Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dear and Glorious Physician: A Novel about Saint Luke” as Want to Read:
Dear and Glorious Physician: A Novel about Saint Luke
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dear and Glorious Physician: A Novel about Saint Luke

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  6,436 ratings  ·  407 reviews
The world-famous novel about the triumphant story of St. Luke. Man of science, and Gospel writer. Today St. Luke is known as the author of the third Gospel of the New Testament, but two thousand years ago he was Lucanus, a Greek, a man who loved, knew the emptiness of bereavement, and later traveled through the hills and wastes of Judea asking, What manner of man was my Lo ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published October 30th 2008 by Ignatius Press (first published 1958)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dear and Glorious Physician, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Cathy Bonney Sorry, just saw your message now.
No - I have never met her, but have read most of her books. Dear and Glorious Physician - still commands an outstandi…more
Sorry, just saw your message now.
No - I have never met her, but have read most of her books. Dear and Glorious Physician - still commands an outstanding price at the bookstore. I want to reread. I've always believed she's a gifted, intuitive writer.

Cathy Bonney(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,436 ratings  ·  407 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dear and Glorious Physician: A Novel about Saint Luke
This was one of my late grandmother’s books, and I am eternally grateful to my parents for not throwing it out or selling it when we moved Grandpa out of that house. What a find!

Dear and Glorious Physician chronicles the life of St. Luke the Physician, starting when he is a ten-year-old child, a Greek slave in the Roman province of Syria. Despite his ostensibly lowly rank, Lucanus (as he is then called) grows up in a happy, stable environment with both of his biological parents. His master is a
This book is rated as Taylor Caldwell's greatest novel. She covers the basic facts of the life of St Luke...born a Greek - Lucanus... and trained in medicine to become a famous physician who travelled all over healing the sick with the background of the Roman Empire. Later in the book he becomes deeply interested in Christianity and although he had never met Jesus, he moves around those who knew him including his Mother and Pontius Pilate to find out all he can, eventually embracing Christianity ...more
Willa Guadalupe Grant
I read this first in the summer of 1966- my Mom had gotten it out of the library & my best friends were on vacation so I started reading it out of boredom. This is NOT a kids book BTW! The story stuck in my sub-conscience & when I joined The International Order of St Luke I remembered it & decided to re-read it.
This is a "historical novel" about St Luke or Lucanus as he was called in life. St Luke (like St Paul)never saw Jesus. He was a Greek physician who as a convert decided to write the hist
Patrick O'Hannigan
The plotting in this novel is leisurely by postmodern standards, and Taylor Caldwell's prose sometimes veers toward purple, with each Antiochan, Alexandrian, and Roman sunset seemingly more beautiful than the one before it, and scented gardens hosting conversations between principal characters.

Despite those flaws, "Dear and Glorious Physician" is -- like "Quo Vadis" -- a novel for the ages, full of lush description, virtuous friendship, and dark nights of the soul. Its confident portrayal of fi
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the best book I have ever read. It is incredibly humbling to read. My favorite part is reading of Luke's childhood. His innocent devotion to God convicts and exhorts us to do the same. This book changed the way I viewed God and the way I relate to him.

Taylor Caldwell can just flat out write. Her sentences are packed with imagery. Each word is measured for maximum power. Intelligent? Why yes she is. This fact smacks you in the face. I had to look up much of the Greek mythologica
Mar 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great way to understand the time Christ lived in (the Bible being the best of course, Then Jesus the Christ by James Talmage) through characters that crossed his path, Christ is not the main character in this novel but is the main point of this novel. It is a wonderful journey I did feel a gained a bit of insight into that time, a greater appreciation of what was involved with those early saints and humble followers of Christ and what they went through with so many different cultures ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-shelf, 500pp-plus, 2020
At least 4 stars, probably 5.

This is my first Taylor Caldwell, and I'm impressed with her detailed style. Rather than simply reading, the reader experiences the story. I marvel at the few authors who can truly pull this off, and Caldwell is one of them. The story is long (500+ pages) with enough detail to slow the reader down.

This fictionalized story of Luke took a number of probable liberties about Luke's background from a young boy to the writer of the Gospel of Luke, but always upheld the dei
May 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I probably would have liked it better if I had read it when it was first published. I was in high school at the time. With more than 50 years of education and experience since then, I guess my standards have changed. Here are some of the things that disappointed me about the book.

First, overwritten. My thesaurus also mentions florid, ornate and embellished. Some parts just put me to sleep. And my dreams when I dozed off were more interesting than the corresponding part of the book.

Second, anachr
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Taylor Caldwell is an author I have been aware of for a good long while but have never read. Thanks to a recommendation by BYU football coach, Bronco Mendenhall by way of his mother, I chose to break that particular drought in my literary experience by reading this story about Luke of New Testament fame. My future reading of the twenty-four chapters of St. Luke will never be the same again.

Three quarters of this book deals with Luke aka Lucanus’s conversion. The remaining quarter of the novel f
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A somewhat old-fashioned although beautifully written book. This novel tells the story of St. Luke, called herein Lucanus, from childhood, adoption by a kindly Roman patrician as the latter's son, medical studies in Alexandria, to his wanderings to serve the poor. He comes to a belief in Christ as Messiah after railing against God for years because of the deaths of loved ones and the cruelty of men against others. He has the marvelous idea to write down what he hears about Christ. The prose is r ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Unabridged audio.

The novelized life of Luke the writer of the third Gospel of the New Testament. While it's readable and a lasting story I'd remind all that it's a novel. So, enjoy (I suppose ) but get your theology from the book the main character transcribed a couple of thousand years ago.
This was a strange book. It's the fictionalized account of Luke the Physician, the writer of the biblical gospel of Luke. I expected to be enriched by the fleshing out of the main character's life but, although there were moments of brilliance and moments of entertainment, I was not enriched. The book had a hard, bitter edge to it.

I must hasten to explain that Taylor Caldwell is a very capable and literary writer. She descriptively contrasted the Roman, Jewish, and Greek cultures in colorful lan
Cynthia Egbert
Aug 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! We know so little about Luke and I realize that this is fiction but Ms. Caldwell is almost more historian than fiction writer in many ways. Her grasp on Rome and the what lead to its fall is powerful. I had read this initially as a library copy but I had order my own because there was so many great quotes to mark...The following quote is my favorite...

"You misunderstand me, Priscus. I know that it was inevitable that Rome become what she is. Republics decay into democracies, a
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mother suggested I read this book about 30 years ago. I really don't like writers who take 30 words to say what 4 words will do, and Taylor Caldwell does just that. I however, fell in love with this wonderful book.

It is a fictional account of the life of Luke, of the four gospel fame. It starts with his early childhood and goes thru his life. She weaves a beautiful story of a young man who realized that he would find his happiness in life by serving others. It goes thru his life until after
Kim Preslar
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a wonderful look at a man that not much is known about. It was quite obvious that Ms. Caldwell researched her subject well. This is the story of Luke, or Lucanus from the New Testament. In the story, Luke despises a God who would allow his children to suffer from physical pain, ailments,etc... He sets out to heal as many people as he can. And then he was introduced to a lowly man from Gallilee who could heal with a mere thought to the oppressed. The story details the fascinating tr ...more
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in St. Luke
Interesting interpretation of St. Luke's life. Not Gospel by any means, but still worth reading.

I never saw the Evangelist to the Gentiles as quite so tormented as Caldwell portrays him here ... so this book gave me a lot to mull over. But it does raise the question/issue of great suffering being a prerequisite of great sanctity and deep compassion. And yet, it wasn't so much what happened to him as how the Spirit within him worked on those events. A very thought-provoking read.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Currently re-reading this wonderful book on the life of St. Luke. She researched this for decades and you can tell by all of the minutae that is included. St. Luke never met Christ, but he has one of the most beautiful books in the New Testament.
Debbie Lewis
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago, as a new Christian. It has been on my bookshelf ever since. Loved it then and would highly recommend it to anyone. I have been thinking about picking it up and re-reading it now that I am retired.
Holly Weiss
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From Taylor Calwell's Author Note: it is obvious that much love and research went into this tale of the life of Luke, author of the 3rd Gospel and noted physician of his time. ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Read this book as a young woman and loved it. Just re-read it fifty years later and still love it!
Kelsie Cranston
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely one of the best books I've ever read. It's touching and poignant, and very well written. Ancient Rome really came alive for me, for the first time ever. What a fabulous story! ...more
James Christensen
This book changed everything.
Barbara Prescott
This a fascinating and beautiful book. Not one for quick reading, but a real blessing!

Can you be mad at someone who is dead? Well, I suppose so. I am mad at Taylor Caldwell because it took me so long to read this book. It was the #7 bestseller of 1959. I have read a fair share of what I call "Jesus books" in My Big Fat Reading Project so far. The tone in these books is usually a similar one of wonder and faith but after a while you see that it is all conjecture because no one writing these books was there. The Gospels in the Bible are I guess the closest thing to a true account.

Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone

Dear and Glorious Physician - Now correctly reviewed under its own title!

I read this book (and several others by the author) a long, long time ago. Putting aside the "disciple" aspect of Luke (which wasn't a factor), I read it because

    a) he was a physician and
    b) it's set in the early Roman Empire.

Since I've always been into science and did lots of Western (i.e. Greco-Roman) Ancient History and took Latin for six years as a teenager, this book hit on all three.

From what I remember, I lik
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel based on the author's vision of the life of St. Luke. Caldwell gives us the story of Lucanus, son of a Grecian freedman, adopted son of a Roman tribune, a practicing physician who was highly educated and heavily influenced by many who believed in the "Unknown God". Lucanus was a man who lived a parallel life during the ministry of Jesus and who although he had rejected God for much of his adult life due to the suffering, misery and death of loved ones, came to fully believe and k ...more
Bill Jackman
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have read several times, but it has been several decades since the last time. I enjoyed it before, so expect I will still like it.

I still liked it, but had several disapointments. I know more of the history of the time now. There were a lot of historical inaccuracies. Women only had meaning in reationship to the men around them . Men aren't featured much better. A good woman will only love one man her entire life. A good man may love a second woman if the first one dies.

Taylor Caldwell started
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a Historical novel about the life of St. Luke, writer of one of the four gospels in the Bible and also the Acts of the Apostles. Based on Luke’s background as a Physician, the author starts the narrative in Luke’s early days and leads us to the time just after Jesus death. Even though his origins are not clear, he is supposed to have been born a slave and raised in his stepfather’s house. Through all of his life, he is supposed to fight an internal battle against social injustice and God ...more
I love reading books that close friends have recommended to me. I know my friend better now after reading his favorite book.

I really enjoyed this book -- the best part is the last chapter in part 1. I feel like this book went on a little too long, once Lucanus began meeting with the biblical figures to write his Gospel, I felt this part was a bit repetitive.

But the atmosphere of ancient Rome was fantastic, and Lucanus's journey to faith was well worth the read.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in religious history
This book is a novel, but I believe a pretty historically close novel. It takes place in the antient world around the peak and beginning of the fall of Rome. It follows the life of St. Luke and his relationship to Jesus Christ. He never actually met Jesus in this life, but without knowing it, was always searching for him. There is great character building that makes them truly believable. The author gives a bibliography of the research he has done.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Robe
  • El corazón de piedra verde
  • The Shoes of the Fisherman
  • Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (Children of the Last Days, #4)
  • El Médico. Volumen I
  • The Spear: A Novel of the Crucifixion
  • Huracán
  • The Physician (Cole Family Trilogy, #1)
  • Salvar el fuego
  • Y Julia retó a los dioses (Julia Domna, #2)
  • El sari rojo
  • Two from Galilee: The Story of Mary and Joseph
  • El vendedor de naranjas
  • Beautiful Child
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
  • The Voice of the Silence: Being Extracts from the Book of the Golden Precepts
  • Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II
  • The Silver Chalice
See similar books…
Also known by the pen names Marcus Holland and Max Reiner.

Taylor Caldwell was born in Manchester, England. In 1907 she emigrated to the United States with her parents and younger brother. Her father died shortly after the move, and the family struggled. At the age of eight she started to write stories, and in fact wrote her first novel, The Romance of Atlantis, at the age of twelve (although it

News & Interviews

  Listen up, because our colleagues here at Goodreads have some excellent audiobook recommendations for you! Of course, the books they've...
29 likes · 20 comments
“Corrupt citizens breed corrupt rulers, and it is the mob who finally decides when virtue shall die.” 20 likes
“. . . a statement that is repugnant to one's beliefs can be as true as one that is pleasurable.” 11 likes
More quotes…