Ancient tradition has it that, as Irenaeus wrote in the 2nd century,
‘Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him’.
Despite the scepticism of many during the past 150 years, there are good reasons for thinking that it was indeed so. How could one who had shared with Paul some of the most turbulent periods of his life not be influenced by the apostle’s understanding of Jesus and the gospel message about him when he came to compile an account of Jesus’ ministry?
Still more persuasive, though, is the evidence of Luke’s Gospel itself. This study demonstrates the dominance of Pauline themes and concerns, not only in individual episodes but also in the Gospel’s overall structure and themes. But it also takes account of the fact that the Gospel is a narrative, quite different from the argumentative, conceptual style of Paul’s letters. It illustrates how Pauline themes are ‘translated’ into the deceptive simplicity of narrative and gives particular attention the great parables told by Jesus, the supreme teller of stories.
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