Who Wrote the Gospel According to Luke?
by Craig Dunkley
The question, “Who wrote the gospels?” is an important one. Church history and tradition—and many modern scholars—assert that the four gospels were written by eyewitnesses to Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection (Matthew and John) or by individuals with direct access to eyewitnesses (Mark and Luke). If they are correct, then the gospels are eyewitness testimony, and the idea that they transmit accurate historical accounts is strengthened.
Many critics, however, dispute the traditional authorship of the gospels. They cite a number of reasons for this, which we have been addressing through a series of articles on gospel authorship.
When it comes to the question of authorship, most critics direct their fire at the gospels of John and Matthew. This is not surprising, because they are the only gospels that church history says were written by original disciples of Jesus.
The gospels of Mark and Luke are not without their critics, but they generate considerably less controversy. When it comes to Luke, some critics dispute the traditional authorship, but they expend most of their energy trying to paint the author as an inept or unreliable historian instead.
However, when one actually analyzes critics’ claims about Luke’s alleged historical errors, the critics end up with egg on their faces…not Luke. We’ve covered many of these “mistakes” in other articles (links here, here, here, here, here, and here). There’s a reason that the archaeologist, Sir William Ramsey, concluded that the author of Luke and Acts was a meticulous and reliable historian.1
Today, however, we’re not going to spend time assessing the accuracy of Luke’s gospel. Instead, we’ll look at the question of authorship. We’ll see that the evidence is quite strong that Luke was a historical figure who did, in fact, write the gospel that bears his name…
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