Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Luke: Traditions concerning Luke, Part 2

Updated: Sep 11

3. From their diverse relations the things more likely are drawn out. He was an Evangelist, a companion of Paul, and a Doctor. The other things are suspect, especially that Nicephorus, Theodorus Lector, and Metaphrastes make him a painter. Concerning his death the ancient have handed down diverse things.



From these various and conflicting traditions of the ancients, we affirm this alone as certain, that he was an Evangelist and a συνεργὸν/fellow-laborer of Paul, which is said in 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24; then also that he was a ἰατρὸν/physician, which is asserted in Colossians 4:14.For, that another Luke is indicated there, as a most learned Interpreter argues, supported by this reason, that Luke was too well known for such a designation to be necessary, and that he was distinguished with a more splendid elogy, than of helper, or faithful companion; the Most Illustrious Gomarus refutes in his Selectorum Lucæ.Paul certainly called him a physician, freely, not unsuitably:not that it was thus necessary, but that it makes for the commendation of the grace of God.For, just as Matthew designates himself as a publican, Matthew 9:9, for a profession of the mercy of God:so Paul no less suitably designates Luke a physician, called by God from a Physician of the body to a physician of the soul, for the praise of God.But also an elogy sufficiently eminent was added in the word ἀγαπητὸς/beloved. Just as John also was distinguished among the Apostles.[1]Finally, just as in Philemon 24 (where it is certain that our Luke is understood), Demas is conjoined with Luke; so also in Colossians 4:14 Demas is joined with the same, so that it cannot be doubted that one and the same Luke is understood.But also it appears to be evident that in 2 Corinthians 8:18 by that brother, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches, Luke is understood, not Barnabas (as Chrysostom and Theodoret think), which with multiple arguments the same Most Illustrious Gomarus confirms, and already of old Ignatius in his Epistle to the Ephesians asserted.But we also give credit to the constant tradition of the ancients, that he was born at Antioch in Syria.Otherwise, what things are narrated concerning Luke we leave as resting upon uncertain and inconsistent tradition.That is especially suspect, which Bellarmine, in de Imaginibus 10 out of Theodorus Lector,[2] Nicephorus, and Metaphrastes,[3] attempts to give as truth, that Luke was a painter, and that he expressed the image of the Blessed Virgin in paints, which Thomas affirms to be kept at Rome.Let whoever will give credit to this new revelation, after there was a profound silence in the Church concerning this matter for six hundred years.Finally, concerning his death we subscribe to the judgement of the most learned Blondel, de Episcopis, page 105, that it is uncertain where and how it met him.He says, Eusebius incorrectly writes that he died and was buried at Ephesus, since the martyrologies and Isidore,[4] who record that most hand down by tradition that he was a proselyte, and that he was ignorant of Hebrew letters, testify that he died in Bithynia: Nicephorus, in Achæan Thebes:Gaudentius,[5] in a sermon upon the dedication of a Church, that he completed his course in Patras of Achaia: Jerome, that in the twentieth year of Constantine (357 of Christ, Martyrologium 3), that his bones were removed from Achaia to Constantinople with the remains of Andrew.

[1] See John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20. [2] Theodorus Lector (sixth century) was a lector/reader at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. He compiled the Historia Tripartita from the works of fifth century historians, Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen, and Theodoret of Cyrrhus, covering the period from 313 (Constantine’s early reign) to 439 (Theodosius II). He also wrote his own Historia Ecclesiastica, addressing the period from 450 (the death of Theodosius) to 518 (the beginning of Justin I’s reign), but it survives only in fragments. [3] Very little is known about the life of Symeon the Metaphrast (tenth century). He was a Byzantine hagiographer, and he compiled the Menologion, a collection of saints’ lives, in ten volumes. [4] Isidore (c. 560-636) was Archbishop of Seville and a bright and shining light of learning in the intellectual darkness of his age. He presided over the Second Council of Seville (619), which ruled against Arianism, and the Fourth Council of Toledo, which required bishops to establish seminaries in their principal cities. [5] Gaudentius was Bishop of Brescia from 387 to 410. He supported Chrysostom against the charges of heresy. A handful of his sermons and pastoral letters survive.


Dr. Dilday's Lecture, "The Exaltation of Christ, Part 3"


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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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