1. The Structure of the Gospel of Luke
1.1. The Best Way to Structure the Gospel of Luke
1.1.1. General Comments
The Gospel of Luke shares the basic structure of the gospels of Mark and Matthew. The author follows 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 (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 9:51 ("And it happened that when the time had come for him [Jesus] to be received up..."), but also in 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 (9:22 = Mark 9:31-33; 9:43b-45 = Mark 9:30-32).
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). Then comes the Preparation for Jesus' Ministry (John the Baptist's Preaching, Jesus' Baptism, Jesus' Genealogy, Jesus' Temptation) (3:1-4:13). 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' Galileam 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].)
As in the Gospel of Mark, the section after the major transition in the Gospel of Luke 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, however, 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).
1.1.2. Outline of the Gospel of Luke
(* = indicates that Luke has substantially more material than that found in Mark, parallel to material in Matthew)
A. 1:1-4 Prologue
B. 1:5-2:52 Birth Narratives and Events in Jesus' Childhood
1. 1:5-25 Birth of John the Baptist foretold
2. 1:26-38 Birth of Jesus foretold
3. 1:39-45 Mary's Visit with Elizabeth
4. 1:46-56 Mary's song ("Magnificat")
5. 1:57-66 The Birth of John the Baptist
6. 1:67-80 Zachariah's prophecy about John the Baptist
7. 2:1-7 Jesus' Birth
8. 2:8-21 The Appearance of the shepherds and the heavenly hosts
9. 2:22-38 Mary's purification and the presentation of Jesus at the Temple; Simeon and Anna's words about Jesus
10. 2:39-40 Return to Nazareth
11. 2:41-52 Jesus as a boy at the Temple
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
3. 3:23-38 Jesus' genealogy
4. 4:1-13 = Mark 1:12-13 Jesus' temptations
* = 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) Beginning of Jesus' Galilean ministry
2. 4:16-30 (see Mark 6:1-6) Rejection at Nazareth
3. 4:31-37 = Mark 1:21-28 Exorcism of the man with unclean spirit
4. 4:38-41 = Mark 1:29-34 Healing of Peter's mother-in-law
5. 4:42-44 = Mark 1:35-39 Jesus' departure from Capernaum and preaching in Galilee
6. 5:1-11 = Mark 1:16-20 Calling of four fishermen
7. 5:12-16 = Mark 1:40-45 Jesus' healing of a leper
8. 5:17-26 = Mark 2:1-12 Jesus' healing of a paralyzed man
9. 5:27-32 = Mark 2:13-17 Jesus’ calling of Levi
10. 5:33-39 = Mark 2:18-22 The Question about Fasting
11. 6:1-5 = Mark 2:23-28 Picking grain on the Sabbath
12. 6:6-11 = Mark 3:1-6 Healing of the man with withered hand
13. 6:12-16 = Mark 3:13b-19 Calling of twelve disciples
14. 6:17-20a (see Mark 3:7-13a) Jesus’ healing and exorcising of many people on the plain
15. 6:20b-49 Jesus' sermon on the plain
a. 6:20-26 = Matt 5:3-12 Blessings and woes
b. 6:27-31 = Matt 5:38-42 Teaching about revenge
c. 6:32-36 = Matt 5:43-48 Teaching about loving enemies
d. 6:37-42 = Matt 7:1-5 Judging others
e. 6:43-45 = Matt 7:16-20 (see Matt 12:35) Parable about a tree and its fruit
f. 6:46-49 = Matt 7:21, 24-27 Jesus' parable about the wise and foolish builders
16. 7:1-10 = Matt 8:5-10, 13 Jesus' healing the centurion's servant
17. 7:11-17 Raising of the widow's son at Nain.
18. 7:18-23 = Matt 11:2-6 Jesus' response to John the Baptist's messengers
19. 7:24-28 = Matt 11:7-11 Jesus’ testimony to John the Baptist
20. 7:29-30 Two different responses to Jesus
21. 7:31-35 = Matt 11:16-19 Jesus' judgment of his generation
22. 7:36-50 Jesus' forgiveness of prostitute who repents at a meal
23. 8:1-3 The list of some women who accompany Jesus
24. 8:4-8 = Mark 4:1-9 Parable of the sower
25. 8:9-10 = Mark 4:10-12 Purpose of parables
26. 8:11-12 = Mark 4:13-20 Explanation of parable of the sower
27. 8:16 = Mark 4:21 Lamp on lampstand
28. 8:17= Mark 4:22-23 The hidden revealed
29. 8:18 = Mark 4:24-25 Judgment
30. 8:19-21 = Mark 3:31-35 Jesus’ true mother and brothers
31. 8:22-25 = Mark 4:35-41 Calming of the storm
32. 8:26-39 = Mark 5:1-20 Exorcism of man in region of Gadarenes (Gerasenes?)
33. 8:40-56 = Mark 5:21-43 Healing of the woman with a bleeding problem and raising of Jairus' daughter
34. 9:1-6 = Mark 6:6b-13 Sending out of disciples
35. 9:7-9 = Mark 6:14-16 (see Mark 6:17-22) Opinions about Jesus
36. 9:10-17 = Mark 6:30-44 Feeding of five thousand
Notice the omission from Luke of Mark 6:45-8:26
37. 9:18-20 = Mark 8:27-30 Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi
38. 9:21-22 = Mark 8:31-33 Jesus' first prediction of his death
39. 9:23-27 = Mark 8:34-9:1 Sayings
40. 9:28-36 = Mark 9:2-13 Jesus' transfiguration
41. 9:37-43a = Mark 9:14-29 Exorcism of boy
42. 9:43b-45 = Mark 9:30-32 Jesus' second prediction of his death
43. 9:46-48 = Mark 9:33-37 Teaching about greatness
44. 9:49-50 = Mark 9:38-41 The strange exorcist
E. 9:51-19:27 The Travel Narrative and Judean Period of Jesus' Ministry
1. 9:51-56 The rejection of Jesus by a Samaritan village
2. 9:57-62 = Matt 8:18-22 The would-be followers of Jesus
3. 10:1-12 = Matt 9:37-38; 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. 10:13-15 = Matt 11:21-23 Woes to unrepentant cities
5. 10:16 = Matt 10:40 Disciples as representatives
6. 10:17-20 The return of the seventy-two
7. 10:21-22 = Matt 11:25-27; Praise of Father
8. 10:23-24 = Matt 13:16-17 Disciples’ blessedness
9. 10:25-28 (see Mark 12:28-34) Jesus' answer to the question of how to gain eternal life
10. 10:29-37 Parable of the Good Samaritan
11. 10:38-42 Jesus' visit with Mary and Martha
12. 11:1-4 = Matt 6:9-13 The Lord's prayer
13. 11:5-8 Jesus' use of the story of importunate friend to illustrate the need for persistence in prayer
14. 11:9-13 = Matt 7:7-11 Jesus' encouragement to pray
15. 11:14-23 = Mark 3:20-27 Jesus and Beelzebub
* = Matt 12:22-30
16. 11:24-26 = Matt 12:43-45 The return of the unclean spirit
17. 11:27-28 True blessedness
18. 11:29-32 = Matt 12:38-42 The demand for a sign
19. 11:33 = Matt 5:15 (see Mark 4:21) The lamp on the lampstand
20. 11:34-36 = Matt 6:22-23 The eye as the lamp of the body
21. 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
22. 12:1 (see Matt 16:5-6 = Mark 8:14-15) Warning against hypocrisy (leaven)
23. 12:2-9 = Matt 19:26-33 Confessing God before human beings
24. 12:10 = Matt 12:32 (see Mark 3:29) The sin against the Holy Spirit
25. 12:11-12 = Matt 10:19 The Assistance of the Holy Spirit
26. 12:13-21 Warning against greed and the parable of the rich fool
27. 12:22-32 = Matt 6:25-34 Exhortation not to worry about earthly matters
28. 12:33-34 = Matt 6:19-21 Having Treasure in heaven
29. 12:35-48 = Matt 24:43-51 Exhortation to Being watchful servants
28. 12:49-53 = Matt 10:34-36 Jesus' being the cause of divisions among human beings
30. 12:54-56 (see Matt 16:2-3) Discerning the time
31. 12:57-59 = Matt 5:25-26 Settling with one's accuser
32. 13:1-5 Jesus' warning to repent or be destroyed
33. 13:6-9 Parable of the barren fig tree
34. 13:10-17 Healing of the crippled woman on the Sabbath
35. 13:18-21 = Matt 13:31-33 (see Mark 4:30-32) Parables of the mustard seed and the leaven
36. 13:24 = Matt 7:13-14 The Narrow Gate
37. 13:25-28 = Matt 7:22-23 Rejection at Last Judgment
38. 13:29 = Matt 8:11-12 Coming into the Kingdom
39. 13:30 Last first and first last
40. 13:31-35 = Matt 23:37-39 Jesus' lament over Jerusalem
41. 14:1-6 Healing of the man on the Sabbath
42. 14:7-14 Sayings on conduct at dinners
43. 14:15-24 (see Matt 22:1-10) Parable of the banquet
44. 14:25-33 = Matt 10:37-38 Jesus teaching about counting the cost before becoming disciples
45. 14:34-35 = Matt 5:13 (see Mark 9:49-50) Parable of salt
46. 15:1-7 (see Matt 18:12-14) Parable of the lost sheep
47. 15:8-10 Parable of the lost coin
48. 15:11-32 Parable of the lost son
49. 16:1-8a Parable of the dishonest servant
50. 16:8b-12 Applications of the parable
51. 16:13 = Matt 6:24 The impossibility of serving two masters
52. 16:14-15 The Pharisees rebuked
53. 16:16 = Matt 11:12-13 Law and the Kingdom
54. 16:17 = Matt 5:18 Fulfilling the Law
55. 16:18 = Matt 5:32 (see Mark 10:11-12 = Matt 19:9) Jesus' teaching about divorce
56. 16:19-31 The story about the rich man and Lazarus
57. 17:1-3a (see Mark 9:42 = Matt 18:6) Jesus' warning against causing offence
58. 17:3b-4 = Matt 18:15 Jesus' teaching on forgiveness
59. 17:5-6 = Matt 17:20 Jesus' teaching on faith
60. 17:7-10 Unprofitable servants
61. 17:11-19 Jesus' healing of ten lepers
62. 17:20-21 Jesus' saying that the Kingdom of God is among his hearers
63. 17:22-37 = Matt 24:27, 37-39, 17-18, 40-41, 28 Jesus' description of the days of the son of man
64. 18:1-8 The parable of the persistent widow
65. 18:9-14 The parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector
66. 18:15-17 = Mark 10:13-16 Blessing of children
67. 18:18-30 = Mark 10:17-31 The rich, young ruler
68. 18:31-34 = Mark 10:32-34 Jesus' third prediction of his death
69. 18:35-43 = Mark 10:46-52 Healing of a blind Bartimaeus
70. 19:1-10 Jesus and Zacchaeus
71. 19:11-27 = Matt 25:14-30 The parable of the ten minas
72. 19:28-44 = Mark 11:1-11 Royal entry into Jerusalem
73. 19:45-48 = Mark 11:15-19 Clearing of the Temple
74. 20:1-8 = Mark 11:27-33 Questioning of Jesus' authority
75. 20:9-19 = Mark 12:1-12 Parable of the vineyard and the tenants
76. 20:20-26 = Mark 12:13-17 Paying taxes to Caesar
77. 20:27-40 = Mark 12:18-27 Question about the resurrection
78. 20:41-47 = Mark 12:35-37a David's son and the Messiah
79. 20:45-47 = Mark 12:38-40 Warning about the scribes
80. 21:1-4 = Mark 12:41-44 The widow's offering
81. 21:5-6 = Mark 13:1-2 Destruction of the Temple foretold
82. 21:7-11 = Mark 13:3-8 Signs before the end
83. 21:12-19 = Mark 13:9-13 Persecutions foretold
84. 21:20-24 = Mark 13:14-20 Desolation of Jerusalem
85. 21:25-28 = Mark 13:24-27 Warnings about false Messiahs
86. 21:29-33 = Mark 13:28-31 Coming of the son of man
87. 21:34-36 see Mark 13:32-37 Exhortation to be watchful
88. 21:37-38 General statement that Jesus taught in the
temple and spent his evenings on the Mount of Olives
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
4. 22:24-30 The dispute about greatness
5. 22:31-34 Peter's denial of Jesus foretold
6. 22:35-37 Last words before leaving the upper room
7. 22:39-46 Jesus' prayer on the Mount of Olives
8. 22:47-53 Jesus' arrest
9. 22:54-62 Peter's denial of Jesus
10. 22:63-71 Jesus' scourging and appearance before the council
11. 23:1-5 Jesus' appearance before Pilate
12. 23:6-12 Jesus' appearance before Herod
13. 23:13-25 Jesus' being sentenced to die
14. 23:26-49 Jesus' crucifixion and death
15. 23:50-56a Jesus' burial
16. 23:56b-12 Jesus' resurrection
17. 24:13-35 22 Jesus' appearance to the disciples on the Emmaus road
18. 24:36-49 Jesus' appearance to the disciples
19. 24:50-53 Jesus' ascension
1.2. Another Proposed Structure of the Gospel of Luke
Another way of structuring the Gospel of Luke is proposed by E. Ellis (The Gospel of Luke [Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns, 1974]). He sees Luke as having a much more complex and intricate structure than has been usually recognized. Ellis analyses the gospel as follows: Prologue (1:1-4); The Messiahship of Jesus (1:5-9:30); The Teaching of the Messiah (9:51-19:44); The Consummation of Messiah's Mission (19:45-24:53). The two sections after the Prologue are divisible into six sections, each of which can be further divided into six sub-sections. The final section has three sections, each of which has six sub-sections.
1.2.1. Prologue (1:1-4)
1.2.2. The Messiahship of Jesus (1:5-9:50)
A. The Dawn of the Messianic Age (1:5-2:40)
1. The Vision in the Temple (1:5-25)
2. The Vision of Mary (1:26-38)
3. The Prophecy of Mary (1:39-56)
4. The Prophecy of Zechariah (1:57-80)
5. The Vision of the Shepherds (2:1-20)
6. The Prophecy in the Temple (2:21-40)
B. The Inauguration of Messiah's Mission (2:41-4:30)
1. The Witness in the Temple (2:41-52)
2. The Witness of John the Baptist (3:1-20)
3. The Witness of the Baptism (3:21-22)
4. The Witness of the Genealogy (3:23-38)
5. The Witness of the Temptation (4:1-13)
6. The Manifestation at Nazareth (4:14-30)
C. Acts of Messiah: The Nature of His Authority (4:31-6:11)
1. Healings in Capernaum (4:31-44)
2. The Sign of the Fish (5:1-11)
3. The Healing of a Leper (5:12-16)
4. Healing: A Sign of Divine Forgiveness (5:17-26)
5. The Tax Collectors' Banquet: Sign of the New Age (5:27-39)
6. Messiah: Lord of the Sabbath (6:1-11)
D. Acts of Messiah: The Nature of His Mission (6:12-7:50)
1. Choosing the Twelve (6:12-16)
2. The Great Sermon (6:17-49)
3. The Faith of a Gentile Army Captain (7:1-10)
4. Resurrecting a Widow's Son (7:11-17)
5. Jesus and the Baptist (7:18-35)
6. The Churchman and the Prostitute (7:36-50)
E. Acts of Messiah: The Proclamation of His Kingdom (8:1-56)
1. Sowing the Seed of the Kingdom (8:1-18)
2. Jesus' True Family (8:19-21)
3. Calming the Storm (8:22-25)
4. Healing a Gentile Demoniac (8:26-39)
5. Healing a Woman's Hemorrhage (8:43-48)
6. Raising an Elder's Daughter (8:40-42, 49-56)
F. Acts of Messiah: The Confirmation and Rejection of His Mission (9:1-50)
1. The Mission of the Twelve (9:1-9)
2. Feeding the Five Thousand (9:10-17)
3. The Meaning of Peter's Confession (9:18-27)
4. Jesus Transfigured (9:28-36)
5. Healing of an Epileptic Boy (9:37-45)
6. The Meaning of Greatness in the Kingdom of God (9:46-50)
1.2.3. The Teaching of Messiah (9:51-19:44)
A. The Meaning and Reception of the Kingdom Message (9:51-10:42)
1. Rejection in Samaria (9:51-56)
2. The Demand of Discipleship (9:57-62)
3. The Mission of the Seventy (10:1-20)
4. Who Receives the Kingdom (10:21-24)
5. Who Inherits Eternal Life (10:25-37)
6. The Priority of Hearing the Word of God (10:38-42)
B. Teachings of Messiah: The Kingdom and the Power (11:1-12:34)
1. The Meaning of Christian Prayer (11:1-13)
2. Exorcism: Sign of the New Age (11:14-28)
3. The Real `Sign' in Jesus' Ministry (11:29-36)
4. Alas for the Churchmen and Theologians (11:37-54)
5. A Word to Witnesses and Martyrs (12:1-12)
6. Goals in Life: To Have or to Live? (12:13-34)
C. Teachings of Messiah: The Kingdom and the Judgment (12:35-13:21)
1. A Word to the Servants of the Absent Lord (12:35-40)
2. A Warning to Unfaithful Churchmen (12:41-48)
3. Sign of this Time: Division (12:49-53)
4. Sign of this Time: Approaching Judgment (12:54-59)
5. Demand of this Time: The Fruit of Repentance (13:1-9)
6. The Inevitable Victory of the Kingdom of God (13:10-21)
D. Teachings of Messiah: Who Will Enter the Kingdom? (13:22-16:13)
1. The Rejected Seekers (13:22-30)
2. The God-Forsaken City (13:31-35)
3. The Churchman's Dinner Party--and a Story of Excluded Guests (14:1-24)
4. Three-quarter Discipleship--and a Story of Polluted Salt (14:25-35)
5. The Repentant Sinner: Source of the Joy of God (15:1-32)
6. Faithfulness: The Badge of Acceptable Discipleship (16:1-13)
E. Teachings of Messiah: The Coming of the Kingdom (16:14-18:14)
1. The Rich Man and Lazarus: The Story of a Strange Reversal (16:14-31)
2. The Word to Church Leaders: The Role of the Servant (17:1-10)
3. Healing Ten Lepers: The Grateful Samaritan (17:11-19)
4. A Caution to Anxious Waiters: The Coming of the Kingdom...and of the King (17:20-37)
5. The Judge and the Widow: Justice on Judgment Day (18:1-8)
6. The Churchman and the Politician: Righteousness Claimed vs. Righteousness Given
F. The Road to Jerusalem: Discipleship and the Rejected King (18:15-19:44)
1. Jesus and the Children: Of Such is the Kingdom of God (18:15-17)
2. The Churchmen and the Disciples: Having All vs. Leaving All (18:18-34)
3. Jericho: The Faith of a Blind Man (18:35-43)
4. Jericho: The Conversion of a Rich Politician (19:1-10)
5. Toward Jerusalem: A Story of a Rejected King (19:11-27)
6. Toward Jerusalem: Jesus the Rejected King (19:28-44)
1.2.4. The Consummation of Messiah's Mission (19:45-24:53)
A. Messiah and the Temple (19:45-21:38)
1. The Cleansing of the Temple--and a Story About its Meaning (19:45-20:18)
2. Render to Caesar...and to God (20:19-26)
3. That the Dead are Raised (20:27-40)
4. David's Greater Son (20:41-44)
5. The Churchmen and the Widow (20:45-21:4)
6. The Signs of the Age...and of the End (21:5-38)
B. The Meaning of Messiah's Death (22:1-23:25)
1. The Plot to Kill Jesus (22:1-6)
2. Messiah's Consecration to Death: The Last Supper (22:7-38)
3. Messiah's Consecration to Death: The Prayer (22:39-46)
4. The Betrayal (22:47-53)
5. The Denial (22:54-62)
6. The Trial: The Consummation of the Plot to Kill Jesus (22:63-23:25)
C. The Glorification of Messiah (23:26-24:53)
1. The Way of the Cross (23:26-31)
2. The Crucifixion (23:32-49)
3. The Burial (23:50-56)
4. The Empty Tomb: The Message of the Angels (24:1-12)
5. The Emmaus Appearance: The Message of Jesus (24:13-32)
6. The Appearance in Jerusalem: The Commission of Jesus (24:33-53)
While some of his classifications of
material are insightful, overall Ellis' proposed structure does not do
justice to the way that Luke has organized the material at his disposal,
or more precisely his lack of organization of it. To classify 9:51-19:44
as "The Teaching of the Messiah" overlooks the fact that there is a substantial
amount of teaching material in 1:5-9:30. For example, in 6:17-49 (The Great
Sermon) is included in the section called "Acts of Messiah: The Nature
of His Mission" (6:12-7:50). Other such discrepancies can be enumerated.
Luke has organized his material much too loosely to permit a structure
as elaborate and intricate as Ellis has proposed.
2. Observations concerning the Composition of the Gospel of Luke
2.1. Luke's prologue indicates something about his method of composing his gospel (Luke 1:1-3):
"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. 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."
From what he says, the following conclusions can be drawn about the process by which Luke wrote his gospel (see J. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke 1.287-302; N. Stonehouse, Origins of the Synoptic Gospels, chap. 6.):
2.1.1. 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 (see Acts 1:21-22).
2.1.2. 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. He characterizes his work as being both complete--he says that he investigated everything from the beginning (parhkolouqhko,ti a;nwqen pa/sin)--and as accurate--he says that his investigation has been careful and that he has written an orderly account (parhkolouqhko,ti avkribw/j kaqexh/j soi gra,yai).
2.2. Clearly one important written source used by Luke is the Gospel of Mark or something very close to it. An analysis 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. Also, he generally follows the Markan order of the material. (See T. Schramm, Der Markus-Stoff bei Lukas, 5-6; J. Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, 3. ed., 96-100.)
2.2.1. The Markan Material in Luke
A. Block One: Luke 4:31-6:11 = Mark 1:21-3:6: Luke adds 5:1-11 (The miraculous catch of fish and the calling of the first disciples) (see Mark 1:16-20), and omits Mark 3:7-12 at Luke 6:11.
B. Luke 6:12-8:3
(It has also been argued that Luke actually transposes 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 extends until Luke 6:19 (see W, Kuemmel, Promise and Fulfillment [3. ed.; London: SCM, 1961] 30-31).
C. 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 transposes Mark 3:31-35 and Mark 4:1-25, and omits 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.
D. Luke 9:51-18:14
E. Block Three: Luke 18:15-43 = Mark 10:13-52: Luke omits Mark 10:35-45.
F. Luke 19:1-28
G. Block Four: Luke 19:29-22:13 = Mark 11:1-14:16: Luke adds Luke 19:41-44; 21:34-38, and omits Mark 11:14-18; 20-25; Mark 12:28-34 (see Luke 10:25-28); Mark 14:3-9.
H. Luke 22:14-24:53
2.2.2. The Proto-Luke Hypothesis
The particular arrangement of Markan material in Luke has given rise to what is called the "Proto-Luke hypothesis," which proposes that the author of Luke wrote a gospel using Q, his special source (L) (of whatever these consisted) and a non-Markan Passion and Resurrection Narrative (see below). Later, he incorporated four blocks of material from his (newly-discovered?) Markan source into his original gospel (see B. Streeter, The Four Gospels, 233-70; V. Taylor, Behind the Third Gospel). It seems, however, that such a hypothesis is too difficult to prove; it remains only an attractive possibility.
2.3. The so-called Q material in Luke is situated differently than in Matthew. (See "The Synoptic Question" for a list of the order of the appearance of this body of material shared by Luke and Matthew.) On the assumption that Luke had access to one or more written or oral sayings source(s), it seems that either he or Matthew or both has changed the order of this material. If these sources were largely collected of isolated sayings, there would be no reason for Luke or Matthew to retain the original order of these sayings. (As already indicated, the fact that there is such a wide range of agreement between Luke and Matthew with respect to double tradition could indicate that there were different collections of either written or oral material, so that Q denotes nothing more than all of these sources taken together.)
2.4. The fact that Luke has a body of material unique
to it could indicate that the author of Luke had access to material unavailable
to the other writers or at least not used by them. It is always possible,
however, that Luke has material that Matthew does not because the author
of Matthew chose not to include this material in his gospel. The following
is a list of the so-called "L" material, traditions found only in Luke:
|1:5-2:52 Birth Narratives and Events in Jesus' Childhood|
|3:10-14 The Baptist's preaching|
|3:23-38 Jesus' genealogy|
|4:16-30 Jesus' rejection at Nazareth|
|5:4-9a Miraculous catch of fish|
|5:39 Old and new wine|
|7:11-17 The raising of the widow's son at Nain|
|8:1-3 The list of some women who accompany Jesus|
|9:51-56 The rejection of Jesus by a Samaritan village|
|9:61-62 The would-be follower of Jesus|
|10:17-20 The return of the seventy-two|
|10:25-28 Jesus' answer to the question of how to gain eternal life|
|10:29-37 Parable of the good Samaritan|
|10:38-42 Jesus' visit with Mary and Martha|
|11:5-8 Jesus' use of the story of importunate friend to illustrate the need for persistence in prayer|
|11:27-28 True blessedness|
|12:1 Warning against hypocrisy (leaven)|
|12:13-21 Warning against greed and the parable of the rich fool|
|12:35-38 Exhortation to watchfulness|
|12:47-48 The servant's reward|
|12:49 Jesus' mission|
|12:54-56 Discerning the time|
|13:1-5 Jesus' warning to repent or be destroyed|
|13:6-9 Parable of the barren fig tree|
|13:10-17 Healing of the crippled woman on the Sabbath|
|13:30 The last first and the first last|
|13:31-33 Herod's desire to kill Jesus; his departure from Galilee|
|14:1-6 Healing of the man on the Sabbath|
|14:7-14 Sayings on conduct at dinners|
|14:28-32 Conditions of discipleship|
|15:8-10 Parable of the lost coin|
|15:11-32 Parable of the lost son|
|16:1-8a Parable of the dishonest steward|
|16:8b-12 Two applications|
|16:14-15 The Pharisees rebuked|
|16:19-31 The story about the rich man and Lazarus|
|17:7-10 Unprofitable servants|
|17:11-19 Jesus' healing of ten lepers|
|17:20-21 Jesus' saying that the Kingdom of God is among his hearers|
|17:28-32 Days of the son of man|
|18:1-8 The parable of the persistent widow|
|18:9-14 The parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector|
|19:1-10 Jesus and Zacchaeus|
|19:39-40 Answer to Pharisees|
|19:41-44 Lament over Jerusalem|
|20:18 Strength of stone|
|21:18, 21b, 22, 24, 28 Destruction of Jerusalem|
|21:34-36 Exhortation to be watchful because the time of the coming of the son of man is unknown|
|21:37-38 General statement that Jesus taught in the temple and spent his evenings on the Mount of Olives|
|22:3a Satan's entering Judas|
2.5. 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 has 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.
2.5.1. The Order of Pericopes in the Passion and Resurrection
|1. 26:1-5||1. 14:1-2
Plot to kill Jesus
|2. 26:6-13||2. 14:3-9
Anointing at Bethany
|3. 26:14-16||3. 14:10-11
Judas' agreement to betray Jesus
|4. 26:17-20||4. 14:12-17
Preparation for Passover
|5. 26:31-35||5. 14:18-21
Identification of betrayer
Eschatological Saying (Longer version)
|6. 26:26-28||6. 14:22-24
Words of Institution
|7. 26:29||7. 14:25
|8. 26:30||8. 14:26
Departure to Mount of Olives
Dispute about greatness
Jesus’ Conferring of Kingdom on the disciples
|9. 26:31-35||9. 14:27-31
Jesus' prediction of Peter's betrayal
|10. 26:36-46||10. 14:32-42
Jesus in Gethsemane
|11. 26:47-56||11. 14:43-52
|12. 26:57-68||12. 14:53-65
Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Peter’s denial of Jesus
|13. 26:69-75||13. 14:66-72
Peter’s second and third denial of Jesus
|See Luke 22:56-62|
|14. 27:1-2||14. 15:1
Jesus delivered to Pilate
Death of Judas
|15. 27:11-14||15. 15:2-5
Jesus’ appearance before Pilate
Jesus sent to appear before Herod
Pilate’s declaration of Jesus’ innocence
|16. 27:15-23||16. 15:6-14
|17. 27:24-26||17. 15:15
Jesus delivered to be crucified
|18. 27:27-31a||18. 15:16-20a
Jesus mocked by soldiers
|19. 27:31b-32||19. 15:20b-21
The journey to Golgatha
|19. 23:26-32 (Longer version)|
|20. 27:33-27||20. 15:22-26
|21. 27:38||21. 15:27 (28)
Two thieves crucified with Jesus
|22. 27:39-40||22. 15:29-30-1-32a
Jesus derided by people
|23. 27:41-||23. 15:21-32a
Jesus derided by Jewish leaders
|24. 27:44||24. 15:32b
Jesus derided by the two thieves crucified with him
|24. 23:39-43 (Longer version)|
|25. 27:45-54||25. 15:33-39
|26. 27:55-56||26. 15:40-41
Witnesses of crucifixion
|27. 27:57-61||27. 15:42-47
The Guard at the tomb
|28. 28:1-8||28. 16:1-8 (Shorter ending of
The empty grave
|29. 28:8-10||29. 16:9-11
Jesus’ appearance to the women
Report of the guard
Jesus’ appearance to two disciples in the country
|30. 24:13-35 (longer version)|
Jesus’ appearance to the eleven
|31. 24:36-43 (longer version)|
|32. 28:16-20||32. 16:14-18
Jesus’ command to disciples to preach good news in all the world
Preaching of good news bu disciples
Jesus’ explanation of death and resurrection from scripture
|33. 24:50-53 (longer version)
If the author of Luke is using Mark as a source, uncharacteristically he changes the Markan order several times. This suggests that the author of Luke is not following Mark, but a literarily independent version of the Passion and Resurrection Narrative (see Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, 96-100; Streeter, The Four Gospels, chap. 8; Schramm, Der Markus-Stoff bei Lukas, 5-6; Patsch, Abendmahl, 94)
2.5.2. Luke has many fewer verbatim agreements with Mark in his pericopes in the Passion and Resurrection Narrative than does Matthew; there are in fact so many fewer agreements--as compared to the Lukan parallels to Mark in the four blocks of Markan material outside of the Passion and Resurrection Narratives--that one must conclude that the author of Luke is not making redactional alterations to his Markan source, but is drawing on a non-Markan source. Two examples will suffice:
A. Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-22 (Preparation for Passover;
Identification of betrayer; Words of institution; Eschatological saying)
12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14 And wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher says, “Where is my guest room in which I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”' 15 And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” 16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 17 When it was evening he came with the twelve.
18 As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray me -- one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be grieved and to say to him one by one, “Surely not I?" 20 And he said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with me in the bowl. 21 “For the son of man is to go just as it is written of him; but woe to that man by whom the son of man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
22 While they were eating, he took some bread, and after a blessing he broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” 23 And when he had taken a cup and given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
25 ”Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the
fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of
7 Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.” 9 They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?” 10 And he said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 12 And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.” 13 And they left and found everything just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
14 When the hour had come, he reclined at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have greatly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when he had taken a cup and given thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And when he had taken some bread and given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.» 20 And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
21 “But behold, the hand of the one betraying me is with
mine on the table. 22 For indeed, the son of man is going as it has
been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed.”
B. Mark 15:33-39; Luke 23:44-48 (Jesus’ death)
33 When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi. Eloi, Lama sabachthani,” which is translated, «My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.” 36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave him a drink, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. 38 And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of him, saw the way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the son of God.”
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell
over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured;
and the veil of the Temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying
out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Having said this, he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion
saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man
was innocent.” 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle,
when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.
2.5.3. Although he chooses to follow a non-Markan Passion and Resurrection Narrative, the author of Luke may 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 (Passion Narrative, 32-33; Behind the Third Gospel, 74, 124). Whether all of these are actual Markan interpolations may be debated, but some undoubtedly are.
2.6. 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:
2.6.1. Luke 2:1-2: Jesus' birth is situated historically.
|1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.|
2.6.2. Luke 3:1: John the Baptist's receiving of the word
of God is situated historically.
|Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.|
This probably indicates the author's desire to stress the fact that the events described in the gospel took place in real history, as opposed to the mythological past.
2.7. In composing his gospel, Luke seems to have particular interests, as inferred from the frequency with which he includes certain types of material relative to the other synoptic writers.
2.7.1. It is generally recognized that there is a stress on prayer in the Gospel of Luke, more than in the other synoptic gospels:
A. Luke records nine occasions when Jesus is said to have prayed, only two of which are contained in the other synoptic gospels:
1. Luke 3:21: Jesus prays at his baptism.
|Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while he was praying, heaven was opened…|
2. Luke 5:16: Jesus often withdraws into the desert to
|But Jesus himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.|
3. Luke 6:12: Jesus prays before he chooses the twelve.
|It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.|
4. Luke 9:18-22: Jesus prays alone.
|18 And it happened that while he was praying alone, the disciples were with him, and he questioned them, saying, "Who do the people say that I am?" 19 They answered and said, "John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again." 20 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." 21 But he warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, "The son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day."|
5. Luke 9:29: Jesus prays at the transfiguration.
|And while he was praying, the appearance of his face became different, and his clothing became white and gleaming.|
6. Luke 10:17-21 = Matt 11:25-27: Jesus prays when the
70 return. (In Matthew the prayer occurs when the 12 return.)
|17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name." 18 And he said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." 21 At that very time he rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in your sight."|
7. Luke 11:1: Jesus is praying before the disciples ask
him to teach them how to pray.
|It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples."|
8. Luke 22:31-32: Jesus says that he will pray for Peter.
|31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."|
9. Luke 22:39-46 (see Mark 14:32 = Matt 26:36): Jesus
prays in Gethsemane.
|39 And he came out and proceeded as was his custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed him. 40 When he arrived at the place, he said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and he knelt down and began to pray, 42saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation."|
10. Luke 23:34: Jesus prays on the cross.
|But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up his garments among themselves.|
11. Luke 23:46: Jesus prays as he dies.
|And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last.|
B. In addition, two of the parables unique to the Gospel of Luke deal with prayer (11:5-8; 18:1-8)
1. Luke 11:5-13
|5 Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs."|
2. Luke 18:1-8
|1 Now he was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2 saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’" 6 And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7 now, will not God bring about justice for his elect who cry to him day and night, and will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you that he will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?»|
2.7.2. The Gospel of Luke stresses the role of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of Jesus and in relation to the disciples. The following are references to the Spirit that unique to the Gospel of Luke:
A. Luke 1:35: The Spirit will cause Mary to conceive.
|The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy child shall be called the son of God.|
B. Luke 1:67: Zechariah prophesizes being filled with
|And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying…|
C. Luke 4:1: Jesus is said to be filled with the Spirit
after his baptism.
|Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness.|
D. Luke 4:14: Jesus is said to have returned to Galilee
in the power of the Spirit.
|And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through all the surrounding district.|
E. Luke 4:18: Jesus says that he is the one described
in Isa 61:1-2.
|"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed."|
F. Luke 10:21: Jesus is said to have rejoiced in the Holy
|21 At that very time he rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in your sight."|
G. Luke 24:49: Jesus instructs the disciples to stay in
the city until they are endowed with power from on high.
|"And behold, I am sending forth the promise of my Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."|
2.7.3. The author of the Gospel of Luke seems to have an interest in how women related to Jesus, judging from the fact that the following such references are unique to the Gospel of Luke:
A. Luke 7:11-17 The healing of the son of the widow of Nain
B. Luke 8:2-3 Reference to the women who traveled with Jesus (Mary Magdalene, Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household, Susanna and many others)
C. Luke 10:38-42 Mary and Martha
D. Luke 11:27 A woman who calls out to Jesus
E. Luke 13:10-13 The healing of a woman on the sabbath
F. Luke 23:27-29 Reference to large number people, including women who followed Jesus and Jesus' words to them
G. Luke 23:55 Reference to the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee following Joseph and making preparations for Jesus' burial
H. Luke 24:1-10 The experience of the women at the empty
3. The Conditions of the Production of 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.
3.1.1. Internal Evidence
There is no internal, direct evidence for determining the authorship of the Gospel of Luke, but there is some internal, indirect evidence.
A. The author of the Gospel of Luke described the process by which he prepared himself to write his gospel in Luke 1:2-3. The fact that he implies that he was dependent upon what was "handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word" in order to write his gospel leads to the conclusion that the author was not an eyewitness. This means that he was not one of the disciples.
B. 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). This fact may be interpreted to mean that the author was not a Palestinian Jew, and, therefore, not a disciple. Although not all were adverse to it, generally Palestinian Jews were resistant to Hellenism.
C. 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.
1. There are "we-sections" in the Book of Acts implying that the author was a participant in the events described; in particular the author appears to have been a companion of Paul, because the "we-sections" occur in descriptions of the events that described Paul’s apostolic activities (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1-28:6).
2. The Relevant We-Sections in the Book of Acts for a Determination of Authorship
a. Acts 16:10-17
|10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11 So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis; 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. 14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us. 16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."|
b. Acts 20:(4)5-15
|4 And he [Paul] was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. 5 But these had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas. 6 We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days. 7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. 9 And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him." 11 When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. 12 They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted. 13 But we, going ahead to the ship, set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for so he had arranged it, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. 15 Sailing from there, we arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos; and the day following we came to Miletus.|
3. By a process of elimination, from two of these "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 20:5) to Troas. Since he could not have been one of the men who were waiting with Paul in Troas, 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).
4. 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.
A. Col 4:7-17:
|7 As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. 8 For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts; 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number. They will inform you about the whole situation here. 10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas' cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); 11 and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas. 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house. 16 When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. 17 Say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."|
The list of Paul’s associates included in this list include: Tychicus, Aristarchus, (John) Mark, Jesus who is called Justus, Epaphras, Luke the physician, and Demas.
B. Philemon 23-24:
|23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.|
The list of Paul’s associates included in this list include: Epaphras, (John) Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke.
C. 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, 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, Erastus, 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.
3.1.2. 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.)
A. 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."
B. Irenaeus (130-c.200) wrote, "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).
C. Clement of Alexandria (150-215) attributes the Book of Acts to Luke: “As Luke in the Acts of the Apostles relates that Paul said…” (Strom. 5.12).
D. Tertullian (c. 160-225) attributed the Gospel of Luke to Luke (Adv. Marc. 4.2.1-5).
E. The Anti-Marcion Prologue (second century) says that Luke the physician from Antioch, Syria wrote the gospel.
F. The oldest manuscript of Luke, the Bodmer Papyrus XIV (p75), dated about 175-225, attributes the Gospel of Luke to Luke.
1.3. Taking both the internal and external evidence into account, 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. There are three references to Luke in the New Testament (Col 4:14; 2 Tim 4:11; Philemon 24). As already indicated, Luke was one of Paul’s associates. 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 (Col 4:14).
1.4.2. External sources give further information about Luke.
A. 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’" (HE 3.4.7.).
B. 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."
C. The Monarchian Prologue is almost identical to the Anti-Marcionite Prologue, except it states that Luke died at the age of seventy-four in Bythinia.
D. 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 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 seems to be some discrepancy about when and where
Luke died. What Eusebius says about Paul’s use of Luke’s gospel as his
own is credible given Paul’s close association with Luke.
3.2. Intended Readership
Luke identified his intended reader as Theophilus (Luke 1:3). It could be that Theophilus was Luke's patron, paying whatever costs were incurred by the writing of the gospel. His 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.
3.1. 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), 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:
"Moreover the Acts of the Apostles are included in one book. Luke addressed them to the most excellent Theophilus, because the several events took place when he was present; he makes this plain by the omission of the passion of Peter and of the journey of Paul when he left Rome for Spain."
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, this explanation would nullify any conclusion that could be drawn from that fact that Paul remains in prison at the close of the Book of Acts (Acts 28:30-31).
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 Luke could not have written his gospel until some time after Mark had written his, in the late 60's.
3.3. In conclusion, the Gospel of Luke was written after
Mark's gospel in the late 60's, but how much after is difficult to know.
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.
6.1. 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.
6.2. As already indicated, unlike Mark and Matthew, Luke
made an effort to situate the events described in his gospel in their larger
historical context. (Luke 2:1-2; 3:1). This indicates that he wanted to
stress the fact that these events actually took place, and did not have
the status of legend or mythology.