St Luke’s Gospel – Background and Introduction

St Luke’s Gospel – Background and Introduction

Background and Introduction to Luke’s Gospel

religious studiesSt. Luke’s Gospel, one of the four gospels in the New Testament, is a key text for Christians. It describes Christ’s life as well as the values and beliefs that he preached. It is essential to read the whole Gospel and to consider its impact on modern Christian beliefs. Pay special attention to the quotations that run through the text of this guide as these will form the basis for some of the questions in the exam. Although any version of the Bible is acceptable, if you are following the AQA syllabus, quotations in the exam paper will come from either the Good News Bible (GNB), the New International Version (NIV) or the Revised Standard Version (RSV). The Revised Standard Version is used in this guide.

The Gospel According to Luke is the third of the New Testament gospels and the longest. It covers the life of Jesus from his birth to his ascension to heaven. Luke’s Gospel was probably written in the late part of the 1st century. Some scholars believe that Luke, the companion of St Paul, wrote the text while others assert that the author is unknown. However, using textual evidence, most scholars agree that whoever wrote Luke’s Gospel also wrote the New Testament’s Acts of the Apostles.

religious studiesChapter 1, 1-4 – This passage introduces the Gospel. Chapter 4 16-21 – Jesus preaches for the first time, at the synagogue in Nazareth. He chooses a passage from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah. Significantly, one of the sentences he reads is, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.’