Luke 1:1–4 reads, “Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us…I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.”


The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, was completed in Alexandria, Egypt, probably by the middle of the first century B.C.E.


In Mark 1:2–3, John the Baptist quotes Isaiah’s prophesy as “I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; / the voice of one crying out in the wilderness.” But Isaiah 40:3 does not explicitly identify the voice as that of God’s emissary: “A voice cries out: / ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, / Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’”


Mark is generally thought to be the earliest gospel. Most scholars believe that Matthew and Luke both knew Mark and used Mark’s gospel as their primary source for Jesus’ sayings and acts. Q, a hypothetical fifth gospel, consists of material common to Matthew and Luke but not found in Mark.