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Outline your knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding authorship and date of Luke's gospel.

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Introduction

Outline your knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding authorship and date of Luke's gospel. (30 marks). There are two main issues to be disscussed when considering authorship and date of Luke- They are often put under two simple headings, external evidence and internal evidence. However, the true strory is much more complicated than this. It is usually agreed that the writer of Acts is the same person who wrote Luke. This is because in the preface of both books, they are adressed to the same person, Theophilus. Also, both books share a similar style of vocabulary. Tradition unamimously says Luke as the author. This is sometimes dismissed as no more than guesswork. Howeve, the point is put across by many authors, Leon Morris included, that Luke was not an important enough figure in the early church to have two considerable volumes attributed to him without good reason- surely if people were guessing they would be more likely to attribute it to an apostle. ...read more.

Middle

Another reason why many people consider Luke, who was a physician, to be the author is that troughout we see medical knowledge and technical language used. One example of this is when he describes the man of being in the advanced stage of leporacy, "He was full of leporacy". However, we have so far only discussed instances which may persuade the reader that Luke can be the only person considered as the author. We must realise that there are those who argue otherwise. One of their most serious objections to the Lukan authorship is that it differs to the other gospels and so some argue that because of this the writer of Luke could not have been a close companion of Paul. One example is the way pentecost and the speaking in tounges in Luke seems different to what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 14. However, in my opinion differences of this type may well show that Luke was written in independence of anything else, however there are no real contradictions and the evidence for the Lukan authorship heavily outweighs the evidence against it. ...read more.

Conclusion

If he were writing after AD 70 it is logical to expect him to mention the fulfilment of Jesus' prophecy that the city would be destroyed- often recently scholars have likened this to writing a diary entry dated 12 September 2001 and not mentioning the attacks a day previous and so surely Luke must have been before the fall of Jerusalem. * In Acts no event after AD62 is mentioned, for example the death of James (AD62) or Paul and so it is fair to assume it was written before this date. There are also certain issues which must be adressesed with the other two dates. Starting with the second centuary date. There are dissimilarities with any other material which was written at the time e.g. 1 Clement and there is no reference to the writing of Paul. With the 75- 85 date the main problem is the failure to mention the fall of Jerusalem. Such an important event would have surely been mantioned.. In conclusion, the earliest date seems the most likely. Although the evidence falls short of complete proof there is certainly more to be said for this date than any of the others. By Chris Busby 13WL ...read more.

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