Q trajectory -- how realistic?

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neilgodfrey
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Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by neilgodfrey » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:31 am

Does anyone care about questions related to Q anymore?

I'd like to know of any movements, historical or contemporary, that are known to have followed the trajectory of the movement said to be behind the different layers of Q (Kloppenborg and repeated by Doherty).

The model is that Q1 sayings are sapiential, "smooth" sayings, gentle, etc. and arose from the earliest days of the community's preaching when hopes were high that they would win many over to their cause.

The second layer is apocalyptic and judgmental, quite unlike the first. This is thought to have arisen from a later period after the community had experienced rejection and seeing their message fall upon hard-hearted ears (how's that for a poetic metaphor!).

Sounds logical, but is that how any movements work in reality? (For the sake of argument let's grant the reality of Q.)

But I have been reading a work on extremist and various types of counter-establishment movements, Friction : how radicalization happens to them and us, and learning lots about would-be messianic (politically speaking) movements from the Russian students in the nineteenth century to the Weathermen of the 1970s and Islamic extremists today -- and not one of them appears to follow the trajectory thought to underlie Q.

They all start out benign, perhaps, appealing to the people, trying to awaken political consciousness, but when they fail they do not denounce those same people. They turn inward and/or direct their frustrations and anger at others. They may eventually lose genuine interest in the welfare of their original target audience as they become more extreme over time, and demonstrate little real care or interest in them, but they will at least maintain a public face of longing for and working for their welfare. They don't denounce or threaten them.

A counterpart to a historical or countemporary movement might be, unless I am mistaken, be turning their wrath against Roman rulers or demon rulers.

The only way I can imagine the Q trajectory would work in real life is if the community had initially, right from the get-go, seen the scribes, Pharisees, etc as the enemy beyond any hope of salvation and the cause of everyone's blindness and misery. That is, the seeds of the apocalyptic and condemnatory mindset had to be there from the beginning.

maryhelena
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by maryhelena » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:06 am

neilgodfrey wrote:Does anyone care about questions related to Q anymore?

I'd like to know of any movements, historical or contemporary, that are known to have followed the trajectory of the movement said to be behind the different layers of Q (Kloppenborg and repeated by Doherty).

The model is that Q1 sayings are sapiential, "smooth" sayings, gentle, etc. and arose from the earliest days of the community's preaching when hopes were high that they would win many over to their cause.

The second layer is apocalyptic and judgmental, quite unlike the first. This is thought to have arisen from a later period after the community had experienced rejection and seeing their message fall upon hard-hearted ears (how's that for a poetic metaphor!).

Sounds logical, but is that how any movements work in reality? (For the sake of argument let's grant the reality of Q.)

But I have been reading a work on extremist and various types of counter-establishment movements, Friction : how radicalization happens to them and us, and learning lots about would-be messianic (politically speaking) movements from the Russian students in the nineteenth century to the Weathermen of the 1970s and Islamic extremists today -- and not one of them appears to follow the trajectory thought to underlie Q.

They all start out benign, perhaps, appealing to the people, trying to awaken political consciousness, but when they fail they do not denounce those same people. They turn inward and/or direct their frustrations and anger at others. They may eventually lose genuine interest in the welfare of their original target audience as they become more extreme over time, and demonstrate little real care or interest in them, but they will at least maintain a public face of longing for and working for their welfare. They don't denounce or threaten them.

A counterpart to a historical or countemporary movement might be, unless I am mistaken, be turning their wrath against Roman rulers or demon rulers.

The only way I can imagine the Q trajectory would work in real life is if the community had initially, right from the get-go, seen the scribes, Pharisees, etc as the enemy beyond any hope of salvation and the cause of everyone's blindness and misery. That is, the seeds of the apocalyptic and condemnatory mindset had to be there from the beginning.
Rome was the enemy from 63 b.c.e. Occupation produces it's own dynamic - ask the Irish.... ;)

Read 'Herodian Jews' instead of 'Jews' and one will get a far broader picture of the gospel story.
  • Daniel Schwartz:

    Was 70 ce a Watershed in Jewish History?


    But if one of the two roots of Graetz’s original error was to underestimate
    the significance of politics for Jews in our period, other
    defenders of the assumption that 70 was a watershed have erred by
    overstating that same element. I refer to those many who write as if
    70 meant the demise of a Jewish state—which is simply not true. The
    end of the Jewish state had come already in 63 bce, when Pompey
    conquered Hasmonean Judea; or at least in 6 ce, when Rome put an
    end to even the Herodian vassal state and incorporated Judea directly
    into the empire.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Bernard Muller
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:07 am

I think a stratified Q is not endorsed very much these days. That started to happen when (extracted from http://historical-jesus.info/q.html):
John Kloppenborg, probably the best known in this field, considerably changed his "model" and acknowledged candidly: "I might say at this point that I regard my stratigraphic proposals in Formation [of Q] and ExQ ['Excavating Q'] as interesting bits of guesswork, like Pentateuchal criticism. If it actually helps clarify the final state of the text, fine. If it doesn't, drop it. If another model comes along to make better sense of the text, then drop or modify my model. We are playing a heuristic game here, not trying to recreate the composition process; that, epistemologically, is completely beyond our capabilities." (Synoptic-S, On-line Seminar, Oct. 2000)

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Adam
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by Adam » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:39 am

Thanks, Bernard.
My antipathy to Kloppenborg and his clone Burton L. Mack (The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q & Christian Origins, 1993) is to the shoddiness of their demarcation criteria, not to the Q1 vs. Q2 division itself. They're satisfied with facile ideological preconceptions, ignoring the obvious difference between periscopes that are identical (rare, possibly copied from Luke into Matthew), mostly the same, and the contrasting periscopes that so differ in actual Greek word use that they obviously stem from differing translations of a (presumably) Aramaic original. Yes, I had already seen that recent reviews BY Kloppenborg make no sense unless he is very open to the idea that he was wrong, perhaps radically wrong.

outhouse
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by outhouse » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:47 am

maryhelena wrote: Read 'Herodian Jews' instead of 'Jews' and one will get a far broader picture of the gospel story.
Agreed, but to bring that more into focus use the term, Hellenistic Proselytes called Jews in Hellenistic circles, NOT Aramaic Jewish circles.

Which only comes into light within the heavily argued socioeconomic models of the time.


It amazes me how some scholars refuse to separate the different cultural classes here. We have Oppressed Jews and the Hellenistic Proselytes called Jews who ruled them

outhouse
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by outhouse » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:49 am

neilgodfrey wrote:Does anyone care about questions related to Q anymore?

.
Care? yes.


Without any certainty or plausibility in any direction beyond guessing and biased scholars, NO there is nothing new.


Its as unknown as always.

outhouse
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by outhouse » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:57 am

neilgodfrey wrote:The only way I can imagine the Q trajectory would work in real life is if the community had initially, right from the get-go, seen the scribes, Pharisees, etc as the enemy beyond any hope of salvation and the cause of everyone's blindness and misery. That is, the seeds of the apocalyptic and condemnatory mindset had to be there from the beginning.
That very well could be 100% accurate. And history shows it to be true on many levels without question.

The Pharisees were divided along Hellenistic cultural lines within themselves. When alive Marvin Meyer made claims the Pharisees used Roman muscle to extort tithes from Peasants.

Some were definitely part of the Hellenistic corruption known in the temple, who worked with Romans hand in hand.

I see the apocalyptic movement squarely in Aramaic Galilean Judaism of some Zealots, who opposed their Hellenistic oppressors. To the point committing suicide taking on the temple and powers that be, to be the better option.

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DCHindley
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by DCHindley » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:03 pm

Adam wrote:My antipathy to Kloppenborg and his clone Burton L. Mack (The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q & Christian Origins, 1993) is to the shoddiness of their demarcation criteria, not to the Q1 vs. Q2 division itself. They're satisfied with facile ideological preconceptions, ignoring the obvious difference between periscopes that are identical (rare, possibly copied from Luke into Matthew), mostly the same, and the contrasting periscopes that so differ in actual Greek word use that they obviously stem from differing translations of a (presumably) Aramaic original. Yes, I had already seen that recent reviews BY Kloppenborg make no sense unless he is very open to the idea that he was wrong, perhaps radically wrong.
"Periscopes"? :scratch: (spell check must have gone bonkers)

And how are Kloppenborg & Mack "clones"? They divide the double tradition material in different ways, but both made attempt to associate differences within it to socio-historico-critical assumptions. If there is blame to go around, it seems to me to lie with the socio-economic model chosen to explain the differences.

This is known in some postmodern circles as historical "reconstruction" (in which a "social model", e.g., Marxist theory, is used to help fill in gaps in our knowledge) as opposed to plain old historical "construction" (where an explanation for the evidence of the past is drawn from historical analogues, generally of the same period in time). This is a historical version of the theme of the movie Jurassic Park (1993) in which incomplete dinosaur DNA recovered from blood sucking insects preserved in amber (our historical evidence) is spliced into frog DNA which is assumed to be 95%+ the same as dinosaur DNA (Marxist socio-economic theory). Well, we all saw what happened ... "history shows again and again how nature points up the folly of men" (Blue Öyster Cult, Spectres album, 1977).

Unfortunately, the social models often chosen are rather subjective in form. Both Mack (Lost Gospel Q) and Kloppenborg (at least in Excavating Q, but not in Formation of Q, where he was rather neutral about proposing an explanation for the differences he detected), as well as J D Crossan (Origins of Christianity) want to envision a social revolutionary Jesus somewhat distanced from Judaism as commonly practiced, whose memory was Judaized as the Christian church consolidated from Judaistic (Jesus' family dynasty) and Libertine (Jesus the wisdom sage) elements.

This is essentially indebted to the exceptionally common assumption among 19th century critics that Jesus' ethical plane was well above his Judean contemporaries, so what is all love and flowers, such as the teaching that predominates in the double tradition (essentially, "Q"), MUST be Jesus' own teaching, and that other things attributed to him that reflect Judaistic ideas, especially eschatological ones, MUST be secondary, and of course, inferior. (Expect a long series of posts by Secret Huller on this, as it sounds a bit like the critique of Marcion on the corruption of Jesus' teaching by Judaism).

A lot of this is founded on study of the early Christian document called the Didache, (e.g., Kurt Niederwimmer, Aaron Milavec, Jonathan Reed, Jonathan Draper, Stephen J Patterson, Clayton Jefford, see The Didache in Context, 1995, and The Didache in Modern Research, 1996, etc.).

These in turn use a lot of assumptions about the nature of the early Jesus movement based on the sociological theory of Max Weber (b. 1864, d. 1920), but kind of ripped out of context and not updated to modern times, and mixed with a good dose of Marxist style socio-economic theory. Examples are Gerd Theissen (Social Reality and the Early Christians, ET from German 1992; Sociology of Early Palestinian Christianity, ET from German 1978; and Psychological Aspects of Pauline Theology, ET of German 1987), and Stephen J Patterson (The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus, 1993).

The most well known example is Crossan's Birth of Christianity (1999), in which he employs his "Lenski-Kautsky Model", which he cobbled together rather arbitrarily from quotes yanked out of context from Gerhard Lenski's classic Power & Privilege (1966), and John Kautsky's Politics of Aristocratic Empires (1982), plus a smidgeon of G E M de Ste Croix's Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World (1981), in order to "explain" early Christian development. Kautsky and de Ste Croix employ a Marxist influenced socio-economic model.

Let's just say that I am dubious of the validity of this kind of socio-economic model. FWIW, I do not intend the term "Marxist" to be pejorative, but generally it's conclusions have not been born out by history, or we would all be inhabiting a socialist utopia right now (sigh).

My personal opinion is that a eschatologically oriented Jesus executed by the Romans for too freely expressing Judean messianist ideas was reinterpreted by his Judean followers as a suffering messiah who would return to usher in the messianic age, and over time and due to social factors related to the Judean war of 66-74 CE, transformed into the mystery of a divine figure who vicariously redeems believing mankind from the bondage of the Judean law.

As (now predominantly gentile) mystery religion devotees, who no longer wanted to be associated with Judean messianism, the founder's image was in need of polishing. To do so, the basic account of the Gospel of Mark was augmented by a generic Aramaic collection of wisdom sayings ("Q") that were adapted to explain Jesus as a misunderstood teacher of wisdom who was tragically executed for something he was "not", an advocate of Judean messianism. Luckily, the end result of the tragedy was good for mankind, making the story, ironically, a comedy. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke were thus apologies for the genesis of the Christians who were well known to have revered Jesus.

Mr. Cross-Eyed Waggy Finger. :silenced:

outhouse
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by outhouse » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:29 pm

DCHindley wrote:. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke were thus apologies for the genesis of the Christians who were well known to have revered Jesus.

Mr. Cross-Eyed Waggy Finger. :silenced:

Excellent reply.

I see M and L as communities that felt mark was incomplete as mythology grew in the diaspora surrounding the martyrdom.

Luke was trying to keep people interested with vivid mythology.

Matthew trying to adhere to traditions in Judaism more so then other groups but divorcing cultural Judaism while pointing out the importance of the jewish foundation in the new faith.

Both so different I don't see both being apologies

Adam
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Re: Q trajectory -- how realistic?

Post by Adam » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:41 pm

outhouse, at least you know where to go.
DCHindley! Wow!
You even spotted the error about "periscopes" and correctly assumed (as it did again) that I MEANT to say "periscopes" when the actual spelling I correctly entered as PERICOPES. Looks like one can outsmart the computer spellcheck by using CAPITAL LETTERS. (The other first two instances I did input correctly but got "corrected".)
YOUR ESSAY SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING!
1. For every entry divinity students. (To catch them before their minds go addled with Liberal theology and the other Academic Establishment dogmas.)
2. For every entry philosophy student. (To catch them before their minds go addled with secular and even atheistic preconceptions.)
3. For every first-semester Bible College student. No need to comment.
4. For EVERYONE ELSE.
Failing all that, at least your wisdom should always be the preface to any collected works and website posts of Dale C. Adams. That would neutralize 90% of the lies-parading-as-settled-fact that make it impossible for anyone to take my ideas seriously.

With you, Huller, and maybe Ben Smith all on board, can Kirby be far behind?

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