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Saturday, December 30 2017

Who Wrote More Of The New Testament Than Anyone Else?

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed"

A question: Who wrote more of the "New Testament" than anyone else?

A hint: If the Holy Bible that you are using has 430 pages for the New Testament (as does the Bible that I am using for this example), the writer in question wrote 116 of them - over one-quarter of the entire New Testament.

Another hint: Although his writings are known as two "books" of the Bible, they were actually epistles, personal letters, addressed to a man named Theophilus.

Aristotle Answer?

While the apostle Paul wrote 111 pages (14 epistles, from Romans to Hebrews) and the apostle John wrote 79 pages (the Book of John, 3 epistles and the Book of Revelation), it was Luke who wrote more than any other with the Gospel Book of Luke and the Book of Acts.

"Luke" and "Acts" were originally written as two personal, and intended at first, private, letters from Luke to a man named Theophilus. We may be very thankful that Theoplilus thereafter released or donated his letters into the public domain.

"1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." (Luke 1:1-4 KJV)

"1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." (Acts 1:1-3 KJV)

Luke was a Greek. While the Greek philosophers (e.g. Aristotle) were famous for their atheism, or idolatry, other Greeks, such as Luke, were a major part of the Christian Church right from the beginning (see also the Fact Finder question below).

Luke was also a unique witness of the Messiah. Consider the contrasts in the given perspectives of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:

  • Matthew (see Matthew: The Gospel By The Accountant) and John were two of the original twelve apostles, while more youthful Mark (see Mark: Was It John Mark?) was a convert and close associate of the apostle Peter, and then a close functionary of the apostle Paul, before becoming a full servant of the LORD in his own right. Luke was not one of the twelve apostles, or closely associated with any of them; Luke became a close associate of the apostle Paul, "the apostle to the Gentiles," who also was independent of the twelve.

  • Matthew, Mark and John were Jews (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: Jews), while Luke was a "Gentile" (as was Abraham, who was neither Israelite or Jew; see Who Were The First Jews?).

  • Matthew and John were sent to "Israel" ("10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" Matthew 10:5-6 KJV), while Luke accompanied the apostle Paul in his preaching the Gospel to all of the world ("13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth" Acts 13:47 KJV).

  • Luke's "world" (i.e. how he viewed the world and everyone in it) was a much bigger and all-humanity-realistic place than the inward-looking apostles to Israel alone would have been. The Scriptures do record how they grew up, and grew out, of that adolescent perspective - they would have been teaching against Christ if they hadn't done so, when it was time for them to have done so. It's the same reason that a nationalistic teacher of the Gospel, even in the true Church of God today, usually has a much narrower and parochial view of the world, and of the Gospel itself, than a teacher of the Gospel, like Luke was, who regards the world as Planet Earth, rather than a small-minded "planet our country" as the people of Judah who rejected the Messiah did when He lived and taught among them.

  • Matthew, Mark and John wrote their Gospel "books" in the form of a local "off the shelf" history and prophecy text, whereas Luke's work, while also the same history and prophecy, was specifically accomplished by means of a letter - an epistle.

Fact Finder: What does "deacon" mean?
See Why Were They Called Deacons?


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This Day In History, December 30

39: Titus (full name Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus) was born. Titus was the Roman military commander who besieged and captured Jerusalem in 70 AD (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones? and A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots). Titus later was the Emperor of Rome from 79 to 81 (see The Roman Emperors: Titus).

Fallen Stones

Titus

1066: The Granada massacre. A Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, Spain. They crucified the Jewish vizier, Joseph ibn Naghrela, and massacred most of the Jewish population of the city.

1460: During the Wars of The Roses, Richard of York with 5,000 men was defeated by Queen Margaret and the Lancastrians at the Battle of Wakefield. Nearly 3,000 Yorkists were killed, including the Duke himself.

Britain

1803: The U.S. took formal possession of Louisiana (named after King Louis XIV who reigned 1643 to 1715), after purchasing the territory from France.

1880: The Transvaal, under Paul Kruger, declared itself a republic.

1896: Filipino reform advocate Jose Rizal was executed by a Spanish firing squad in Manila.

1903: A fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago killed 588 people; public outrage led to new theater safety codes across the U.S.

1911: Sun Yat-sen was elected the first President of the Republic of China after the fall of the Chinese dynasties.

China

1915: During the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), a German submarine torpedoed the British liner Persia off Crete. At least 330 of the 501 passengers and crew were killed.

1916: Gregory Rasputin (the "mad monk"), Siberian peasant, mystic, and favorite of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra was shot, poisoned and eventually drowned at the house of Prince Feliks Yusupov.

1922: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established through the confederation of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian Federation. It lasted 70 years.

Soviet Union

1936: The United Auto Workers Union began its first strike.

1944: King George II of Greece renounced the monarchy.

1947: King Michael of Romania was forced to abdicate by Soviet-backed Communists.

1965: Ferdinand Marcos was sworn in as the President of the Philippines.

1972: After 2 weeks of heavy bombing raids on North Vietnam, U.S. President Richard Nixon halted the air offensive and agreed to resume "peace" negotiations with Hanoi.

Vietnam

Vietnam

1993: Israel and the Vatican signed an agreement on mutual recognition (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy, Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah, A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions).

1996: Budget cuts by Benjamin Netanyahu resulted in protests from 250,000 workers across Israel.

2006: Saddam Hussein, the conquered President of Iraq, was executed by hanging for the war crimes that he committed.





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