Luke and his Gospel
Luke was a medical doctor and historian who probably composed his biography some time between 70-8OAD. He introduces his gospel with the following:
It is an interesting introduction written to his patron, Theophilus, of whom we know nothing. But its value lies in what it tells us about Luke and his gospel.
We know that at the time of writing this Gospel, there were many accounts of the sayings and actions of Jesus available. These accounts claimed to have been handed down from eyewitnesses.
Luke was not an eyewitness to the events of Christ and since he was anxious that his patron should know "the reliability" of what he had heard, he has made an extensive investigation of them. He wants Theophilus to be sure. So the most practical way to do that is to go back to square one himself. He has gone back to "eyewitnesses" so that "from the beginning" he might record an "orderly account". He recounts in another book he wrote (Acts) that he had the privilege of travelling and working with one of the key eyewitnesses to Jesus"™ resurrection, a man known as the Apostle Paul, who wrote many of the other books of the New Testament.
For Luke, this must have been a time of great inspiration as well as fruitful research for his own account of the life of Jesus. These experiences, combined with the fact that he was a man of high education (as indicated by the fine literary Greek of his biography) made him perfectly suited to produce a work of historical accuracy.
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