“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,”
King James Version (KJV)
1:1-2 This short, weighty, artless, candid dedication, belongs to the Acts, as well as the Gospel of St. Luke. Many have undertaken - He does not mean St. Matthew or Mark; and St. John did not write so early. For these were eye witnesses themselves and ministers of the word.
Lu 1:1 The Birth of John SUMMARY OF LUKE 1: Preface. The Announcement to Mary. The Visit of Mary to Elisabeth. The Prophecies of Mary and Elisabeth. The Birth of John. The Prophecy of Zacharias. The Child in the Deserts. Forasmuch as many. Lu 1:1-4 are an introduction. They explain that already many narratives of Christ had been written, that these were by eye witnesses and ministers of the word, that Luke had made a careful examination of all these sources of information, and thought it good, "having traced all things accurately from the first, to write them out in order" (Lu 1:3). We thus learn that at least as early as twenty-seven years after the death of Christ (see Introduction to Luke) many histories of eye witnesses and ministers had already written, of which only two, Matthew and Mark, have come down to us.