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Who is Luke?

The person who wrote the third gospel never revealed his identity. All we know is he wrote two books. His books comprise almost one third of the New Testament. We know he was highly educated, wrote in perfect Greek, was well read and probably was a gentile, although he may well have been a convert to Judaism. We also know from his second book “The Acts of the Apostles” that the author travelled with Paul.

In Colossians 4:14 Paul tells the church that a doctor called Luke sends his greetings to the church. In 2 Corinthians 8:18 Paul sends a man to the church in Corinth, who he describes as “one who is praised for his gospel” or “service to the gospel.” Many believe this is the author of the third gospel. People over the years have placed these two texts together and have ascribed authorship to Luke.

Ultimately we don’t really know and ultimately it doesn’t matter! But I like to think that church history has value and I stand in that tradition and I affirm that a doctor called Luke, a gentile convert to Judaism first and then Christianity, wrote a gospel and then a report on what the apostles accomplished.

What really matters is not who wrote the book, but who he wrote the book about! Luke wants to tell us of Jesus compassion for the needy, for the widow, for the poor, for the sinner.

That is what we will concentrate on in this blog, not who wrote, but who he wrote about and what that means for our lives

As an aside, the feast day of St. Luke is 18th October. Here is a prayer for his feast day from the Common Book of Prayer:

Almighty God, who calledst Luke the physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist, and physician to the soul: May it please thee that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord

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