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MrMacSon
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Q

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:33 pm

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Tom Dyskstra on 'Q' -

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... the Apostle [Paul] records almost nothing of his Lord’s life and sayings40 ...

Some scholars postulate the existence of a written document they call Q which preserved a substantial series of Jesus’ sayings, and which might have been written down before Mark.41

According to this hypothesis, Matthew and Luke were each ignorant of the other’s gospel but each used Mark and Q as their sources, and so Q can be reconstructed from areas where the text of Matthew and Luke is identical without a counterpart in Mark. But no physical remnants of Q have ever been found, no ancient writer clearly mentions the existence of such a document,42 and even Q’s advocates assume it was not written down until, as in the case of Mark, decades had elapsed after the words recorded were originally spoken.

Remnants of non-canonical gospels such as the Gospel of Thomas have survived, but none of the surviving manuscripts can be dated earlier than the second century. While a few scholars assign a first-century date to the original version of Thomas, here too even the most optimistic among them do not propose that the sayings were committed to papyrus at the time when the recorded words were spoken.

The most plausible conclusion is that there were no written records of Jesus’ life and sayings earlier than Mark ...

Dykstra, T (2012) Mark, Canonizer of Paul, OCABS Press; St Paul, Minnesota 55124: Chapter 3.
_________________________

40 For a complete list of everything in Paul's epistles that cites sayings of Jesus or can be interpreted as alluding to such sayings, see Nikolaus Walter, “Paul and the Early Christian Jesus-Tradition,” in A. J. M. Wedderburn, ed., Paul and Jesus: Collected Essays (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989), 51-80.

41 For an exposition of the Q theory, see James M. Robinson, Jesus: According to the Earliest Witness (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007). For a proposed reconstruction of Q, see Paul Hoffmann, John S. Kloppenborg, and James M. Robinson, eds., The Critical Edition of Q: A Synopsis Including the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Mark, and Thomas with English, German, and French Translations of Q and Thomas (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000). And for arguments that nothing like Q ever existed, see Mark Goodacre, The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2002) and Mark Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin, eds., Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004).

42 Eusebius quotes a certain bishop Papias of Hierapolis as mentioning a compilation of sayings of Jesus that was used by Matthew, and some scholars take this to be a reference to Q. Most, however, interpret Papias’ comments as referring to the canonical book of Matthew.

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Last edited by MrMacSon on Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DCHindley
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Re: Tom Dyskstra on 'Q'

Post by DCHindley » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:00 am

GoT has always come across to me as harmonizing or conflating passages from the canonical Gospels as well as this or that from unknown gospels such as the kind that are found in apostolic or early church fathers before Irenaeus.

As for whether a "Q" document existed, I am inclined to think that a prima facie case can be made for it due to the major agreement between Matthew & Luke's material that is not shared by Mark. I think Dykstra overstates the case that what Matthew & Luke share (minus Mark) is "identical" in the Q theory. Many who hold it do not require verbatim agreement, but allow for different grammatical expressions of the same words (the infection is different) to make them dynamically equivalent.

While I find Goodacre and Goulder engaging, I just cannot come around to believing that minor agreements outvote a major agreement. It just seems unnecessarily complex to see the differences explained as cascading modification and epitomizing. I do see the minor agreements as likely showing cross contamination of phrases or other pericopes between Matthew & Luke, probably entirely due to copyists.

I really do like Kloppenborg, having read 2 or 3 of his books on Q, but I disagree with where he ended up when he felt the need to take sides on the Q origin debate. He sided with the "Social Revolutionary" party in Jesus scholarship that think the Didache accurately portrays a period of itinerant prophets and teachers, including Jesus, reacting against severe Roman economic exploitation, the teachings of whom were written down by village scribes (Excavating Q). In his POV, Jesus had said something like those things and later recorded in the shared material commonly designated Q, but stressed that this was not unusual, citing several other collections of similar type. See also Bill Arnal's book Jesus and the Village Scribes for his take on this matter.

My POV, which I suggested to K. in a Synoptic-l seminar long ago, was that Q was a real life collection of sagely sayings that was not based on Jesus' sayings, but one of many such works floating around the ANE. This particular collection was, I suggested, utilized by the authors of both the gospels of Matthew & Luke to make Jesus seem, for apologetic reasons, more like a like a misunderstood sage than the revolutionary royal claimant the Romans executed him for. K was polite, but probably let out an amused chuckle when he read it.

DCH

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MrMacSon
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Dennis MacDonald on 'Q'

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:09 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:00 am
My POV ... was that Q was a real life collection of sagely sayings that was not based on Jesus' sayings, but one of many such works floating around the ANE.
Thomas Brodie thinks they are based on Deuteronomy as, it seems, does Dennis MacDonald as outlined in his 2012 Two Shipwrecked Gospels: the Logoi of Jesus and Papias's Exposition of the Logoi about the Lord -

MacDonald Shipwrecked diagram.PNG
MacDonald Shipwrecked diagram.PNG (87.39 KiB) Viewed 3165 times

Interestingly, a search of the google books version of Two Shipwrecked Gospels for 'Brodie' is negative, so MacDonald does not seem to cite Brodie there. I wonder if MacDonald is aware of what Brodie says in The Birthing of the New Testament. See the diagram in this post (and Brodie thinks Logia also contributed to 1 Corinthians, and that aspects of Judges are found in Luke-Acts)

DCHindley wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:00 am
GoT has always come across to me as harmonizing or conflating passages from the canonical Gospels as well as this or that from unknown gospels such as the kind that are found in apostolic or early church fathers before Irenaeus.
If Tyson, BeDuhn, Klinghardt, Vinzent are right about Luke (+/- other synoptic Gospels) being based on and finalised after Marcion's gospel, then the Gospel of Thomas would come into play for Luke, at least.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

FransJVermeiren
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Re: Q

Post by FransJVermeiren » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:14 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:33 pm
.
Tom Dyskstra on 'Q' -

.
... the Apostle [Paul] records almost nothing of his Lord’s life and sayings40 ...

Some scholars postulate the existence of a written document they call Q which preserved a substantial series of Jesus’ sayings, and which might have been written down before Mark.41

According to this hypothesis, Matthew and Luke were each ignorant of the other’s gospel but each used Mark and Q as their sources, and so Q can be reconstructed from areas where the text of Matthew and Luke is identical without a counterpart in Mark. But no physical remnants of Q have ever been found, no ancient writer clearly mentions the existence of such a document,42 and even Q’s advocates assume it was not written down until, as in the case of Mark, decades had elapsed after the words recorded were originally spoken.

Remnants of non-canonical gospels such as the Gospel of Thomas have survived, but none of the surviving manuscripts can be dated earlier than the second century. While a few scholars assign a first-century date to the original version of Thomas, here too even the most optimistic among them do not propose that the sayings were committed to papyrus at the time when the recorded words were spoken.

The most plausible conclusion is that there were no written records of Jesus’ life and sayings earlier than Mark ...

Dykstra, T (2012) Mark, Canonizer of Paul, OCABS Press; St Paul, Minnesota 55124: Chapter 3.
_________________________

40 For a complete list of everything in Paul's epistles that cites sayings of Jesus or can be interpreted as alluding to such sayings, see Nikolaus Walter, “Paul and the Early Christian Jesus-Tradition,” in A. J. M. Wedderburn, ed., Paul and Jesus: Collected Essays (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989), 51-80.

41 For an exposition of the Q theory, see James M. Robinson, Jesus: According to the Earliest Witness (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007). For a proposed reconstruction of Q, see Paul Hoffmann, John S. Kloppenborg, and James M. Robinson, eds., The Critical Edition of Q: A Synopsis Including the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Mark, and Thomas with English, German, and French Translations of Q and Thomas (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000). And for arguments that nothing like Q ever existed, see Mark Goodacre, The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2002) and Mark Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin, eds., Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004).

42 Eusebius quotes a certain bishop Papias of Hierapolis as mentioning a compilation of sayings of Jesus that was used by Matthew, and some scholars take this to be a reference to Q. Most, however, interpret Papias’ comments as referring to the canonical book of Matthew.

.

I agree with Dykstra that Mark was the first to write down Jesus’ life and sayings, although we come to the same conclusion on different grounds. According to my research Jesus was active during the war against the Romans, and Mark wrote down his account shortly after the war. Antedating the events was a safe vehicle to use and spread his text in the extremely anti-Jewish post-war atmosphere in the Roman empire. How could Mark propagate the divine status of a surviving rebellion leader during the war against Rome without risking his life and that of his audience?

If the unlikely case that Q existed, it can only have come into being after 70 CE, because then things happened. So even when Q existed it is a late source and therefore irrelevant. There is no ‘oral tradition’ or ‘proto-gospels’ gap to be filled between 30 and 70 CE, this is an artificial narrative gap created by Mark.

Paul records almost nothing of Jesus’ life… Paul himself didn’t record anything on Jesus, because Jesus was active after Paul wrote his letters supporting his mission to promote a future (and therefore anonymous) Christ in the Roman empire. Jesus is imported in Paul’s original letters by interpolators who wanted to harmonize Paul with Mark’s antedated (and therefore historically and chronologically false) construction.

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: Tom Dyskstra on 'Q'

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:24 am

DCHindley wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:00 am
While I find Goodacre and Goulder engaging, I just cannot come around to believing that minor agreements outvote a major agreement.
I assume that Goodacre and Goulder would agree with you. It's not a thing between major agreements and minor agreements, but between major disagreements and minor agreements. All agree on the major agreements between Matthew and Luke, but disagree on the question of direct dependence.

The traditional argument in favour of „Q“ (indirect dependence) is the major disagreements in other material („If Luke knew Matthew or vice versa, he would / never would ...“)

The best argument against „Q“ (direct dependence) is the minor agreements („There are so many minor agreements against Mark in shared Markan material that Luke must knew Matthew or vice versa ...“)

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DCHindley
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Re: Tom Dyskstra on 'Q'

Post by DCHindley » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:50 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:24 am
DCHindley wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:00 am
While I find Goodacre and Goulder engaging, I just cannot come around to believing that minor agreements outvote a major agreement.
I assume that Goodacre and Goulder would agree with you. It's not a thing between major agreements and minor agreements, but between major disagreements and minor agreements. All agree on the major agreements between Matthew and Luke, but disagree on the question of direct dependence.

The traditional argument in favour of „Q“ (indirect dependence) is the major disagreements in other material („If Luke knew Matthew or vice versa, he would / never would ...“)

The best argument against „Q“ (direct dependence) is the minor agreements („There are so many minor agreements against Mark in shared Markan material that Luke must knew Matthew or vice versa ...“)
Connie,

Nice to hear from you again!

I really should read up, but synoptic studies seems to bring the worst out of people. I don't want to walk into a firestorm and just avoid it of late. At Synoptic-l years ago, there were a couple of members who were very discourteous. One was even a monk (from a Maronite order I think), but boy just mention the name of a Greek Orthodox grad student, he went ballistic.

While I cannot recall where I heard it, some thing makes me wonder whether readings from one gospel get transferred to another by copyists who were "correcting errors." After all, assuming cross contamination through scribes is almost the norm when scholars talk about Luke and Marcion, postulating a proto-Luke that was used both by the editor of canonical Luke and "Marcion's gospel." I understand that all the variants that church fathers claimed were in Marcion's "Gospel" can be found in some known manuscript.

It's almost like talking about the relationship between Qumran & the nearby cave deposits and Essenes. They just HAVE to be a marginalized sect that had no general interraction with everyday Judaism (meaning those books found near Qumran does't sound like Judaism as found in the Mishnah/Talmud or the NT)! Look how unsanitary they lived, "they must have been morons!" Look how some of them hounded Norman Golb, Robert Eisenman and Greg Doudna for creating waves.

Now that I think of it, there is really no more direct evidence for Q as there is for Marcion's "gospel."

Dang!

DCH

Michael BG
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Re: Q

Post by Michael BG » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:27 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:09 pm
DCHindley wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:00 am
My POV ... was that Q was a real life collection of sagely sayings that was not based on Jesus' sayings, but one of many such works floating around the ANE.
Thomas Brodie thinks they are based on Deuteronomy as, it seems does, Dennis MacDonald as outlined in his 2012 Two Shipwrecked Gospels: the Logoi of Jesus and Papias's Exposition of the Logoi about the Lord
Does anyone present a detailed case why they think Q is based on Deuteronomy? Or do they mean the wider Deuteronomistic books including Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings?

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MrMacSon
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Re: Q

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:14 pm

Michael BG wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:27 pm
Does anyone present a detailed case why they think Q is based on Deuteronomy?
Notice I was referring to sayings derived from Deuteronomy: MacDonald calls them Logoi of Jesus and designates than Q+ (see the diagram above^^^^).

Brodie just calls then Logia, and proposes that the sayings attributed to Jesus in Matt 5 and Matt 11 (i) have a distinct literary relationship with Deuteronomy (and Sirach), (ii) 'once constituted a distinct document, a separate arrangement of logia', (that Brodie does not call Q as far as I know*), and (ii) 'have an affinity to a Qumran text, and to Papias testimony' (Brodie, The Birthing of the new Testament, 2004, p. 109: the first page of chapter 12).

* Brodie does note "The idea of a connection between Q and Ben Sirach is not new", citing Bultman 1967, and 1971, and J Robinson 1971).

eta: I don't know what others propose re Q being based on Deuteronomy ...


Michael BG wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:27 pm
Or do they mean the wider Deuteronomistic books including Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings?
See the diagram in this post: it seems Brodie has Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings contributing to a proto-Luke yet has the Logia of Matthew deriving more directing from 'Devariaum'/Logi from Deuteronomy (and Brodie thinks Logia from them also contributed to 1 Corinthians, and that aspects of Judges also found their way directly into Luke-Acts).

Brodie thinks some of the Elijah-Elisha narratives explain 'Q passages' in Luke better than 'Q' does.

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Re: Q

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:36 pm

eta. Brodie says

Deuteronomy is eminently appropriate as a basis for arranging logia ... It is a summa of Jewish tradition; it is central to Jewish piety, and it contains the climactic discourses of Israel's greatest prophet ... Deuteronomy revolves around three elements: the people, law, and the final sense of song and blessing.


Michael BG
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Re: Q

Post by Michael BG » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:19 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:14 pm
Michael BG wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:27 pm
Does anyone present a detailed case why they think Q is based on Deuteronomy?
Notice I was referring to sayings derived from Deuteronomy: MacDonald calls them Logoi of Jesus and designates than Q+ (see the diagram above^^^^).

Brodie just calls then Logia, and proposes that the sayings attributed to Jesus in Matt 5 and Matt 11 (i) have a distinct literary relationship with Deuteronomy (and Sirach),
Even I can see a relationship between Deuteronomy and Mt 5.

Kloppenborg talks of Q having a Deuteronomistic historical view. I think Sirach in the Wisdom tradition and Q is in that tradition as well. Having a shared literary relationship doesn’t mean there is a literary dependence.

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