"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him".
He writes to the "most excellent Theophilus" which literally means "lover of God." This designation may simply be a pseudonym and could be referring to those Gentile Christians who loved and were devoted to God, or the "most excellent" reference
could mean it is addressed to one person who was probably a high-ranking
Roman officer. However, Luke certainly had a broader audience
in mind than one person when he composed his Gospel. He was a
Gentile writing to a Gentile audience.
Luke conveniently states one of his main purposes
for writing his Gospel in its first few verses. Though not an
eyewitness himself, he "carefully investigated" the events surrounding the life of Christ in order to present "an orderly account," so that the "certainty" of them may be known. Therefore, from Luke we have a "theological history"--an
accurate historical account of the life of Christ written so
as to express its theological significance.
While Matthew's account focuses on Jesus as the messianic King, Mark's on Jesus as servant, and John's on Jesus as the Son of God, Luke's Gospel focuses on the humanity of Jesus, the Son of Man and the universal offer of salvation to all mankind.
Luke, a Gentile, and a close traveling companion
of the apostle Paul (Colossians 4:10-14; 2 Timothy 4:11), seems
to have aimed his account toward a Gentile audience. (Walvoord,
John F. and Roy B. Zuck, eds., Bible Knowledge Commentary (New
Testament ed.), s.v., "Luke," by John Martin, Victor Books: Wheaton, 1983.) See also the "we" passages
in the book of Acts in the Bible, which was also written by Luke,
where he associates himself with Paul: Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15;
21:1-18; 27:1-28:16. Thus, he was in a good position to glean
rich information about Jesus by investigating the traditions
surrounding Him. Furthermore, the tradition of the early church
is strong and consistent in attributing the third Gospel to Luke.
Whether speaking historically, linguistically or literally, biblical scholars are impressed with Luke's writing. We can be confident that the text as we possess it today is essentially as Luke first wrote it.
Which language was used?
Luke writes in excellent Greek, adopting different styles for different portions of the book. Throughout he uses a literary style carefully crafted to better communicate his intended purposes.
The name of the present-day village is en-NÉzirah
and it is near Cana.