Romans 16:21, Who Wrote the Gospel of Luke? Part I of II

Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Loukion, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.

//Tradition tells us that a physician and companion of Paul named Luke wrote the third gospel and the book of Acts. Our earliest extant manuscript titles these works “the Gospel according to Luke,” and is dated sometime between 175 and 225 CE. The Muratorian canon, dated at around the same time, refers to “Luke the physician and companion of Paul” as the author. Irenaeus in Against Heresies agrees, as do many other church fathers, that Paul had a companion named Luke,.

But who is this Luke? There are several possibilities in the New Testament. Today’s verse provides one possibility. It would make Luke a Jewish Christian. Another Lucius in the Bible appears in Acts 13:1:

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Loukion of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. –Acts 13:1

This Luke hails from Cyrene. These two possible Luke’s are written as Loukion in Greek. But there is another Greek name, Loukan, which may be a better fit. We’ll discuss this one tomorrow.

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