As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from the 7th of January 2019 we begin a new way of studying the scriptures. Because learning at church will be just two 50 minute classes a month, much of our studying will be done in the comfort of our own homes. But with the use of the internet we can share more easily our personal insights as we study. This year the New Testament is our text. This is such a unique volume of scripture, the only one that gives accounts of God as one of us, mortal beings. Whilst those accounts are sketchy (John 21:25) and focus primarily on His ministry leading up to His death and resurrection, they must still be our most treasure possessions. Of course we have the Book of Mormon with its doctrinal clarity and warnings for our day and we have other scripture, both ancient and modern, but the Gospels remain unique.
Of all the gospel accounts, and there were many, Luke's gospel and the Book of Acts are the most comprehnsive and detailed records we have of the Saviour's life and the history of the Church's beginnings. But who was Luke? A very brief reference to him is found on page 7 of our manuals but there is more to learrn about this most fruitful of early Saints. To learn of him we must turn to ancient sources. The Church that, in my opinion, has the most convincing claim to those ancient records is found in the Orthodox church.
The website https://orthodoxwiki.org/Main_Page is a useful repository containing history of the ancient saints and I recommend it. It's page on the Apostle Luke links the following source regarding St Luke https://oca.org/saints/lives/2019/10/18/102993-apostle-and-evangelist-luke, My quotes are from that source:
The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a companion of the holy Apostle Paul and a physician enlightened in the Greek medical arts. Hearing about Christ, Luke arrived in Palestine and fervently accepted the preaching of salvation from the Lord Himself. As one of the Seventy Saint Luke was sent by the Lord with the others to preach the Kingdom of Heaven during the Savior’s earthly life (Luke 10:1-3). After the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Saints Luke and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.
Luke accompanied Saint Paul on his second missionary journey, and from that time they were inseparable. When Paul’s coworkers had
forsaken him, only Luke remained to assist him in his ministry (2 Tim. 4:10-11). After the martyric death of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul, Saint Luke left Rome to preach in Achaia, Libya, Egypt and the Thebaid. He ended his life by suffering martyrdom in the city of Thebes.
Saint Luke’s Gospel was written in the years 62-63 at Rome, under the guidance of the Apostle Paul. In the preliminary verses (1:1-3), Saint Luke precisely sets forth the purpose of his work. He proposes to record, in chronological order, everything known by Christians about Jesus Christ and His teachings. By doing this, he provided a firmer historical basis for Christian teaching. He carefully investigated the facts, and made generous use of the oral tradition of the Church and of what the All-Pure Virgin Mary Herself had told him
Tradition also credits Luke as being the father of Iconography. For more on this tradition and what iconography is please refer to my earlier pages here >>>.