Gospel of Luke

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The Gospel according to Luke (Greek: Κατὰ Λουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον, kata Loukan euangelion), commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.

The author is traditionally identified as Luke the Evangelist.[1] Certain popular stories, such as the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan, are found only in this gospel. This account also has a special emphasis on prayer, the activity of the Holy Spirit, women, and joyfulness.[2]

According to the preface[3] the purpose of Luke is to write a historical account,[4] while bringing out the theological significance of the history.[5] The evangelist divides history into three stages: the first ends with John the Baptist, the second consists of Jesus' earthly ministry, and the third is the life of the church after Jesus' resurrection.[6] The author portrays Christianity as divine, respectable, law-abiding, and international.[1] Here, Jesus' compassion extends to all who are needy, women are important among his followers, the despised Samaritans are commended, and Gentiles are promised the opportunity to accept the gospel.[7] While the gospel is written as a history, historically reliable information cannot be expected.[8]

Most modern critical scholarship concludes that Luke used the Gospel of Mark for his chronology and a hypothetical sayings source Q document for many of Jesus' teachings. Luke may also have drawn from independent written records.[9] Traditional Christian scholarship has dated the composition of the gospel to the early 60s,[10][11] while higher criticism dates it to the later decades of the 1st century.[12][13] While the traditional view that Paul's companion Luke authored the gospel is still often put forward, a number of possible contradictions between Acts and Paul's letter lead some scholars to dispute this account.[14][15] According to Raymond E. Brown, it is not impossible that Luke was the author.[16] According to the majority view, the author is unknown.[6]

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