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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Luke (Evangelist)

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LUKE (EVANGELIST). Luke, a companion of St. Paul, is mentioned in Colossians 4:14 , Phm 1:24 , 2 Timothy 4:11 , in all three places in connexion with Mark. He is generally believed to be the author of the Third Gospel and Acts, and therefore a frequent fellow-traveller with the Apostle of the Gentiles. (See art. Acts of the Apostles for proofs, and for his place of origin.) He has been identified, but without probability, with Lucius of Cyrene ( Acts 13:1 ). He may have been converted by St. Paul, possibly at Tarsus, where he could have studied medicine. Tertullian calls St. Paul his ‘illuminator’ and ‘master’ ( adv. Marc . iv. 2), which perhaps has this meaning; but it may be a mere conjecture. Luke joined St. Paul on his Second Missionary Journey, apparently for the first time, at Troas. He was not an eye-witness of the Gospel events ( Luke 1:2 ), but had ample means of getting information from those who had been. He was a Gentile (cf. Colossians 4:10 f. and Colossians 4:14 ); thus he could not have been of the Seventy, or the companion of Cleopas ( Luke 24:13 ; Luke 24:18 ), as some have thought. He was a doctor ( Colossians 4:14 ), and perhaps had attended St. Paul in his illnesses. A tradition, perhaps of the 6th cent., makes him a painter, who had made a picture of the Virgin. He was possibly of servile origin; his name, which seems to be an abbreviation of Lucanus, Lucius, Lucilius, or Lucianus, may well have been a slave’s name; and physicians were often slaves. Chrysostom and Jerome take him for ‘the brother whose praise in the gospel’ is spread abroad ( 2 Corinthians 8:18 ; see art. Gospel). Other traditions connect him with Achaia, Bithynia, or Alexandria; some assign to him a martyr’s crown.

A. J. Maclean.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Luke (Evangelist)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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