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Two Christmas Babies Part 1

The Gospel of Luke does not let us celebrate Jesus' birth without celebrating John the Baptist's birth. This morning we started a two-part sermon on the comparison of the births of John and Jesus. Here are the background notes for Part 1. You can also download and print a copy here.

Luke 1-2

Key Background Information about the Gospel of Luke:

  • Ancient sources external to the Bible unanimously attest to Luke’s authorship of the Gospel of Luke.

  • Luke wrote his Gospel and the Book of Acts for the church sometime between 67-90 AD, and it was sponsored by a person named Theophilus.

  • Theophilus may or may not have been his real name. The name means “friend of God.” Luke may have used that name to protect the person’s identity from outsiders.

  • This friend was a social elite, thus Luke describes him as “most excellent Theophilus.”

  • Luke’s mention of Theophilus was the common way of acknowledging a benefactor who sponsored the writing.

  • Theophilus had the finances to pay for the two-volume production of Luke and Acts. This could have cost roughly the equivalent of $20,000 to produce.1

Luke Celebrated Two Births at Christmas

The Gospel of Luke does not let us view the birth of Jesus apart from the birth of John the Baptist. John’s family and Jesus’ family are held up along side each other like adjacent pages in a photo album. On the left page, we find John the Baptist’s family, and on the right is Jesus’ family. Below are larger parallels. They are simply parallels and not in the order that we see them in the text.

Comparison of Jesus' and John's birth stories