I'm kicking off this blog with the book of Luke, because it's the next one on my list. I first read Luke when I was in 7th grade and really liked it.
A bit about Luke, the book
Luke is the third book in the New Testament (42nd book in the Bible), though, really, it's just a long letter. It was written by a guy named Luke. The book is traditionally called The Gospel According to (St) Luke.
A bit about Luke, the person
Luke is unique to the Bible. He is the only writer who wasn't a Jew. Well, there are snippets here and there that are written by Gentiles (non-Jews). For instance, King Nebuchadnezzar of the Neo-Babylonian empire wrote a part of the book of Daniel; some other kings wrote parts at the end of Proverbs. But as far as entire books go, Luke is the sole Gentile writer in the Bible.
Luke was from Antioch, or Antakya, Turkey. He was a physician. He seems to enjoy or value history. You can tell by the way he writes. He always mentions everything in context of history.
A bit more about Luke, the book
Luke wrote this book to a guy named Theophilus, a name that means "Loved by God" - I think. Theo -> God. Philus -> Love. He wrote the book in Greek.
It's part 1 of a two part story. Part 2 is called The Book of Acts, or, The Acts of The Apostles. Part 1, Luke, is about the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Off the top of my head, I don't recall when it was written. I think around 50 AD? So about fifteen years after Jesus died. Maybe? What do our friends at Wikipedia say? What do you think?
As far as manuscripts go, they have manuscripts from the late 100s AD. So, that's like trusting that a copy of Moby Dick bought at Barnes & Noble today is the same thing that Herman Melville wrote back in 1850. Wouldn't you say?
One more thing
Luke makes a point that this story is in chronological order. Nice. Thanks, Luke! What a pal!