Dr. Craig Evans examines how Luke transformed the Jesus story into something that Gentiles in his time could appreciate. Luke wanted his readers to know that his account was based on early sources—credible eyewitness testimony that he himself had accessed for the composition of this Gospel. Remember, this was a Jewish story, one about Jesus the Jew, fulfiller of the Jewish Scriptures, and was part of the history of the people of Israel. So, what relevance did it have for Gentiles? Luke wanted the Gentiles to know that this Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was their Savior too. And that is still true today—He’s our savior also. Luke’s other emphases—election, the unity of the church, proper use of wealth, and what constitutes true righteousness—remain valid for the church today as well.
Craig A. Evans is the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament and director of the graduate program at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He has written extensively on the historical Jesus and the Jewish background of the New Testament era. His books include Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies, a commentary on Mark in the Word Biblical Commentary, Jesus and the Ossuaries, and Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies. He recently served on the advisory board of the Gospel of Judas project for the National Geographic Society and has appeared frequently as an expert commentator on network television programs such as Dateline, as well as in various documentaries on the BBC, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.
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