Last modified on May 11, 2024, at 03:33


This is the article about the author. For the Gospel, see Gospel of Luke.
St. Luke handing the icon painted by him to the Mother of God

Luke was a Greek physician who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke did not observe the events of Jesus's life first hand, but relied upon eyewitness accounts.[1] Unlike Matthew, who wrote for a Jewish audience, Luke wrote for a Gentile audience. He was also the most literary of the Gospel authors.

Since Luke was a highly educated man, his Gospel is very detailed and comprehensive, and written in excellent idiomatic Greek. Archaeologist William Ramsay stated:[2]

Luke's history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness ...

Ramsay added:[3]

Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy ... this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.

The quality of Luke's writing is superb, second only to the flawless, spectacular Greek of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Many of the passages in Luke's books, such as the Prodigal Son and account of the encounter on the road to Emmaus, are some of the most beautiful written works in all of world history. Overall, the writing by Luke (the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles) comprise 27% of the entire New Testament.

St. Luke’s icons

According to a tradition, the Evangelist St. Luke was a talented painter as well as a physician. He painted an icon presenting the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus, which many churches all over the world later on copied. Also, in a reference, it was mentioned that the historian Van Celub found an icon of the Archangel Michael during his visit to a Cathedral in Alexandria, that was also made by the Apostle Luke. [4]

According to legend, St. Luke had a vision in which the Virgin Mary with the Christ child appeared to him. The evangelist recorded his vision in a painting, which led to him being considered the patron saint of painters. [5]

Historical confirmation

Luke's historical existence is confirmed by multiple sources, including by Paul himself (referring to Luke as his co-worker and as his beloved physician), and by multiple historians in the 2nd century A.D.

See also

External links



St Luke Painting the Icon of the Virgin by El Greco
  1. Easton's Bible Dictionary, article on Luke originally published in 1897.
  2. Sir William Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1953), p. 222. ISBN 978-0801076770 (quoted at [1])
  3. Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1962), p. 81. (quoted at [2])
  4. Rare Portraits of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  5. St Luke Painting the Icon of the Virgin