Summary: The Study Of Luke and John

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The Study Of Luke and John

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


The third book in the New Testament is Luke. Luke contains twenty-four chapters. It is one of the longest books of the New Testament. The books of Luke and Acts go together. Luke records "all that Jesus began both to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1) during His ministry upon the earth. Acts continues the account by relating what Jesus did through His apostles after He ascended back to Heaven.

The human author of the book of Luke is not mentioned in the book which bears his name. However, it has been the universal belief of all faithful Bible students from the very beginning that Luke wrote both Luke and Acts. The Muratorian Canon, written about 170 A.D. says: “The Gospel of Luke stands third in order, having been written by Luke, the physician, the companion of Paul, who, not being himself an eyewitness, based his narrative on such information as he could obtain, beginning from the birth of John.” Luke and Acts are both addressed to Theophilus (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). The first chapter of Acts simply begins where the last chapter of Luke stops.

Luke is mentioned by name three times in the New Testament (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24; and 2 Timothy 4:11). When Paul wrote his last letter, he stated, "Only Luke is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11). Luke was a physician. He was a Greek and the only Gentile who was inspired to write a part of the New Testament. Luke traveled with Paul on his second and third missionary journeys. He joined Paul at Troas (Acts 16:10) and traveled with him until Philippi (Acts 16:40). He rejoined Paul on Paul’s third missionary journey (Acts 20:5). Luke remained with Paul after that. He went with Paul when Paul was taken as a prisoner to Rome (Acts 27:1). He was with Paul during this last Roman imprisonment (2 Timothy 4:11). In Acts, we can know when Luke was with Paul for he includes himself by saying “we.” When he says “they,” we know he was telling what happened to Paul and others when he was not present.

It is commonly accepted that Luke wrote the book which bears his name while Paul was in prison in Caesarea (Acts 23:23-32). This places the time of writing about the year 61 A.D. At Caesarea, Luke had opportunity to visit the places where Jesus had lived, and to speak with eyewitnesses who had known Jesus on the earth.

Luke emphasizes that Christ is the Savior of the whole world (Luke 2:32). He traces the family lineage of Jesus all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:38). He mentions Gentiles more than Matthew, Mark or John. Only Luke records the references to the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian (Luke 4:25-27). Only Luke records the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and the story of the Samaritan leper who alone thanked Jesus for healing him (Luke 17:12-19).

Luke contains much which is not found in Matthew, Mark or John. Only he records the birth of John the baptist (Luke 1) and the birth and early life of Jesus (Luke 2). Only in Luke are found the parables of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10), the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21), and the lost sheep, lost coin, and Prodigal Son. Luke is also the only inspired writer who tells of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16) and the thief on the cross who believed in Jesus (Luke 23:39-43).

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