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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE.
PREFACE. The first time we have any mention of the writer of this Gospel, is in his own history, Acts xvi. 10, 11. He was then the companion of Paul in his travels. And it is evident that he often attended Paul in his journeys. Compare Acts xvi, 11-17; xxi. 1-6. In all these places the writer of the Acts' speaks of his being in company with Paul. That the same person was the writer of this Gospel is also clear from Acts i. 1.
From this fact, the ancients affirm that Luke recorded what the apostle preached. Respecting the time when it was written, all that can, with certainty, be ascertained, is that it was written before the death of Paul. (A. D. 65.) For it was written before the Acts, (Acts i. 1,) and that book only brings down the life of Paul to his first imprisonment at Rome.
It has been made a matter of inquiry, whether Luke was a Gentile or a Jew. The most probable opinion seems to be that he was a proselyte to the Jewish religion, though descended of Gentile parents. He was intimately acquainted, as appears by the Gospel and the Acts, with the Jewish rites, customs, opinions, and prejudices; he wrote in their dialect, that is, with much of the Hebrew phraseology, in a style similar to the other evangelists; from which it appears that he was accustomed to the Jewish religion, and was probably a proselyte. Yet the preface to his Gospel, as critics have remarked, is pure classic Greek, unlike the Greek that was used by native Jews; from which it seems not improbable that he was by birth and education a Gentile.
In the Epistle to the Colossians, ch. iv. 9–11, we find Paul saying, that Aristarchus, and Marcus, and Barnabas, and Justus, saluted them, who are,' he adds,' of the circumcision, that is,