Based on a True Story: The Gospel in Luke and Acts
Why does Luke meticulously avoid using the word gospel in his account of Jesus, eliminating every instance he comes across in Mark, only to introduce it halfway through his second volume, the Acts of the Apostles? Garroway resolves this long-standing interpretive conundrum with a simple answer: Luke knew the truth. Luke knew that neither Jesus nor his disciples used the word euangelion in the course of their missions. He knew that “gospel” was the name given by Paul, midway through his apostolic career, to his proprietary message about salvation outside the Law. In recounting this story, however, Luke tinkers with the truth. By inserting a fictionalized account of the Jerusalem Conference into the early part of Paul’s career, Luke makes Paul and the gospel appear far less controversial than they really were.