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The Gospel was written to help believers to understand the nature of the love of God for all people” Discuss and access this view of the purpose for Luke’s Gospel.

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Katy Taylor "The Gospel was written to help believers to understand the nature of the love of God for all people" Discuss and access this view of the purpose for Luke's Gospel. To investigate whether this statement, attempting to describe Luke's reason for writing, is correct, the first place to look would seem to be his prologue. Because this has been written by Luke himself this would seem to be the most reliable source. Information from his prologue referring that he is writing to 'believers' is quite limited however. The only possible believer that Luke could be writing for is "...you, most excellent Theoph'ilus". As this is the only person mentioned throughout the prologue. Since Luke has called this man a person that is 'most excellent' it can only be presumed that this man is of a high status. Whether he is a religious believer can only be determined on the fact that this man should "know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed". These 'things' could be thought of as the accounts that have already been written about Jesus or things he has heard about him. Two theologians, Bruce and Neil, believe differently. They state that Theoph'ilus could have been a non-Christian being converted to a Christian by Luke. They also state that Theoph'ilus are many Christians (as explained below) whose faith is wavering, however this does not explain why Luke address a fellow Christian most excellent. ...read more.


But the others who thought that Jesus was never going to come need to be told that it could be come at any time to restore their faith. Other theories that support that Luke was writing for believers are Talberts theory of Gnosticism, the persecution of Christians by Brown and Tieda, and the question of who is the church? From Maddox and Wilson. The false teaching of Gnosticism (gnosis meaning knowledge) was believed to come form a group of Christians who had acquired 'secret knowledge' from passers down who had been told by Jesus himself. These Gnosticists major 'secret' was that Jesus apparently was only a spiritual being and that he wasn't a man, that he just looked like one. These Gnosticists also believed that flesh was evil and sinful because of the evil that was carried out in them in the world. So to believe that Jesus had his own body would be impossible for them to believe as they thought if Jesus did indeed have a body he would be polluting himself with this sinful flesh. The suffering and death of Jesus is therefore explained, Jesus didn't suffer or die and this is how the Gnosticists could explain the resurrection, because he never died in the first place. Therefore salvation was seen as an escape from the wretchedness of their body. The danger then is that Christians, if they believed the Gnosticism, would be lead to believe that Jesus never suffered or died for them. ...read more.


An example of this is the story of Jairus daughter, were a woman with a haemorrhage touches Jesus cloak "Daughter your faith has made you well; go in peace" this shows Jesus reaching out to a woman in need who would have otherwise have been rejected by others. The fact that Jesus also says he has come for everyone and God will love that those who accept him. On the other hand Luke seems to mainly be responding to problems in the community that has arisen and doesn't focus wholly on expressing the nature of Gods love for all people. What can be deduced from this information is that Luke may have written for the reason in the statement to some extent. It is inevitable that Luke most probably wrote for believers and not non-believers. As he has responded to the problems that have arisen in their community and not others. But whether or not Luke has written to show the nature of Gods love for all people is debatable. As I have mentioned previously Luke mentions many parables and stories of Jesus reaching out to the needy to show that God cares for them even if others do not. But this is not focused on as much as other themes in the Gospel. Themes of showing Jesus humanity and the Kingdom of God have stronger roles than this in the Gospel. Therefore in my opinion Luke wrote for believers but not necessarily to focus on showing the nature of Gods love, rather to help believers with the struggles they were faced with. ...read more.

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