Luke: Wikis


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Lucania map.jpg
Map of Lucania
Pronunciation luːk
Gender Male
Meaning "native of Lucania"
Origin Greek
Related names Lucas, Luc, Lucius
Popularity Popular names page

Luke (pronounced /ˈluːk/) is a common male given name, and less commonly, a surname, and sometimes used as a shortened version of the Latin name Lucas.

The name Luke could derive from the name of a region in Italy, Lucania, through the ancient Greek "Loukas", meaning "a native of Lucania".[1][2]. Luke, Lucas and Lucania share the same Indo-European root that produced the Latin word Lux that means "light" and the Greek word Leucos meaning "bright".

Luke is the 21st most popular name for new babies in the United Kingdom,[3] the 43rd most popular name for new babies in the United States,[4] and the 2,105th most common surname in the US, with 15,000 people (0.006%) sharing the surname.[5]

Famous people known as Luke include:

Popularity of name Luke in United Kingdom[3]
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
21st 17th 13th 15th 14th
Popularity of name Luke in United States[4]
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987
43rd 41st 41st 46th 46th 50th 59th 67th 75th 78th 75th 82nd 91st 87th 93rd 113th 118th 121st 119th 111th


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

This is a disambiguation page. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.

Luke is a book in the Bible. The following English translations may be available:

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Gospel of Luke.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LUKE, the traditional author of the third Gospel and of the Book of Acts, and the most literary among the writers of the New Testament. He alone, too, was of non-Jewish origin (Col. iv. 11, 14), a fact of great interest in relation to his writings. His name, a more familiar form of Lucanus (cf. Silas for Silvanus, Acts xvii. 4, 1 Thess. i. 1, and see Encycl. Bibl. s.v., for instances of Lovxas on Egyptian inscriptions), taken together with his profession of physician (Col. iv. 14), suggests that he was son of a Greek freedman possibly connected with Lucania in south Italy; and as Julius Caesar gave Roman citizenship to all physicians in Rome (Sueton. Jul. 42), Luke may even have inherited this status from his father. But in any case such a man would have the attitude to things Roman which appears in the works attributed to Luke. He was a fellow-worker of Paul's when in Rome (Philemon 24), where he seems to have remained in constant attendance on his leader, as physician as well as attached friend (Col. iv. 14; 2 Tim. iv. 11). That Luke, before he became a Christian, was an adherent of the synagogue - not a full proselyte, but one of those "worshippers" of God to whom Acts makes frequent reference - is fairly certain from the familiarity with the Septuagint indicated in Acts, as well as from its sympathy with the Hellenistic type of piety as distinct from specific Paulinism, of which there is but little trace.

The earliest extra-biblical reference to him is perhaps in the Muratonian Canon, which implies that his name already stood in MSS. of both Gospel (probably so even in Marcion's day) and Acts, and says that Paul took him for his companion quasi ut juris studiosum (" as being a student of law"). Here juris is almost certainly corrupt; and whether we take the sense to have been "as being devoted to travel" (ut juris = itineris) or "as skilled in disease" (voaov passing into voµov in the Greek original), it is probably a mere inference from biblical data. Beyond references in Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria (cf. Hebrews) and Tertullian, which add nothing to our knowledge, we have the belief to which Origen (Horn. i. in Lucam) witnesses as existing in his day, that Luke was the "brother" of 2 Cor. viii. 18, "whose praise in the Gospel" (as preached) was "throughout all the churches." Though the basis of the identification be a mistake, yet that this "brother," "who was also appointed by the churches (note the generality of this) to travel with us in the matter of the charity," was none other than Paul's constant companion Luke is quite likely; e.g. he seems to have been almost the only non-Macedonian (as demanded by 2 Cor. ix. 2-4) of Paul's circle available 1 at the time (see Acts xx. 4). Our next witness, a prologue to the Lucan writings (originally in Greek, now known only in Latin, see Nov. Test. Latine (Oxford), I. iii., II. i.), perhaps preserves a genuine tradition in stating that Luke died in Bithynia at the age of seventy-four. It is hard to see why this should be fiction, which usually took the form of martyrdom, as in a later tradition touching his end. The same prologue, and indeed all early tradition, connects him originally with Antioch (see Euseb. Hist. Eccl. iii. 4, 6, possibly after Julius Africanus in the first half of the 3rd century).

That he was actually a native of Antioch is as doubtful as the statement that he was a Syrian by race (Prologue). But internal evidence bears out the view that he practised his profession in Antioch, where (or in Tarsus) he probably first met Paul. Whether any of his information in Acts as to the Gospel in Antioch (xi. 19 ff., xiii. i ff., xiv. 26 - xv. 35) was due to an Antiochene document used by him (cf. A. Harnack, The Acts of the Apostles, 245 ff.) or not, this knowledge in any case suggests Luke's connexion with that church. He shows, too, local knowledge on points unlikely to have stood in any such source (e.g. it was in Antioch that the name "Christians" was first coined, xi. 26), which points to his share in early Church life there. The Bezan reading in Acts xi. 27, "when we were assembled," may imply memory of this.

But while Luke probably met Paul in Antioch, and thence started with him on his second great missionary enterprise (xv. 36 ff.), partly at least as his medical attendant (cf. Gal. iv. 13), it is possible that he had also some special connexion with the north-eastern part of the Aegean. Sir W. M. Ramsay and others fancy that Luke's original home was Philippi, and that in fact he may have been the "certain Macedonian" seen in vision by Paul at Troas, inviting help for his countrymen (xvi. 9 f.). But this is as precarious as the view that, because "we" ceases at Philippi in xvi. 17, and then reemerges in xx. 6, Luke must have resided there during all the interval. The use and disuse of the first person plural, identifying Paul and his party, has probably a more subtle and psychological' meaning (see Act's). The local connexion in question may have been subsequent to that with Antioch, dating from his work with Paul in the province of Asia, and being resumed after Paul's martyrdom. This accords at once with Harnack's argument that Luke wrote Acts in Asia' (Luke the Physician, p. 149 ff.), and with the early tradition, above cited, that he died in Bithynia at the age of seventy-four, without ever having married (this touch may be due to an ascetic feeling current already in the 2nd century).

The later traditions about Luke's life are based on fanciful inference or misunderstanding, e.g. that he was one of the Seventy (Adamantius Dial. de recta fide, 4th century), or the story (in Theodorus Lector, 6th century) that he painted a portrait of the Virgin Mother. But a good deal can still be gathered by sympathetic study of his writings as to the manner of man he was. It was a beautiful soul from which came "the most beautiful book" ever written, as Renan styled his Gospel. The selection of stories which he gives us - especially in the section mainly peculiar to himself (ix. 51 - xviii. 14) - reflects his own character as well as that of the source he mainly follows. His was indeed a religio medici in its pity for frail and suffering humanity, and in its sympathy with the triumph of the Divine "healing art" upon the bodies and souls of men (cf. Harnack, The Acts, Excursus, iii.). His was also a humane 4 spirit, a spirit so 1 Tychicus may be the other "brother," in viii. 22.

2 So also A. Hilgenfeld, Zeit. f. theol. Wissenschaft (1907), p. 214, argues that "we" marks the author's wish to give his narrative more vividness at great turning-points of the story - the passage from Asia to Europe, and again the real beginning of the solemn progress of Paul towards the crisis in Jerusalem, as yet later towards Rome, xxvii. 1 ff.

Note that Luke is at pains to explain why Paul passed by Asia and Bithynia in the first instance (xvi. 6 f.).

Compare what A. W. Verrall has said of the poet Statius and "the gentle doctrine of humanity" on Hellenic soil, as embodied in his description of The Altar of Mercy at Athens (Oxford and Cambridge Review, i. tot ff.).

tender that it saw further than almost any save the Master himself into the soul of womanhood. In this, as in his joyousness, united with a feeling for the poor and suffering, he was an early Francis of Assisi. Luke, "the physician, the beloved physician," that was Paul's characterization of him; and it is the impression which his writings have left on humanity. How great his contribution to Christianity has been, in virtue of what he alone preserved of the historical Jesus and of the embodiment of his Gospel in his earliest followers, who can measure? Harnack even maintains (The Acts, p. 301) that his story of the Apostolic age was the indispensable condition for the incorporation of the Pauline epistles in the Church's canon of New Testament scriptures. Certainly his conception of the Gospel, viz. a Christian Hellenistic universalism (with some slight infusion of Pauline thought) passed through a Graeco-Roman mind, proved more easy of assimilation, and so more directly influential for the ancient Church, than Paul's own distinctive teaching (ib. 281 ff.; cf. Luke the Physician, pp. 139-145).


Introductions to commentaries like A. Plummer's on Luke's Gospel in the "Intern. Crit." series, R. B. Rackham's Acts of the Apostles (" Oxford Comm."); the article "Luke" in Hastings's Diet. of the Bible and Diet. of Christ and the Gospels, the Encycl. Biblica and Hauck's Realencyklop¢die, vol. xi.; Sir W. M. Ramsay's Paul the Traveller and Pauline and other Studies, and A. Harnack's Lukas der Arzt (1906, Eng. trans. 1907) and Die Apostelgeschichte (1908, Eng. trans. 1909). For the Luke of legend, see authorities quoted under MARK. U. V. 13.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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See also luke




English form of Latin Lucas, from Ancient Greek Λουκᾶς (Loukas), man from Lucania).

Proper noun




  1. A male given name
  2. (Biblical) Luke the Evangelist, an early Christian ( Col.4:14.etc) credited with the authorship of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
  3. (Biblical) The Gospel of St. Luke, a book of the New Testament of the Bible. Traditionally the third of the four gospels.



Related terms



Middle Low German



Luke f. (genitive Luke, plural Luken)

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki



The name Lucas (Luke) is probably an abbreviation from Lucanus, like Annas from Ananus, Apollos from Apollonius, Artemas from Artemidorus, Demas from Demetrius, etc. (Schanz, "Evang. des heiligen Lucas", 1, 2; Lightfoot on "Col 4:14; Plummer, "St. Luke", introduction) The word Lucas seems to have been unknown before the Christian Era; but Lucanus is common in inscriptions, and is found at the beginning and end of the Gospel in some Old Latin manuscripts.


It is generally held that St. Luke was a native of Antioch. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. III, iv, 6) has: Loukas de to men genos on ton ap Antiocheias, ten episteuen iatros, ta pleista suggegonos to Paulo, kai rots laipois de ou parergos ton apostolon homilnkos--"Lucas vero domo Antiochenus, arte medicus, qui et cum Paulo diu conjunctissime vixit, et cum reliquis Apostolis studiose versatus est." Eusebius has a clearer statement in his "Quæstiones Evangelicæ", IV, i, 270: "Luke was by birth a native of the renowned Antioch" (Schmiedel, "Encyc. Bib."). Spitta, Schmiedel, and Harnack think this is a quotation from Julius Africanus (first half of the third century). In Codex Bezæ (D) Luke is introduced by a "we" as early as Acts 11:28; and, though this is not a correct reading, it represents a very ancient tradition.

The writer of Acts took a special interest in Antioch and was well acquainted with it (Acts 11:19-27; xiii, 1; xiv, 18-21, 25, xv, 22, 23, 30, 35; xviii, 22). We are told the locality of only one deacon, "Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch", vi, 5; and it has been pointed out by Plummer that, out of eight writers who describe the Russian campaign of 1812, only two, who were Scottish, mention that the Russian general, Barclay de Tolly, was of Scottish extraction. These considerations seem to exclude the conjecture of Renan and Ramsay that St. Luke was a native of Philippi.


Luke was not a Jew. He is separated by Paul from those of the circumcision (Col 4:14), and his style proves that he was a Greek. Hence he cannot be identified with Lucius the prophet of Acts 13:1, nor with Lucius of Rom 16:21, who was cognatus of Paul. From this and the prologue of the Gospel it follows that Epiphanius errs when he calls him one of the Seventy Disciples; nor was he the companion of Cleophas in the journey to Emmaus after the Resurrection (as stated by Theophylact and the Greek Menol.). Luke had a great knowledge of the Septuagint and of things Jewish, which he acquired either as a Jewish proselyte (Jerome) or after he became a Christian, through his close intercourse with the Apostles and disciples. Besides Greek, he had many opportunities of acquiring Aramaic in his native Antioch, the capital of Syria.


Luke's choice of medical language proves that the author was a physician. Westein, in his preface to the Gospel ("Novum Test. Græcum", Amsterdam, 1741, 643), states that there are clear indications of his medical profession throughout St. Luke's writings; and in the course of his commentary he points out several technical expressions common to the Evangelist and the medical writings of Galen. These were brought together by the Bollandists ("Acta SS.", 18 Oct.). In the "Gentleman's Magazine" for June, 1841, a paper appeared on the medical language of St. Luke. To the instances given in that article, Plummer and Harnack add several others; but the great book on the subject is Hobart "The Medical Language of St. Luke" (Dublin, 1882). Hobart works right through the Gospel and Acts and points out numerous words and phrases identical with those employed by such medical writers as Hippocrates, Arctæus, Galen, and Dioscorides. A few are found in Aristotle, but he was a doctor's son. The words and phrases cited are either peculiar to the Third Gospel and Acts, or are more frequent than in other New Testament writings. The argument is cumulative, and does not give way with its weakest strands. When doubtful cases and expressions common to the Septuagint, are set aside, a large number remain that seem quite unassailable.

Harnack (Luke the Physician! 13) says: "It is as good as certain from the subject-matter, and more especially from the style, of this great work that the author was a physician by profession. Of course, in making such a statement one still exposes oneself to the scorn of the critics, and yet the arguments which are alleged in its support are simply convincing. . . . Those, however, who have studied it [Hobart's book] carefully, will, I think, find it impossible to escape the conclusion that the question here is not one of merely accidental linguistic coloring, but that this great historical work was composed by a writer who was either a physician or was quite intimately acquainted with medical language and science. And, indeed, this conclusion holds good not only for the 'we' sections, but for the whole book." Harnack gives the subject special treatment in an appendix of twenty-two pages. Hawkins and Zahn come to the same conclusion. The latter observes (Einl., II, 427): "Hobart has proved for everyone who can appreciate proof that the author of the Lucan work was a man practised in the scientific language of Greek medicine--in short, a Greek physician" (quoted by Harnack, op. cit.).

In this connection, Plummer, though he speaks more cautiously of Hobart's argument, is practically in agreement with these writers. He says that when Hobart's list has been well sifted a considerable number of words remains. " The argument", he goes on to say "is cumulative. Any two or three instances of coincidence with medical writers may be explained as mere coincidences; but the large number of coincidences renders their explanation unsatisfactory for all of them, especially where the word is either rare in the LXX, or not found there at all" (64). In "The Expositor" (Nov. 1909, 385 sqq.), Mayor says of Harnack's two above-cited works: "He has in opposition to the Tübingen school of critics, successfully vindicated for St. Luke the authorship of the two canonical books ascribed to him, and has further proved that, with some few omissions, they may be accepted as trustworthy documents. . . . I am glad to see that the English translator . . . has now been converted by Harnack's argument, founded in part, as he himself confesses, on the researches of English scholars, especially Dr. Hobart, Sir W. M. Ramsay, and Sir John Hawkins." There is a striking resemblance between the prologue of the Gospel and a preface written by Dioscorides, a medical writer who studied at Tarsus in the first century (see Blass, "Philology of the Gospels"). The words with which Hippocrates begins his treatise "On Ancient Medicine" should be noted in this connection: 'Okosoi epecheiresan peri iatrikes legein he graphein, K. T. L. (Plummer, 4). When all these considerations are fully taken into account, they prove that the companion of St. Paul who wrote the Acts (and the Gospel) was a physician.

Journeys with Paul

St. Luke first appears in the Acts at Troas (Acts 16:8), where he meets Paul, and, after the vision, crossed over with him to Europe as an Evangelist, landing at Neapolis and going on to Philippi, "being assured that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them" (note especially the transition into first person plural at verse 10). He was, therefore, already an Evangelist. He was present at the conversion of Lydia and her companions, and lodged in her house. He, together with Paul and his companions, was recognized by the pythonical spirit: "This same following Paul and us, cried out, saying: These men are the servants of the most high God, who preach unto you the way of salvation" (verse 17).

He beheld Paul and Silas arrested, dragged before the Roman magistrates, charged with disturbing the city, "being Jews", beaten with rods and thrown into prison. Luke and Timothy escaped, probably because they did not look like Jews (Timothy's father was a gentile).

When Paul departed from Philippi, Luke was left behind, in all probability to carry on the work of Evangelist. At Thessalonica the Apostle received highly appreciated pecuniary aid from Philippi (Phil 4:15f), doubtless through the good offices of Luke. It is not unlikely that the latter remained at Philippi all the time that Paul was preaching at Athens and Corinth, and while he was travelling to Jerusalem and back to Ephesus, and during the three years that the Apostle was engaged at Ephesus. When Paul revisited Macedonia, he again met Luke at Philippi, and there wrote his [[Book of 2 Corinthians|Second Epistle to the Corinthians]].

Jerome thinks it is most likely that Luke is "the brother, whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches" (2Cor 8:18), and that he was one of the bearers of the letter to Corinth. Shortly afterwards, when Paul returned from Greece, Luke accompanied him from Philippi to Troas, and with him made the long coasting voyage described in Acts Chapter 20. He went up to Jerusalem, was present at the uproar, saw the attack on the Apostle, and heard him speaking "in the Hebrew tongue" from the steps outside the fortress Antonia to the silenced crowd. Then he witnessed the infuriated Jews, in their impotent rage, rending their garments, yelling, and flinging dust into the air.

We may be sure that he was a constant visitor to St. Paul during the two years of the latter's imprisonment at Caesarea. In that period he might well become acquainted with the circumstances of the death of Herod Agrippa I., who had died there eaten up by worms" (skolekobrotos), and he was likely to be better informed on the subject than Josephus. Ample opportunities were given him, "having diligently attained to all things from the beginning", concerning the Gospel and early Acts, to write in order what had been delivered by those "who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word" (Lk 1:2f). It is held by many writers that the Gospel was written during this time, Ramsay is of opinion that the Epistle to the Hebrews was then composed, and that Luke had a considerable share in it.

When Paul appealed to Caesar, Luke and Aristarchus accompanied him from Caesarea, and were with him during the stormy voyage from Crete to Malta. Thence they went on to Rome, where, during the two years that Paul was kept in prison, Luke was frequently at his side, though not continuously, as he is not mentioned in the greetings of the Epistle to the Philippians (Lightfoot, "Phil.", 35). He was present when the Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon were written, and is mentioned in the salutations given in two of them: "Luke the most dear physician, saluteth you" (Col 4:14); "There salute thee ... Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke my fellow labourers" ({Pmon|1|24}}). Jerome holds that it was during these two years Acts was written.

We have no information about Luke during the interval between Paul's two Roman imprisonments, but he must have met several of the Apostles and disciples during his various journeys. He stood beside Paul in his last imprisonment; for the Apostle, writing for the last time to Timothy, says: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course. . . . Make haste to come to me quickly. For Demas hath left me, loving this world. . . . Only Luke is with me" (2 Tim 4:7ff). It is worthy of note that, in the three places where he is mentioned in the Epistles (Col 4:14, Pmon 1:24, 2 Tim 4:11) he is named with Mark (cf. Col 4:10), the other Evangelist who was not an Apostle (Plummer), and it is clear from his Gospel that he was well acquainted with the Gospel according to St. Mark; and in the Acts he knows all the details of Peter's delivery--what happened at the house of Mark's mother, and the name of the girl who ran to the outer door when Peter knocked. He must have frequently met Peter, and may have assisted him to draw up his First Epistle in Greek, which affords many reminiscences of Luke's style.

After Paul's martyrdom practically all that is known about him is contained in the ancient "Prefatio vel Argumentum Lucae", dating back to Julius Africanus, who was born about A.D. 165. This states that he was unmarried, that he wrote the Gospel, in Achaia, and that he died at the age of seventy-four in Bithynia (probably a copyist's error for Boeotia), filled with the Holy Ghost. Epiphanius has it that he preached in Dalmatia (where there is a tradition to that effect), Gallia (Galatia?), Italy, and Macedonia. As an Evangelist, he must have suffered much for the Faith, but it is controverted whether he actually died a martyr's death. Jerome writes of him (De Vir. III., vii). "Sepultus est Constantinopoli, ad quam urbem vigesimo Constantii anno, ossa ejus cum reliquiis Andreæ Apostoli translata sunt [de Achaia?]."


Luke its always represented by the calf or ox, the sacrificial animal, because his Gospel begins with the account of Zachary, the priest, the father of John the Baptist. He is called a painter by Nicephorus Callistus (fourteenth century), and by the Menology of Basil II, A.D. 980. A picture of the Virgin in S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, is ascribed to him, and can be traced to A.D. 847 It is probably a copy of that mentioned by Theodore Lector, in the sixth century. This writer states that the Empress Eudoxia found a picture of the Mother of God at Jerusalem, which she sent to Constantinople (see "Acta SS.", 18 Oct.). As Plummer observes. it is certain that Luke was an artist, at least to the extent that his graphic descriptions of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Shepherds. Presentation, the Shepherd and lost sheep, etc., have become the inspiring and favourite themes of Christian painters.


Luke is one of the most extensive writers of the New Testament. His Gospel is considerably longer than Matthew's, his two books are about as long as Paul's fourteen Epistles: and Acts exceeds in length the Seven Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse. The style of the Gospel is superior to any New Testament writing except Hebrews. Renan says (Les Evangiles, xiii) that it is the most literary of the Gospels. Luke is a painter in words. "The author of the Third Gospel and of the Acts is the most versatile of all New Testament writers. He can be as Hebraistic as the Septuagint, and as free from Hebraisms as Plutarch. . . He is Hebraistic in describing Hebrew society and Greek when describing Greek society" (Plummer, introd.). His great command of Greek is shown by the richness of his vocabulary and the freedom of his constructions.

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.
This article needs to be merged with LUKE (Jewish Encyclopedia).
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