The Beginnings of Christianity

By George P. Fisher | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX.
THE WRITINGS OF LUKE.

OUR New Testament canon contains two books, the Third Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles, which are attributed by Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and other writers in the latter part of the second century, and by Origen, Tertullian, and their contemporaries, to Luke, a companion of Paul. None of the Fathers imply that any doubt or dispute respecting the authorship of these writings had ever existed, from the day of their first appearance. Their testimony is a witness to the tradition received by the universal church in the closing part of the second century.

The Apostle Paul makes mention of an associate bearing the name of Luke. In the Epistle to Philemon, he sends a greeting from him, and styles him one of his fellow-laborers (vs. 24). Luke is referred to again in the Epistle to the Colossians ( iv.14), as "the beloved physician;" and the context indicates that he was of Gentile birth. Once more, in the Second Epistle to Timothy, he is spoken of as the only companion of Paul at that time ( iv. 11). Justin Martyr does not mention the Evangelist by name in his extant writings; nor from the drift and design of these writings would he naturally be led to do so. It is manifest, however, from his quotations,1that the

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1
See e. g. Apol. i. 33; Dial c. Tryph.,105, cf. Luke xxiii. 46; Ibid. c. 103, cf. Luke xxii. 44.

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