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St Luke

modern day Syria, Greece

Almost all that we know about Luke comes from the New Testament. He wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles (and so he wrote more of the new Testament than any other author). He was a medical doctor (Col 4:14) and a companion of Paul on some of his missionary journeys (Acts 16:10ff; 20:5ff; 27-28). Some say he was a native of Antioch. Luke’s presence in Rome with the Apostle Paul is reported in 2 Timothy 4:11: “Only Luke is with me”. Further, in the last chapter of the Book of Acts, we find several accounts in the first person also affirming Luke’s presence in Rome including Acts 28:16: “And when we came to Rome…”

Luke is commonly thought to be the only non-Jewish New Testament writer because his writings place the life of Christ and the development of the early Church in the larger context of the Roman Empire. If his Gospel is about Jesus’ journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, then the Acts of the Apostles are about the journey of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Rome. He is thought by many to write in the style of the Greek historians.

Luke’s writings are sensitive and compassionate. He captures all the wonderful parables of Jesus, like the good samaritan and the prodigal son, with their message of mercy and love.

According to one tradition, Luke was a martyr. Another says he died at the age of 84 in Boeotia on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth in Greece. According to later histories, Luke’s tomb was located in Thebes (Greece), and his relics were transferred to Constantinople in the year 357. He is represented by an Ox in traditional Christian art.