The New Testament mentions Luke briefly a few times, and the Pauline Epistle to the Colossians refers to him as a physician (from Greek for 'one who heals'); thus he is thought to have been both a physician and a disciple of Paul. Since the faith's early years, Christians have regarded him as a saint. He is believed to have been a martyr, reportedly having been hanged from an olive tree, though some believe otherwise.
The Roman Catholic Church and other major denominations venerate him as Saint Luke the Evangelist and as a patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers; his feast day takes place on 18 October.
Many scholars believe that Luke was a Greek physician who lived in the Greek city of Antioch, Turkey in Ancient Syria, although some other scholars and theologians think Luke was a Hellenic Jew. Bart Koet, a researcher and professor of theology, has stated that it was widely accepted that the theology of Luke–Acts points to a gentile Christian writing for a gentile audience, although he concludes that it is more plausible that Luke–Acts is directed to a community made up of both Jewish and gentile Christians because there is stress on the scriptural roots of the gentile mission…
Epiphanius states that Luke was one of the Seventy Apostles, and John Chrysostom indicates at one point that the "brother" Paul mentions in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians 8:18 is either Luke or Barnabas.
If one accepts that Luke was indeed the author of the Gospel bearing his name and also the Acts of the Apostles, certain details of his personal life can be reasonably assumed. While he does exclude himself from those who were eyewitnesses to Jesus' ministry, he repeatedly uses the word "we" in describing the Pauline missions in Acts of the Apostles, indicating that he was personally there at those times.
There is similar evidence that Luke resided in Troas, the province which included the ruins of ancient Troy, in that he writes in Acts in the third person about Paul and his travels until they get to Troas, where he switches to the first person plural. The "we" section of Acts continues until the group leaves Philippi, when his writing goes back to the third person. This change happens again when the group returns to Philippi. There are three "we sections" in Acts, all following this rule. Luke never stated, however, that he lived in Troas, and this is the only evidence that he did.
The composition of the writings, as well as the range of vocabulary used, indicate that the author was an educated man. A quote in the Epistle to the Colossians differentiates between Luke and other colleagues "of the circumcision."
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. 11: Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. ... 14: Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. (Colossians 4:10–11, 14). This comment has traditionally caused commentators to conclude that Luke was a gentile. If this were true, it would make Luke the only writer of the New Testament who can clearly be identified as not being Jewish. However, that is not the only possibility. Although Luke is considered likely to be a gentile Christian, some scholars believe him to be a Hellenized Jew. The phrase could just as easily be used to differentiate between those Christians who strictly observed the rituals of Judaism and those who did not.
The gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles make up a two-volume work which scholars call Luke–Acts. Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution by a single author. The earliest manuscript of the Gospel, dated circa AD 200, ascribes the work to Luke; as did Irenaeus, writing circa AD 180, and the Muratorian fragment from AD 170.
In traditional depictions, such as paintings, evangelist portraits, and church mosaics, Saint Luke is often accompanied by an ox or bull, usually having wings. Sometimes only the symbol is shown, especially when in a combination of those of all Four Evangelists.