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Gospel According to Luke

General Information

The Gospel According to Luke is the third book of the New Testament of the Bible. Because of its similarities to the Gospels According to Mark and Matthew, it is classified with them as the synoptic Gospels. Although the Gospel was traditionally ascribed to Luke, a companion of Paul (Philem. 24; 2 Tim. 4:11), most modern scholars think that it was written between AD 80 and 90 by a Gentile Christian who wrote the Acts of the Apostles as a sequel. The Gospel characteristically teaches a message of universal salvation addressed to all people, not only to the Jews.

Luke's Gospel can be divided into five major sections: a prologue (1:1 - 4); infancy narrative (1:5 - 2:52); ministry in Galilee (3:1 - 9:50); journey to Jerusalem (9:51 - 21:38); and the passion and resurrection (22:1 - 24:53). The conclusion sets the scene for the spread of the Christian word, as recounted in the Acts.

In common with the other Gospels, Luke relates the principal events of Christ's public life. Passages peculiar to Luke include the parable of the good Samaritan (10:25 - 37), the prodigal son (15:11 - 32), and Christ's words to the women of Jerusalem and to the good thief (23:27 - 31, 43). Commentators point out the prominence given to women. Examples include the story of Elizabeth (1:5 - 66), Mary's part in the infancy narrative (1:5 - 2:52), and the widow of Naim (7:11 - 17). Luke also contains three hymns that have become an important part of liturgy: the Magnificat (1:46 - 55), the Benedictus (1:68 - 79), and the Nunc Dimittis (2:29 - 32).

Anthony J Saldarini

G B Caird, The Gospel of St. Luke (1963); F Danker, Jesus and the New Age According to St. Luke (1972); J M Dawsey, The Lukan Voice (1986); F Evans, Saint Luke (1990).

Gospel According to Luke

Brief Outline

  1. Jesus' thirty years of private life (1-4:13)
  2. Galilean Ministry of Jesus (4:14-9:50)
  3. Journey from Galilee to Jerusalem (9:51-19:44)
  4. Last days of Jesus in Jerusalem, His Crucifixion and Burial (19:45-23:56)
  5. Resurrections and appearances of the Risen Lord and His Ascension (24:1-53)


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