Dating gospel of luke

Jay Rogers. One of the almost universally held notions of liberal theology is that the Gospels are anonymous writings and the names of the authors were not attached to the original manuscripts. Although we do not have the original manuscripts, this is stated as a certain fact. However, the earliest codices are not anonymous. Here is an image of P75, a papyrus codex that was copied at the end of the second century from an earlier copy. This is the earliest example that we have of a manuscript in which one Gospel ends and another begins.

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The first question that confronts one when examining Luke and Acts is whether they were written by the same person, as indicated in the prefaces. With the agreement of nearly all scholars, Udo Schnelle writes, "the extensive linguistic and theological agreements and cross-references between the Gospel of Luke and the Acts indicate that both works derive from the same author" The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings , p.

This implies the implausibility of the hypothesis of such as John Knox that Marcion knew only Luke, not Acts, and that Acts was an anti-Marcionite production of the mid second century. The next higher critical question is, if Luke and Acts were written by the same person, who was that person? This attestation probably does not stem from reading Irenaeus Adv.

Marcionem 4. Indeed, considering that the immediate recipient of Luke is mentioned in the preface, and given that the author of the third Gospel is aware that many other accounts have been drawn up before him, it is entirely probable that the author had indicated his name on the autograph. The "most excellent Theophilus" mentioned in the preface of Luke is most likely his patron, as seen in the similar references to "most excellent X" in the prefaces to the De libris propriis liber of Galenus, the De antiquis oratoribus of Dionysius Halicarnassensis, the Scriptor De Divinatione of Melampus, the Peri ton kata antipatheian kai sumpatheian of Nepualius, and both Josephi vita and Contra Apionem of Josephus.

This Luke has traditionally been identified as the one named in Philemon 24 as a co-worker of Paul. Does the internal evidence support the idea that the author of Luke-Acts had known Saul of Tarsus? Chief among the features of Luke-Acts that have always been thought to support the idea that the author knew Paul are the "we passages" found in For example, Acts We spent some time in that city. As we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl with an oracular spirit, who used to bring a large profit to her owners through her fortune-telling.

She began to follow Paul and us, shouting, 'These people are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation. Paul was saved as an answer to his prayer, and he proceeded to travel through Thessalonica, Beroea, and Athens. Paul set sail for Syria by way of Ephesus, landed in Caesarea, and went to Antioch.

After an upset with the silversmiths in Ephesus, the first person narration picks up again as follows: As he travelled throughout those regions, he provided many words of encouragement for them. Then he arrived in Greece, where he stayed for three months. But when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return by way of Macedonia.

Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, from Beroea, accompanied him, as did Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia who went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. We sailed from Philippi after the feast of Unleavened Bread, and rejoined them five days later in Troas, where we spent a week.

On the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread, Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave on the next day, and he kept on speaking until midnight. We went ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos where we were to take Paul on board, as he had arranged, since he was going overland. When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. We sailed away from there on the next day and reached a point of Chios, and a day later we reached Samos, and on the following day we arrived at Miletus.

Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus in order not to lose time in the province of Asia, for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if at all possible, for the day of Pentecost. Notice also that the "we" narration drops off at Philippi and then picks up in the second passage with "We sailed from Philippi. The distinction between Paul and "us" discredits the idea that the first person perspective in these passages is some kind of literary device, which would take the perspective of Paul for example increasing the drama of Paul's adventure or increasing the connection of Paul to the group , and for which there is no precedent in ancient literature.

The alternative is that the author of Acts was making a false affectation to being a companion of Paul. This prompts the question of why the author made this claim in such a subtle way, instead of ensuring that the reader could not miss it by emphasizing the point, as apocryphal writers often did. It also leaves us wondering as to why the false claim to participation is restricted to a few passages, leaving Paul alone for most of the narrative--though this is understandable if the author's participation was in fact sporadic.

The most probable conclusion is that Luke had travelled with Paul at times, a fact of which Luke's patron Theophilus was already aware. Other arguments are made concerning the authorship of Acts, but none of them are conclusive. The thesis that the vocabulary of Luke-Acts is special to a physician was deflated by H. Cadbury in his dissertation The Style and Literary Method of Luke the saying goes that Cadbury earned his doctorate by depriving Luke of his!

The argument that the final voyage to Rome is an especially accurate depiction of sea travel can be met with the reply that the author not Luke had sailed that way at a later time or appropriated a sailor's account of the same. The cleavage between the theology of Luke and Paul is simply a consequence of the student going off in his own direction, a venerable tradition. The disagreements noted between the narrative of Acts and the letters mainly Galatians may frequently be reconciled, but in any case are explained if the author of Luke-Acts didn't own any copies of Paul's letters to which he could refer.

It is, after all, improbable that Paul would dispatch a letter both to a church and then to all his sometime companions. The ignorance of the letters of Paul on the part of the author of Luke-Acts actually speaks for a date before ca. So we come upon the third question of higher criticism, the date of Luke-Acts. It is sometimes put forward that the Gospel of Luke may be as early as 62 CE because Acts does not narrate the martyrdom of Paul.

The ending of Acts is an old problem that has prompted many theories. As early as the Muratorian Canon late second century , an explanation for Luke's incompleteness at this part of the story seemed caled for, and the compiler of that canonical list explained that Luke did not tell of the martyrdom of Peter or Paul's subsequent journey to the West, because he wanted to relate only those things that had occurred in his presence! Other "explanations" of greater or lesser probability have not been lacking: Alternatively, that Luke died before he could finish this volume, or before he could undertake still a third volume that he contemplated.

This last theory has recently taken on new life in the proposal that the Pastoral Letters are written by Luke as the third volume of Luke-Acts. Such theories are demanded only if Luke is regarded as the sort of historian whose main purpose is factual completeness and accuracy. In fact, however, we have seen that everywhere Luke's account is selected and shaped to suit his apologetic interests, not in defiance of but in conformity to ancient standards of historiography. The questions are generated as well by the presumption that it is Paul's fate which most concerns Luke, and a failure to clearly indicate his end demands an explanation.

But in fact, we have seen that Luke's argument involves far more than Paul's personal destiny. As important as Paul is to Luke and as dominant as he has been in the second half of Acts, he remains for Luke ultimately only another in a series of prophetic figures through whom God's message of salvation is brought to the people. It is through attention to Luke's overall narrative interests that we are best able to appreciate this ending not as the result of historical happenstance or editorial ineptitude, but as a deliberately and effectively crafted conclusion to a substantial apologetic argument.

Even concerning Paul's fate, Luke has left us with no mystery. By this time, the reader must appreciate that all prophecies spoken in the narrative will reach fulfillment--even if their fulfillment is not recounted in the narrative itself! Thus, the reader knows on the basis of authoritative prophecy that Paul made his defense before Caesar But the fact that Luke does not find it necessary to tell us these events is a most important clue as to how we should read the conclusion of his work: So when Paul arrives in Rome his first step is to invite the Jewish leaders to his presence.

In his initial meeting with them, Paul makes clear not only his innocence of any charges worthy of death, but more importantly, his complete lack of animus against Judaism. He has not come as one bearing "a charge against my nation" Indeed, his desire to speak at length with them has nothing to do with his own fate but with his message, which concerns "the hope of Israel" Even after his repeated rejections by his fellow Jews which caused him to turn to the Gentiles The reason is not his personal heroism but God's fidelity to the promises.

They have still another chance to respond. The initial reaction to the Jewish leaders is carefully neutral. They have heard bad things about "this sect" but have had no instructions concerning Paul himself. They are therefore willing to hold a second and more formal meeting. The effort Paul expends in that second conference is extraordinary: As we would expect, he bases his appeal on "the Law and the Prophets" The response is mixed. Some of the Jewish leaders are positively inclined, some are disbelieving It is difficult to assess accurately what Luke intends the reader to understand by this: Perhaps, but the fact that they all leave while "disagreeing with each other" The final word spoken to the Jewish leaders is therefore one of rejection, but it is a rejection that they have taken upon themselves.

Luke now has Paul stand truly as a prophet, speaking against the people of Israel as the prophets of old had done. Luke had not made full use of the Isaiah 6: It has been the argument of the narrative of Acts that God did not stop making the offer of salvation to Israel through the proclamation of the raised Prophet Jesus. Only now, after so many attempts at persuading this people, is it time to employ this most chilling prophecy, spoken first of the ancient people but now "fulfilled" in the events of Luke's story.

Paul has "gone to this people" and spoken the Word. And they have neither heard, nor seen, nor understood. But as the LXX version of the text makes clear, the blame is not God's nor is it the prophet's. The message itself does not deafen, or blind, or stun. It is because the people have grown obtuse that they do not perceive in the message about Jesus the realization of their own most authentic "hope. For the final time, therefore, Paul announces a turn to the Gentiles with a ringing affirmation: Luke's readers recognize this as the prophecy that has indeed taken place "among us" Luke 1: Luke's answer is contained in the entire narrative up to this point.

In every way, God has proven faithful; not his prophetic word and power, but the blindness of the people has lead to their self-willed exclusion from the messianic blessings. The final sight Luke gives us of Paul is, in this reading, entirely satisfactory. Absolutely nothing hinges on the success or failure of Paul's defense before Caesar, for Luke's apologetic has not been concerned primarily with Paul's safety or even the legitimacy of the Christian religion within the empire.

What Luke was defending he has successfully concluded: God's fidelity to his people and to his own word. And that point concluded, the ending of Acts is truly an opening to the continuing life of the messianic people, as it continues to preach the kingdom and teach the things concerning Jesus both boldly and without hindrance, knowing now that although increasingly Gentile in its growth, its roots are deep within the story of people to whom God's prophets have unfailingly been sent.

Hans Conzelmann is more brief: The farewell speech in Miletus leaves no doubt as to how this came about: Paul was executed. But Luke did not wish to tell about that. The purpose of the book has been fully achieved; therefore we ought to reject all hypotheses which understand the book as incomplete or which declare the ending to be accidental.

Acts is the second of two books written by Luke, so setting a date for Acts also serves to establish the latest possible date for the Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of . Dating the Gospel of Luke (part 2). By Jay Rogers. Posted October 22, Can the Gospels be authenticated? One of the almost universally held notions of.

This page gives a three-part discussion that shows the gospel of Luke was written between 59 to 62 CE. Physical evidence, secular writings, and logic are used. When you finish reading this page, you will begin to understand why Christians logically accept these dates. External evidence means sources outside of the Bible. This section discusses ancient artifacts and the writings of Josephus that verify Luke to be a credible historian and author.

Ultimately, from a faith perspective, the precise dates do not matter. What matters is that they are divinely inspired and thus authoritative for faith.

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Gospel According to Luke

When a person puts up a tent, the first stake placed in the ground largely determines the location of the entire tent. Dating the New Testament works in much the same way. Because there are many connections between New Testament books, moving the date of one book tends to drag the dates of a number of other books along with it. Therefore, it is important to decide which book ought to be the first stake, and where on the timeline that stake should be placed. Most modern scholarship identifies the gospel of Mark as the earliest gospel, setting Mark down as the first stake for the tent and working from there. There are good reasons for doing this.

Don Stewart :: When Were the Four Gospels Written?

It is traditionally credited to St. Paul the Apostle. The date and place of composition are uncertain, but many date the Gospel to 63—70 ce , others somewhat later. Like St. Matthew , Luke derives much of his Gospel from that of St. The Gospels of Luke and Matthew, however, share a good deal of material not found in The Gospel According to Mark , suggesting that the two evangelists may have had access to another common source. It also is the only Gospel to give an account of the Ascension. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles.

The Gospel According to Luke Greek:

The first question that confronts one when examining Luke and Acts is whether they were written by the same person, as indicated in the prefaces. With the agreement of nearly all scholars, Udo Schnelle writes, "the extensive linguistic and theological agreements and cross-references between the Gospel of Luke and the Acts indicate that both works derive from the same author" The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings , p.

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