Even as they delivered them unto us
By whom the evangelist means, as appears from the after description of them, the twelve apostles, and seventy disciples; who handed down to others the accounts of the birth, life, and death of Christ; and according to which the above Christians proposed to write:
which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the
either of the Gospel, or rather of Christ himself, the eternal Word of God; for from the beginning of Christ's preaching the Gospel, or as soon as he entered upon his public ministry, he called his apostles, as Simon, Andrew, James, John and afterwards seventy disciples; who were eyewitnesses of him, of the truth of his incarnation, and of his ministry and miracles; saw, and conversed with him after his resurrection from the dead and beheld his ascension to heaven; and were ministers that were called, qualified, and sent out by him and waited on him, and served him. This shows, as is by some rightly observed, that Luke was not one of the seventy disciples, as some F9 have thought, and as the title of this Gospel, to the Arabic version of it, expresses; for then he would have been an eyewitness himself: nor did he take his account from the Apostle Paul; for he was not a minister of the word from the beginning, but was as one born out of due time.
F9 Epiphan. contra Haeres. l. 2. Haeres. 51. Theophylact. in Argument in Luc.