Easton's Bible Dictionary
the evangelist, was a Gentile. The date and circumstances
of his conversion are unknown. According to his own statement ( Luke
1:2 ), he was not an "eye-witness and minister of the word from the beginning."
It is probable that he was a physician in Troas, and was there converted by Paul,
to whom he attached himself. He accompanied him to Philippi, but did not there
share his imprisonment, nor did he accompany him further after his release in
his missionary journey at this time ( Acts
17:1 ). On Paul's third visit to Philippi ( Acts
20:5 , 20:6
) we again meet with Luke, who probably had spent all the intervening time in
that city, a period of seven or eight years. From this time Luke was Paul's constant
companion during his journey to Jerusalem ( Acts
20:6 - 21:18).
He again disappears from view during Paul's imprisonment at Jerusalem and Caesarea,
and only reappears when Paul sets out for Rome ( Acts
27:1 ), whither he accompanies him ( Acts
28:2 , 28:12
), and where he remains with him till the close of his first imprisonment ( Philemon
1:24 ; Colossians
4:14 ). The last notice of the "beloved physician" is in 2
Timothy 4:11 .
There are many passages in Paul's epistles, as well as in the writings of Luke,
which show the extent and accuracy of his medical knowledge.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
or Lucas, is an abbreviated form of Lucanus. It is not to be confounded with Lucius,
13:1 ; Romans
16:21 ) which belongs to a different person. The name Luke occurs three times
in the New Testament-- ( Colossians
4:14 ; 2
Timothy 4:11 ); Philemon
1:24 --and probably in all three the third evangelist is the person spoken
of. Combining the traditional element with the scriptural we are able to trace
the following dim outline of the evangelists life. He was born at Antioch in Syria,
and was taught the science of medicine. The well known tradition that Luke was
also a painter, and of no mean skill, rests on the authority of late writers.
He was not born a Jew, for he is not reckoned among those "of the circumcision"
by St. Paul. Comp. ( Colossians
4:11 ) with ver. 14.
The date of his conversion is uncertain. He joined St. Paul at Troas, and shared
his Journey into Macedonia. The sudden transition to the first person plural in
16:9 ) is most naturally explained after all the objections that have been
urged, by supposing that Luke the writer of the Acts, formed one of St. Pauls
company from this point. As far as Philippi the evangelist journeyed with the
apostle. The resumption of the third person on Pauls departure from that place,
17:1 ) would show that Luke was now left behind. During the rest of St. Pauls
second missionary journey we hear of Luke no more; but on the third journey the
same indication reminds us that Luke is again of the company, ( Acts
20:5 ) having joined it apparently at Philippi, where he had been left. With
the apostle he passed through Miletus, Tyre and Caesarea to Jerusalem. ch. Acts
20:6 ; 21:18
. As to his age and death there is the utmost uncertainty. He probably died a
martyr, between A.D. 75 and A.D. 100. He wrote the Gospel that bears his name,
and also the book of Acts.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
The name Luke (Loukas) is apparently an abbreviation for Loukanos. Old Latin manuscripts
frequently have the words CATA LUCANUM as the title of the Third Gospel. (But
the form Loukios, is also found in inscriptions synonymous with Loukas; compare
Ramsay, The Expositor, December, 1912.)
It was a common fashion in the koine to abbreviate proper names, as it is today,
for that matter (compare Amphias from Amphiatos, Antipas from Antipatros, Apollos
from Apollonias, Demas from Demetrios, Zenas from Zenodoros, etc.; and see Jannaris,
Historical Greek Grammar, section 287).
2. Mentioned Three Times by Name:
Paul alone names Luke (Colossians 4:14 ; 2 Timothy 4:11 ; Philemon 1:24). He does
not mention his own name in the Gospel or in the Acts. Compare the silence of
the Fourth Gospel concerning the name of the apostle John. There was no particular
occasion to mention Luke's name in the Gospel, except as the author, if he had
so wished. The late legend that Luke was one of the Seventy sent out by Jesus
(Epiphanius, Haer., ii.51, 11) is pure conjecture, as is the story that Luke was
one of the Greeks who came to Philip for an introduction to Jesus (John 12:20),
or the companion of Cleopas in the walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:13). The clear implication
of Luke 1:2 is that Luke himself was not an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus.
3. A Gentile:
In Colossians 4:14 Luke is distinguished by Paul from those "of the circumcision"
(Aristarchus, Mark, Jesus Justus). Epaphras, Luke, Demas form the Gentilegroup.
He was believed by the early Christian writers to have come directly from heathendom
to Christianity. He may or may not have been a Jewish proselyte. His first appearance
with Paul at Troas (compare the "we"-sections, Acts 16:10 - 12) is in harmony
with this idea. The classic introduction to the Gospel (Luke 1:1 - 4) shows that
he was a man of culture (compare Apollos and Paul). He was a man of the schools,
and his Greek has a literary flavor only approached in the New Testament by Paul's
writings and by the Epistle to the Hebrews.
His home is very uncertain. The text of D (Codex Bezae) and several Latin authorities
have a "we-"passage in Acts 11:27. If this reading, the so-called B text of Blass,
is the original, then Luke was at Antioch and may have been present at the great
event recorded in Acts 13:1 f. But it is possible that the Western text is an
interpolation. At any rate, it is not likely that Luke is the same person as Lucius
of Acts 13:1. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 389 f) thinks that Eusebius (Historia
Ecclesiastica, III, iv, 6) does not mean to say that Luke was a native of Antioch,
but only that he had Antiochian family connections. Jerome calls him Lucas medicus
Antiochensis. He certainly shows an interest in Antioch (compare Acts 11:19 -
27 ; 13:1 ; 14:26 ; 15:22 , 23 , 30 , 35 ; 18:22). Antioch, of course, played
a great part in the early work of Paul. Other stories make Luke live in Alexandria
and Achaia and narrate that he died in Achaia or Bithynia. But we know that he
lived in Philippi for a considerable period. He first meets Paul at Troas just
before the vision of the Man from Macedonia (Acts 16:10 - 12), and a conversation
with Paul about the work in Macedonia may well have been the human occasion of
that vision and call. Luke remains in Philippi when Paul and Silas leave (Acts
16:40, "They .... departed"). He is here when Paul comes back on his 3rd tour
bound for Jerusalem (Acts 20:3 - 5). He shows also a natural pride in the claims
of Philippi to the primacy in the province as against Amphipolis and Thessalonica
(Acts 16:12, "the first of the district"). On the whole, then, we may consider
Philippi as the home of Luke, though he was probably a man who had traveled a
great deal, and may have been with Paul in Galatia before coming to Troas. He
may have ministered to Paul in his sickness there (Galatians 4:14). His later
years were spent chiefly with Paul away from Philippi (compare Acts 20:3 - 28
, 31, on the way to Jerusalem, at Caesarea, the voyage to Rome and in Rome).
Paul (Colossians 4:14) expressly calls him "the beloved physician." He was Paul's
medical adviser, and doubtless prolonged his life and rescued him from many a
serious illness. He was a medical missionary, and probably kept up his general
practice of medicine in connection with his work in Rome (compare Zahn, Intro,
III, 1). He probably practiced medicine in Malta (Acts 28:9). He naturally shows
his fondness for medical terms in his books (compare Hobart, The Medical Language
of Luke; Harnack, New Testament Studies: Luke the Physician, 175-98). Harnack
adds some examples to those given by Hobart, who has overdone the matter in reality.
See further, ACTS
OF THE APOSTLES.
6. Brother of Titus:
It is possible, even probable (see Souter's article in DCG), that in 2 Corinthians
8:18 "the brother" is equivalent to "the brother" of Titus just mentioned, that
is, "his brother." If so, we should know that Paul came into contact with Luke
at Philippi on his way to Corinth during his 2nd tour (compare also 2 Corinthians
12:18). It would thus be explained why in Acts the name of Titus does not occur,
since he is the brother of Luke the author of the book.
7. Connection with Paul:
If the reading of Codex Bezae (D) in Acts 11:27 f is correct, Luke met Paul at
Antioch before the 1st missionary tour. Otherwise it may not have been till Troas
on the 2nd tour. But he is the more or less constant companion of Paul from Philippi
on the return to Jerusalem on the 3rd tour till the 2 years in Rome at the close
of the Acts. He was apparently not with Paul when Philippians 2:20 was written,
though, as we have seen, he was with Paul in Rome when he wrote Colossians and
Philemon. He was Paul's sole companion for a while during the 2nd Roman imprisonment
(2 Timothy 4:11). His devotion to Paul in this time of peril is beautiful.
8. Author of Both Gospel and Acts:
For the proof of the Lukan authorship of the Acts see ACTS
OF THE APOSTLES. For the discussion of the Lukan authorship of the Gospel
with his name, see LUKE,
THE GOSPEL OF. Our interest in him is largely due to this fact and to his
relations with Paul. The Christian world owes him a great debt for his literary
productions in the interest of the gospel.
One legend regarding Luke is that he was a painter. Plummer (Commentary on Luke,
xxi f) thinks that the legend is older than is sometimes supposed and that it
has a strong element of truth. It is true that he has drawn vivid scenes with
his pen. The early artists were especially fond of painting scenes from the Gospel
of Luke. The allegorical figure of the ox or calf in Ezekiel 1 and Revelation
4 has been applied to Luke's Gospel.
Bible dicts., comms., lives of Paul, instroductions. See also Harnack, "Lukas,
der Arzt, der Verfasser" (1906); New Testament Studies: Luke the Physician (1907);
Ramsay, Luke the Physician (1908); Selwyn, Luke the Prophet (1901); Hobart, The
Medical Language of Luke (1882); Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? A Study
in the Credibility of Luke (1898); Maclachlan, John, Evangelist and Historian
A. T. Robertson
author (acts of the apostles, book (gospel) of luke), bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, companion of paul, define, doctor, evangelist, gentile, loukanos, loukas, lucanus, luke, martyr, physician