Intro to Luke

The gospel according to Luke was one of only two New Testament letters written by a gentile man by the name of Luke. Probably written around A.D. 60-70

Luke was a physician and most likely a contemporary of Paul. Paul mentions him in his letter to the Colossians is the “beloved physician”. It is quite possible that Luke was one of Paul’s converts during Paul’s first missionary trip to Antioch at around 46 A.D., however there is no evidence to state this as fact.

Luke was a native of Antioch, a well-respected Greek community of that day with all major roadways to other cultures passing through it (e.g. The Silk Road and the Persian Royal Road). Antioch would have had a population of roughly 500,000 people at that time. Luke noted in ACTS that in Antioch they were first called Christians. In later history, Antioch would be known as “the cradle of Christianity”.

Being a gentile, Luke’s gospel was written mostly from a gentile perspective, including the genealogy of Christ as it traces through the lineage of Mary (unlike Matthew’s account). More than half of Luke’s gospel has content not found in any of the other three gospel accounts. This could possibly be due to the fact most of his writings would have been based on eyewitness accounts from the disciples, Paul, and possibly even Mary herself. Luke was a meticulous historian in his writing accounts (see Luke 3:1-2).

Luke’s letters are addressed to “Theophilus”, or “lover of God”. This could have been an individual or it could have been a title for the church. It is believed that Luke was killed by Nero, the same Emperor who killed Paul.