Luke 1:2

Even as (kaqw). This particle was condemned by the Atticists though occurring occasionally from Aristotle on. It is in the papyri. Luke asserts that the previous narratives had their sound basis. Delivered unto us (paredwsan hmin). Second aorist active indicative of paradidwmi. Luke received this tradition along with those who are mentioned above (the many). That is he was not one of the "eyewitnesses." He was a secondary, not a primary, witness of the events. Tradition has come to have a meaning of unreliability with us, but that is not the idea here. Luke means to say that the handing down was dependable, not mere wives' fables. Those who drew up the narratives had as sources of knowledge those who handed down the data. Here we have both written and oral sources. Luke had access to both kinds. Which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (oi ap arch autoptai kai uphretai genomenoi tou logou). "Who" is better than "which" for the article here. The word for eyewitnesses (autoptai) is an old Greek word and appears in the papyri also. It means seeing with one's own eyes. It occurs here only in the N.T. We have the very word in the medical term autopsy. Greek medical writers often had the word. It is a different word from epoptai (eyewitness) in 2 Peter 1:16 , a word used of those who beheld heavenly mysteries. The word for "ministers" (uphretai), under rowers or servants we have had already in Matthew 5:25 ; Matthew 26:58 ; Mark 14:54 Mark 14:65 , which see. We shall see it again in Luke 4:20 of the attendant in the synagogue. In the sense of a preacher of the gospel as here, it occurs also in Acts 26:16 . Here "the word" means the gospel message, as in Acts 6:4 ; Acts 8:4 , etc. From the beginning apparently refers to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus as was true of the apostles ( Acts 1:22 ) and of the early apostolic preaching ( Acts 10:37-43 ). The Gospel of Mark follows this plan. The Gospel of Luke goes behind this in chapters 1 and 2 as does Matthew in chapters 1 and 2. But Luke is not here referring to himself. The matters about the childhood of Jesus Christ would not form part of the traditional preaching for obvious reasons.