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Paul's first imprisonment in Rome, Luke is one of Paul's "fellow-workers" who send greetings, and in 2 Timothy (iv. 11), which was written during Paul's second imprisonment when many of his friends had forsaken him, we find the brief but weighty statement, "Only Luke is with me."

Of Luke's nationality and of his history previous to his association with the apostle we have but scanty information. From the distinction drawn between him and those "of the circumcision" (Col. iv. 11-14) it may be inferred that he was of Gentile extraction; and this inference is confirmed by his Greek name and the character of his style, which-except when he is drawing from older documents or reporting speeches conveyed to him by others—is more classical than that of the other Gospels, in the structure of the sentences and the choice of words, as well as in the use of an opening dedication, which is a feature quite foreign to the Hebrew style. According to Eusebius and Jerome, who wrote in the fourth century, Luke was a native of Antioch in Syria. Of this confirmation is found in the full account he gives of the Church at Antioch, and also in his description of Nicolas as "a proselyte of Antioch" (Acts vi. 5).1 But the place where Luke seems to have been most at home and to have rendered the greatest service was Philippi, and with that city some modern writers connect him. His meeting with Paul at Troas (Acts xvi. 10) seems to have had a close bearing on the apostle's mission to Europe; and if he was a native of Philippi, this would account for their going to preach there first, and for Luke's rejoining

1 A parallel has been drawn between this circumstance and the mention made by two Scottish authors alone (Scott and Alison), out of eight writers who give an account of Napoleon's Russian campaign, of the fact that General Barclay de Tolly was of Scottish extraction.

the apostle in the same city six or seven years afterwards (see p. 51, note 1).1

While tradition has always ascribed the third Gospel to Luke, it has assigned to Paul a somewhat similar part in its production to that which Peter bore in relation to the Gospel of Mark. Such a connection is rendered probable both by what we know of the relations between Paul and Luke, and by the character of the Gospel itself, which is so liberal and philanthropic in its tone as to form an excellent historic groundwork for the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, which was characteristic of Paul's preaching.2 There is also a striking similarity between the words attributed to our Lord in the institution of the Supper (xxii. 19, 20) and those in 1 Cor. xi. 24, 25 (Luke having doubtless often heard Paul use the words in the celebration of the Sacrament), as well as in the accounts which the two books give of our Lord's appearances after His Resurrection (Luke xxiv.; 1 Cor. xv. 1-7). The duty of prayer and the influence of the Holy Spirit, which figure so largely in this Gospel,3 are also characteristic of Paul's writings; and there are certain forms of expression which are common to them both, e.g. a threefold classification of ideas (xv. 3, 8, 11; ix. 57-62; xi. 11, 12; cf. 1 Cor. xiii. 13; Eph. iv. 4-6).

1 In The Expositor, May 1895, p. 395, Professor Ramsay says: "That Renan was right about Luke's European and Macedonian origin I cannot doubt. Acts is the composition of a Greek, and specially of a Macedonian; its peculiar tone and emotion can be explained or appreciated on no other view."

2 This is the element of truth lying at the bottom of the Tübingen theory, which represents the third Gospel as an attempt to magnify Paul at the expense of the Judaizers.

3 It represents Jesus praying- at His baptism (iii. 21); before choosing His apostles (vi. 12, 13); at His transfiguration (ix. 28, 29); for His murderers (xxiii. 34); and commending His spirit into His Father's hands (xxiii. 46). It has two parables inculcating earnestness in prayer: the appeal to friend at midnight (xi. 5-13); the importunate widow (xviii. 1-8). The Holy Spirit is mentioned four times in the first chapter, viz. at verses 15, 35, 41, 67.

From his preface we learn that it was Luke's object to draw up in as complete and consecutive a form as possible an account of the main facts regarding Christ's person and work, by reference to the most authentic and reliable sources of information. His missionary travels with Paul would afford excellent opportunities for collecting such information. In particular the two years which he seems to have spent in Cæsarea during Paul's detention by Felix, where he was within two days' journey of the shores of Lake Gennesaret, the scene of many incidents in our Lord's ministry, would enable him to obtain at first hand, from brethren who had been eyewitnesses, many of those narratives which are only to be found in this Gospel.1 His high Christian character gave him a moral fitness for the work, while his culture and the love of accuracy manifest in his historical and topographical allusions,2 marked him out as a suitable instrument in the hands of Providence for writing the Gospel story in a form as well adapted for the philosophical Greeks as Matthew's Gospel was to be for the theocratic Jews and Mark's for the practical Romans.

2. Date of Composition. The date of its composition is uncertain. It may have been as early as 60 a.d., at the close of the two years which Luke spent with Paul at Cæsarea; or it may possibly have been during Paul's im

1 No doubt sometimes delivered orally and sometimes in the form of a written narrative, as indicated in i. 1. Hence the contrast between the Aramaic style of the Gospel generally (and of the earlier part of the Book of Acts) and the classical Greek of Luke's own opening dedication. His informant with regard to the Saviour's infancy and childhood may have been no other than Mary herself.

2 E.g. in giving dates (ii. 2, iii. 1-3) and in the mention of our Saviour's age when He began His public ministry (iii. 23). But see p. 54 (on the Book of Acts): "The man who in the anxiety and weariness of a tempestuous voyage, even in a wreck, was able to observe and record with such demonstrated accuracy the incidents of his adventure, must be worthy of credit in any case in which he pledges himself to have carefully investigated the facts that he records as true."

prisonment at Rome, 61-63 A.D., or even some years later; but in any case anterior to the Book of Acts, as the preface to the latter implies.

3. Character and Contents.—If St. Matthew's Gospel may be styled the Messianic Gospel and St. Mark's the realistic Gospel, St. Luke's may be fitly described as the catholic Gospel-foreshadowing the expansion of God's kingdom in the future as the first Gospel reflects its history in the past, and the second describes its energy in the present. It is not only more comprehensive in its range, beginning with the birth of the forerunner and ending with an account of the Ascension,1 but it also brings out more fully the breadth of Christ's sympathy and the fulness and freeness of His love. In illustration of this we may note the following points: (1) The Gospel of Luke traces Christ's genealogy, not, as Matthew's does, by the legal line to Abraham, the head of the Jews, but by the natural line to Adam, the head of humanity (iii. 38), forming thus a fit introduction to the life of Him who was to be the Kinsman - Redeemer of the whole human family. (2) It exhibits more clearly the reality of Christ's humanity in the various stages of human life (ii. 4-7, ii. 21, 22, ii. 40, ii. 42, ii. 51, 52, iii. 23), and brings into special prominence His dependence upon God in the great crises of His life, when He had recourse to Him in prayer (iii. 21; vi. 12, 13; ix. 28, 29; xxiii. 34, 46), while it inculcates earnestness in prayer by two parables peculiar to itself (xi. 5-13; xviii. 1-8). (3) In keeping with this view of it as the gospel of humanity, we find that it represents Christ's teaching not so much in its theocratic as in its human aspects—its usual formula

1 No information is given with regard to either of these events in any of the other Gospels, except the bare allusion to the Ascension in. the disputed passage of Mark (xvi. 19): "So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God."

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in the introduction of a parable being not "the kingdom of heaven is like," as in Matthew's, but " a certain man made a great supper" (xiv. 16), "a certain man had two sons" (xv. 11), etc. (4) It represents Christ as farreaching in His sympathies, full of compassion for the poor, the weak, the suffering, and ready to forgive the chief of sinners. It is in this Gospel we find the parables of The Rich Man and Lazarus (xvi. 19), The Pharisee and Publican (xviii. 9), The Prodigal Son (xv. 11), and The Two Debtors (vii. 41-43). It is here we find a record of Christ's visit to the house of Zaccheus the publican (xix. 1), of His gracious reception of the woman that was a sinner (vii. 37), of His prayer for His murderers (xxiii. 34), and of His promise of Paradise to the penitent malefactor (xxiii. 43). It is here we find the touching story of the raising to life of the young man at the gate of Nain (vii. 11), who was "the only son of his mother, and she was a widow"; it is here we are told that Jairus' daughter, whom Christ restored to life, was an "only daughter" (viii. 42); it is here we learn that the demoniac boy whom He healed at the foot of the Mount of Transfiguration was an "only child" (ix. 38). (5) It is the Gospel of toleration and large-heartedness, embracing within the range of its sympathy the Samaritan (ix. 51-56; x. 25-37; xvii. 11-19), the Gentile (iv. 25-27; xiii. 28, 29), the poor (ii. 7, 8, 24; vi. 20; ix. 58; xiv. 21), the very young (this being the only Gospel that tells us that the children brought to Jesus were "babes," xviii. 15, R. V.), and the weaker and, up to that time, less-honoured sex (i. concerning Mary and Elisabeth; ii. 36-38; viii. 1-3; x. 38-42; xxiii. 27, 28). It is no accident, therefore, that the words "Saviour," "salvation," 99.66 grace," occur more frequently in this than in any other Gospel ;1 it is no accident that it represents

1 They are to be found in the fourth Gospel, but not at all in Matthew or Mark.

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