I have seen his name appear in

"Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you." (Colossians 4:14).

What more do we know about the author of the book of Luke? Where did he come from? Was he a doctor?


A collection of information on him is here, some of it is kergyma (oral tradition): http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apostle_Luke

The first paragraph reads:

The holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostle and Evangelist Luke is the author of the Gospel of Luke, the companion of the Apostle Paul (Phil 1:24, 2 Tim 4:10-11), and is numbered among the Seventy Apostles. He was a native of Syrian Antioch and a physician, and is the founder of iconography.

According to tradition, he painted the first icon as we think of them, it is called 'Directress' and it is of the Theotokos (Mother of God) holding the child Christ.


Raymond E. Brown says in An Introduction to the New Testament, page 267, that by the latter half of the second century, the gospel now known as Luke was being attributed to Luke the companion whom Paul mentions in Philemon 24, and who is also mentioned under Paul's name in Colossians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:11.

Bart D. Ehrman says in Forged, page 207, Luke was established as the author of the gospel that now bears his name, and therefore of Acts, by a process of elimination. The anonymous author was someone who especially concerned with the Gentile mission of the early church and who is particularly interested in showing that Gentiles do not have to become Jews in order to be Christian, so it is sensible to conclude that this person was probably himself a Gentile. By his occasional use of “we”, the author is claiming to be a travelling companion of Paul.

There are three persons in Colossians who were Gentile companions of Paul: Epaphras, Demas, and Luke. Of these, Ehrman says it seems unlikely that Demas could be the author, since we learn elsewhere that Demas "abandoned" Paul (2 Timothy 4:10). Epaphras appears to have been known as the founder of the church in Colossae (Colossians 1:5-7), a church that is never mentioned in Acts, so it would be odd if its founder were the author. This leaves one candidate as the author of Luke and Acts of the Apostles: Luke. Modern scholarship does not support this analysis and so continues to regard the Gospel of Luke as anonymous.

Whether we can really say that Luke was a physician, or doctor, turns on the authorship of Colossians. A majority of New Testament scholars believe that this epistle was written in Paul's name in the 70s of the first century, but this majority is by no means absolute. Paul, in his only undisputed reference to Luke, in his Epistle to Philemon, simply refers to Luke (Lucas) as a fellow-labourer (Philemon 24) and from this we can not say whether Luke was a physician, or for that matter even whether he was a Gentile. Colossians 4:14 refers to Luke as a physician:

Colossians 4:14: Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

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