front Contracted from Lucanus, as Silas is contracted from Silvanus. A slave name. As Luke was a "physician," a profession often exercised by slaves and freedmen, he may have been a freedman. Eusebius (H.E. iii. 4) states that Antioch was his native city. He was of Gentile parentage before he became a Christian; as appears from Colossians 4:11,14: "Luke the beloved physician" (one of "my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God which have been a comfort unto me") is distinguished from those "of the circumcision."
That he was not of "the seventy" disciples, as Epiphanius (Haer. i. 12) reports, is clear from his preface in which he implies he was not an" eye witness"; the tradition arose perhaps from his Gospel alone recording the mission of the seventy. His history in Acts is first joined with that of Paul at Troas (Acts 16:10), where the "we" implies that the writer was then Paul's companion. He accompanied the apostle in his journey to Jerusalem and Rome, at Paul's first Roman imprisonment "Luke my fellow labourer," Philemon (Philemon 1:24) written from Rome, as also Colossians (Colossians 4:14); also in Paul's last imprisonment there, when others forsook him Luke remained faithful (2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Timothy 4:11 "only Luke is with me".) His death by martyrdom between A.D. 75 and 100 is generally reported.