Luke 1

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Dedication to Theophilus

1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that 1have been accomplished among us,
2 2just as those who 3from the beginning were 4eyewitnesses and 5ministers of 6the word 7have delivered them to us,
3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write 8an orderly account for you, 9most excellent 10Theophilus,
4 that you may have 11certainty concerning the things 12you have been taught.

Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

5 13In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,[a]14of 15the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6 And they were both 16righteous before God, walking 17blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
7 But they had no child, because 18Elizabeth was barren, and 19both were advanced in years.
8 Now 20while he was serving as priest before God when 21his division was on duty,
9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot 22to enter 23the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10 And the whole multitude of the people 24were praying 25outside at the hour of incense.
11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of 26the altar of incense.
12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and 27fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for 28your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and 29you shall call his name John.
14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will 30rejoice at his birth,
15 for he will be 31great before the Lord. And 32he must not drink wine or strong 33drink, and 34he will be 35filled with the Holy Spirit, 36even from his mother's womb.
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
17 and 37he will go before him 38in the spirit and power of Elijah, 39to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and 40the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, 41to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, 42"How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years."
19 And the angel answered him, "I am 43Gabriel. 44I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
20 And behold, 45you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time."
21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in 46the temple.
22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in 47the temple. And 48he kept making signs to them and remained mute.
23 And 49when his time of 50service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
25 "Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, 51to take away my reproach among people."

Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel 52Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named 53Nazareth,
27 54to a virgin betrothed[b] to a man whose name was Joseph, 55of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, 56O favored one, 57the Lord is with you!"[c]
29 But 58she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for 59you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, 60you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and 61you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of 62the Most High. And the Lord God 63will give to him the throne of 64his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob 65forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"[d]
35 And the angel answered her, 66"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of 67the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[e] will be called 68holy--69the Son of God.
36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her 70who was called barren.
37 For 71nothing will be impossible with God."
38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And 72the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into 73the hill country, to a town in Judah,
40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth 74was filled with the Holy Spirit,
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, 75"Blessed are you among women, and 76blessed is 77the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of 78my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And 79blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

Mary's Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said, 80"My 81soul 82magnifies the Lord,
47 83and my 84spirit rejoices in 85God my Savior,
48 for 86he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations 87will call me blessed;
49 for 88he who is mighty 89has done great things for me, and 90holy is his name.
50 And 91his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 92He has shown strength with his arm; 93he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 94he has brought down the mighty from their thrones 95and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled 96the hungry with good things, and the rich 97he has sent away empty.
54 He has 98helped 99his servant Israel, 100in remembrance of his mercy,
55 101as he spoke to our fathers, 102to Abraham and to his offspring forever."
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.
58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord 103had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 And 104on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father,
60 but his mother answered, "No; 105he shall be called John."
61 And they said to her, "None of your relatives is called by this name."
62 And 106they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called.
63 And he asked for 107a writing tablet and wrote, 108"His name is John." And they all wondered.
64 109And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue 110loosed, and he spoke, 111blessing God.
65 And 112fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all 113the hill country of Judea,
66 and all who heard them 114laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For 115the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah's Prophecy

67 And his father Zechariah 116was filled with the Holy Spirit and 117prophesied, saying,
68 118"Blessed be the Lord 119God of Israel, for he has 120visited and 121redeemed his people
69 and 122has raised up 123a horn of salvation for us 124in the house of his servant David,
70 125as 126he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 127that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 128to show the mercy promised to our fathers and 129to remember his holy 130covenant,
73 131the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him 132without fear,
75 133in holiness and righteousness before him 134all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called 135the prophet of 136the Most High; for 137you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people 138in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the 139tender mercy of our God, whereby 140the sunrise shall 141visit us[h]142from on high
79 to 143give light to 144those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into 145the way of 146peace."
80 147And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was 148in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

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Luke 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

This evangelist is generally supposed to have been a physician, and a companion of the apostle Paul. The style of his writings, and his acquaintance with the Jewish rites and usages, sufficiently show that he was a Jew, while his knowledge of the Greek language and his name, speak his Gentile origin. He is first mentioned ( acts 16:10 acts 16:11 ) , as with Paul at Troas, whence he attended him to Jerusalem, and was with him in his voyage, and in his imprisonment at Rome. This Gospel appears to be designed to supersede many defective and unauthentic narratives in circulation, and to give a genuine and inspired account of the life, miracles, and doctrines of our Lord, learned from those who heard and witnessed his discourses and miracles.

The Preface. (1-4) Zacharias and Elisabeth. (5-25) Christ's birth announced. (26-38) Interview of Mary and Elisabeth. (39-56) The birth of John the Baptist. (57-66) The song of Zacharias. (67-80)

1-4. Luke will not write of things about which Christians may safely differ from one another, and hesitate within themselves; but the things which are, and ought to be surely believed. The doctrine of Christ is what the wisest and best of men have ventured their souls upon with confidence and satisfaction. And the great events whereon our hopes depend, have been recorded by those who were from the beginning eye-witnesses and ministers of the word, and who were perfected in their understanding of them through Divine inspiration.

Verses 5-25 The father and mother of John the Baptist were sinners as all are, and were justified and saved in the same way as others; but they were eminent for piety and integrity. They had no children, and it could not be expected that Elisabeth should have any in her old age. While Zacharias was burning incense in the temple, the whole multitude of the people were praying without. All the prayers we offer up to God, are acceptable and successful only by Christ's intercession in the temple of God above. We cannot expect an interest therein if we do not pray, and pray with our spirits, and are not earnest in prayer. Nor can we expect that the best of our prayers should gain acceptance, and bring an answer of peace, but through the mediation of Christ, who ever lives, making intercession. The prayers Zacharias often made, received an answer of peace. Prayers of faith are filed in heaven, and are not forgotten. Prayers made when we were young and entering into the world, may be answered when we are old and going out of the world. Mercies are doubly sweet that are given in answer to prayer. Zacharias shall have a son in his old age, who shall be instrumental in the conversion of many souls to God, and preparing them to receive the gospel of Christ. He shall go before Him with courage, zeal, holiness, and a mind dead to earthly interests and pleasures. The disobedient and rebellious would be brought back to the wisdom of their righteous forefathers, or rather, brought to attend to the wisdom of that Just One who was coming among them. Zacharias heard all that the angel said; but his unbelief spake. In striking him dumb, God dealt justly with him, because he had objected against God's word. We may admire the patience of God towards us. God dealt kindly with him, for thus he prevented his speaking any more distrustful, unbelieving words. Thus also God confirmed his faith. If by the rebukes we are under for our sin, we are brought to give the more credit to the word of God, we have no reason to complain. Even real believers are apt to dishonour God by unbelief; and their mouths are stopped in silence and confusion, when otherwise they would have been praising God with joy and gratitude. In God's gracious dealings with us we ought to observe his gracious regards to us. He has looked on us with compassion and favour, and therefore has thus dealt with us.

Verses 26-38 We have here an account of the mother of our Lord; though we are not to pray to her, yet we ought to praise God for her. Christ must be born miraculously. The angel's address means only, Hail, thou that art the especially chosen and favoured of the Most High, to attain the honour Jewish mothers have so long desired. This wondrous salutation and appearance troubled Mary. The angel then assured her that she had found favour with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. JESUS! the name that refreshes the fainting spirits of humbled sinners; sweet to speak and sweet to hear, Jesus, a Saviour! We know not his riches and our own poverty, therefore we run not to him; we perceive not that we are lost and perishing, therefore a Saviour is a word of little relish. Were we convinced of the huge mass of guilt that lies upon us, and the wrath that hangs over us for it, ready to fall upon us, it would be our continual thought, Is the Saviour mine? And that we might find him so, we should trample on all that hinders our way to him. Mary's reply to the angel was the language of faith and humble admiration, and she asked no sign for the confirming her faith. Without controversy, great was the mystery of ( 1 Timothy. 3:16 ) nature must be produced so, as it was fit that should be which was to be taken into union with the Divine nature. And we must, as Mary here, guide our desires by the word of God. In all conflicts, let us remember that with God nothing is impossible; and as we read and hear his promises, let us turn them into prayers, Behold the willing servant of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word.

Verses 39-56 It is very good for those who have the work of grace begun in their souls, to communicate one to another. On Mary's arrival, Elisabeth was conscious of the approach of her who was to be the mother of the great Redeemer. At the same time she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and under his influence declared that Mary and her expected child were most blessed and happy, as peculiarly honoured of and dear to the Most High God. Mary, animated by Elisabeth's address, and being also under the influence of the Holy Ghost, broke out into joy, admiration, and gratitude. She knew herself to be a sinner who needed a Saviour, and that she could no otherwise rejoice in God than as interested in his salvation through the promised Messiah. Those who see their need of Christ, and are desirous of righteousness and life in him, he fills with good things, with the best things; and they are abundantly satisfied with the blessings he gives. He will satisfy the desires of the poor in spirit who long for spiritual blessings, while the self-sufficient shall be sent empty away.

Verses 57-66 In these verses we have an account of the birth of John the Baptist, and the great joy among all the relations of the family. He shall be called Johanan, or "Gracious," because he shall bring in the gospel of Christ, wherein God's grace shines most bright. Zacharias recovered his speech. Unbelief closed his mouth, and believing opened it again: he believers, therefore he speaks. When God opens our lips, our mouths must show forth his praise; and better be without speech, than not use it in praising God. It is said, The hand of the Lord was working with John. God has ways of working on children in their infancy, which we cannot account for. We should observe the dealings of God, and wait the event.

Verses 67-80 Zacharias uttered a prophecy concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah. The gospel brings light with it; in it the day dawns. In John the Baptist it began to break, and increased apace to the perfect day. The gospel is discovering; it shows that about which we were utterly in the dark; it is to give light to those that sit in darkness, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is reviving; it brings light to those that sit in the shadow of death, as condemned prisoners in the dungeon. It is directing; it is to guide our feet in the way of peace, into that way which will bring us to peace at last, ( Romans 3:17 ) . John gave proofs of strong faith, vigorous and holy affections, and of being above the fear and love of the world. Thus he ripened for usefulness; but he lived a retired life, till he came forward openly as the forerunner of the Messiah. Let us follow peace with all men, as well as seek peace with God and our own consciences. And if it be the will of God that we live unknown to the world, still let us diligently seek to grow strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.

Cross References 148

  • 1. 2 Timothy 4:5, 17(Gk.); [Acts 3:18]
  • 2. [Hebrews 2:3]
  • 3. John 15:27; John 16:4; [Mark 1:1; Acts 11:15]
  • 4. 2 Peter 1:16; 1 John 1:1, 3; [Acts 4:20; 1 Peter 5:1]
  • 5. Acts 26:16; 1 Corinthians 4:1
  • 6. See Mark 4:14
  • 7. 1 Corinthians 11:2, 23
  • 8. Acts 11:4
  • 9. Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25
  • 10. Acts 1:1
  • 11. Acts 2:36(Gk.); [2 Peter 1:16, 19]
  • 12. Acts 18:25; Romans 2:18; 1 Corinthians 14:19; Galatians 6:6(Gk.)
  • 13. Matthew 2:1
  • 14. 1 Chronicles 24:10
  • 15. ver. 8
  • 16. Luke 2:25
  • 17. Philippians 2:15; Philippians 3:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; [Acts 23:1; Acts 24:16]
  • 18. ver. 36; [Judges 13:2; 1 Samuel 1:2]
  • 19. [Genesis 18:11; Hebrews 11:11, 12]
  • 20. 1 Chronicles 24:19; 2 Chronicles 8:14; 2 Chronicles 31:2; [ver. 23]
  • 21. ver. 5
  • 22. Exodus 30:7, 8; 1 Samuel 2:28; 1 Chronicles 23:13; 2 Chronicles 29:11
  • 23. ver. 21, 22; Revelation 11:2, 19; [Hebrews 9:2, 3]
  • 24. Psalms 141:2; [Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3, 4]
  • 25. [Leviticus 16:17]
  • 26. Exodus 30:1-10; Exodus 40:26, 27
  • 27. Acts 19:17
  • 28. [Acts 10:4, 31]
  • 29. ver. 60, 63
  • 30. [ver. 58]
  • 31. Luke 7:28; Matthew 11:11
  • 32. Luke 7:33; Numbers 6:3; Judg. 13:4, 7, 14; Matthew 11:18
  • 33. [Acts 2:15, 17; Ephesians 5:18]
  • 34. [Acts 2:15, 17; Ephesians 5:18]
  • 35. ver. 41, 67; See Acts 2:4
  • 36. Isaiah 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15
  • 37. ver. 76; John 3:28
  • 38. See Matthew 11:14
  • 39. Cited from Malachi 4:6
  • 40. Romans 10:21
  • 41. Luke 7:27; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2
  • 42. Genesis 15:8; [Genesis 17:17]
  • 43. ver. 26; Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21
  • 44. Revelation 8:2; [1 Kings 17:1; Job 1:6; Isaiah 63:9; Matthew 18:10]
  • 45. [Ezekiel 3:26; Ezekiel 24:27]
  • 46. See ver. 9
  • 47. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 48. ver. 62
  • 49. 2 Chronicles 23:8; [ver. 8; 2 Kings 11:5; 1 Chronicles 9:25]
  • 50. Hebrews 10:11
  • 51. [Genesis 30:23; 1 Samuel 1:6; Psalms 113:9; Isaiah 4:1]
  • 52. ver. 19
  • 53. See Matthew 2:23
  • 54. Matthew 1:16, 18
  • 55. Luke 2:4; Matthew 1:20
  • 56. [Psalms 45:2; Daniel 9:23]
  • 57. Judges 6:12
  • 58. See ver. 12
  • 59. Acts 7:46
  • 60. Isaiah 7:14
  • 61. Luke 2:21; Matthew 1:21, 25
  • 62. ver. 76; Luke 6:35; Acts 7:48; See Mark 5:7
  • 63. ver. 69; 2 Sam. 7:11-13, 16; Psalms 89:4; Psalms 132:11; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Isaiah 16:5; Acts 2:30; [Revelation 3:7]
  • 64. See Matthew 1:1
  • 65. Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14, 18, 27; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 11:15; [John 12:34]
  • 66. Matthew 1:18, 20
  • 67. [See ver. 32 above]
  • 68. John 6:69
  • 69. See Matthew 14:33
  • 70. ver. 7
  • 71. Cited from Genesis 18:14(Gk.); See Matthew 19:26
  • 72. [Judges 6:21; Acts 12:10]
  • 73. ver. 65; Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:11
  • 74. ver. 15, 67
  • 75. [Judges 5:24]
  • 76. [Deuteronomy 28:4]
  • 77. Psalms 127:3
  • 78. Luke 20:42; John 20:28; [Luke 2:11]
  • 79. John 20:29; [ver. 20]
  • 80. For ver. 46-53, [1 Samuel 2:1-10]
  • 81. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
  • 82. Psalms 34:2, 3; Psalms 69:30; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:17
  • 83. Psalms 35:9; Isaiah 61:10; Habakkuk 3:18; [Acts 16:34]
  • 84. [See ver. 46 above]
  • 85. Psalms 106:21; 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Jude 25; [2 Timothy 1:9]
  • 86. 1 Samuel 1:11; Psalms 138:6; [Luke 9:38]
  • 87. Luke 11:27; Psalms 72:17; [Malachi 3:12]
  • 88. Psalms 89:8; Zephaniah 3:17
  • 89. Psalms 71:19; Psalms 126:2, 3
  • 90. Psalms 99:3; Psalms 111:9; Isaiah 57:15
  • 91. Deuteronomy 5:10; Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalms 89:1, 2; Psalms 103:17
  • 92. Psalms 89:10; Psalms 98:1; Psalms 118:16; Isaiah 51:9
  • 93. Daniel 4:37; See James 4:6
  • 94. [See ver. 51 above]
  • 95. Job 5:11; Psalms 75:7; Psalms 107:40, 41; Psalms 113:7, 8; Psalms 147:6; Ezekiel 21:26; [James 4:10]
  • 96. Psalms 34:10; Psalms 107:9; [Luke 6:21, 24, 25]
  • 97. Job 22:9
  • 98. Isaiah 41:8, 9; Hebrews 2:16
  • 99. Isaiah 44:21; Isaiah 49:3
  • 100. Psalms 98:3; Micah 7:20; [ver. 72, 73]
  • 101. Genesis 17:19; Psalms 132:11; Galatians 3:16
  • 102. [See ver. 54 above]
  • 103. Genesis 19:19
  • 104. Luke 2:21; Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3; Philippians 3:5
  • 105. ver. 13
  • 106. ver. 22
  • 107. Isaiah 8:1; Isaiah 30:8
  • 108. [See ver. 60 above]
  • 109. ver. 20
  • 110. Mark 7:35
  • 111. Luke 2:28; Luke 24:53
  • 112. Luke 7:16
  • 113. See ver. 39
  • 114. [Luke 2:19, 51]
  • 115. Acts 11:21; Acts 13:11
  • 116. ver. 15, 41
  • 117. Joel 2:28
  • 118. 1 Kings 1:48; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Ezra 7:27; Psalms 41:13; Psalms 72:18; Psalms 106:48
  • 119. Isaiah 29:23; Matthew 15:31; Acts 13:17
  • 120. Luke 7:16; Exodus 4:31; [ver. 78; Acts 15:14; Hebrews 2:6]
  • 121. Luke 2:38; Psalms 111:9; Psalms 130:7, 8; [Luke 24:21; Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 59:20]
  • 122. 1 Samuel 2:1, 10; Psalms 132:17; Ezekiel 29:21
  • 123. 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalms 18:2
  • 124. ver. 32
  • 125. Romans 1:2; [Jeremiah 23:5, 6]
  • 126. Acts 3:21
  • 127. Psalms 106:10
  • 128. Micah 7:20
  • 129. Leviticus 26:42; Psalms 105:8, 9; [ver. 54, 55]
  • 130. See Romans 9:4
  • 131. Genesis 22:16-18; Genesis 26:3; Hebrews 6:13, 14
  • 132. Zephaniah 3:15
  • 133. Ephesians 4:24; [1 Thessalonians 2:10; Titus 2:12]
  • 134. [Jeremiah 32:39(Heb.); Matthew 28:20(Gk.)]
  • 135. Luke 7:26; Luke 20:6; Matthew 11:9; Matthew 14:5
  • 136. See ver. 32
  • 137. ver. 17; Luke 3:4; Luke 7:27; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:2, 3
  • 138. [Matthew 26:28; Mark 1:4]
  • 139. Colossians 3:12(Gk.)
  • 140. Malachi 4:2; Ephesians 5:14; 2 Peter 1:19
  • 141. See ver. 68
  • 142. Luke 24:49
  • 143. Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; [Acts 26:18]; See John 8:12
  • 144. Psalms 107:10; Isaiah 42:7
  • 145. Romans 3:17
  • 146. See Luke 2:14
  • 147. Luke 2:40
  • 148. Matthew 3:1; Matthew 11:7

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Greek Zacharias
  • [b]. That is, legally pledged to be married
  • [c]. Some manuscripts add Blessed are you among women!
  • [d]. Greek since I do not know a man
  • [e]. Some manuscripts add of you
  • [f]. Greek bondservant; also verse 48
  • [g]. Or believed, for there will be
  • [h]. Or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited us

Chapter Summary


The writer of this Gospel, Luke, has been, by some, thought, as Origen {a} relates, to be the same with Lucius, mentioned in Ro 16:21, but he seems rather to be, and without doubt is, Luke the beloved physician, who was a companion of the Apostle Paul in great part of his travels in the Gentile world: he came with him to Jerusalem, and from thence accompanied him to Rome, and continued with him when in prison, and was with him to the last; see Ac 16:10,11 \Col 4:14 2Ti 4:11 Phm 1:24\. Jerom {b}, and others, say, he was a physician of Antioch in Syria; where it may be the Apostle Paul met with him, and might be the happy instrument of his conversion; so that he seems to be, by nation, a Syrian, as Jerom {c} calls him. Grotius thinks his name is Roman, and that it is the contraction of Lucilius. It is not an Hebrew name, but might be in common use in Syria; for though the Jews reckon owqwl, "Lukus", among foreign names, yet say {d} a it was a very illustrious one, and well known to them, as it may well be thought to be if Syriac, the language being spoke by them: and many Jews lived in Syria, and particularly in Antioch. Some say that this Gospel was written by the advice, and assistance, and under the direction of the Apostle Paul, as the Gospel according to Mark was by that of Peter; though the following preface does not seem so well to accord with this. Eusebius says {e} that it was the sense of the ancients, that whenever the Apostle Paul makes mention of his Gospel, he intends this according to Luke. The time of the writing of it is not certain; some say it was written in the fifteenth year after the ascension of our Lord; others in the twenty second; and others in the twenty seventh. It is commonly thought to have been written after the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, according to the order in which it stands; but this is rejected by some learned men, who rather think that Luke wrote first of all: and indeed, there are some things in his preface which look as if there had not, as yet, been any authentic account published, at least which was come to the knowledge of this evangelist. The place where he wrote it is also uncertain. Jerom says {f}, he wrote it in the parts of Achaia, perhaps at Corinth: according to the titles prefixed to the Syriac and Persic versions, he wrote it in Alexandria: the former of these runs thus;

``the Gospel of Luke, the Evangelist, which he spake and published in Greek in Alexandria the great.''

And the latter thus;

``the Gospel of Luke, which he wrote in the Greek tongue in Alexandria of Egypt.''

However, it is agreed on all hands, that it is genuine, and of divine inspiration. Eusebius {g} relates, that it was affirmed by some, that this Gospel, together with those of Matthew and Mark, were brought to the Apostle John, who approved of them, and bore witness to the truth in them.

{a} In Rom. xvi. 21. {b} Catalog. Script. Eccles. sect. 17. fol. 91. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 4. {c} Praefat in Luc. {d} T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 11. 2. & Gloss. in ib. {e} Ubi supra. (Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 39.) {f} Praefat in Luc. {g} Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 24.

Luke 1 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.