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

Yesterday, I discussed the tradition that a companion of Paul named Luke wrote Luke-Acts, and presented a couple of possibilities from the writings of Paul. These two possible Luke’s are written as Loukion in Greek. But there is another Greek name, Loukan, which may be a better fit. Try these verses on for size:

And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Loukan, my fellow workers. –Philemon 24

Our dear friend Loukan, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.–Colossians 4:14

The book of Philemon is universally accepted as an authentic Pauline writing, and though Colossians is not, the similarity in Greek spelling and the connection to Demas is compelling. Have we found our man?

In favor of this selection is the “scientific” preface to Luke’s Gospel in 1:1-4, which does indeed sound like a doctor, and the various “we passages” in Acts (see 16:10-17, 20:5-15, 21:1-18, and 27-28) which implies the author was an eyewitness companion of Paul.

In the end, we’ll never know, but it’s easy to see how the early church fathers put the pieces together, concluding that a man named Luke wrote this anonymous work.

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