So: Was Luke Luke?

I started this thread over a week ago on the authorship of the Third Gospe and its accompanying volume, the book of Acts, and would like now simply to bring some closure to it before moving on to other things. To sum up: there is a kind of interpretive logic that can lead one to think that the books were written by Luke, a Gentile physician who was a traveling companion of Paul. This is what I myself thought for ...

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Does the Book of Acts Accurately Record Paul’s Teachings?

We could deal forever with the question of the historical accuracy of Acts. There are entire books devoted to the problem and even to *aspects* of the problem, and different scholars come to different conclusions. My own view is that since Acts is at odds with Paul just about every time they talk about the same thing, that it is probably not to be taken as very accurate, especially in its detail. In yesterday’s post I dealt with a couple ...

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Did *Any* Companion of Paul Write Luke and Acts?

I am circling around the ultimate question of this thread, whether Luke, the companion of Paul, wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.   A big reason this matters: if Paul’s companion, “the gentile physician,” wrote Acts, he had first-hand knowledge of Paul’s life and teachings.  That would certainly increase the likelihood that he was giving an authoritative account!

The first step to answering the question — was it written by Luke? — was to show that Paul never ...

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Does the Author of Acts Identify Himself?

In this thread I have been discussing whether Luke, the gentile physician, the traveling companion of Paul, wrote the Third Gospel and the book of Acts. The first point I’ve made, over a couple of posts, is that the idea that Paul *had* a gentile physician as a traveling companion is dubious. That notion is derived from the mention of Luke in the book of Colossians, but Paul almost certainly did not *write* Colossians. Paul does mention a companion named ...

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Problems with Thinking That Luke Wrote Luke (and Acts)

I continue now with my discussion of whether one of Paul’s traveling companions wrote the account of his life in the book of Acts, and thus, by association, the Gospel of Luke.  It turns out to be a really sticky problem — one of those that can’t be solved simply by looking at a couple of verses and applying some basic logic.

In my previous post I gave the logic that is typically adduced for thinking that the Luke was probably ...

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Did “Luke” Really Write Luke? And the book of Acts?

Here is an important question that I received recently, which I’ve addressed long ago on the blog, before living memory.  Time to address it again!  The basic issue: isn’t there good evidence that the book of Acts, which describes the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman world, especially through the missionary efforts of Paul, was written by an eyewitness, an actual traveling companion of Paul who was with him for a number of his endeavors?   (Whoever the author is, he ...

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What Is the New Testament? A Broad Overview

With some very sage outside advice, I have decided to add a new feature to the blog.   Once or twice a week (at least that’s the *plan*) I will create a kind of “general introduction” post, dealing with some broad and basic matter connected with the New Testament, the Historical Jesus, the apostle Paul, the role of women in the church, persecution and martyrdom, heresy and orthodoxy, the development of theology, the Christianization of the empire, etc. etc.   Broad overviews, ...

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Why Did the Author of James Claim to be James in Particular?

This will be my last post on the epistle of James in the New Testament as “counter”-forgery, that is, as a forgery (a book written by someone falsely claiming to be a famous person) that is written against another book that is itself a forgery (written by someone claiming to be some *other* famous person).   In this case, the author is claiming to be James, the actual brother of Jesus, and he is writing to counter views of Paul – ...

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Is the Author of James Rejecting Paul Himself?

I have been talking about how the letter of James appears to refer to Paul’s letters in order to contradict them (as has long been thought by scholars — going back at least to Martin Luther).  But as it turns out, I don’t think it’s actually that simple.   I briefly mentioned this in an earlier post, but here is the fuller scoop.   This again is taken from my book Forgery and Counterforgery.   I should remind you what I mean by ...

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The Close Connections of James and Paul

I continue here my comparison of the wording of the book of James to the writing of Paul,  in order to establish the point that whoever wrote James, it was someone who was directly responding to the letters of Paul (because he imitates Paul’s wording while refuting his views.)  This will lead then to my argument – not yet made – that the author of James is in fact writing a “counter-forgery” – that is he is writing a forgery ...

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