147 or 147:1-7
Ecclesiasticus 38:1-4,6-10, 12-14
Daily Office Readings:
Preface of All Saints
PRAYER (traditional language)
Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to
set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously
continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise
and glory of thy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and for ever.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to declare
in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue
in your Church the same love and power to heal, to the praise and glory
of your Name; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
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LUKE THE EVANGELIST
all that we know about Luke comes from the New Testament. He was a physician
(Col 4:14), a companion of Paul on some of his missionary journeys (Acts
16:10ff; 20:5ff; 27-28). Material found in his Gospel and not elsewhere
includes much of the account of Our Lord's birth and infancy and boyhood,
some of the most moving parables, such as that of the Good Samaritan and
that of the Prodigal Son, and three of the sayings of Christ on the Cross:
"Father, forgive them," "Thou shalt be with me in Paradise," and "Father,
into thy hands I commend my spirit."
In Luke's account of the Gospel, we find an emphasis on the human love
of Christ, on His compassion for sinners and for suffering and unhappy
persons, for outcasts such as the Samaritans, tax collectors, lepers,
shepherds (not a respected profession), and for the poor. The role of
women in Christ's ministry is more emphasized in Luke than in the other
In the book of Acts, we find the early Christian community poised from
the start to carry out its commission, confident and aware of Divine guidance.
We see how the early Christians at first preached only to Jews, then to
Samaritans (a borderline case), then to outright Gentiles like Cornelius,
and finally explicitly recognized that Gentiles and Jews are called on
equal terms to the service and fellowship of Christ.
makes many casual references throughout his writings (especially in Acts)
to local customs and practices, often with demonstrable and noteworthy
precision. To mention just one example, he refers to two centurions by
name, Cornelius in Acts 10 and Julius in Acts 27, and he calls them both
by nomen only, rather than by nomen and cognomen (Sergius Paulus in Acts
13;7) or cognomen only (Gallio in Acts 18:12), as he does when speaking
of civilian officials. It is a distinction that would have been routine
at the time that Luke is writing about, but one that had largely died
out by, say, 70 AD. His preserving it shows either that (1) he wrote fairly
close to the events he described, or (2) he was describing persons and
events on which he had good information, or (3) he was an expert historical
novelist, with an ear for the authentic-sounding detail.
Luke is commonly thought to be the only non-Jewish New Testament writer.
His writings place the life of Christ and the development of the early
Church in the larger context of the Roman Empire and society. On the other
hand, his writings are focused on Jerusalem and on the Temple. His Gospel
begins and ends in the Temple, and chapters nine through nineteen portray
Jesus as journeying from Galilee to Jerusalem. Similarly, the Book of
Acts describes the Church in Jerusalem (and worshipping in the Temple)
and then describes the missionary journeys of Paul as excursions from
and returns to Jerusalem.
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
What writer wrote more pages of the New Testament than anyone else? If
you say Paul, try again. In my pocket Bible, Acts and the Gospel of Luke
occupy a total of sixty pages, while all the letters traditionally attributed
to Paul (not counting Hebrews) total fifty-six.
The writer of the Third Gospel and the Book of Acts does not give his
name in his writings. (Except for Nehemiah, no Biblical writer of a narrative
book does.) He does claim to be a traveling companion of Paul, and his
interests and vocabulary suggest that he is a physician. Since Paul tells
us that he had a companion named Luke who was a physician, the conclusion
that Luke is the writer we are looking for is reasonable.
Was the two-volume work Luke-Acts in fact written by a companion of Paul?
Scholars are not agreed on the answer.
By and large, most German writers favor a negative
answer. Their reasons are that (1) the chronology of Paul's life found
in the Book of Acts presents certain apparent conflicts with that found
in Paul's letter to the Galatians, and that (2) the writer seems unfamiliar
with the geography of Israel.
On the other hand, most English scholars favor an affirmative
answer. Their reasons are that the "We" sections in Acts (the sections
in which the author explicitly claims to have been present at the events
he describes) contain a wealth of circumstantial detail that make invention
extremely unlikely. (Thus, for example, Mr. James Smith of Jordan Hill,
FRS, having sailed a vessel over the same route described in Acts 27-28,
argues in his book, The Voyage and Shipwreck of Saint Paul, that the account must have
been written by someone who had sailed that route. It used to be a popular
theory that the writer had somehow gotten his hands on a travel diary
of the real "Luke" and incorporated it into his work. However, a detailed
analysis of the writing style of various sections of the work shows none
of the differences that would be expected on this theory. Scholars on
the affirmative side generally answer the negative objections mentioned
above by supposing that (1) the conferences mentioned in Acts 15 and Galatians
2 are not the same conference, and that (2) Luke uses the word "Judea"
sometimes to mean the southern portion of the land of Israel, and sometimes
to mean the whole land. For some comments on the historical reliability
of the opening chapters of the Gospel of Luke, send the messages
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by James Kiefer