A. Prologue to Luke's Gospel
Scripture: Luke 1:1-4
Luke 1:1-4Notes: Luke was not an eyewitness to the events he records in his gospel, as he probably became a believer under the influence of the apostle Paul, likely in Antioch of Syria (Acts 13:1). On the other hand, he was a remarkably professional historian. He researched his material carefully (including personal interviews with principal players in the gospel accounts), and he did his work under the careful supervision of Paul.
Questions/Observations: Notice the emphasis placed by Luke upon careful research into the matters he records. This is important to the issue of the historical integrity and accuracy of these gospel records.
B. Prologue to John's Gospel
Scripture: Matthew 3:1-12
Matthew 3:1-12Notes: The apostle John is writing late in the first century; he knows three apostolic accounts have already been written and are in circulation, and he knows those accounts well. He introduces his gospel with a tribute to the person of Jesus, articulating and celebrating the deity of that One who was the Word made flesh.
Questions/Observations: Notice carefully the emphasis placed upon the eternality of Jesus. Throughout the OT one of the most distinctive attributes of Yahweh is His eternality; thus, this affirmation by John is a strong statement of Jesus's deity.
Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).