The Apostle Luke, the Gentile?

The Apostle Luke, the Gentile? When reading through the book of Luke, to me this book seemed much more of an eye witness perspective than the others. Maybe this is because Luke is much more detailed in his description of things in his gospel, or maybe because he was simply a better writer than the others. But more importantly why did Jesus pick Luke, the physician, the gentile? “It may not seem important whether or not Luke was a Gentile, but when you think about the magnitude of his work, the issue becomes truly significant. By counting the pages written by Luke in both his Gospel and Acts, it is clear that Luke wrote more pages of the New Testament than any other writer, including Paul and John. If Luke was a Gentile, then the Lord entrusted more pages of New Testament revelation to a Gentile than to any other writer. This would be remarkable, to say the least.” In some way, for some reason, Jesus (along with God) entrusted Luke to write and preserve the happenings of the New Testament in such an awe inspiring way that what he wrote would be without borders. It’s amazing to me to think that a Gentile wrote so much of the beginning of the Christian revelation. That would be like today, if there were another messiah type figure to lead another Christian revolution and leaving the bulk of the work to a Jewish man, to me it doesn’t make much sense. We must divulge deeper into the question and point out an interesting fact that may or may not prove that Luke was in fact a Gentile. “Usually, biblical commentators simply assert that Luke was a Gentile, without offering any proof at all, as it is so universally believed. Some commentaries, though, present arguments for sustaining the concept of the Gentile background of Luke. Chief among these arguments are the lists from the Epistle to the Colossians.” Many scholars claim that Luke was in fact a Gentile before actually digging deeply into the facts, and are going off of one simple referral rather than look at the big picture of the argument. There are many different arguments to Luke being a Gentile and to Luke being a Jew, but I am going to present the ones that are most compelling to me. “The idea that Luke (Paul’s traveling companion and perhaps the author of the Third Gospel) was a Gentile is based largely on one particular interpretation of one passage of Scripture – Col. 4:14 which says: “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.” The assumption at work in this hypothesis is that Paul in Col. 4 is identifying two different groups of colleagues: the former being Jews, “those of the circumcision” (Aristarchus, Mark, and Jesus Justus), and the latter being Gentiles, “those not of the circumcision” (Epaphras, Luke, and Demas). Hence, the belief that Luke was a Gentile is based solely on the assumption that Paul’s phrase “those of the circumcision” means “Jew,” and therefore those excluded from that designation (including Luke) must have been Gentiles” This argument gives the argument that simply because Luke’s name wasn’t on the list of those “circumcised” must have meant that he was not a Jew. That argument is not necessarily valid mostly because “every time Paul uses the phrase “those of the circumcision” (oi˚ o¡nteß e˙k peritomhvß in the Greek), you will find that he does not use this phrase to distinguish Jew from Gentile; rather, he means by this phrase those of the circumcision party, that is, Judaizers.” In conclusion, there is not circumstantial evidence that would suggest that Luke was in fact a Gentile, because it is more likely that he was actually a Jew. I say that simply because of the close relationships that he had with the inner Jewish circle. So, ultimately I believe after reading the arguments of both sides, that Luke was in fact a Jew, just like the other apostles.
Works Cited
1. http://www.levitt.com/essays/luke
2. http://www.levitt.com/essays/luke
3. http://www.rwaynestacy.com/2011/03/was-luke-gentile.html
Website for Photo: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=apostle+luke&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&tbm=isch&tbnid=02eiCj5Mb84h7M:&imgrefurl=http://www.calvaryspokane.com/sermon/series/luke%3Fstart%3D30&docid=qZM7ga8UrRCRFM&imgurl=http://www.calvaryspokane.com/assets/Series-Icons/SeriesIconLuke300x.jpg&w=300&h=300&ei=apkFUf71DYbs8gSZ14DIBQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=87&vpy=181&dur=1694&hovh=225&hovw=225&tx=131&ty=92&sig=102221423899226821693&page=1&tbnh=143&tbnw=142&start=0&ndsp=46&ved=1t:429,r:35,s:0,i:247&biw=1440&bih=766

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About ethanponder

My name is Ethan Ponder, I am from Cullman Alabama. Currently a student at Jacksonville State University where I am studying Liberal Studies.
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