Question 10: Was Luke a Jew or a Gentile?

18Answer:  There are several reasons to accept the Jewishness of Luke rather than assume he was a Gentile.

First, Romans 3:1-2 clearly teaches the oracles of God were committed to the Jews alone. This includes the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Hence, Luke must have been a Jew.

Second, in both of his writings, Luke used a lot of Hebraisms. This means, for example, that rather than using a normal Greek word order, he used a Hebrew word order, which was common among Greek speaking Jews but not among Greek speaking Gentiles.

Third, Luke knew and used various Jewish nuances. For example, whenever he wrote about someone going to Jerusalem, he always pointed out that it was a matter of “going up.” Whenever he wrote about someone leaving Jerusalem, it was a matter of “going down.” Indeed, among Jews, one always goes up to Jerusalem and one always comes down from Jerusalem. Another example is found in Acts 27, where Luke mentioned “the fast” without bothering to explain the term. A Jew would know it to mean the fast for the Day of Atonement. Hence, Luke wrote as a Jew would write.

These are just some of the reasons I hold to the Jewishness of Luke.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.