Sunday, January 13, 2013

Luke 1-8 background

This session of Bible study will cover Luke 1-8 - basically Jesus' birth and early ministry. The author of the book is Luke, a Gentile physician who traveled with Paul on parts of his missionary journeys (as indicated by the "we" passages in Acts 16, 20, & 27). Although not an apostle or early follower of Jesus, he received the traditions and stories of the gospel from apostles and other eyewitnesses. One of his main sources seems to be Mark.

Luke was a historian who sought to record events as they actually happened. Not surprisingly, as a physician he has a special interest in the healing miracles of Jesus. He wrote Luke and the second volume of his work, Acts, to "Theophilus" - which in Greek means "friend of God". Scholars debate whether this is a specific person's name, an honorary title, the name of a Jewish priest of the Sadducee branch, or a converted Roman official. Others believe the books were written to a larger Gentile audience - anyone who was a "friend of God". The book was probably written sometime around 60-75 AD.

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