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Entered Aug. 25, according to act of congress, in the clerk's office of the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
TO THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE. LITTLE is certainly known concerning the time and place of writing this Gospel ; or concerning the author. The first time, we have any mention of the author, is in his own history. Acts xvi. 10–11. He was then the companion of Paul in his travels. And it is evident that he often attended Paul in his journeys. Compare Acts xvi. 11–17; xxi. 16. In all these places the author of the Acts” speaks of his being in company with Paul. That the same person was the writer of this Gospel is also clear from Acts i. 1.
From this fact, the ancients regarded this Gospel as, in fact, the gospel which Paul had preached. They affirm that Luke recorded what the apostle preached. Thus Iraeneus says, “ Luke, the companion of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by him.” He also says, “ Luke was not only a companion but also a fellow laborer of the apostles, especially of Paul.” Origen, speaking of the Gospels, says, “the third is that according to Luke, the gospel commended by Paul, published for the sake of the Gentile converts. The testimony of the fathers is uniform, that it was written by Luke, the companion of Paul, and was therefore regarded by them as really the gospel which Paul preached.
It is unknown where it was written. Jerom says it was composed in Achaia. And there seems to be some probability that it was written to persons that were well acquainted with Jewish manners; as the author does not stop to explain the peculiar customs of the Jews, as some of the other evangelists have done. Respecting the time when it was written, nothing certain is known. All that can, with certainty, be ascertained, is that it was written before the death of Paul, (A. D. 65.) For it was written before the Acts,(Acts i. 1,) and that book only brings down the life of Paul to his imprisonment at Rome, and previous to his going into Spain.
It has been made a matter of inquiry, whether Luke was a Gentile or a Jew. On this subject there is no positive testimony. Jerom, and others of the fathers, say that he was a Syrian, and born at Antioch. The most probable opinion seems to be that he was a proselyte to the Jewish religion, though descended of Gentile parents. For this opinion two reasons may be assigned, of some weight. 1st. He was intimately acquainted, as appears by the Gospel and the Acts, with the Jewish rites, customs, opinions, and prejudices; he wrote in their dialect, i. e. with much of the Hebrew phraseology, in a style similar to the other evangelists; from which it appears that he was accustomed to the Jewish religion, and was probably a proselyte. Yet the preface to his Gospel, as critics have remarked, is pure classic Greek, unlike the Greek that was used by native Jews"; from which it seems not improbable that he was by birth and education a Gentile. 2d. In Acts xxi. 27, it is said that the Asiatic Jews excited the multitude against Paul, because he had introduced Gentiles into the temple, thus defiling it. In verse 28, it is said that the Gentile, to whom they had reference, was Trophimus, an Ephesian. Yet Luke was also at that time with Paul. If he had been esteemed as a Gentile, it is probable that they would have made complaint respecting him, as well as Trophimus. From which it is supposed that he was either a native Jew, or a Jewish proselyte.
But, again, in the Epistle to the Colossians, ch. iv. 9–11, we find Paul saying—that Aristarchus, and Marcus, and Barnabas, and Justus, saluted