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According to Luke

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By David Gooding

According to Luke

The Third Gospel’s Ordered Historical Narrative

Luke’s declared purpose is to convince us of the certainty of the Christian story: has he no intention of helping us to see its point?
According to Luke - The Third Gospel’s Ordered Historical Narrative

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With a profound understanding of both the Scriptures and the classical world that influenced Luke, this exposition leads us through the artistry of Luke’s presentation. However familiar the terrain of this Gospel, we will find that having an experienced guide makes a difference. By bringing out the significance of the narrative as a whole, David Gooding’s analysis will help us to arrive at a confident understanding of Luke’s message and open up insightful lines of application at each step along they way.

Right from the start of his Gospel Luke makes it clear that the story of Jesus is neither ancient myth nor contemporary fable. It is straightforward history. To emphasize this he provides us with historical co–ordinates. He informs us, for example, that when John began publicly to introduce Christ to His nation it was in the fifteenth year of Emperor Tiberius’ reign, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, during the high–priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas. This is, then, an historical account. But what does Luke’s history of Jesus mean? And how can we be certain that we have understood the message that he has presented in his account of Christ’s life?

David Gooding asks us to begin by recalling that Luke is an ancient and not a modern historian. A modern historian might compile a list of the things that Jesus did and taught, and then add his own explanations. But Luke has more in common with ancient historians such as Thucydides and writers of Old Testament books such as Judges and 1 and 2 Samuel. With minimal comment, he has grouped the material about Christ in a way that leads thoughtful readers to discover for themselves the point and purpose of each incident. Luke is, then, both historian and artist.

It has often been lamented that Christ’s public ministry on earth was so short–lived, and His death at the hands of His enemies a tragedy. But Luke will not have it so. Following Christ’s own statements, he divides his Gospel into two parts: the coming of Christ from Glory into our world, and His going back to Glory. David Gooding shows that by arranging the events of each part into discreet stages and movements, Luke is proclaiming that Christ was carrying out a definite mission – His going, by way of His cross, resurrection and ascension was as deliberate as His coming.


According to Luke

  • Dr Philip G. Ryken

    President, Wheaton College

    Dr Philip G. Ryken, President, Wheaton College

    An exceptionally valuable resource for reading and preaching the Third Gospel. David Gooding’s rare sense for narrative flow helps students and teachers see the wider context for each passage and makes this one of the best commentaries available for understanding the meaning of Luke.

  • Alec Motyer

    Author, formerly Principal of Trinity College, Bristol

    Alec Motyer, Author, formerly Principal of Trinity College, Bristol

    Recently I had occasion to work right through Luke with David Gooding as my guide and teacher. It was a rich experience. According to Luke is a supreme example of Gooding’s unique gift for analysing Scripture, observing structure and bringing out parallels and interconnections. Analysis, however, in his hands, never descends into ‘playing word games’ but is always a devout entry into the organising mind of the Holy Spirit, and acts as the handmaid of sound exegesis and exposition. According to Luke holds together the overall ‘movement’ of the whole gospel, the significance and meaning of each part in its observed place in the structure. Many an otherwise obscure verse becomes plain in the course of this mode of study. I know of no comparable book on Luke, and I would not readily be without this fine study.

  • I. Howard Marshall

    Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis, University of Aberdeen

    I. Howard Marshall, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis, University of Aberdeen

    Professor Gooding’s exposition of the Gospel of Luke is a lively work, free from technicalities, in which he explains and vigorously applies its message for the contemporary reader. At the same time he throws fresh light on the way in which Luke constructed his Gospel. Such a commentary does not go out of date, and I am glad that it is now available again. Preachers and all students of the Gospel will find much of value in these pages.

  • Rebecca Manley Pippert

    Author, Out of the Saltshaker

    For twenty–five years I have been reading and re–reading According to Luke. I find David Gooding’s work so exceptional because of the way that he carefully analyzes the literary structure of Luke. Gooding shows us how each individual story fits into a larger structure of understanding that reveals not only Luke’s meaning but the unique person and work of Christ. The pages of this book contain the freshest and most insightful understanding of Luke’s Gospel that I have read. I couldn’t recommend this book more highly.

  • David Cook


    Insightful comments and warm and piercing pastoral application are the features of this writing. I try only to have three commentaries with me in any series and in both Luke and Acts, David Gooding’s commentaries are part of the trio.

  • F. F. Bruce

    formerly Emeritus Professor, Manchester University

    To this new exposition of the Gospel of Luke Dr. Gooding brings a rare combination of gifts: spiritual insight, classical learning, and literary appreciation. The result is a fresh unfolding of Luke’s witness to Christ which the reader will find both heart–warming, informative and a pleasure to read. It gives me great pleasure to commend it unreservedly.

  • D. A. Carson

    Research Professor of NT at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield

    D. A. Carson, Research Professor of NT at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield

    This commentary focuses attention on the text, especially its flow… It is a fine way for the serious general reader to get into the text of Luke.

  • R. C. Lucas

    Rector Emeritus, St Helen’s, Bishopsgate, London

    The best way to try out the worth of a commentary is to use it in preparation for preaching. David Gooding’s According to Luke I found unusually stimulating and useful in this regard and am deeply grateful for it.

  • Alexander Strauch

    Author, Biblical Eldership

    Dr. Gooding’s unique commentary on Luke should be in the library of every Bible teacher. I have used it in teaching through Luke’s Gospel, and found it one of the best for guiding the preacher through Luke’s thoughts. It is quotable, well outlined, and spiritually enriching. It is a masterpiece for modeling accurate biblical interpretation. I would love to put this commentary in the hands of every serious Bible student. It is a must–read book.

  • The Rev Prebendary Richard Bewes


    I have preached my way through Luke’s Gospel, not only in church–at London’s All Souls, Langham Place–but in radio broadcasts and in international conventions, and always David Gooding’s commentary has been my first port of call when it comes to supportive resources. I greatly welcome this new imprint from Myrtlefield House. Bible students and preachers worldwide will find it a joy both to hold and to read, as they trace the thrilling story of the Road to Glory–and the universal gospel.

  • Justin Mote

    The Northwest Partnership

    I am delighted that According to Luke has been reprinted. Dr David Gooding’s writings have had a profound impact on me as a preacher and trainer of others. His work is a fine commentary of the text of Luke’s gospel. But he does so much more. First, he enables us to follow the ‘flow’ of Luke’s writing, helping the reader to understand the development of themes within the gospel. Secondly, he shows with persuasion the structure of Luke’s ‘orderly’ account. It means the reader is stimulated to think about the context within which each text comes. When I ask the interpretative question ‘Why has Luke placed this text here, and how does it relate to the material around it?’ I always turn to Dr. Gooding for help. I hope a new generation of Bible students will read it!

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