The longest book in the new testament written in Koine Greek by Luke, a traveling companion of the apostle Paul. Luke questioned numerous eyewitnesses to give evidence of what was being taught about Jesus. He addresses his findings to Theophilus, who might be either a new believer in a position of authority or a term used to address anyone who loves Christ.
Why write another Gospel?
When Luke sat down to write his account, the Gospel of Mark and probably even Matthew’s Gospel already existed. Then why did he decide to write another book on the life of Christ?
Being a physician by profession, Luke records the same incidents from a totally different perspective. He aims to record eyewitness facts and did not bother if his account was contradictory to the other Gospels. He believed in the legitimacy of the Gospel but tried to fill the gaps in the eyewitness accounts of Matthew and Peter (who most probably narrated his eyewitness account to Mark).
Only Luke and Matthew mention the events surrounding the Birth of Jesus but Luke goes one step further and also records the birth of John the Baptist who was to prepare the way for Christ.
While the other Gospels were written by Jewish authors, Luke writes the events from the point of view of a Gentile. No wonder why he constantly mentions the ignored sect of the Jewish cultures, the widow’s, the prostitutes (women in general), the tax collectors and the non-Jewish crowd. Some passages that the other authors fail to record could be for the same reason.
- The People of Nazareth try to kill Jesus. Luke 4:16-30
- Jesus anointed by a prostitute. Luke 7:36-50
- Jesus visits Martha and Mary. Luke 10:38-42
- Jesus meets Zacchaeus. Luke19:1-10
As a prelude to the Acts of the Apostles, the book of Luke served as an affirmation to the early church of what they already knew. From the perspective of modern-day scholars, the inclusion of details and timelines of significant events of the world history, help them to date these events in and gives a historical account of the life of Jesus. And for us, the book of Luke is another Gospel of Jesus from the perspective of an outsider to the Jewish community, like many of us.