I’m looking forward to the soon-to-be-released two book commentary on Luke’s Gospel by Dale Ralph Davis.
Thoughtful unfolding of the text, engagingly illustrated.
In this introductory section Davis addresses the evident care to record truth without embellishment that Luke mentions in his prefacing words. This care was all the more important because there were numerous people around who knew the truth of the events, and who would be keen to pick the Gospel account apart if there were falsehoods or inconsistencies.
Some might object that since Luke and others had an agenda (to win people to Jesus) they obviously must have ‘souped up’ the truth in order to make their account more convincing. But they dared not do that. There were gobs of eyewitnesses around in the first century and not all eyewitnesses were pro- Jesus. In the first century there were many eyewitnesses who were hostile to Jesus and opposed to the apostles. If the early Christians, whether in written accounts or in oral witness, had exaggerated or twisted the truth, they would’ve been exposed by the ‘antiJesus’ coalition. They had to be careful with their claims. So, it is simply not true that evangelism compromises historicity; rather, evangelism demands accuracy. And since such care was taken for truth, you need to face its claims.
Dale Ralph Davis, Luke 1–13 – The Year of the Lord’s Favour, Christian Focus, 2021, pg. 16.