The Gospel of Luke was written, says its author, as an historical account of the ministry of Jesus. Not only would it serve as the basis for a sound faith on the part of professing Christians, but it would also claim a place for Christianity in history. Christ's ministry, as Luke shows, is realized prophecy; it is that time during which God's promise of salvation was fulfilled. His teachings, healing, and acts of compassion are all part of the good news. In Luke's Gospel, Christ's message of salvation is directed to the weak, poor, and needy, with an emphasis on the importance of self-denial and of whole-hearted discipleship. Thus, while Luke is the most conscious historian of the Gospel writers, his history is a vehicle of theological interpretation in which the significance of Jesus is expressed.
In this commentary I. Howard Marshall calls attention to the theological message of Luke the Evangelist. His primary purpose is to exegete the text as it was written by Luke, so that the distinctiveness of Luke's Gospel may be seen.
Basing his commentary on the third edition of The Greek New Testament, Dr. Marshall also refers to many variant readings which are significant in this study. He provides fairly full information on the meanings of the Greek words used by Luke and shows which words and constructions occur frequently and are therefore characteristic of his style. It is by this meticulous analysis of the Greek that Luke's theological intentions can be objectively determined.