The Greek word ethneµ, like goy in Hebrew, can mean both “gentile” and “nation.” In Luke 2:32 ethneµ is translated as “gentile” but the same word, which also occurs in Luke 24:47, is almost always translated as “nations.” Although the Lukan Jesus clearly has gentiles primarily in mind, Jews are not excluded: “…and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”


See Florent Heintz, “Polyglot Antioch,” AO 03:06.



Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.14.1.


See esp. Charles H. Talbert, Literary Patterns, Theological Themes, and the Genre of Luke-Acts, Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series (SBLMS) 20 (Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1974); I. Howard Marshall, “Acts and the ‘Former Treatise,’” The Book of Acts in Its Ancient Literary Setting (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993), pp. 163–182.


There have been challenges to the assertion of common authorship, largely on the grounds of vocabulary and style. Most notable is Albert C. Clark (The Acts of the Apostles: A Critical Edition with Introduction and Notes on Selected Passages [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933], p. 394), who, after a detailed study of the syntax and style of Luke and Acts, concluded “that the differences between Lk. and Acts were of such a kind that they could not be the work of the same author.” Wilfred L. Knox countered Clark’s arguments in a carefully constructed rebuttal, however. Like Clark, Knox deals with the use of particles, prepositions, conjunctions and other small parts of speech. Knox reasoned: “It may seem that to discuss such matters is to waste time over minute trivialities; but a man can be hanged for a fingerprint” (The Acts of the Apostles [Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1948], p. 3; also pp. 4–15, 100–109).

Other interesting linguistic dissimilarities between Luke and Acts have been more recently observed by Stephen H. Levinsohn, H. Levinsohn, Textual Connections in Acts,SBLMS 31 (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1987),who incidentally is not primarily interested in the authorship question.

Modern scholars generally affirm the position of common authorship held by the early church, though the implications of that common authorship are not always clearly distinguished. See, for example, Mikeal C. Parsons and Richard I. Pervo (Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts [Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1993]), who suggest that we must distinguish among various kinds of unity (e.g., narrative, generic, theological) when speaking of the unity of the Lukan writings and also allow for the possibility that some elements of discontinuity between the two writings might arise from time to time.


Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.14.1.


See especially John Knox, Chapters in a Life of Paul, revised by the author and edited with introduction by D. R. A. Hare (Macon, GA: Mercer Univ. Press, 1987), and Paul Vielhauer, “On the ‘Paulinism’ of Acts,” in Studies in Luke-Acts: Essays Presented in Honor of Paul Schubert, ed. Leander E. Keck and J. Louis Martyn (Nashville: Abingdon, 1966), pp. 33–50.


The quotation is taken from Hobart’s cumbersome subtitle to The Medical Language of St. Luke: A Proof from Internal Evidence that “The Gospel according to St. Luke” and “The Acts of the Apostles” Were Written by the Same Person, and that the Writer was a Medical Man (1882; reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1954). Hobart’s thesis was supported by the eminent scholar Adolf von Harnack (Luke the Physician, trans. J.R. Wilkinson [New York: Putnam, 1909]).


Henry J. Cadbury, The Style and Literary Method of Luke (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1920), p. 50.


Cadbury, “Luke and the Horse-Doctors,” Journal of Biblical Literature 52 (1933), pp. 55–65.


See esp. Joseph Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke: Introduction, Translation, and Notes, Anchor Bible 28 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981), vol. 1, pp. 35–59; and Luke the Theologian: Aspects of His Teaching (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1989), pp. 1–26. Fitzmyer offers a carefully and critically nuanced defense of the tradition: Luke the physician was an uncircumcised Semite and sometime companion of Paul.


The “Anti-Marcionite” character of this prologue is dubious, and some date the text to the fourth century. See E. Gutwenger, Theological Studies 7 (1946), pp. 393–406.


Epiphanius, Panarion 51.110. A variant reading in the fifth-century manuscript Codex Bezae inserts the phrase: “And there was much rejoicing, and when we were gathered together” at the beginning of Acts 11:28, which makes this verse another “we” passage set in Antioch. This variant reading almost certainly derives from the tradition associating Luke with Antioch.


Josephus, Against Apion 2:39.


Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 12.119.


See also the letter of Claudius Lysas 24:29.


David Tiede, Promise and History in Luke-Acts (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1980), p. 7; see also Jacob Jervell, Luke and the People of God (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1972).


See esp. Richard Bauckham, “For Whom Were Gospels Written?” in Bauckham, ed., The Gospel for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), pp. 9–48.


Cited by the 14th-century writer Nicephoros Callistes Zanthopulos; see Jean-Paul Migne, Patrologia Graecae 86.165.


For more on the traditions of Luke as painter, see Eunice Howe, “Luke, St.,” in Dictionary of Art, ed. Jane Turner, 34 vols. (New York: Grove’s Dictionaries, 1996), vol. 19, pp. 787–789.


Craig Harbison, The Mirror of the Artist (New York: Abrams, 1995), p. 10.


Dorothee Klein, St. Lukas als Maler der Maria: Ikonographie der Lukas-Madonna (Berlin: Oskar Schloss, 1933).


Augustine, The Trinity 8.5.7.


Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah 3.6.


Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. William Granger Ryan, 2 vols. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1993), vol. 2, p. 251.


See Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 8.3.62; Ad Herennium 4.39.51. The authors of the so-called Progymnasmata (rhetorical exercises for schoolboys) also commended the vividness, clarity and style of both the accomplished speaker and writer. According to the first-century C.E. author Aelius Theon, the “desirable qualities of a description are these; above all, clarity and vividness, in order that what is being reported is virtually visible” (Progymnasmata 7.53–55).