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NE W TESTAMENT.
LUCIUS R. PAIGE.
LU KE, JOHN.
Search the Scriptures.—JOHN v. 39.
SOLD BY THOMAS WHITTEMORE AND ABEL TOMPKINS.
CINCINNATI: J. A. GURLEY.
antered according to a Lucius R. PAIGE. District of
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1845,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
Discarded by authority of the Andover-Earyard Theotogdent Strap
GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE.
The writer of this Gospel, though not an apostle, was a companion of the apostles, and wrote a history of their acts. He accompanied Paul on sey. eral journeys. See Acts, ch. xvi., XX., xxi., xxvii., xxviii. Beyond this, little is known of his personal history. If he was the same person who is named in Col. iv. 14, he was by profession a physician; and this may account for the fact, often noticed, that he describes both bodily and mental diseases with more technical precision than the other evangelists. By some he is supposed to have been a Jew; but the more common opinion is that he was a proselyte from the Gentiles. The purity of style and language in the preface to his Gospel is supposed to denote his Grecian origin; while his intimate knowledge of the Jewish religion and customs sufficiently indicates that he was a proselyte, if not a Jew. At what time he was converted to Christianity, we are not informed ; nor at what time or place, or in what manner, his death occurred.
This Gospel is frequently referred to by the apostolical fathers, and attributed to Luke. Many of the ancients regarded it as substantially the Gospel preached by Paul. Thus Irenæus says, “ Luke, the companion of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by him.” And Origen describes it as the gospel “commended by Paul.” Indeed, it was generally allowed to have canonical and apostolical authority, though not actually written by an apostle.
By some, this Gospel is supposed to have been written as early as A. D. 53; by others, as late as A. D. 64. It was evidently written during the life of Paul ; for no account of his death is given in the Acts of the Apostles, and this Gospel had been previously written. See Acts i. 1; xxviii. 30, 31. This is as near an approximation to the true date as can easily be made from existing materials.
A remarkable variation is observable between Luke and Matthew, as to the apparent order of events recorded. But this may be accounted for by supposing, which is probable, that Matthew arranged the events chronologically, and Luke classified them according to their peculiar character, with less regard to the order of time.
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE.
As Luke was not an apostle, the question has been raised, whether his Gospel was written by inspiration, and whether it has equal authority with the others. (1.) Even if Luke were not inspired, his testimony is worthy of full credit; for he obtained information by diligent inquiry of eye-witnesses, ch. i. 1-4, and his fulness and precision in regard to names and dates corroborate its truth. (2.) This Gospel was published during the lifetime of the apostles, and there is no evidence that they doubted its inspi. ration ; on the contrary, there is evidence that Paul approved and commended it, and that the apostolical fathers received it as having canonical authority. (3.) If it was examined by Paul, and published with his sanction, as is asserted by ancient writers, then it has the authority of inspiration, whether the evangelist himself were actually inspired or not. (4.) Its sub. stantial agreement with the other gospels, together with its circumstantial variation, satisfactorily shows, on the one hand, that it was not copied from them; and, on the other, that it was written under the guidance of the same spirit of truth. Some have denied the genuineness of the first two chapters; but the best critics generally admit that there exists no sufficient reason to reject them, inasmuch as they are found in all the ancient manuscripts and versions now extant.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE.
order a declaration of those things
which are most surely believed LVORASMUCH as many have among us, taken in hand to set forth in 2 Even as they delivered them
taken ; have attempted. T To set forth CHAPTER I.
in order a declaration. To compose a
narrative, or to write a history. | Most 1-4. Unlike the other evangelists, surely believed among us. “Have been Luke prefixes to his Gospel an intro- accomplished amongst us.”—Campbell. duction, or preface. A similar peculiarity The word here rendered believed, ordiis discoverable in his narration of the narily signifies to fulfil, or to accomplish. labors, instructions, and trials, of the It sometimes means to persuade, or to Apostles. Acts i. 1-14. This Gospel convince. But I think no instance ocseems to have been composed for the curs of its use in the Scriptures, where special benefit of the person to whom it its meaning is justly expressed by the is dedicated; but its truths are equally term, believe. The evangelist seems important to all others, and are “ profit- here to assert not merely a belief in able for doctrine, for reproof, for correc- certain facts, but t tion, for instrnction in righteousness.” | facts. These things, that is, the facts 2 Tim. iii. 16. I do not understand the which he is about to relate, have cerauthor to vouch for the accuracy of the tainly been accomplished. Eye-witearlier narratives, to which he refers. nesses have testified the facts. The He seems rather to propose establishing facts being true and important, a correct the certainty of the facts which were history of them was desirable ; and actually true, ver. 4. The meaning such a history the evangelist proposes may be, that he wrote in imitation of to give ;-even“ of all that Jesus a laudable example :forasmuch as began both to do and teach, until the others had done well, therefore he also day in which he was taken up, after would perform his duty. But the former that he through the Holy Ghost had interpretation seems preferable.
given commandments unto the apostles 1. “Many. This term cannot well be understood to refer to the other evan- 2. It has been supposed by many gelists ; for, at most, only two had then commentators, that, in this verse, Luke written their Gospels, namely, Matthew | admits the general correctness of the and Mark; and it is unusual to apply preceding narrations, but intimates that the term many to that number of per- ihey were defective in some respects; sons. Probably many narratives had so much so, that he judged it advisable been composed, which are not now exto write a more complete and methoditant, of the events connected with our cal history. But I think this does not Lord's life and ministry. It is gener-express the exact meaning. The many ally understood that the writings which former accounts, mentioned in ver. 1, are now styled Pseudo-Gospels are of a may have been merely defective in fulmuch later date. We have no means ness or style, or they may have been of judging, therefore, how much or how absolutely erroneous and fabulous, for little of truth was contained in the aught which here appears to the conmany narratives which preceded Luke's. trary. Luke does not assert that those | Have taken in hand. Have under-' who preceded him wrote truly or false