Divine Empowerment of Leaders

Divine Empowerment of Leaders, Study of Luke(Page 2)

By Allen Quist 

Luke, the Historian

God prepared the historian Luke to research, record, and communicate divinely empowered events and their significance in an intellectually acceptable manuscript (Witherington 69). Since the early years of church history, historians and scholars credit both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles to Luke (Robertson sec. IV). The end of the Gospel of Luke intentionally overlaps with the beginning of Acts providing continuity between the two volumes (Radmacher, Allen, and House 1812). The prologue of Acts contains two major links to the Gospel of Luke: Luke refers to “my former book” (Acts 1:1-2) and to Theophilus, the subject of the dedication of the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). The writing style, diction, and themes are similar in both books and both combine classical Greek with Greek from the Septuagint, a popular Greek translation of the Old Testament (Douglas and Comfort Acts sec., Introduction). Acts continues the themes and emphases found in the Gospel of Luke, so the background information in the prologue of Luke may apply to Acts as well as the book of Luke (Green 6-10). The size of Luke and Acts are roughly equivalent, each needing papyrus rolls of about thirty-five feet (Green 7-8) with the intent of circulating both books as one complete independent history (Bruce 3).

There appears to be a careful construction of the historical material to meet the expectations of both Greco-Roman readers (Green 33-36) and Jewish readers familiar with the Septuagint (Witherington 125). While Luke addresses his work to Theophilus so he could be certain of all he had learned (Radmacher, Allen, and House 1684), we must keep in mind that in an age of handwritten manuscripts, historians wrote with an understanding other people would also read and circulate the texts. Luke was no exception; he is providing material for believers Next Pagewith some knowledge of the Good News to defend their faith (Witherington 63). Luke’s two writings present a single vehicle to teach God’s plan of salvation to all people (Green 21).

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