Introduction to the Book of Luke
The writer of this Gospel, Luke, has been, by some, thought, as Origen a relates, to be the same with Lucius, mentioned in
Romans 16:21, but he seems rather to be, and without doubt is, Luke the beloved physician, who was a companion of the Apostle Paul in great part of his travels in the Gentile world: he came with him to Jerusalem, and from thence accompanied him to Rome, and continued with him when in prison, and was with him to the last; see
Acts 16:10, c. Colossians 4:14. Jerom b, and others, say, he was a physician of Antioch in Syria where it may be the Apostle Paul met with him, and might be the happy instrument of his conversion; so that he seems to be, by nation, a Syrian, as Jerom c calls him. Grotius thinks his name is Roman, and that it is the contraction of Lucilius. It is not an Hebrew name, but might be in common use in Syria; for though the Jews reckon לוקוס, "Lukus", among foreign names, yet say d a it was a very illustrious one, and well known to them, as it may well be thought to be if Syriac, the language being spoke by them: and many Jews lived in Syria, and particularly in Antioch. Some say that this Gospel was written by the advice, and assistance, and under the direction of the Apostle Paul, as the Gospel according to Mark was by that of Peter; though the following preface does not seem so well to accord with this. Eusebius says e that it was the sense of the ancients, that whenever the Apostle Paul makes mention of his Gospel, he intends this according to Luke. The time of the writing of it is not certain; some say it was written in the fifteenth year after the ascension of our Lord; others in the twenty second; and others in the twenty seventh. It is commonly thought to have been written after the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, according to the order in which it stands; but this is rejected by some learned men, who rather think that Luke wrote first of all: and indeed, there are some things in his preface which look as if there had not, as yet, been any authentic account published, at least which was come to the knowledge of this evangelist. The place where he wrote it is also uncertain. Jerom says f, he wrote it in the parts of Achaia, perhaps at Corinth: according to the titles prefixed to the Syriac and Persic versions, he wrote it in Alexandria: the former of these runs thus;
"the Gospel of Luke, the Evangelist, which he spake and published in Greek in Alexandria the great.''
And the latter thus;
"the Gospel of Luke, which he wrote in the Greek tongue in Alexandria of Egypt.''
However, it is agreed on all hands, that it is genuine, and of divine inspiration. Eusebius g relates, that it was affirmed by some, that this Gospel, together with those of Matthew and Mark, were brought to the Apostle John, who approved of them, and bore witness to the truth in them.
a In Rom. xvi. 21. b Catalog. Script. Eccles. sect. 17. fol. 91. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 4. c Praefat in Luc. d T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 11. 2. & Gloss. in ib. e Ubi supra. (Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 39.) f Praefat in Luc. g Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 24.