The Gospel According to Luke -
Luke is the third of the Synoptic Gospels. * Early interpreters recognized that Matthew, Mark, and Luke were so closely related that they should be “seen together,” as “synoptic” means in Greek. Luke is the first book of the larger work carried forward in the Acts of the Apostles (see Acts 1.1 , “In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught …”). Taken together, Luke-Acts is the largest work in the New Testament and the most consistently historical in its literary style. Luke-Acts does not claim to be a more accurate record than its sources or other Gospels, but the author announces qualifications to provide an “orderly account” in order to communicate the truth ( 1.1–4 ). The narrative * declares the life and ministry of Jesus to be the fulfillment of “the law of Moses, the prophets, * and the psalms” (see 1.1; 24.27, 32, 44 ). The appeals to Israel's scriptures bear witness to the “definite plan and foreknowledge of God,” as the speeches of the apostles * in Acts also attest explicitly (see Acts 2.22–24, 30–36; 3.18 ). God's “kingdom” or “rule” is not an abstract ideal or merely a heavenly future. The narrative of Luke-Acts tells what happened when Jesus the “anointed * one” (Luke 2.11; 22.67; 23.2, 35, 39; 24.26, 46; Acts 2.31, 36; 3.20; 4.10 : “messiah” * in Hebrew or “Christ” in Greek) brought God's rule, will, and work into the history of Israel and the Roman order.
Later tradition named Luke as the author of this narrative and called it a “Gospel.” The titles for the four Gospels were probably attached in the second century when they were collected and read next to each other. None of them identifies its author in the body of the account. None of the Gospels says when it was written (see aside to “the reader” in Mk 13.14 , which may allude to the impending or just completed Roman destruction of the Temple * in 70–73 CE). The Gospel according to Luke was probably written in the late first century, shortly after the destruction. Luke is focused on God's reign as inaugurated by Jesus the messiah within Israel.