It is almost universally acknowledged that the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were written by the beloved physician Luke. The question must be asked how accurate a historian was Luke? One of the greatest archaeologists of all time, Sir William Ramsay, didn’t think Luke was very accurate. In fact, he traveled throughout Asia Minor, Greece, and other places during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in an attempt to refute Luke’s historical records in the Book of Acts.
Before his travels he believed that Luke couldn’t have been very accurate because of a lack of archaeological evidence to support Luke’s claims. Ramsey, after years of study, found the exact opposite to be true, and he completely reversed his position. In fact, Ramsey went on to comment: “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense … in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians.”1
As far as I know, no serious historian denies the historical reality of the person we know of as Luke. However, you should be aware that virtually all we know about him comes from the biblical accounts, not from non-Christian sources. He was too insignificant an individual to make the important histories of the day, such as that of Josephus, Tacitus or Suetonius. However, there is little if any reason to reject the reality of the companion of Paul we know of as Luke. The reality of Luke is not in question, but some have questioned whether the person we know of as Luke is the actual author of Luke and Acts. About this there is some debate, but about the existence of Luke himself, there is little doubt.