Summary: As we begin a study of the Gospel of Luke, let’s look at some of the background behind the book.
Introduction: We are beginning a study of the Gospel of Luke. Since we will spend quite some time in this study, it seems right that we should begin it with some background about the book itself.
I. Who was Luke, the author?
A. He was the same author as the book of Acts.
1. By comparing the vocabulary, main themes, and style of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, experts have concluded that the authors of the two books were the same.
2. This agrees with the tradition of the early church.
3. This belief was never really questioned until modern times.
4. There is no reasonable need to doubt that Luke wrote both books. The two books provide a two-volume history of the beginnings of the church.
B. Luke was trained as a medical doctor. (Colossians 4:14)
1. He writes in a highly educated style. The Greek used in Acts 27 is generally considered to be the most difficult in all the New Testament.
2. Luke uses specific medical terms. (Luke 14:2)
C. Luke traveled with Paul.
2. We can also see this from the "we" passages in Acts. (Acts 16:10). The author switches from 3rd person to 1st person.
D. Luke was not a Jew. (Colossians 4:10-14). He is the only non-Jew known to have written a book of the Bible.
II. Who was Theophilus?
A. His name means "Lover of God."
B. He is the same recipient as the Book of Acts. (Acts 1:1)
C. Some think that he is representative of all those that love God.
D. Most likely a Roman Christian.
III. Why was this book written?
A. "That you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."
B. The book was written as a gospel.
1. "Gospel" was a common term for good news. It was not a religious word. We give it a religious connotation that the first century readers would not have done.
2. We have to remember that Luke was not written to tell the story of the life of Jesus — it was written to explain the death of Jesus.
IV. From studying Luke, we too can learn the certainty of the things that we have been taught. Let us proceed in this study as "lovers of God" so that we can increase our faith in the risen Lord.