How Did the Apostle Luke Die?

Biblical experts dispute on the details of Saint Luke’s passing. While many Orthodox scholars claim that he was executed as a martyr after the death of Saint Paul, the majority of Catholic academics maintain that he either died in Greece at the age of 84.

Contrary to early Christian writers’ assertions that Saint Luke was martyred, the oldest records made available to the church confirm that the apostle settled in Greece, wrote his gospel, and passed away peacefully in Boeotia at the age of 84.

According to Orthodox Church tradition, after the deaths of Saints Peter and Paul, Saint Luke proclaimed the gospel, drawing the attention of both Jewish and pagan populations. These people allegedly informed Nero, the Roman Emperor, that he was using sorcery.

Saint Luke was summoned by Nero in response, and he arrived in time to deliver his books to a nearby fisherman before the audience. His right hand was reputedly severed by Nero; as a result, Saint Luke worked a miracle by reattaching it to the body, detaching it, and then reattaching it.

Nero retaliated by decapitating the entire group, including Saint Luke, and ordering the saint’s body to be tossed into the sea, despite the fact that this pleased the Emperor’s cabinet, who thereafter pretended to believe in Christ.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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