CHAPTER XX
THE OBJECT OF LUKE-ACTS

The purpose of the writer is one of the constituent elements in any writing, though the effect of its influence varies and is not always easily determined. Much depends on the circumstances, and unfortunately the circumstances of the third evangelist are largely veiled from our knowledge. He might have written at a critical time when quite definite motives would have affected him, or for a special audience whose mind he knew and wished to change in one direction or another. More probably his circumstances were somewhat normal and did not lead to a violent or pronounced bias. In that case his motives were closely bound up with the three other factors that we have considered-- the form and the sources of his writing and the personality of the writer.

The form of his work is narrative, and narrative carries with it the intention of supplying information. No matter how much Luke differs from the rhetorical historians of Greece and Rome and the pragmatic historians of Israel, his narrative shares with them the common intention of informing the reader concerning the past. Even were it plain that the story was intended to serve also as an argument, in any analysis of the writer's purpose this purely didactic motive would have to be accepted as significant. The Greek historians often describe their object as the entertainment (ψυχαγωγία) or the improvement of the reader. The Jewish historians increasingly used history for the inculcation of a religious philosophy of his

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