Let's read the Bible project
Hello! This is Yoshiki Tsukamoto, the Bible Study Director for ec16.
Here is the third column for our Bible reading written by Dr. Yamazaki-Ransam. Please refer his blog for a deeper study!!
Again, don't forget the "Let's read Luke-Acts project"!
Readings for this week (11/13-20): Luke 15-21 or Luke 7-9
The Story of the Gospel narrated by Luke (3) "The author and the original readers of Luke-Acts"
This time, let us look into the author and the original readers of Luke-Acts. In church tradition, it is said that the person named Luke wrote two books in the New Testament for Theophilus. But who is Luke?
In the book of Acts, there are stories about Paul's mission trip for which the subject is "we," the second plural (for example, Acts 16:10-). These are the stories for which author was together with Paul, and wrote what he observed. It means that Luke was with Paul for this trip. In Paul's letter, there are three mentions about Luke (Colossians 4:14, Philemon 24, 2 Timothy 4:11). Colossians 4:14 ("Our dear friend Luke, the doctor" [NIV]) mentions that he was a doctor.
Luke might have been a well-educated person who could write very sophisticated Greek. He might be the only Gentile (non-Jew) Christian among the authors of the books in the New Testament. He had abundant knowledge about the Old Testament and Judaism.
Luke wrote his two-fold story for the person named Theophilus. "Theophilus" is a Greek name which means "the one who God loved." He might have been a Gentile Christian. The words "most excellent Theophilus" in Luke 1:3 implies that he might have been a person of social eminence. There is a possibility that he supported Luke's publication.
However, this does not mean that Luke wrote only for Theophilus; He also wrote for the church to which Theophilus belonged. Most of the members of the church were likely Gentile Christians. Luke-Acts is the story of the Gospel written by a Gentile Christian for a church that mainly consisted of Gentiles. This story is the witness that the Gospel was proclaimed beyond the ethnicity of Jews to the Gentiles. There is great meaning in this for us, as many of us are Gentile Christians.
☆If you want to learn more, go to Dr. Kazuhiko Yamazaki-Ransom's blog! (Japanese only)