History & Literary - Luke

Luke, the name of the third evangelist, is considered by some to be a contraction of Lucilius, and it is said by St. Jerome to have been borne at Antioch. Some think that he was the only one of all the penmen of the Scriptures that was not of the Israelites; that he was a Jewish proselyte, and was converted to Christianity by the ministry of St. Paul at Antioch, and after his coming into Macedonia he was his constant companion. He had employed himself in the study and practice of physic, and hence Paul calls him “Luke, the beloved physician.” It is more than probable, however, as is testified both by Origen and Epiphanius, that he was one of the seventy disciples, and a follower of Christ when he was upon earth; and if so, he was most likely to be a native Israelite. Luke must probably wrote his Gospel at Rome, a little before he wrote his history of the “Acts of the Apostles,” which is a continuation of the former, when he was there with Paul, while he was a prisoner, and “preaching in his own hired house,” with which the history of the Acts concludes. In this case, it must have been written about twenty-seven years after Christ's departure, and about the fourth year of the reign of Nero. Jerome says that St. Luke died when he was eighty-four years of age, and that he was never married. Dr. Cave observes that “his way and manner of writing are accurate and exact, his style polite and elegant, sublime anti lofty, yet perspicuous; and that he expresses himself in a vein of purer Greek than is to be found in the other writers of this holy history.” Thus he relates several things more copiously than the other evangelists, and thus he especially treats of those things which relate to the priestly office of Christ.