- Hardcover: 685 pages
- Publisher: Eerdman's Publishing Co. (1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802821847
- ISBN-13: 978-0802821843
- ASIN: B000GJDRIW
- Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,682,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gospel of Luke,The New International Commentary on the New Testament Hardcover – 1979
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He wrote in the first chapter of the 1951 book, "[Henry Joel] Cadbury is right... that the language of Luke and Acts does not OF ITSELF PROVE that the author was a physician. Nevertheless the fact remains that the language and terminology of Luke and Acts are of such a nature that they CORROBORATE in a striking manner the tradition that the author was Luke the physician. The following may be cited as ... examples of medically tinted language and terminology from Luke: Luke iv.38 describes the disease of Peter's mother-in-law as a `great fever,' while Mark merely describes it as a `fever.' ... Luke v.12 describes the leper as `a man full of leprosy,' while Mark and Matthew merely say `a leprous man.' ... the precise manner in which Luke describes different cases of disease ... fits in with the fact that he was a physician. Taking all the data into consideration, one cannot but come to the conclusion that, although the language and style do not per se prove that the author of the books was a physician, the statement of Paul in Colossians iv.14, and the unanimous assertions of the ancient church fathers that Luke was a physician, are clearly corroborated by the nature of the contents of the books." (Pg. 20-21)
He observes, "In his preface to the Gospel (i.1-4) it appears, moreover, that, apart from the data which he had received verbally from `eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,' he also had at his disposal written accounts of the history of the Lord. He does not inform us who committed these accounts to writing. However, it goes without saying that numbers of Christians who could write would from early times have begun to commit to writing information concerning Christ... Especially as the first disciples began to fall away through death, the need of committing the stories and words to writing would inevitably have grown bigger. Accordingly, during his journeys and his association with fellow-Christians, very likely came across attempts to commit the tales to writing... as stated by himself ... he started, in an accurate and systematic manner, to compose an orderly account concerning Christ from all the data at his disposal in written form and otherwise. Precisely how much use was made by him of the written data which he received from others, and to what extent he was already in possession of the necessary information through oral communications, cannot now be ascertained. In any case it seems fairly certain that in composing his Gospel he made use to a great extent of the Gospel of Mark, which had already been written." (Pg. 24-25)
Of the Census of Quirinius (2:1-3), he says, "Luke describes this taxing as `the first' and states that it took place when Quirinius was governor of Syria. He calls it `the first enrolment' to distinguish it from the well-known enrollment in A.D. 6 of which he makes mention in Acts v.37. Of this `first enrolment' we have no other direct mention outside the New Testament. There is, however, no cogent reason why doubt should be cast on Luke here. There is inscriptional evidence. Quirinius was governor of Syria for some time in the first decade B.C. as well as from A.D. 6 to 9. The genuineness of the statement that everyone had to go into his own city to be enrolled has also been strikingly confirmed. It was a characteristic feature of Augustus's action towards a subject people that he gave every consideration to their national customs. Especially since he had the enrolment made through Herod, who ruled as king of the Jews, it goes without saying that the Jewish custom was followed to let the inhabitants go to their original native city for the taxings." (Pg. 100)
He includes a "Special Note" about the Enrolment: "Against the historical genuineness of Luke's statements concerning the enrolment numerous objections have been raised... In the light of more recent research we give the following brief answers... (1) Although no express mention of this enrolment has been found outside the New Testament and Christian writers, this does not by any means prove that Luke's statement is incorrect... Why, then, in the case of Luke, who has been proved to be throughout more trustworthy than Josephus, should a confirmation of his statements first have to be found ... before accepting them as the truth?... (2)... the manner of enrolment described by Luke agrees with what was also the custom in Egypt. All who are away from home are instructed to return to their ordinary abodes for the enrolment... (4) Although Josephus makes mention of the taxing during the time (about A.D. 6) when Quirinius was governor of Syria after Herod's death (Antiquities, xviii), he nowhere states that this was the first census... (5) It must, indeed, be admitted that Quirinius became governor in A.D. 6 (if the statement of Josephus in this connection is correct). But it is fairly generally accepted that outside the New Testament there are proofs enough that Quirinius had at an earlier period already been acting in an official capacity in Syria..." (Pg. 104-105)
He suggests that Lk 5:1-11 "is by no means the same as that in Matthew iv.18-22 and Mark i.16-20... The fact that this occurrence is not related by Matthew and Mark is no argument against its historicity. Not one of the Gospels professes to give a full account of all things. There are numbers of possible explanations why Matthew and Mark relate that first call and are silent about that of verses 1-11." (Pg. 183)
He notes of 8:1-3, "there followed Him also a group of women who were intimately attached to Him as the result of blessings received from Him. Many of them were well-to-do women who served the Master out of their substance... He was willing to be served with earthly means necessary for His support at the hands of a small group of women whom He had healed... What a challenge and inspiration it must be for every woman to consider that, while nowhere in the four Gospels is mention made of any women who were hostile to Jesus, there are numerous references to ministration and marks of honour which they accorded him." (Pg. 238-239) He adds that the story of the doubts of Jesus' mother and his brethren in 8:19-21 "proves to us clearly that Mary was not the perfect saint as she is represented to have been by the Roman church. She was and is indeed the blessed one among women, because to her was given the privilege of being the mother of the Redeemer, but she was also a fallible mortal, beset with sin and weakness." (Pg. 250)
Of 9:27 ["There be some... that stand here, which shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God"] he comments, "The Saviour declares with emphasis that some of those who are listening to Him at that moment, will yet see a mighty revelation of the kingly rule of God before they die... it follows that the Saviour did not mean His resurrection or ascension, or the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, for all this took place within a few months... So the Lord referred to a special event which would take place during a period when the generation then living was at the point of passing away. And there was precisely such an event---the destruction of Jerusalem... in A.D. 70." (Pg. 277)
He states, "If we take the date of all four Gospels together we see that the Saviour went through the following trials: (1) a preliminary trial before Annas... (2) a preliminary trial before Caiaphas and the members of the jewish Council... (3) a final trial before the whole Council... (4) before Pilate; (5) before Herod. If the different Gospels had each given a description of all the trials, this would have taken up a comparatively large portion of each. Each one of them therefore gives only a few selections from the whole course of events. Luke especially gives a condensed account of the trials before the Jewish authorities." (Pg. 586)
About the "APPARENT contradiction between the evidence for the dating of the crucifixion in the first three Gospels and that in the fourth Gospel" (Pg. 649), he rejects the Strack-Billerbeck theory that "the Synoptists are right when they state that Jesus celebrated the Passover according to the Law and was crucified on the 15th Nisan, and john is correct in stating ... that the Jewish authorities still had to eat the paschal repast on the day of the crucifixion" on the grounds that "Their theory remains mere guess-work. It has by no means been proved that there ever was a genuine instance before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple when there was ... a difference of ACTION concerning the day of the celebration of the Passover... we have no indication that... there ever was an occasion ... when one section of the people celebrated the Passover on one day and another section of the people celebrated it on a different day... It may be imagined what confusion would have been created by such a difference in the celebration of the feast. Take, for example, the slaughtering of the lambs... Would they have been able to allow the slaughtering to take place two days in succession?... In conclusions ... all four Gospels teach unanimously that Jesus instituted the Holy Communion at the actual paschal repast and that He died on the 15th Nisan." (Pg. 656)
This is an excellent, solidly conservative commentary, that will be of great interest to evangelicals studying Luke's gospel.
In addition to the commentary on the text itself, Geldenhuys provides a significant amount of introductory material dealing with the author, the sources, the date of writing, the style, and the aim of the Gospel. Particularly interesting is Geldenhuys's discussion of the date of Luke's Gospel. He makes a strong case for the early dating of Luke, sometime in the 60s A.D. rather than the post-70 A.D. date almost universally assigned by critical scholarship.
The back of the commentary contains an "excursus" of some 22 pages on the day and date of the crucifixion. This contains a number of interesting and insightful comments and is worth the time it takes to read.