CHAPTER XXI
PLAN AND SCOPE OF HIS TASK

The preceding chapter has discussed the effect which Luke wished to produce upon his readers. In the two following chapters I desire to summarize the design which he entertained with respect to his materials. The conscious purpose of a writer includes these two quite different phases or points of approach. In reflecting on his task he thinks partly of his audience and of the conviction or impression that he wishes to convey, and partly of his stuff and of the business of collecting, criticizing and presenting it. His attitude to his task in the latter sense is what now concerns us. What, we may ask, was the scope of his undertaking as he conceived it? What ideal of workmanship did he entertain? What responsibility did he feel for the matter and manner of his composition? What plan had he for the arrangement of his writings?

The answers to these questions have perhaps already been partly hinted. Their further consideration, even though some repetition is involved, is certainly relevant to our full visualization of this literary undertaking. As frequently, many suggestions must be offered that are merely probable, while others can be quite definitely rejected as improbable. Particularly certain modern standards of workmanship can be rejected for Luke. This merely negative distinction by correcting our excessive modernizing of the picture should be of value. To some extent his purpose can be compared with the intention that his contemporaries had in approaching their tasks. But

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