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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Luke

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I. Information as to his History

1. In the Pauline Epistles.-The Pauline Epistles contain various references to a certain Luke, who is in tradition always identified with the author of the Acts and Third Gospel. These references are: (1) ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Λουκᾶς ὸ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητός (Colossians 4:14); (2) ἀσπάζεταί σεΛουκᾶς (Philemon 1:24); (3) Λουκᾶς ἐστιν μόνος μετʼ ἐμοῦ (2 Timothy 4:11). From these scanty allusions we can gather that Lute was a companion of St. Paul at the time that Colossians (with its appendix Philemon) and 2 Timothy were written, and also that he was a physician. The trustworthiness of these statements may reasonably be regarded as falling short of the highest grade. The authenticity of Colossians (q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ) is probable, but cannot be regarded as quite so certain as that of the earlier Epistles; there is a difference between the group Colossians-Ephesians and the group Corinthians-Galatians-Romans which extends to thought as well as to language, and raises the suggestion that the former group is either un-Pauline or has been much edited. It is on the whole perhaps probable that this doubt ought to be put aside on the ground that the theories of interpolation or pseudepigraphy cause more difficulties than they solve, but the point has not yet been sufficiently discussed by critics. In the same way and in somewhat greater measure the reference in 2 Timothy must be discounted, on the ground of doubts as to the authenticity of the Epistle. So long as these doubts exist, the possibility cannot be entirely excluded that the references to Luke ought to be regarded as the result of the tradition, rather than as the proof of its accuracy.

A similar element of doubt attaches to the question of the place in which Luke and St. Paul were working together (συνεργοί μου in Philemon 1:24 covers Luke). There is no critical agreement as to whether the so-called Epistles of the Imprisonment were written from Caesarea, from Rome, or (according to a more recent hypothesis) from Ephesus. It is, however, noticeable that, as Harnack points out (Lukas der Arzt, Leipzig, 1906, p. 2), Luke is not referred to as a ‘fellow-prisoner,’ and there is consequently a presumption that he had accompanied St. Paul in freedom and as a friend.

2. In tradition.-Very little is added by tradition to the information in the Pauline Epistles except (a) the constant attribution to Luke of the Third Gospel and Acts; (b) the statement that he was an Antiochene Greek; (c) somewhat less frequently, statements that he died in Bœotia, Bithynia, or Ephesus; (d) the statement, found only in late Manuscripts , that the Gospel was written in Alexandria. The most important expressions of tradition are those of (1) Eusebius; (2) Jerome; (3) the Monarchian Prologues, found in Vulgate Manuscripts , and possibly of Priscillianist origin; (4) notes appended to NT Manuscripts .

(1) Eusebius

Δουκᾶς δὲ τὸ μὲν γένος ὤν τῶν ἀπʼ Ἀντιοχείας, τὴν δὲ ἐπιστήμην ἰατρός, τὰ πλεῖστα συγγεγονὼς τῷ Παύλῳ, καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς δὲ οδ παρέργως τῶν ἀποστόλων ὡμιληκώς, ἦς ἀπὸ τούτων προσεκτήσατο ψυχῶν θεραπευτικῆς ἐν δυσίν ἡμῖν ὑποδείγυατα θεοπνεύστοις καταλέλοιπε βιβλίοις τῷ τε εὐαγγελίῳ, ὃ καὶ χαράξαι μαρτυρεῖται, καθὰ παρέδοντο αὐτῷ οἱ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου οἶς καὶ φησιν ἐπάνωθεν ἄπασι παρηκολουθηκέναι, καὶ ταῖς τῶν ἀποστόλων πράξεσιν ἅς οὐκέτι διʼ ἀκοῆς ὀφθαλμοῖς δὲ αὐτοῖς παραλαβὼν συνετάξατο. φασὶ δὲ ὡς ἄρα τοῦ κατʼ αὐτὸν εὐαγγελίου μνημονεύειν εἴωθεν ὁ Παῦλος ὁπηνίκα ὡς περὶ ἰδίου τινος εὐαγγελίου γράφων ἔλεγε· ‘κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιόν μου’ (HE [Note: E Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.).] iii. 4, 6).

This, which is the basis of almost all later statements, shows no knowledge beyond what can be deduced from the Epistles, combined with (i.) the belief that the same Luke wrote Acts and Gospel; (ii.) the statements in the preface to the Gospel; (iii.) the (undoubtedly mistaken) view that St. Paul was referring to a book when he spoke of ‘his gospel’ (Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 2:8); (iv.) possibly the text in some Manuscripts (which may belong to that I recension which, on von Soden’s view, was familiar to Eusebius) of Acts 11:27 f.: ἐν ταύταις ταῖς ἡμέραις κατῆλθον ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων προφῆται εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν· συνεστραμμένων δὲ ἡμῶν ἔφη εἶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ὀνόματι Ἅγαβος κτλ. (D p w Aug.); this is, however, by no means certain; and there is no proof that this text was known to Eusebius.

(2) Jerome

‘Lucas medicus Antiochensis, ut eius scripta indicant, Graeci sermonis non ignarus fuit, sectator apostoli Pauli et omnis peregrinationis eius comes scripsit evangelium, de quo idem Paulus: Misimus, inquit, cum illo fratrem cuius laus est in evangelio per omnes ecclesias; ed ad Colossenses: Salutat vos Lucas, medicus carissimus; et ad Timotheum: Lucas est mecum solus. Aliud quoque edidit volumen egregium quod titulo πράξεις ἀποστόλων praenotatur: cuius historia usque ad biennium Romae commorantis Pauli pervenit, id est, usque ad quartum Neronis annum. Ex quo intelligimus in eadem urbe librum esse compositum. Igitur περιόδους Pauli et Theclae, et totam baptizati leonis fabulam, inter apocryphas scripturas computamus. [Then there follows the well-known passage about the Acts of Paul, quoting Tertullian (see Acts [Apocryphal])] … Quidam suspicantur quotiescumque in epistolis suis Paulus dicit, Iuxta evangelium meum, de Lucae significare volumine, et [?at] Lucamnon solum ab apostolo Paulodidicisse evangelium, qui cum domino in carne non fuerat, sed a ceteris apostolis; quod ipse quoque in principio sui voluminis declarat, dicens: Sicut tradiderunt nobis qui a principio ipsi viderunt et ministri fuerunt sermonis. Igitur evangelium, sicut audierat, scripsit. Acta vero apostolorum sicut viderat ipse composuit. Vixit octoginta et quattuor annos, uxorem non habens. Sepultus est Constantinopoli, ad quam urbem vicesimo Constantii anno ossa eius cum reliquiis Andreae apostoli translata sunt de Achaia’ (de Vir. Illustr. vii.).

(3) The Monarchian Prologues

‘Lucas Syrus natione Antiochensis, arte medicus, discipulus apostolorum, postea Paulum secutus usque ad confessionem eius, serviens deo sine crimine. Nam neque uxorem umquam habens neque filios lxxiiii annorum obiit in Bithynia plenus spiritu sancto-qui cum iam descripta essent evangelia per Matthaeum quidem in Iudaea, per Marcum autem in Italia, sancto instigante spiritu in Achaiae partibus hoc scripsit evangelium, significans etiam ipse in principio ante alia esse descripta. Cui extra ea quae ordo evangelicae dispositionis exposcit, ea maxime necessitas laboris fuit, ut primum Graecis fidelibus omni perfectione venturi in carnem dei manifestata, ne ludaicis fabulis intenti in solo legis desiderio tenerentur neque hereticis fabulis et stultis sollicitationibus seducti excederent a veritate, elaboraret, dehinc ut in principio evangelii Iohannis nativitate praesumpta cui evangelium scriberet et in quo electus scriberet, indicaret, contestans in se completa esse quae essent ab aliis inchoata, cui ideo post baptismum filii dei a perfectione generationis in Christo inpletae et repetendae a principio nativitatis humanae potestas permissa est ut requirentibus demonstraret, in quo adprehendens erat, per Nathan filium introitu recurrentis in deum generationis admisso indispartibilis dei, praedicans in hominibus Christum suum perfecti opus hominis redire in se per filium facere, qui per David patrem venientibus iter praebebat in Christo. Cui Lucae non in merito etiam scribendorum apostolicorum actuum potestas in ministerio datur, ut deo in deum pleno ao filio proditionis extincto oratione ab apostolis facta sorte domini electionis numerus compleretur, sicque Paulus consummationem apostolicis actibus daret, quem diu contra stimulos recalcitrantem dominus elegisset. Quod legentibus ac requirentibus deum etsi per singula expediri a nobis utile fuerat, scientes tamen, quod operantem agricolam oporteat de fructibus suis edere, vitavimus publicam curiositatem, ne non tam volentibus deum videremur quam fastidientibus prodidisse’ (the full text of the Monarchian Prologues is given in Kleine Texte, i., by H. Lietzmann, Bonn, 1902, and there is a full discussion by P. Corssen in Texte and Untersuchungen xv. 1 [1896]).

(4) Information in Manuscripts of the Gospels.-Almost all the later Manuscripts contain statements at the beginnings or ends of the various books relating to their authors. They are of course important as representing ecclesiastical tradition rather than as containing historical evidence. The most complete list of the Greek ones, is given by von Soden in Die Schriften des NT, i., Berlin, 1902, p. 293ff. The most important items referring to Luke are the following:

(i.) συνεγράφη τὸ κατὰ Δουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον μετὰ χράνους ιε (15) τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀναλήψεως ἐνʼ Αλεξανδρείᾳ Ἐλληνιστί. There is also a form of substantially the same note beginning: ἐξεδόθη πρὸς Θεόφιλον ἐπίσκοπον Ἀντιοχείας, πρὸς ὅν καὶ αἱ πράξεις. This form is found in many late Manuscripts with a great number of textual variants. (ii.) A remarkable form is found in ε 377: τὸ κατὰ Δουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον καὶ τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων αἱ πράξεις ὑπηγορεύθησαν ὑπὸ Πέτρου καὶ παύλου τῶν ἀποστόλων μετὰ χρόνους πέντε καὶ δέκα τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀναλήτεως. Δουκᾶς δὲ ὁ ιατρὸς συνέγραφε καὶ ἐκήρυξε καὶ ἐκοιμήθη ἐν Θηβαῖς ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσαρων. (iii.) Further information confirming the Eusebian tradition that Luke was an Antiochene is found in some Manuscripts , e.g. οὖτος ὁ εὐαγγελίστης Δουκᾶς ἦν μὲν Ἀντιοχεῦς ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων (ε 1156), and ὁ μακάριος Δουκᾶς ὁ ευαγγελίοτης γέγονε Σῦρος (ε 3006).

Added to these note may be made also of the famous pseudo-Dorotheus, and the longer Sophronius. The text of the former is sufficient to illustrate their character:

Δουκᾶς ὁ εὐαγγελίστης Ἀντιοχεὺς μὲν τὸ γένος ἦν, ἰατρὸς δὲ τὴν τεχνήν· συνεγράψατο δὲ τὸ μὲν εὐαγγέλιον κατʼ ἑπιτροπὴν Πέτρου τοῦ ἀποστόλου, τὰς δὲ πράξεις τῶν ἀποστόλων κατʼ ἐπιτροπὴνχ Παύλου τοῦ ἀποστόλου· συναπεδήμησε γὰρ τοῖς ἀποστόλοις καὶ μάλιστα τῷ Παύλῳ, οὖ καὶ μνημονεύσας ὁ Παῦλος ἔγραψεν ἐν ἐπιστολῇ ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Δουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἐν κυρίῳ. ἀπέθανε δὲ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ καὶ ἐταφη ἐκεῖ. μετετέθη δὲ ὕστερον ἐν Κανσταντινουπόλει μετὰ καὶ Ἀνδρέου καὶ Τιμοθέου τῶν ἀποστόλων κατὰ τοὺς καιποὺς Κωνσταντίου βασιλεως υἱοῦ Κωνσταντίνου τοῦ μεγάλου (the text, and that of Sophronius, are given in von Soden’s Die Schriften des NT, i. 1, p. 306ff.).

II. ‘LukeAs An Author.-The foregoing paragraphs summarize all that is known as to the ‘historic Luke.’ It now remains to discuss (1) the internal evidence supplied mainly by the Acts for and against the tradition which identifies the ‘historic Luke’ of the Epistles with the ‘literary Luke’ who wrote the Gospel and Acts; (2) the sources used by the ‘literary Luke’; (3) his literary methods. It would also have been desirable to discuss his theology, but this has already been done in article Acts of the Apostles.

1. The arguments for and against the Lucan authorship of the Third Gospel and Acts.-In favour of the Lucan authorship Harnack argues that the redactor of Acts, like Luke, was (1) a fellow-worker with St. Paul; (2) an Antiochene Greek; (3) a physician; (4) the writer of the ‘wesections.’ The reasons for this argument are stated in his Untersuchungen zu den Schriften des Lukas (Leipzig, 1906-08) with great power, but with a certainty which is sometimes too great.

(1) It is of course abundantly evident that the Acts represents in the ‘we-sections’ the evidence of a companion of St. Paul, but until the linguistic argument has been accepted as convincing it does not follow that the redactor of the whole was the author of the ‘we-sections.’

(2) In the same way it is abundantly clear that a great part of the Acts is concerned with Antioch; but if, as Acts states, Antioch was really the centre of the Gentile Christian movement, this is really a sufficient explanation, and throws no necessary light on the provenance of the writer. If anyone were to write the history of economics in England in the 19th cent., he would constantly be speaking of Manchester, but it would not follow that he was a Mancunian: similarly, the writer of Acts constantly speaks of Antioch, but he need not have been an Antiochene. That Luke was a Greek rather than a Jew is possibly true, but the evidence is poor. Harnack says:

‘Lukas war geborener Grieche-Evangelium und Actazeigen, was eines Beweises nicht erst bedarf, dass sie nicht von einem geborenen Juden, sondern von einem Griechen verfasst sind,’ and adds in a note: ‘Ob der Verfasser bevor er Christ wurde jüdischer Proselyt gewesen ist, lässt sich nicht entscheiden. Seine Erwähnung der Proselyten in der Apostelgeschichte lässt keinen Schluss zu. Seine virtuose Kenntnis der griechischen Bibel kann er sich sehr wohl erst als Christ angeeignet haben. Für seinen griechischen Ursprung zeugt übrigens allein schon das οἱ βάρβαροι in c. [Note: . circa, about.] 28, 2. 4’ (Lukas der Arzt, ch. i. [Eng. translation , 1907, p. 12f.]).

It may fairly be urged that Harnack does not sufficiently emphasize the complete absence of direct evidence that Luke was a Greek. The facts seem to be quite adequately covered if we suppose that Luke was a Hellenistic Jew.

(3) That Luke was a physician is argued by Harnack-following up and greatly improving on the methods of Hobart-on the ground of his use of medical language. The argument is of course cumulative, and cannot be epitomized. It is beyond doubt that Luke frequently employs language which can be illustrated from Galen and other medical writers. The weak point is that no sufficient account has been taken of the fact that much of this language can probable be shown from the pages of Lucian, Dion of Prusa, etc., to have been part of the vocabulary of any educated Greek. It is, for instance, too ‘keen’ when it is alleged that the Lucan phrase καὶ ἐπέστρεψεν τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτῆς καὶ ἀνέστη παραχρῆμα in Luke 8:55 is a medical improvement on the Marcan καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέστη τὸ κοράσιον (Mark 5:42). Could we stamp a writer as a physician at the present time because he spoke of ‘bacilli,’ or described a state of mind as ‘pathological’? Yet it is doubtful whether there is anything so ‘medical’ in the Third Gospel or Acts as these expressions. The truth seems to be that, if we accept on the ground of tradition the view that the Gospel and Acts were written by a physician, there is a certain amount of corroborative detail in the language; but if we are not inclined to accept this view, the ‘medical’ language is insufficient to show that the writer was a physician, or used a more medical phraseology than an educated man might have been expected to possess.

(4) Far more important than these lines of argument, which seem to attempt to prove too much from too little evidence, is the thesis that linguistic argument shows that the writer of the ‘we-sections’ is identical with the redactor of the Third Gospel and the Acts. Here again the cumulative nature of the argument prohibits its complete reproduction. The pages of Harnack must be studied in detail. But the main outline is that, if we study the Third Gospel in comparison with Mark and any sort of reconstructed Q, we shall find out which idioms are especially Lucan, in the sense of belonging to the redaction of the Gospel. If then we find that the ‘Lucan’ phraseology is especially marked in the ‘we-sections,’ it follows that the writer of the ‘we-sections’ was the redactor of the whole. John C. Hawkins, in Horae Synopticae (Oxford, 1899, 21909), had already drawn attention to the fact that this line of research pointed to the unity of the Lucan writings and the identity of the scribe of the ‘we-sections’ with the redactor of the whole, and in Lukas der Arzt Harnack elaborates the argument very fully, and may be regarded as having proved his point, if it be granted that no redactor would have completely ‘Lucanized’ the ‘we-sections’ without altering the characteristic use of the first person. Unfortunately, this is a rather large assumption, and it is not impossible that the redactor kept the first person, because it implied that his source was here that of an eye-witness. It is clear from the preface to the Gospel that he attached importance to the evidence of eye-witnesses.

The arguments against the Lucan authorship of Acts (and the Third Gospel goes with them) have been given at length in dealing with Acts. In summary they are that a comparison between the Acts and the Epistles shows that, wherever Luke and St. Paul relate the same facts, they give discordant testimony, and that the Pauline and Lucan theology are evidently different (see Acts). It is not impossible to give an explanation of these facts consistent with the Lucan authorship, but their obvious bearing is to render that theory improbable, so that the results of these two lines of investigation, the linguistic and the historical and theological, do not point in quite the same direction. The linguistic argument as stated by Harnack goes a long way towards proving that the redactor of the Third Gospel and Acts is identical with the author of the ‘we-sections’ and the narratives immediately cohering with them. This conclusion is not seriously impaired if it be granted that in telling his story the writer often makes use of clichés relating to miraculous episodes found in the literary work of this or a slightly later period, e.g. in Philostratus,* [Note: This seems to be the most important result of E. Norden’s Agnostos Theos (Leipzig, 1913); he does not really prove that the story of St. Paul at, Athens or similar incidents are free literary compositions, and void of all historical foundation, but does show that a considerable use was made of library clichés in setting out, illustrating, and adorning a narrative.] and perhaps in the lost writings of Apollonius of Tyana. On the other hand, the historical and theological arguments support the contention that the author can scarcely have been a companion of St. Paul. Whenever it is possible to compare Acts and Epistles, discrepancies of varying seriousness are to be found, and the Acts shows very few or no signs of acquaintance with the Atonement-theology or the Christology of the Epistles.

Two ways may be suggested of combining these conflicting results. On the one hand, it is possible that the prima facie evidence of the linguistic facts is fallacious. The central point of Harnack’s argument is that the same linguistic characteristics are to be found throughout the whole work as in the ‘we-sections.’ It is assumed that the latter and the cohering narratives may be taken as normative, and that they have been unchanged. But if this assumption be challenged, the argument falls to the ground. Suppose that the redactor found a source relating the greater part of St. Paul’s life, and in places claiming that the writer was an eye-witness by the use of the first person, it would be not unnatural for the redactor carefully to preserve these important indications of the value of his source, while at the same time rewriting or touching up the rest of the language. It would then present all those signs of identity of literary style with the rest of the book which Harnack has emphasized. This theory circumvents the literary argument, and enables us to accept easily the historical and theological results which render doubtful the view that the redactor was a companion of St. Paul.

On the other hand, it may be that we are demanding too high a standard of accuracy in the Acts: after all, the inaccuracies and mistakes-for they can scarcely be anything less-are chiefly found in the earlier parts of Acts, and Luke may have been a companion of St. Paul, and yet never have thought of making very careful inquiry from him as to the events of his early career. This would be especially probable if, as the suggested use of Josephus implies, Luke wrote his two treatises for Theophilus late in life (circa, about a.d. 90). The theological difficulty is more serious: it is very difficult to understand how a companion of St. Paul can have had a theology and Christology which are on the whole more archaic than those of the Epistles. To some extent, no doubt, this can be explained by the different objects of the works. To some extent also it is no doubt true that we have gone altogether too far in reconstructing a ‘Pauline theology’ out of the Epistles; these were St. Paul’s answers to controversial points, not statements of his central teaching. Probably the preaching of St. Paul was much more like the Acts than systems of Paulinismus reconstructed out of the Epistles. At the same time, it is doubtful whether these considerations really carry us all the way. The theology of Acts-not linguistic characteristics or historical inaccuracies-is the greatest difficulty which faces those who accept the authorship of the Third Gospel and Acts by a companion of St. Paul. At present the matter is sub judice, and Harnack’s powerful advocacy has turned the current of feeling in favour of the traditional view, but he has really dealt adequately with only one side of the question and dismissed the theological and (to a somewhat less extent) the historical difficulty too easily. It will not be surprising if a reaction follows when these points have been more adequately studied and expounded.

2. Luke’s sources.-In the complete absence of any definite statements as to the sources used by Luke, with the exception of the preface to the Gospel, internal evidence can alone be used, and the results of its study are necessarily only tentative.

In the preface to the Gospel Luke tells us that he was acquainted with many previous attempts to give a διήγησιν τῶν πεπληροφορημένων ἐν ἡμῖν πραγμάτων-a difficult phrase, which, however, much more probably means ‘the things accomplished among us’ than the ‘things most surely believed among us’-in accordance with the tradition of the original eye-witnesses, and that he also had decided to write an account of them because he was παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν. From this passage it has sometimes been concluded that Luke disapproved of the previous efforts, and regarded himself as altogether superior to his predecessors. This, however, is not the natural meaning of the Greek; Luke says: ‘Inasmuch as many … it seemed good to me also’ (κἀμοί), and the force of the ‘also’ is to class him with and not above his predecessors. A more serious problem is provided by the exact exegesis of πᾶσι, in Luke 1:3. Does it refer to the πολλοί of Luke 1:2, or to the πραγμάτων of the same verse, or to the αὐτόπται of Luke 1:2? No decision is possible; the probability is rather in favour of a reference to πολλοί, as carrying on and explaining the ἐπειδήπερ πολλοί of the opening words, but the other alternatives are possible. In any case, the main object of Luke was to provide Theophilus with the proof (ἵνα ἐπιγνῷςτὴν ἀσφάλειαν) of the λόγοι in which he had received oral instruction (κατηχήθης). Luke is therefore writing history with the object of giving the historical basis of the statements (presumably theological) which were current in the oral instruction given to converts.

(a) The written sources used by Luke.-In the Gospel at least two written sources can be detected. (1) Mark, either exactly in the form now extant, or in one only slightly differing from it, was certainly used by Luke. This is one of the most secure results of the criticism of the Synoptic Gospels. (2) Besides Mark, Luke used a document commonly called Q (Quelle), which was also used by Matthew, and, according to some scholars (not, the present writer thinks, correctly), by Mark. The exact contents of Q cannot be defined. Nor can we say with certainty whether Q represents one or many documents. These points are at present among the most warmly debated and most intently studied problems in the Synoptic question. If, however, Q be used to cover all the material common to Matthew and Luke, and it be assumed that Q is only one document, it must have been Greek, not Aramaic, as the agreement between Matthew and Luke is often too close to admit the possibility that the two narratives represent two translations of a single Aramaic document. In the same way the Mark used by Matthew and Luke must have been Greek; it is, however, possible, though no sufficient proof has been given even by Wellhausen, that behind the Greek Mark and the Greek Q there were originally Aramaic texts. (3) It is doubtful whether Luke used other written sources in his Gospel. It is possible that the Peraean section Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:1 may have had a written source, and the same may be said of the ‘Jerusalem narrative’ of the Passion and Resurrection; but it is also possible that their peculiarly Lucan passages rest on oral tradition. (4) In the Acts much depends on the view taken of the critical questions, but in any case the ‘we-sections’ must be referred to a written source, even though their source may have been a diary of the editor of the whole book. Whether the ‘Antiochene’ source was a written document is doubtful, and the same may be said of source B in the Jerusalem-Caesaraean tradition. It is, however, as probable as any point which is supported merely by literary evidence can be that source A (containing Acts 3-4, probably Luke 8:5-40, and possibly also ch. 5) depends from a written Creek source (see article Acts for the fuller treatment of the question of the sources of Acts).

(b) The use of the Septuagint .-It remains a question which criticism has as yet found no means of solving whether Luke used, besides the foregoing sources, an Aramaic document for his narrative of the Nativity in the Gospel, or gave his version of a tradition which he had heard, casting it into a form based on the Septuagint . It is in any case certain that the Septuagint , and not the Hebrew, was the form of the OT which he habitually used, and his diction seems to have been greatly influenced by it.

(c) The use of other writings.-No other books seem to have been certainly used by Luke, with the possible (or, in the present writer’s opinion, probable) exception of Josephus. The facts relating to Josephus in connexion with Theudas seem to point very strongly to a knowledge of the Antiquities (see article Acts).

(d) The use of the Epistles.-There is no reason to suppose that Luke was acquainted with any of the Pauline Epistles. There is nothing in the Acts which resembles a quotation, and is relating facts alluded to in the Epistles there is more often difference than agreement, even though it be true that the difference is not always very serious.

3. Luke’s methods.-In using his materials Luke’s methods are in the main those of other writers of the same period. They are quite unlike those of modern writers. A writer of the present day seeks to tell his story in his own words and his own way, giving references to, and, if necessary, quotations from, his sources, but carefully avoiding all confusion between traditional fact and critical inference, and certainly never altering the direct statement of the earlier documents without expressly mentioning the fact. The method of antiquity was as a rule almost the reverse. The author of a book based on earlier materials strung together a series of extracts into a more or less coherent whole, giving no indication of his sources, and modifying them freely in order to harmonize them. Sometimes he would select between several narratives, sometimes he would combine, sometimes he would give them successively, and by a few editorial comments make a single narrative of apparently several events out of several narratives of a single event. As a method this is obviously inferior to modern procedure, but even an inferior method can be well or badly used. That Luke used this method is clear from a comparison of the Third Gospel with Matthew and Mark, but on the whole he seems to have used it well, especially if it be remembered that his avowed object was not to ‘write history’ but to provide the historical evidence for the Christian instruction which Theophilus had received. The crucial evidence for this view is the use made of Mark, which we can fortunately control. A comparison of Mark with Luke shows that Luke has been on the whole loyal to his source, though he has consistently polished the language. At the same time, it must be admitted that he had no objection to deserting it, or to changing its meaning. Two examples must suffice. (1) In Mark the call of Peter precedes the healing of his mother-in-law; in Luke a different account of Peter’s call is given the preference over the Marcan one, and the healing of his mother-in-law is placed before it, apparently to afford a motive for the obedience of Peter to the call. (2) In the narrative of the Passion and Resurrection Luke obviously prefers an alternative narrative to that of Mark. This narrative is different in the essential point that it places all the appearances of the Risen Christ in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, whereas Mark in Mark 14:28, etc., is clearly leading up to appearances in Galilee. But the story of the woman at the tomb seems to be taken from Mark, and this includes the message of the young man to the women to tell the disciples to go to Galilee, where they will see Jesus. This is inconsistent with the ‘Jerusalem narrative,’ and is changed by Luke into ‘Remember how he spoke to you while he was still is Galilee,’ and the whole narrative is freely re-written. If this were quite certain, it would show that Luke cannot be depended upon not to change the whole meaning of his sources. It is, however, possible that his modification is based on some other source; if so, this source can hardly have been originally independent of Mark. A detailed examination of the Lucan changes in the Marcan material, which has never yet been sufficiently thoroughly undertaken, is likely to give valuable evidence as to Luke’s methods in dealing with his sources and the extent to which his statements may be trusted as really representing the earliest tradition, or discounted as being editorial alterations. It may be suggested that a study of the Lucan parallels to Mark 13 is especially needed; a superficial examination suggests that it will show that he was inclined to remove eschatological sayings or explain them in some other sense.

Another characteristic-or what at first sight appears to be one-is a tendency to separate and give to definite historical circumstances sayings which in Matthew are brought together. From this contrast between Matthew and Luke it has been assumed that Luke made special endeavours to find out the exact circumstances under which each saying was uttered. But this conclusion is more than the facts warrant. All that can really be said is that a comparison between Matthew and Luke shows either that Luke separated, or that Matthew combined, or that each did a little of both; but, as we do not know what was the arrangement of the material in the source, we cannot decide between these possibilities. It is sometimes overlooked that reconstructions of Q such as Harnack’s or Wellhausen’s, though otherwise admirable, are useless for this purpose, as they necessarily assume an answer to the question at issue. It is perhaps worth notice that the only safe guide which we have is Luke’s treatment of the Marcan source. Here we find no trace of the supposed separation of sayings, nor do we find any traces in Matthew of the supposed combination of sayings. The logical deduction is that Luke and Matthew did not use the same edition of Q, if indeed there ever was a single document Q. Of course it is hazardous to press this point, but insufficient attention has hitherto been given to the value of Luke’s treatment of Mark as the only objective standard which exists for deciding what his methods probably were in dealing with other sources.

Literature.-Besides the works already quoted in the body of the article see B. Weiss, Die Quellen des Lukasevangeliums, Stuttgart, 1907; J. Moffatt, Introd. to Literature of the New Testament (Moffatt)., Edinburgh, 1911; E. Norden, Agnostos Theos, Leipzig, 1913; R. Reitzenstein, Hellenistische Wundererzählungen, do. 1906; E. C. Selwyn, St. Luke the Prophet, London, 1901; H. McLachlan, St. Luke-Evangelist and Historian, London and Manchester, 1912; W. M. Ramsay, Luke the Physician and other Studies in the History of Religion, London, 1908; Th. Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, Eng. translation , Edinburgh, 1909.

K. Lake.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Luke'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/l/luke.html. 1906-1918.

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