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"Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28, King James Version)

The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel…

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Can We Trust the Gospels?: Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John [Mark D
The next higher critical question is, if Luke and Acts were written by the same person, who was that person? The oldest manuscript with the start of the gospel, Papyrus Bodmer XIV (ca. 200 CE), proclaims that it is the , the Gospel according to Luke. This attestation probably does not stem from reading Irenaeus ( 3.1.1) or Tertullian ( 4.2.2), nor Clement of Alexandria ( 2.1.15 and 5.12.82), who also ascribe the third Gospel to one called Luke. Indeed, considering that the immediate recipient of Luke is mentioned in the preface, and given that the author of the third Gospel is aware that many other accounts have been drawn up before him, it is entirely probable that the author had indicated his name on the autograph. (The "most excellent Theophilus" mentioned in the preface of Luke is most likely his patron, as seen in the similar references to "most excellent X" in the prefaces to the of Galenus, the of Dionysius Halicarnassensis, the of Melampus, the of Nepualius, and both and of Josephus.) This Luke has traditionally been identified as the one named in Philemon 24 as a co-worker of Paul. Does the internal evidence support the idea that the author of Luke-Acts had known Saul of Tarsus?

Gospel of Luke - Early Christian Writings: New …

Information on the Gospel of Luke
Joseph A. Fitzmyer writes: "In any case, it may seem strange that the reader is not told anything about the death of Paul, the hero of the second half of Acts. Yet the ending, such as it is, may not be as puzzling as some think, because it does record that Paul continued to preach the kingdom of God, even in Rome, 'with all boldness and without hindrance' (28:31). That is the note of triumph on which Luke wanted his story to end. The gospel was thus being preached at Rome, the 'end of the earth' (1:8), 'and without hindrance' (28:31). The reader of Acts already knows that Paul's personal end was not far off; the Lucan Paul intimated as much in his speech at Miletus, and so Luke felt no need to recount it. Homer's Iliad is not seen to be incomplete because it does not describe Achilles' death!" (, pp. 791-792)

 

St Luke Catholic Church Biography


That Luke was aware of Paul's death is indicated in Paul's farewell speech at Miletus: "But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. . . . When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all. They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship." (Acts 20:25-38)


The ending of Acts is part of Luke's narrative plan from the beginning. The ending of Acts with Paul in Rome forms an with the words of Jesus at the ascension in Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." The city of Rome was considered an extremity to the West, and the book of Acts portrays the fulfillment of this exhortation, carried throughout the narrative, with the climax of the confident and unhindered preaching of Paul in the capital of the Empire. This is not to suggest that Luke saw the preaching of Paul at Rome as being a one-off supernatural fulfillment of the commission, such that it would not have been in the works during the earlier evangelisation or that it could not have continued with other prophets. But the ending of Acts recalls the beginning and indicates that Luke has completed his work as intended. Paul's death at the hand of Roman authority does not advance Luke's point about the faithfulness of God to His people in the spread of the gospel, first to the Judeans, but expanding to the Gentiles, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But Acts 28:25-28 does advance that point:


Luke shows Paul beginning a local church with women converts

Hans Conzelmann is more brief: "The final point is made clearly: , 'unhindered'--an appeal to Rome. The reference to the , 'two years,' certainly assumes that this situation of Paul was terminated. The farewell speech in Miletus leaves no doubt as to how this came about: Paul was executed. But Luke did not wish to tell about that. The purpose of the book has been fully achieved; therefore we ought to reject all hypotheses which understand the book as incomplete or which declare the ending to be accidental." (, pp. 227-228)

Was Paul For or Against Women in Ministry?

Ancient tradition is unanimous in ascribing the third Gospel to St. Luke. Unfortunately we do not have the complete text of Bishop Papias' testimony on the Gospel editions ( see above chapters 2 and 3), so that we do not know what he said about St. Luke. (180 A.D) tells us: "Luke, Paul's companion, put down in his book the Gospel which Paul preached." We find more information in an old treatise, known as the "": (2nd-3rd cent.)

Was Paul For or Against Women in Ministry

Why would Luke have waited twenty years or more from his arrival in Rome with Paul to his composition of Luke-Acts? The explanation could be very simple: after twenty years, Luke had received a copy of Mark's Gospel and decided to write his own version of the story, putting things in order (over against the "many" who have written before him) based on his own investigations, in response to the prompting of his patron, most excellent Theophilus. See the prologue--it doesn't say, "Whew! I just got to Rome and Paul might be killed soon, so let me tell the story of how it all began when I'm still busy making it happen!" Rather, it says, "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, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." Perhaps Luke took a visit to the holy land to do more investigation of the subject and interview these servants of the word. In any case, the author of Luke in the prologue indicates that he wrote his great work at a time that was (1) at the prompting of Theophilus, likely his patron and (2) when "many" had already written accounts, which Luke would like to set in order and (3) after carefully investigating everything as handed down by the servants of the word. This fits best a time after which Luke had settled down to do teaching of his own, not when he was waiting on the results of the trial of his mentor Paul.