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Luke–Acts is the name usually given by Biblical scholars to the composite work of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. Together they describe the Ministry of Jesus and the subsequent lives of the Apostles and the Apostolic Age.

Both the books of Luke and Acts are anonymous narratives dedicated to a person named Theophilus.[1] The book of Acts starts out with: "The former treatise have I made“ (probably referring to Luke),[2] and the author probably intended both books to be read together. Almost all scholars believe that they were written by the same person referred to as Luke the Evangelist. [3] Luke–Acts has sometimes been presented as a single book in published Bibles or New Testaments, for example, in The Original New Testament (1985)[4] and The Books of the Bible (2007).

The traditional view holds that they were written by Luke named in Colossians 4:14, a doctor and follower of Paul, but most scholars reject this view. The work is Hellenized and written for a gentile audience. Marcion, a famous 2nd century heretic, who used a modified form of Luke known as the Gospel of Marcion, did not use Acts, perhaps he was unaware of it or intentionally excluded it from his biblical canon; Irenaeus, a proto-orthodox apologist, is the first to use and mention Acts, specifically against Marcionism.

It should be mentioned that there are two versions of Luke-Acts with one 10-20 percent longer then the other but the canonical version being the shorter version with scholars unable to agree on which is the original. "A translation of the longer (non-canonical version) of Acts is available in Price, Pre-Nicene New Testamanet, pp. 563-634 (but alas, not the longer version of Luke.) For a discussion of the two versions of Acts and their textual history Strange, Problem of the Text of Acts."[5]


  1. ^ Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1
  2. ^ Acts 1:1, Authorised Version
  3. ^ Martin, D. 2010. Introduction to the New Testament Lecture 9. Yale University. Accessed 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ Hugh J. Schonfield, ed., The Original New Testament (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985).
  5. ^ Carrier, Richard (2014) On the Historicity of Jesus Sheffield Phoenix Press ISBN 978-1-909697-49-2 pg 271