Surfers, has this ever happened to you? Imagine you have been studying the Bible and you are attending some family function where an older relative begins to ask you a few scripture related questions. Now assume that because they are seemingly interested in the Bible, and they are older than you, that you both are on par with some basic Bible facts. Visualize that during the discussion your relative discovers for the first time that the Apostles did not write the Gospels and that they begin to show signs of distress. Picture standing there with your mouth open in shock and horror as your relative goes on an extended rant about how 12 years of Catholic school Bible study was a lie. Have you gotten that image planted firmly in your mind? Happens to everybody, right?
This is a moment in my life that professionals call a “flash bulb” memory. It has been over 30 years but the memory is still as strong today as it was in 1982. I have had similar stories in my life experience that make me cautious about discussing scripture with folks these days.
Speaking of Gospel writers on October 18 the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist. I grew up with the all the compulsory Catholic traditions and Luke had his share. For example, Luke and Paul were known to be great buddies. Luke, like Mark, was a Gospel writer not counted with the Apostles, but for the record people still believe that Matthew and John were Apostles. Luke was considered an advocate for the poor and for women. Acts was considered a first hand historical account of the Apostles after the resurrection.
Luke, the writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, has been identified with St. Paul’s “Luke, the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14).
Luke’s inspiration and information for his Gospel and Acts came from his close association with Paul and his companions
– Catholic Online
It maybe coincidence that on the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist I came across this wonderful book “Acts and Christian Beginnings: The Acts Seminar Report” and I felt compelled to share this with you.
Acts was long thought to be a first-century document, and its author Luke to be a disciple of Paul…But the Acts Seminar, a decade-long collaborative project by scholars affiliated with the Westar Institute, concluded that [it] dates from the second century.
The Acts of the Apostles is not history.
The book will be published this November. I have been very pleased with the high quality of the research from the Jesus Seminar folks. What better way to celebrate the St. Luke the Evangelist than studying the work that has been attributed to him?