III. Luke As A Historian
Luke explicitly states that he wished to give “an account” of Jesus' life and teaching (1:1-4). He wanted Theophilus, to whom the work was dedicated, to “know the certainty” of the things he had been taught. And presumably he wanted that certainty to be known by others who read or listened to his gospel. Luke was a historian in the sense that he desired to record events accurately and to place them in their historical setting. He did not attempt to write a detailed biography of Jesus; rather, he endeavored to give a faithful account of the most important aspects of Jesus' life and teaching. Scholars have differed about the reliability of his account (see Fitzmyer, 1:14-18; Marshall, Luke: Historian, 53-76). This commentary, however, is based on the events and teaching as recorded and interpreted by Luke.