The name Luke (Loukas) is apparently an abbreviation for Loukanos. Old Latin manuscripts frequently have the words CATA LUCANUM as the title of the Third Gospel. (But the form Loukios, is also found in inscriptions synonymous with Loukas;) It was a common fashion in the (common Greek) koine to abbreviate proper names, as it is today, for that matter (compare Amphias from Amphiatos, Antipas from Antipatros, Apollos from Apollonias, Demas from Demetrios, Zenas from Zenodoros, etc.; and see Jannaris, Historical Greek Grammar,).
In Colossians 4:14 Luke is distinguished by Paul from those “of the circumcision” (Aristarchus, Mark, Jesus Justus). Epaphras, Luke, Demas form the Gentilegroup. He was believed by the early Christian writers to have come directly from heathendom to Christianity so there is no direct documentation of whether of not, he was a Jewish proselyte.
He first appears with St Paul at Alexandria in Troas (compare the “we”-sections, Acts 16:10-12) which is in harmony with this idea. The classic introduction to the Gospel (Luke 1:1-4) shows that he was a man of culture (compare Apollos and Paul). He was a man of the schools, and his Greek has a literary flavor only approached in the New Testament by Paul’s writings and by the Epistle to the Hebrews.
His home is very uncertain. The text of D (Codex Bezae) and several Latin authorities have a “we-“passage in Acts 11:27. If this reading, the so-called B text of Blass, is the original, then Luke was at Antioch and may have been present at the great event recorded in Acts 13:1 f. But it is possible that the Western text is an interpolation. At any rate, it is not likely that Luke is the same person as Lucius of Acts 13:1. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 389 f) thinks that Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, iv, 6) does not mean to say that Luke was a native of Antioch, but only that he had Antiochian family connections. Jerome calls him Lucas medicus Antiochensis. He certainly shows an interest in Antioch (compare Acts 11:19-27; 13:1; 14:26; 15:22,23,30,35; 18:22).
One legend regarding Luke is that he was a painter. Plummer (Commentary on Luke, xxi f) thinks that the legend is older than is sometimes supposed and that it has a strong element of truth. It is true that he has drawn vivid scenes with his pen. The early artists were especially fond of painting scenes from the Gospel of Luke. The allegorical figure of the ox or calf in Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4 has been applied to Luke’s Gospel