05 January 2016

The Title of Luke’s Account

The title of the King James Version of the Gospel of Luke sparks an intriguing thought. What was once known as, “The Gospel According to Luke,” is changed by the Prophet Joseph Smith to read,  “The Testimony of Luke.” At reader's first glance it manifests an inconsequential  adjustment. Was the Prophet just being nitpicky and excessively critical or was there a real need to change that which was taken away, lost or mistranslated? Perhaps the wording, “The Gospel According to... ,” indicated the author's opinion rather than an historical certainty and testimony of the events recorded? Whatever the case the Prophet thought it was important enough to have it changed.

There are several advantages in rendering the words, “The Gospel According to…” to “The Testimony of…” When a reader reads the title, “The Gospel According to Luke,” it may reasonably portray the written account as simply Luke’s own personal opinion and interpretations. However the revision made in light of, “The Testimony of Luke,” strengthens the written account as personal conviction of historical events.

The Testimony of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke
Implies Luke’s personal conviction

Implies Luke's opinion
Implies Luke’s historical account
Implies Luke’s interpretation