05 January 2016

The Title of Luke’s Account




The oldest and complete handwritten version of the Bible is called the Codex Sinaiticus which was written 1600 years ago (400 BCE). The title of Luke was simply, "Luke" (Κατὰ Λουκᾶν in Koine Greek.) Throughout the years somehow during the translation process "Luke" became, "The Gospel According to Luke." 

After the restoration of the church, the prophet Joseph Smith felt inspired to edit many scriptural passages in the Bible. One of these edits was the title of the book of Luke which in todays King James Version of the bible reads, “The Gospel According to Luke.” This is changed by the Prophet Joseph Smith to read, “The Testimony of Luke.”

Perhaps the wording, “The Gospel According to... ,” indicated the gospel author's opinion rather than his historical testimony or certainty of the events he recorded? Whatever the case the prophet Joseph Smith 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 portray the written account as simply Luke’s own personal opinion and interpretations of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. However Joseph's revision, “The Testimony of Luke,” strengthens the written account as personal conviction of historical events.

In any case, the world will not be judged through written biblical opinions but by testimony. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie testified that Luke's "...testimony is binding upon the world and will stand as a witness against the unbelieving before the judgement bar of Christ." McConkie, Bruce R. (2012-09-10). Doctrinal New Testament Commentary : Volumes 1-3 (Kindle Locations 959-960). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition. 


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