10:46-52 (Jesus' healing of a blind beggar)
64. 19:1-10 Jesus and Zacchaeus
Near Jericho, Jesus meets Zacchaeus, who climbs a sycamore tree to see him. Jesus tells him that he plans to stay at his house. Zacchaeus repents, and promises to give half of his possessions to the poor and to pay restitution to all he has cheated. Jesus says that salvation has come to Zacchaeus' house.
65. 19:11-27 = Matt 25:14-30 (Parable of the ten minas)
66. 19:28-44 = Mark 11:1-11 (Jesus' royal entry)
67. 19:45-48 = Mark 11:15-19 (Jesus' cleansing of the Temple)
68. 20:1-8 = Mark 11:27-33 (Jesus' authority questioned)
69. 20:9-19 = Mark 12:1-12 (Parable of the vineyard and the tenants)
70. 20:20-26 = Mark 12:13-17 (Jesus' response to being questioned about paying taxes to Caesar)
71. 20:27-40 = Mark 12:18-27 (Jesus' response to being questioned about the resurrection)
72. 20:41-47 = Mark 12:35-37 (David's son and the Messiah)
73. 20:45-47 = Mark 12:38-40 (Jesus' warning about the scribes)
74. 21:1-4 = Mark 12:41-44 (The widow's offering)
75. 21:5-33 = Mark 13:1-31; 21:34-36
In this section, Jesus describes the coming destruction of the Temple and the coming of the son of man.
a. 21:5-6 = Mark 13:1-2 (The destruction of the Temple foretold)
b. 21:7-11 = Mark 13:3-8 (Signs before the end)
c. 21:12-19 = Mark 13:9-13 (Persecutions foretold)
d. 21:20-24 = Mark 13:14-20 (The desolation of Jerusalem)
e. 21:25-28 = Mark 13:24-27 (The coming of the son of man in the clouds of heaven)
f. 21:29-33 = Mark 13:28-31 (Parable of fig tree and the expectation of the coming of the son of man)
g. 21:34-36 see Mark 13:32-37
Jesus exhorts his disciples to be watchful because the time of the coming of the son of man is unknown.
It is said that every day Jesus teaches in the Temple and spends his evenings on the Mount of Olives. All the people would rise early in the morning to hear him speak.
F. 22:1-24:53 The Passion and Resurrection Narratives
1. 22:1-2 = Mark 14:1-2 (The plot to kill Jesus)
2. 22:3-6 = Mark 14:10-11 (Judas' agreement to betray Jesus)
3. 22:7-23 = Mark 14:12-16 or 17 (Preparation for Jesus' last Passover meal)
During the Passover meal, a dispute arises among the disciples about which of them would be the greatest. Jesus explains that, unlike the nations, the greatest among them would be the youngest and the leader the one who serves.
During the Passover meal, Jesus says that Satan has requested to sift Peter like wheat and he foretells Peter's threefold denial of him.
Before leaving the upper room, Jesus says that a person should sell his cloak and buy a sword, by which he means that danger awaits them. He says that scripture must be fulfilled in him, that he must be counted among the lawless (Isa 53:12).
Jesus and his disciples go to the mount of Olives, where Jesus prays that God would remove "this cup" (i.e., destiny) from him, but he adds that he wants to see his Father's will realized, not his own. He struggles in prayer to the point that his sweat is like great drops of blood. His disciples, however, sleep, for which Jesus rebukes.
Jesus is arrested, being betrayed by Judas' kiss. One of the disciples resists Jesus' arrest and cuts the ear off of one of the servants of the high priest, whom Jesus heals. Jesus remarks that it is unnecessary to come out with clubs and swords as if he were a bandit, because he was in the Temple day after day.
Peter denies Jesus three times while standing in the courtyard of the high priest warming himself by a fire. Upon realizing what he has done, he goes out and weeps bitterly.
Jesus is mocked and beaten by the men holding him. When the day comes, he is brought before the Sanhedrin, which asks him whether he is the Messiah or not. Jesus responds by saying that from now the son of man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God. The Sanhedrin asks him whether he is the son of God, to which Jesus avers. This is sufficient to condemn him.
Jesus is sent to Pilate and his accusers charge him with sedition, claiming to be the king of the Jews. Pilate finds no basis of condemnation, but Jesus' accusers are insistent.
Pilate sends Jesus to Herod, because he discovers that Jesus is a Galilean. Herod interviews Jesus, but Jesus gives no answer. Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, sending him back to Pilate dressed in a purple robe.
Reluctantly, Pilate gives into pressure from Jesus' accusers, and condemns Jesus to die. Pilate would prefer to flog Jesus and then release him; instead Barabbas is released from prison. Pilate symbolically washes his hands of Jesus' execution.
Being led to the place of his execution, Jesus warns that they should not weep for him but for themselves, since judgment is coming upon Jerusalem. Jesus is crucified along with two criminals; he prays that God will forgive those responsible for his death. Jesus is mocked while on the cross and soldiers cast lots to divide up his clothing. The titulus reads, "King of the Jews." One of the criminals next to Jesus derides him, but the other confesses Jesus' innocence and asks Jesus to remember him when Jesus comes into his kingdom. At noon darkness comes over the land, the Temple curtain is torn in two and Jesus breathes his last. The attending centurion confesses that Jesus surely was the son of God.
Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, receives permission from Pilate to take Jesus' body, which he buries in his own tomb. It is the day of preparation, and the women who followed Jesus bring spices and ointments for Jesus' burial preparation.
On the first day of the week, the women come to prepare Jesus' body for burial, but find the stone is rolled away from the tomb, and there is no body in the tomb. Two men in dazzling white clothes tell them that the son of man has been raised from the dead, as he predicted. The women tell the eleven disciples, who are incredulous. Peter, however, runs to the tomb, and finds only Jesus' grave clothes.
17. 24:13-35 22
Jesus appears to two disciples on the Emmaus, but is not recognized at first. Jesus explains to them from the scriptures that it was necessary that the Messiah must suffer these things and then enter into his glory. Jesus agrees to stay with them; just as he is blessing the bread, they finally recognize him, but Jesus disappears.
Jesus appears to his disciples and shows them his hands and feet. He encourages them to touch him and verify that he is not a ghost. He then explains to them from the scriptures that the Messiah must die and be raised again and that repentance and forgiveness of sin is to be proclaimed to the nations in his name.
In Bethany, Jesus ascends to the heavens, while blessing his disciples. They worship him and they return to Jerusalem full of joy.
5.3. The Markan Material in Luke
Clearly, one important written source used by Luke for his gospel was the Gospel of Mark or something very close to it. An analysis of Luke indicates that Luke used four blocks of Markan material. Although he omitted sections of Mark, Luke only infrequently interpolated non-Markan material into the Markan blocks of material that he chose to include. Also, he generally followed the Markan order of the material.
5.3.1. Block One: Luke 4:31-6:11 = Mark 1:21-3:6: Luke added 5:1-11 (The miraculous catch of fish and the calling of the first disciples) (see Mark 1:16-20), and omitted Mark 3:7-12 at Luke 6:11.
5.3.2. Luke 6:12-8:3
(It has also been argued that Luke actually transposed Mark 3:7-12 = Luke 6:17-19 and Mark 3:13-19 = Luke 6:12-16, so that the first block of Markan material in Luke extended until Luke 6:19.)
5.3.3. Block Two: Luke 8:4-9:50 = Mark 3:31-9:40: The order of the appearance of the Markan material is Mark 4:1-25; 3:31-35; 4:35-6:44; 8:27-9:40. Thus, Luke transposed Mark 3:31-35 and Mark 4:1-25, and omitted Mark 4:26-33 at Luke 8:18; Mark 6:45-8:26 at Luke 9:17 and Mark 9:41-10:12 at Luke 9:50.
5.3.4. Luke 9:51-18:14
5.3.5. Block Three: Luke 18:15-43 = Mark 10:13-52: Luke omitted Mark 10:35-45.
5.3.6. Luke 19:1-28
5.3.7. Block Four: Luke 19:29-22:13 = Mark 11:1-14:16: Luke added Luke 19:41-44; 21:34-38, and omitted Mark 11:14-18; 20-25; Mark 12:28-34 (see Luke 10:25-28); Mark 14:3-9.
5.3.8. Luke 22:14-24:53
5.4. The Lukan Passion Narrative
Luke seems to have used a different version of the Passion narrative than that found in his Markan source. This conclusion is based on the fact that there are too many differences between the Lukan and Markan Passion Narratives; these consist of differences in the order of pericopes and differences within individual pericopes. There are enough differences that one must conclude that Luke used a non-Markan source, and interpolated in a few places portions from Mark's Passion and Resurrection Narrative. (The criterion for detecting Markan interpolations in Luke is verbatim agreement between Mark and Luke.) Luke’s independence from Mark begins either at Luke 22:7 or 22:15.
5.4.1. The Order of Pericopes in the Passion and Resurrection Narratives
The order the pericopes in the Lukan Passion and Resurrection Narratives differs from those found in Mark and Matthew in significant ways. See Appendix D: Order of Pericopes in Luke 22:1-24:53. Based on the differences between them, do you think that Luke used Mark as a source?
If the author of Luke used Mark as a source, uncharacteristically he changed the Markan order several times. This suggests, therefore, that the author of Luke did not use Mark, but a literarily independent version of the Passion and Resurrection Narrative with ample parallels to the Markan version.
5.4.2. As compared to Matthew, Luke has many fewer verbatim agreements with Mark in the pericopes belonging to the Passion and Resurrection Narrative. Moreover, in comparison with the Lukan parallels to Mark in the four blocks of Markan material outside of the Passion and Resurrection Narratives, the agreements that do exist between pericopes in the Lukan Passion and Resurrection Narrative with their parallels in Mark are few. Two examples will suffice.
A. Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-22
(Preparation for Passover; Identification of betrayer; Words of institution;
B. Mark 15:33-39; Luke 23:44-48
Do you think that there is enough verbatim agreement between the Lukan and Markan versions of these two pericopes to warrant the conclusion that Luke used Mark's Passion and Resurrection Narrative as a source?
There is inadequate verbatim agreement between the Lukan and Markan versions of these two pericopes to warrant the conclusion that Luke used Mark's version as a source. When compared to very close verbatim agreement in the triple tradition between Luke and Mark outside of the Passion and Resurrection Narratives, one must conclude that the author of Luke did not making redactional alterations to his Markan source, but drew upon a non-Markan source.
5.5.3. Although he chose to follow a non-Markan Passion and Resurrection Narrative, the author of Luke might still have interpolated passages from his Markan source; the criterion for identifying such interpolations is significant verbatim agreement. V. Taylor identifies probable Markan interpolations in Luke as Luke 22:22 = Mark 14:21; Luke 22:34 = Mark 14:30; Luke 222:46b = Mark 14:38; Luke 22:50b = Mark 14:47; Luke 22:52-53a = Mark 14:48-49; Luke 22:54b-61 = Mark 14:54, 67-72; Luke 23:3 = Mark 15:2; Luke 23:26 = Mark 15:21; Luke 23:44-45 = Mark 15:33, 38; Luke 23:50-54 = Mark 15:42-47; Luke 24:10 = Mark 16:1. Whether all of these are actual Markan interpolations may be debated, but some undoubtedly are.
6.1. Based on what he wrote in the Prologue, what was Luke's purpose in writing (Luke 1:1-3)?
Luke states directly why he wrote the Gospel of Luke in Luke 1:1-3: the Gospel of Luke was an attempt to write a definitive work on the life and passion of Jesus, in order that Theophilus might know that what was taught was trustworthy. Luke refers to how "eyewitnesses and servants of the word" passed on information about Jesus ("the things fulfilled among us") (1:2) and says that he was not the first to produce a written gospel: "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us" (1:1). Presumably, Luke had access both to the tradition passed on by the "eyewitnesses and servants of the word" and to at least some of the literary works based on it that preceded his own.
6.2. 5.6. Unlike Mark and Matthew, the author of the Gospel of Luke makes an effort to situate the events described in his gospel in their larger historical context:
5.6.1. Luke 2:1-2: Jesus'
birth is situated historically.
5.6.2. Luke 3:1: John the
Baptist's receiving of the word of God is situated historically.
Why do you think that Luke, unlike the other synoptic writers, aimed to situate Jesus' birth and the receiving of the word by John the Baptist historically? What does this indicate about Luke's purpose in writing?
situated these events historically in order to stress the fact that
the events described in his gospel took place in real history. His purpose
may have been to counter the view that the stories about Jesus circulating
in the early church belong to the realm of legend and myth.
Last Modified On: