Friends of Paul: Luke

Sorry this week’s lesson is a little late. Luke is a difficult study in some ways. He is only specifically mentioned in 3 verses in the New Testament, yet the consensus view is that he wrote more of the New Testament that any other person (books of Luke and Acts). The gospel of Luke does not have his name recorded anywhere in it but it is universally attributed to Luke along with the sequel, the book of Acts.

Sometimes Bible study can be like a puzzle. You pick up clues from various places and put them together to draw conclusions. Look carefully at the 3 verses that do mention Luke. What conclusions can we draw about Luke from these verses?

Colossians 4:14 (read 10-15 to get the whole picture).

Philemon 1:24

2 Timothy 4:9-11


Luke’s name is not found in the book of Luke, but that is not unusual for Bible writers (John did the same in the gospel of John). Luke is universally considered to be its author (and therefore of Acts as well). One reason for this is technical medical language many experts (not all) say you see in Luke and Acts. The author, they say, must have been a physician. Along that line, the introduction to Luke (Luke 1:1-5) is the writing of someone of high education and culture as one might expect of a physician.

Who ever this physician was we know they traveled with Paul because we see the author of the book joining Paul on his journeys. Note the change from “they” to “we” in different places in Acts.

Acts 16:6-13

Acts 20:1-6

Acts 28:7-8

This physician accompanies Paul on his voyage to Rome. Luke fits this description for he was a physician with Paul in Rome (Colossians 4:14). All this points to Luke being the author.

In what way might Luke’s friendship to Paul be different from Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, and Aquila and Priscilla?

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