The Gospel According to Luke in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
In the preface to his Gospel Luke refers to "many" who
before him had written accounts of what the "eye witnesses"
and "ministers of the word" transmitted. This implies the
"many" were not themselves eye witnesses or ministers of the
word. Matthew's and Mark's Gospels therefore are not
referred to in the term "many." But as the phrase "they
delivered them to us" (paredosan) includes both written and
oral transmission (2 Thessalonians 2:15) Luke's words do not
oppose, as Alford thinks, but favor the opinion that those
two Gospels were among the sources of Luke's information,
especially as Matthew was an "eye-witness," and Mark a
"minister of the word." Luke himself applies" minister"
(Acts 13:5, hufretees) to John Mark. Luke differs from the
"many" in that his work is: (1) "in order," (2) with a"
perfect understanding of all things from the first"
(pareekoloutheekoti anoothen akriboos, "having traced all
things accurately from the remote beginning.")
Luke begins with earlier facts of John the Baptist's
and of our Lord's history than Matthew and Mark, he writes
methodically and in more chronological Order. Ancient
testimony assures us that Paul's teaching formed the
substratum of Luke's Gospel (the Muratorian Fragment;
Irenaeus, Haer. iii. 1,14; Tertullian, Marcion iv. 2;
Origen, Eusebius, H. E. vi. 25; Jerome, Vir. Illustr. 7).
Compare as to the special revelation to Paul 1 Corinthians
11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:11-12.
Paul was an "eye-witness" (1 Corinthians 9:1; Acts 22:14-
15); his expression "according to my gospel" implies the
independency of his witness; he quotes words of Christ
revealed to him, and not found in the four Gospels (Acts
20:35). Thus, besides Matthew and Mark, to whose Gospels the
"many" as well as Luke had access, Paul is the chief "eye
witness" to whom Luke refers in the preface. Luke and Paul
alone record Jesus' appearing to Peter first of the apostles
(Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5)...