SAYINGS OF JESUS: SOURCE (Q) IN RECENT RESEARCH A REVIEW ARTICLE, THE
Keylock, Leslie Robert
The dominant view by far today of the way the Synoptic Gospels were composed is still the view classically espoused by B. H. Streeter.1 That view, known as the two-source (or sometimes four-source) theory, holds that Matthew and Luke in the composition of their gospels used both Mark and a collection of the sayings of Jesus that scholars call Q. There have been a number of challenges to the dominant two-source theory of synoptic relationships, however, all of them mutually exclusive; they win the support of only a small portion of those who study the first three gospels. The Owens-Griesbach or two-gospel hypothesis, most recently championed by William H. Farmer and his disciples, argues that Mark was the last gospel and that Luke used Matthew. This view seems to have so many problems that it has not won a large following. Similarly, Mark Goodacre has continued the Farrer and Goulder pattern of dispensing with Q by arguing that Mark was the first gospel, as the two-source hypothesis also maintains, but that Luke used Matthew. Such a view, too, has won only a handful of supporters. Martin Hengel likewise agrees that Mark was the first gospel, but he has suggested that Matthew may have been earlier than Luke and depended on him.2 Thus the view that there was a collection of the sayings of Jesus that the earliest Christians used and that Luke and Matthew each incorporated into their account of the ministry of Jesus seems to continue to be dominant.
On closer analysis, however, recent Q scholarship seems to argue for quite different theories of the nature of this document.3 At one extreme is the view that we should dispense with Q altogether and conclude that Luke altered the sayings of Jesus that are found in Matthew.4 Slightly different, but similar in its rejection of Q, is the two-gospel or Owen-Griesbach view of William Farmer. He argues that Matthew was the first gospel, Luke used Matthew, and Mark condensed both of them in A.D. 69, when Rome was in turmoil and three different emperors followed each other in rapid succession.5 More recently, despite the fact that Luke 1:1-4 indicates that Luke knew and probably read many other written accounts of Jesus’ life,6 Robert Thomas, Eta Linneman, and others have passionately argued the idea that all three gospels are totally independent of each other.7 They each remembered the same sayings of Jesus under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so there was no need for them to use a collection of the sayings of Jesus or any other source. The Roman Catholic NT scholar, B. C. Butler, has also dispensed with Q by arguing for what has sometimes been called the “Augustinian” position that Matthew wrote first, Mark second, and Luke third,8 though some have questioned whether this view is the one Augustine held.9 A much more complex theory is associated with French Roman Catholic scholars Léon Vaganay and M.-E. Boismard, who, though they conclude that Mark is earlier than Luke and Matthew, argue for a whole series of earlier documents, including an Aramaic Matthew that lies behind the Greek of Mark.10
The majority of scholars who agree with the two-source hypothesis and the existence of Q are just as variegated, however. Representative of perhaps the largest group of scholars who agree that Matthew and Luke used a sayings source are such works as those of David Catchpole,11 Christopher Tuckett,12 and Dale C. AIlison Jr.,13 who affirm that there was a sayings source but reject the idea that Q can be further subdivided into three layers and located geographically and conceptually.
Representative of the most radical and most published group of Q scholars are James M. Robinson,14 John S. Kloppenborg,15 and members of the Jesus Seminar, who argue that the earliest layer of Q (Q1), from a Christian group in Galilee, portrays Jesus as a Cynic-like sage. Their work was later adapted and modified by Q2, who injects his own eschatological view and portrays Jesus primarily as a prophet who spoke about the coming of the kingdom of God. Finally, Q3 edited the two earlier layers and added material of his own to form “the first Gospel.”
Already shortly after the turn of a new millennium, a spate of new books on the sayings of Jesus source, called Q as shorthand for the German word Quelle, meaning “source, spring, fountain, fountainhead,” has appeared.16 In 2000, T & T Clark published David Catchpole’s The Quest for Q,17 and in the same year Trinity Press International published Dale C. Allison Jr.’s The Intertextual Jesws,18 and a new edition of John S. Kloppenborg’s The Formation of Q.19 And in 2001 no fewer than four new books on Q were published. Sheffield Academic Press has published Jesus, Mark, and Q,20 edited by Michael Labahn and Andreas Schmidt, and a doctoral dissertation by Kyu Sam Han, Jerusalem and the Early Jesus Movement.2^ Fortress Press published a work in the Kloppenborg tradition, Jesus and the Village Scribes: Galilean Conflicts and the Setting of Q.22 Leuven (Louvain) University Press, which had earlier published extensive works on the gospels, including Q volumes, published a huge work edited by Andréas Lindemann, The Sayings Source Q and the Historical Jesus.23 In early 2002, Trinity Press International added to its many works on Q by publishing Mark Goodacre’s challenge to the Q hypothesis, The case against Q.24
In the preface to the new edition of The Formation of Q: Trajectories in Ancient Wisdom Collections, John Kloppenborg explains that it was Robert Forrna’s study of John’s compositional “moments”25 -a Signs Gospel glossed and expanded by a later author-that inspired the present work back in 1985. The book is presented in six chapters on Q and an additional chapter on ancient sayings collections. Kloppenborg repeatedly insists that his work is based on (objective) literary-critical observations (p. x), so that he can “prescind from the issues of the authenticity of individual sayings in Q and that of assumptions about the historical Jesus” (p. xi).26 He insists that the book was about the compilers of Q in two main stages, “not about John and Jesus” (p. xi). When it first appeared in 1987, it seemed to support the contention of the Jesus Seminar “that nonapocalyptic Jesus-tradition was antecedent to apocalyptic materials” (p. xi), though Kloppenborg insists he rejected such a facile conclusion.27 He admits that he now agrees with John P. Meier’s criticism of the idea of a Q “community.”28 However, the rest of Meier’s argument that Q was simply a “grab bag” of sayings of Jesus without a coherent theology is perhaps a bit Harnackian and no more defensible than “the view that Mark or Matthew [are] an untrammeled source for the historical Jesus” (p. xiii). He concludes the new preface by admitting that “if this were to be a true second edition of the book, I would wish to rewrite and qualify many of the arguments so as to respond to the many valid criticisms that have been leveled, and to incorporate other arguments and observations to establish better its main thesis” (p. xiv). He concludes, though, that “the general outline of the proposal is still defensible” (p. xiv).
Kloppenborg’s book was published in 1987, and the so-called second edition does not contain anything new except the preface. But the book is foundational to much of later Q scholarship, so the argument will be outlined here. In ch. 1, Kloppenborg succinctly reviews more than a century of Q study. He notes that scholars did not devote much attention to the literary genre of collections of maxims or sayings, including Q. The position of H. E. Todt, Siegfried Schultz, and Helmut Koester, all radical postBultmannians, “has the most to recommend it” (p. 39). This view holds that Q began as a “wisdom gospel” and that apocalyptic elements are “secondary.”
Chapter 2 asks whether Q was a written document, what its original language was, whether it had a fixed order of sayings, and how Q related to the double tradition in Matthew and Luke. Kloppenborg argues persuasively that Q was a written document, but less persuasively that it was written in Greek originally (no Aramaic Vorlage), that Luke best preserves Q’s original order, and that, given how conservatively Matthew and Luke have treated Q, a substantial portion of Q has probably been preserved.
In ch. 3, on the composition of Q, Kloppenborg insists that Q is not “a random collection of sayings.” It “manifests a variety of types of literary organization,” so that there is “a measure of unity and coherence among the several [topically coherent] clusters as well as logical and thematic development.”29 Though readers may question whether he practices what he states, he is appropriately skeptical about determining Q’s redaction: “In most cases it is virtually impossible to determine whether a particular saying is a creation of a redactor or whether it is simply a piece of tradition which was deemed appropriate for inclusion because it resonated with the interests of the redactor and his community.”30
Kloppenborg argues that a study of the redaction of clusters of sayings will determine whether a saying is Grundwort or Kommentarwort, although he admits that such a method has limitations.
Chapters 4 through 6 constitute the detailed analysis of the sayings of Jesus. In ch. 4 Kloppenborg avers that “the call for repentance, the threat of apocalyptic judgment, and the censure of ‘this generation’ for recalcitrance… are the formative and unifying themes for” several Q clusters.31 In ch. 5 he states that significant blocks of Q are at best only minimally influenced by these apocalyptic themes, but “are controlled instead by sapiential themes and devices . . . directed at the Q community in support of its radical mode of existence.”32
Chapter 7 is devoted to the temptation story, which Kloppenborg sees as different from and later than the other two groups of sayings. It is “a three-part dialogue with a relatively detailed narrative framework,” added “because it served some function . . . within the framework of the collection as a whole.”33 He notes in the same chapter that “the formative aspect of Q is sapiential and instructional”34 and resembles other ancient sayings collections in its redactional history. And he concludes in ch. 8 that the formative component in Q consisted of a group of six wisdom speeches (Q^sup 1^). They were expanded, he argues, by the addition of critical and polemical apocalyptic sayings directed toward Israel (Q^sup 2^). Finally, the work was completed by the addition of a temptation narrative to justify Q’s radical ethic and give a biographical dimension to the collection (Q^sup 3^).
After Kloppenborg’s convoluted prose and radical Bultmannianism, Allison is a delight to read.35 Though he is American, he can be grouped with the moderate British treatments of Q by Catchpole and Tuckett. However, his purpose is not to discuss the form of Q or its sources, but to analyze Q’s use of Scripture. In the preface he states his main thesis: “all texts depend upon and interact with preceding texts. It follows that Q … must likewise depend upon and interact with preceding texts.”36 In his opening chapter he carefully defines his terms as he discusses allusions and aural memory. He would seem to imply the unity of Q when he says that Q “in its entirety” constantly quotes and alludes to the Hebrew Bible,37 but he is open to earlier stages: “With the exception of Jesus, whose contribution to Q is the subject of keen debate,38 the contributors and editors of Q are unknown to us,”39 so we have no way of determining authorial intent for their contributions. Allison then sets out several principles for discovering OT allusions in the NT and especially Q. His most questionable argument has to do with the ability of the average person in Jesus’ day to understand allusions, whereas today people would not be as likely to catch allusions in, for example, Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The rest of the book applies these principles to references in Q to the Pentateuch (chs. 2 and 3), the prophets (chs. 4 and 5), the historical books (ch. 6), the Psalms (ch. 7), and Wisdom Literature (ch. 8). In ch. 9 Allison discusses Q’s allusions to extracanonical books. Allison concludes his book with a lengthy chapter on how Q uses Scripture and another on “the allusive Jesus,” in which he argues that second Temple Jewish literature and primitive Christian literature were allusive, so it would not be surprising to find that Jesus was “intertextual,” too.
William Arnal was a doctoral student of John Kloppenborg, so it is not surprising that he was “impelled and inspired to pursue scholarly work” in the Kloppenborg tradition.40 He pursues his own independent view of the socioeconomic backgrounds of Q, however. In his own words, “The following study – focusing on Q’s language of reversal -was generated by the suspicion that the standard and conventional view of the social practice of the earliest Jesus movement was fundamentally flawed.”41 The view Arnal rejects is that the Jesus group consisted of wandering itinerant radical preachers. He insists that such a conclusion is motivationally invalid and textually deficient. He begins with certain assumptions, among which are that Q is “a single document,” that Kloppenborg’s three-layered literary stratification of Q is correct, and, like Kloppenborg, that critics such as John P. Meier and Dale Allison are “unequipped” to criticize Kloppenborg and are unfamiliar with his “actual arguments.”42 “The critics of the stratification of Q -at least some of them -are smuggling a social or theological history into the analysis”43 to avoid the literarily sound view that Q began with a formative stratum, Q1, to which was added a much larger redactional stratum, Q2, that Q3 added to and glossed. Arnal also assumes Ronald Piper’s conclusion44 that Q includes six “compact and formally stereotypical argumentative clusters” and “a fairly materialist stance” that stresses social and economic factors.45
Arnal admits that he takes “a rather convoluted route” to his final destination.46 In the opening two chapters he surveys the history of the itinerancy hypothesis from Harnack to Gerd Theissen. He then points out the weaknesses and failings of recent arguments as “theoretically vacuous, and textually . . . unfounded.”47 In ch. 4 he “attempts to reconstruct the context out of which Q (probably) emerged: Galilee in the early first century CE.”48 In his concluding chapter, Arnal defends his central conclusion that Q’s “rhetoric of uprootedness” reflects a “sedentary and even a little conservative” context rather than one that was radical and itinerant.49
Arnal concludes: 1. The itinerancy thesis is “culturally tendentious” and reflects the scholarly popularity of “contemporary socioculturel trends”; 2. The itinerancy thesis is textually tenuous; 3. The Jesus movement, Q included, arose in a context of socioeconomic crisis caused by Antipas’s deliberate effort in Tiberias to restructure the northern Galilee local economy along lines more conducive to a monetized Roman economy; 4. “The reaction of the Q tradents was a reaction of local village scribes to these changes,” which uprooted them and deprived them of their traditional local autonomy and power. Thus, though Arnal stands within the radical Jesus Seminar tradition associated especially with the name of Dominic Crossan, he rejects the view that the Q people were radical Cynic itinerants responding to widespread poverty, Roman military oppression, or rampant Hellenization.50
The enormous volume The Sayings Source Q and the Historical /esws51 comes from the Colloquium Biblicum Lovaniense 49 that took place July 2527, 2000. It consists of thirty articles, fourteen of them “main papers” and the remaining sixteen “offered papers.” The closest to an evangelical voice among the thirty contributors is that of Dale Allison on “Q’s New Exodus and the Historical Jesus.” Such well-known Q scholars as James M. Robinson, Frans Neirynck, John KIoppenborg, Paul Hoffmann, Christopher Tuckett, and Dieter Luhrmann presented main papers; the offered papers were by less well-known academics. Conspicuous by their absence were David Catchpole, Mark Goodacre, and William Arnal. The remaining scholars were from ten European countries, Canada, and the United States. Articles were in English (15), French (4), and German (11).
The themes of the fourteen main papers are quite diverse. Lindemann raised questions on the well-grounded hypothesis of a Sayings Source Q. Robinson discussed the critical edition of Q and the study of Jesus. Neirynck reflected on the reconstruction of Q and the International Q Project’s Critical Edition parallels. KIoppenborg addressed the question of discursive practices in the Sayings Gospel Q and the quest of the historical Jesus. Luhrmann wrote on the Sayings Source and Life-of-Jesus research. Jens Schroter commented on the question of the historical Jesus and the character of historical knowledge. Paul Hoffmann dealt with the problem of the literary beginning of Q. Jacques Schlosser addressed the question of Q and implicit Christology. R. A. Piper commented on two miracle stories and the conflict of powers in Q. Dieter Zeller expressed his ideas on Jesus, Q, and the future of Israel. Christopher Tuckett expounded on the Son of Man and Daniel 7 in Q and Jesus. Adelbert Denaux reconstructed the Q text of the parable of the talents/pounds. Finally, J.-M. Severin reflected on Thomas, Q, and the Jesus of history.
The offered papers were equally diverse. Leif Vaage questioned Q in terms of Jewish Scripture, the historical Jesus, and a Cynic way with the Word. Tom Holmén asked whether knowing about Q and knowing about Jesus were mutually exclusive undertakings. Arto Järvinen pondered the idea of Jesus as a community symbol in Q. Markus Tiwald wondered whether radical wandering was a bridge to the historical Jesus. Marko Frenschkowski speculated on whether Galilee or Jerusalem was the topographical and political background of the Sayings Source. Milton Moreland compared Q and the economics of early Roman Galilee. J.-P. Michaud expounded on the community or communities behind the Q source. Corrado Marucci gave a very short paper on the linguistic characteristics of the Q source as a help for historical classification. Michael Labahn compared Jesus’ exorcisms and the knowledge of the Egyptian magicians. M. Huneburg felt that Jesus as a miracle worker was a neglected aspect of Q’s picture of Jesus. In another very short article Christoph Heil made observations on the theological dimension of Jesus’ parables in Q. Wim Weren cast new light on the transmission and meaning of the parable of the guests from Q to Matthew. Armand Puig I Tàrrech focused on Q 6:4649 (the two builders) as a parable with an antithetic image. J. Verheyden centered on the eschatology of the conclusion of Q (22:28-30). Edwin Broadhead commented briefly on the extent of the sayings tradition Q. And Thomas Brodie concluded the offered papers by contributing an alternative Q/Logia hypothesis as Deuteronomy-based, Qumranlike, and verifiable.
This is a masterpiece of Q scholarship largely from the perspective of those who believe with Kloppenborg that there are three discernible layers in the sayings of Jesus in the double tradition and that the earliest of these layers is sapiential.
Coming from the perspective of James Ropes, Austin Farrer, and Michael Goulder, Mark Goodacre, Lecturer in NT at the University of Birmingham in England, in The case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem,52 energetically defends Markan priority. He insists, however, that Luke used Matthew as well as Mark and that a document Matthew and Luke both used called Q never existed.
In the first of his three chapters, Goodacre gives as his “first impressions” the conviction that Q is far too often assumed to be no longer a sayings “source” but “the first gospel,”53 especially in the United States and Germany, where the “Farrer theory”54 is almost unknown.55 Gerd Theissen, for example, seems “more willing to discuss doubts about the existence of Jesus than . . . doubts about the existence of Q.”56 One of Goodacre’s main themes is that Q skepticism is widely but unjustifiably equated with doubts about Markan priority. Another theme that is frequently repeated is that most scholars begin with the assumption that Q exists “without investigating the matter carefully for themselves.”57 In addition, and this time correctly, he notes that Q scholars seem to go counter to trends in NT scholarship that have moved beyond the historical-critical method.
Goodacre feels that a lot of scholars dismiss the idea that Luke used Matthew because they believe that the Farrer theory dismisses Markan priority as well. He therefore devotes the whole of ch. 2 to a strong defense of Markan priority, a position he feels that “Q skeptics” have in the past tended to take for granted. The whole chapter is therefore a strong attack on the Owen-Griesbach hypothesis, with its argument that Mark condensed both Matthew and Luke.58
Chapter 3, “Reasons and Rhetoric,” is the longest chapter in the book and the heart of Goodacre’s argument, so I will treat it in more detail. In outline, the chapter consists of four arguments defenders of Q use against the idea that Luke used Matthew. Goodacre also includes additional opinions that “argue for the distinctive character of Q and the plausibility of redactional studies which assume Q,” all of which Goodacre sees as “secondary” and “not strong enough to stand on their own without the negative ones.”59 To the argument that Luke is ignorant of Matthew’s modifications of Mark, Goodacre argues that these modifications are all “uncongenial to what we know of Luke’s interests.”60 In addition, because Luke would have been familiar with Mark for a longer period of time, it is understandable that he might avoid Matthew’s additions. He weakens his argument at times by using a single example to make the sweeping claim that “the argument from Luke’s lack of Matthew’s modifications of Mark seems to be refuted by a simple glance at the Synopsis.”61
Readers are likely to feel that Goodacre should know better than to draw such sweeping conclusions from such an incomplete examination of all the data. To the second of his four arguments, that Luke is unlikely to have used Matthew because he omits all the “M” material, he once again argues the unlikely view that all of the M material was not congenial to Luke! To support this conclusion he once again cites a single exception, Luke 1:31, the account of Mary’s naming of Jesus, from which he argues that Luke borrows “a clause that was more appropriate in its original context in Matthew.”62 To the third argument based on Luke’s order, Goodacre insists that that order does not support Q as much as some think. To the final “negative” argument against Luke’s use of Matthew, that alternating primitivity is inexplicable if Luke is following Matthew, he makes what seems to be a valid point, that “Matthean expressions” appear in both Q and Luke.63
The rest of the chapter discusses such “secondary” arguments as the distinctive character of Q, the redaction-critical argument that the twosource hypothesis supports, and invalid, inflated rhetoric in defense of Q.
The remaining six chapters focus on various aspects of the Sermon on the Mount (chs. 4-7), the problem of major and minor agreements of Matthew and Luke against Mark, and reflections on the contrast between Thomas and Q.
To conclude this survey of the “Sayings Source” or “First Gospel,” Q, in recent research, I want to briefly mention two very specialized studies published by Sheffield Academic Press in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series (JSNTSup) in 2001 and 2002.64 The first volume, Jesus, Mark and Q,65 consists of a revision of a dozen papers that were given at two colloquia of the European Association for Biblical Studies, the first in Cracow, Poland in 1998, and the second in Helsinki/Lahti in 1999. Part I focuses on Mark and Q and consists of an introductory chapter by Andréas Schmidt, Harry T. Fledderman’s paper on “Mark’s Use of Q: The Beelzebul Controversy and the Cross Saying,” and Jens Schröter’s paper on “The Son of Man as the Representative of God’s Kingdom: On the Interpretation of Jesus in Mark and Q.”
The second, and longer, division is entitled “The Historical Jesus in New Research.” After an introductory chapter by Michael Labahn, the division breaks into two parts, “Recent Trends in the Historical and Sociological Portrait of Jesus,” and “Theological and Hermeneutical Investigations into the Proclamation of Jesus.” The five papers on recent trends include David S. du Toit on “Redefining Jesus: Current Trends in Jesus Research,” Markus Ohler on “Jesus as Prophet: Remarks on Terminology,” Tom Holmén on “The Jewishness of Jesus in the ‘Third Quest/” Craig Evans on “The New Quest for Jesus and the New Research on the Dead Sea Scrolls,” and Gerald Downing on “The Jewish Cynic Jesus.” The volume concludes with three papers on the proclamation of Jesus: Marius Reiser on “Eschatology in the Proclamation of Jesus”; Peter Balla on “What Did Jesus Think about His Approaching Death?”; and Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza on “The Rhetorics and Politics of Jesus Research: A Critical Feminist Perspective.”
The other Sheffield volume is a slightly revised doctoral dissertation written by K. S. Han at the Toronto School of Theology and the University of Toronto under John S. KIoppenborg Verbin. His book Jerusalem and the Early Jesus Movement66 tackles the difficult problem of the relationship of the Q people to the central institutions of second Temple Judaism, in particular the Herodian Temple. The subject is fraught with problems, as KIoppenborg notes in the foreword, because Q does not have much to say about the Temple, and the “rather small scraps” “do not speak with the same voice.”67 Han compares attitudes toward the Temple with those toward temples and sanctuaries in ancient Korea and ancient Greece. He concludes that “Far from exemplifying a simple, unilinear drift away from the cultural context supplied by second Temple Judaism, Q illustrates movements within Judaism, corresponding in part at least to differing situations before and after the First Revolt.”68
Our analysis of the Sayings of Jesus source in recent research leads us to several conclusions. First, the Kloppenborg school analysis is the preponderant view of the Sayings of Jesus source, what the school now prefers to call the “Q Gospel,” especially in the United States, Canada, and Germany. It argues that a predominantly sapiential collection of sayings emerged early from a Galilean community or group of people, and was then expanded by a group that emphasized the eschatological, with a third contributor adding to and completing the work. second, a number of British scholars are willing to accept the existence of Q, but they are not convinced that the threefold stratification of Q has been proven. Conservative Roman Catholic scholars such as John Paul Meier and a number of evangelicals appear to agree with them. A very small number of scholars have wanted to “dispense with Q,” insisting that Luke used Matthew as well as Mark.69 Finally, and unfortunately, unless the term is defined broadly, evangelical scholars do not yet seem to have addressed the weighty issues involved in the study of Q and often are not even very interested in addressing them. I would argue that such neglect is dangerous. We need evangelical scholars who are capable of genuine contributions to this field. Otherwise, though I am convinced their reductionism is based on illegitimate presuppositions that reject the historicity of the apocalyptic Jesus and favor a Jesus who was largely only a wisdom teacher, Kloppenborg and his colleagues in the Jesus Seminar will convince increasing numbers of people, including many evangelicals, that the sayings of Jesus come from a group of people in Galilee and probably do not go back to Jesus in the majority of cases, assuming, rather, that these “Q people” had come under the sway of Jesus or some of his followers who put words and ideas of their own in Jesus’ mouth. Jesus could thus become for many of our students little more than the unknown Jesus whom Albert Schweitzer describes at the end of his Quest for the Historical Jesus:
He comes to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside, he came to those men who did not know who he was. He says the same words, “Follow me!” and sets us to those tasks which he must fulfill in our time. He commands. And to those who hearken to him, whether wise or unwise, he will reveal himself in the peace, the labours, the conflicts and the sufferings that they may experience in his fellowship, and as an ineffable mystery they will learn who he is. 70
1 Burnett Hillman Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins Treating of tlie Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, & Dates (4th impression, rev.; London: Macmillan, 1930).
2 Martin Hengel, The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ (Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity, 2000), esp. pp. 169-207. David deSilva says Hengel’s view “may prove, in the end, the most elegant solution” (An introduction to the New Testament [Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004], 165). To my knowledge, R. V. Higgins is the only recent scholar to defend this view (“Matthean Posteriority: A Preliminary Proposal,” NovT34 , 1-22), but, as Hengel points out, was “hardly noted by scholars” (The Four Gospels, 171). C. G. Wilke advocated it as long ago as 1838 (Der Urevangelist oder kritische Untersuchung über das Venuandtscliaftsverhältnis der drei ersten Evangelien [Dresden and Leipzig, 1838]; cited in Hengel, Tlie Four Gospels, 303).
3Here I am not discussing the question of whether Q was a single written document, solely an oral source, or a written source supplemented by various oral traditions. A judicious recent work that covers this question is David Wenham and Steve Walton, A Guide to the Gospels and Acts (vol. 1 of Exploring the New Testament; Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001), 63-66, 220-21. James D. G. Dunn in Jesus Remembered (vol. 1 of Christianity in the Making; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003) strongly defends orality over scribality, especially in the period between A.D. 30 and 50, and he argues that in a culture that was only ten percent literate, orality would continue to play a strong role even when written sources existed.
4Austin Farrer, “On Dispensing with Q,” in Studies in the Gospels: Essays in Memory of R. H. Lightfoot (ed. D. E. Nineham; New York: Oxford University Press, 1955), 55-88. Michael D. Goulder has also espoused this view; cf. “On Putting Q to the Test,” NTS 24 (1978): 218-34, and Luke: A New Paradigm (JSNTSup 20; ed. Stanley E.
Porter; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1989). He argues that the two-source hypothesis is “a house built on sand” and devotes the whole of ch. 2 to Q. Most recently Mark Goodacre has championed this view at the start of the new millennium; I will be discussing his The case Against Q later in this article.
5see, for example, William R. Farmer, ed., New Synoptic Studies (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1983); Allan ]. McNicol, with David L. Dungan and David B. Peabody, eds., Beyond the Q Impasse: Luke’s Use of Matthew: A Demonstration by tlie Research Team of the International Institute for Gospel Studies (Valley Forge: Trinity, 1996); and David B. Peabody, with Lamar Cope and Allan J. McNicol, eds., One Gospel From Two: Mark’s Use of Mattliew and Luke: A Demonstration by the Research Team of the International Institute for Gospel Studies (Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity, 2002).
6As Ben Witherington III insists in his New Testament History (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001), 101: “Indeed Luke states that he did use sources (Luke 1:1-4), and there is no reason to doubt that Matthew did likewise.” Witherington may overstate his case somewhat. Luke merely states that many had undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among his contemporaries; he implies that he has read them and perhaps even used them. If Mark was one of those many accounts, most scholars would agree that Luke definitely did use sources.
7see Robert L. Thomas, éd., Three Views on tlie Origins of tlie Synoptic Gospels (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2002) and Eta Linneman, Is There a Synoptic Problem? Rethinking the Literary Dependence of the First Three Gospels (trans. R. W. Yarbrough; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992). Medical missionaries Romney W. and Ruth Ann Ashton have even argued that Jesus dictated every saying personally in Greek to the four evangelists; cf. The Sequential Gospels (8th ed. rev.; Elkhart, Ind.: Sequence, 2000).
8B. C. Butler, The Originality of St. Matthew: A Critique of tlie Two-Document Hypothesis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951). For a more extensive discussion of the above views, see John S. Kloppenborg Verbin, Excavating Q: Tlie History and Setting of the Sayings Gospel (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000), 38-43.
9see, for example, Kloppenborg, Excavating Q, 38 n. 31, 273 n. 3.
10see ibid., 43-54, who calls the view “Multistage” (p. 38). The sayings of Jesus are either in the Aramaic Urgospel, M, or another pre-Synoptic source called S that goes through an Aramaic and Greek form and influences both Matthew and Luke in ways that are similar to what is posited for Q in the two-gospel view.
11David R. Catchpole, The Quest for Q (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1993); see my review in /ETS 40 (1997): 315.
12Christopher M. Tuckett, Q and tlie History of Early Christianity: Studies on Q (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1996); see my review in /ETS 42 (1999): 349.
13DaIe C. Allison Jr., Tlie Jesus Tradition in Q (Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity, 1997).
14Robinson is best known for his leadership of the International Q Project of the Society of Biblical Literature and not so much for the editing of the Critical Edition of Q.
15Among Kloppenborg’s many writings on Q are: Tlie Formation of Q: Studies in Antiquity and Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987); The Sliape of Q: Signal Essays on the Sayings Gospel (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994), which he edited and to which he contributed; and, most notably Excavating Q.
16For some time scholars have held this abbreviation to have been first used in 1890 by Johannes Weiss, though the idea that Matthew and Luke had both drawn on a common collection of the sayings of Jesus goes back even before 1861 and Hans Holtzmann. see G. N. Stanton, “Q,” in Dictionary of Jesus and tlie Gospels (ed. Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall; Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1991), 644. William Baird, History of New Testament Research (2 vols.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992, 2003), 1:308, notes, however, that the theory had been developed by Christian Hermann Weisse in Die evangelische Geschichte kritisch und philosophisch bearbeitet (2 vols.; Leipzig: Breitkopf and Hartel, 1838), though Holtzmann “refined” it. In his history of Q research (James M. Robinson, Paul Hoffmann, and John S. Kloppenborg, eds., The Critical Edition of Q [Hermeneia Commentary Supplements; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000], xx-lxxi) Robinson says, “In 1838 the Leipzig philosopher Ch. Hermann Weisse first presented the argument basic to establishing the existence of Q, to the effect that Matthew and Luke used, in addition to Mark, a sayings collection” (p. xx). Baird gives 1863 as the date of Holtzmann’s Die synoptischen Evangelien: Ihr Ursprung und geschichtlicher Cliarakter (Leipzig: Engelmann, 1863), as do Werner Georg Kummel, The New Testament: Tlie History of the Investigation of Its Problems (Nashville: Abingdon, 1972), 151, and Robinson in his history of Q in Critical Edition of Q, xxi. Stanton does not give the title of the work of Weiss that first uses the abbreviation Q, but he would appear to be referring to the article, “Die Verteidigung Jesu gegen den Worwurf des Bondisses mit Beelzebul,” in TSK 63 (1890): 557 (see Robinson, Critical Edition of Q, xxvii n. 30). Frans Neirynck has convincingly shown, however, that the abbreviation Q first appears in 1880 in Eduard Simons’s dissertation at Kaiser Wilhelm University in Strassburg; see Neirynck’s “Note on the Siglum Q” in Evangelica II: Collected Essays, 1982-1591 (Leuven: Peeters and Leuven University Press, 1991), 474. For the earlier debate over the origin of the term, see F. Neirynck, “The Symbol Q,” in Evangelical I: Gospel Studies – Études d’Évangile: Collected Essays (Leuven: Peeters and Leuven University Press, 1982), 683-90.
17Catchpole, Tlie Quest for Q.
18DaIe C. Allison Jr., The Intertextual Jesus: Scripture in Q (Valley Forge: Trinity, 2000).
19Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q; though the second edition appeared in 2000, the copyright reads 1999.
20Michael Labahn and Andreas Schmidt, eds., Jesus, Mark, and Q: Tlte Teaching of Jesus and Its Earliest Record (JSNTSup 214; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2001). This volume is a collection of papers given at two seminars held in Europe in 1998 and 1999.
21Kyu Sam Han, Jerusalem and tlie Early Jesus Movement: The Q Community’s Attitude toward the Temple (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2001).
22William E. Arnal, Jesus and the Village Scribes: Galilean Conflicts and tlie Setting of Q (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001).
23Andreas Lindemann, ed. The Sayings Source Q and the Historical Jesus (BETL; Leuven: Peeters and Leuven University Press, 2002).
24Mark Goodacre, The case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (Valley Forge: Trinity, 2002). Originally scheduled for October 2001 publication, it was delayed until late February 2002.
25Robert T. Forma, The Gospel of Signs: A Reconstruction of the Narrative Source Underlying the Fourth Gospel (SNTSMS 11; London: Cambridge University Press, 1970).
26Kloppenborg does not seem to realize that he violates this aim repeatedly. For example, on Q 7:18-23 he explicitly states that “the entire pronouncement story is a post-Easter creation, arising in the effort to attract Baptist disciples into the Christian fold” (p. 107). I don’t understand how he then can say that, because sayings belong to a later stage of Q’s development, it does not mean that they should be treated as inauthentic” (p. xiii). Unless there was proof that a saying had an earlier existence, it would seem to be late and therefore inauthentic.
27When you hear Kloppenborg speak, he is balanced and fair, but in his books he speaks of others most critically. For example, he speaks of John J. Collins’s “misunderstanding” of his conclusion being “tediously” repeated by Horsley, Witherington, and Allison (p. xii n. 7).
28At the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, November 19-23, 2004, Kloppenborg and others in the Q Seminar spoke of the Q “people.”
29Kloppenborg The Formation of Q, 89.
35AlIiSOn, Intertextual Jesus.
36IWd., ix. Cf. also, “[Q’s] scriptural speech often carries contextual associations” from the Tanak (p. 24).
37AlIiSOn, Intertexual Jesus, 2. Allison asks: If “the prophetic spirit of the Sayings Source does not create ex nihilo but inscribes pre-existing materials” (p. 9), might it not also do so for Jesus’ words?
38Allison does not document this statement.
39AlIiSOn, Intertextual Jesus, 17.
40ArOaI, ]esus and the Village Scribes, xiv.
44Ronald A. Piper, Wisdom in the Q Tradition: The Aphoristic Teaching of ]esus (SNTSMS 61; Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 1989).
45TKe phrases are from Arnal, Jesus and the Village Scribes, 8, 9.
47Ibid. Chapter 3 goes from pp. 67 to 95.
48IbId., 10; the chapter goes from p. 97 to p. 155.
49IHd., 157-203; the quoted phrases come from p. 10.
50The conclusion is a summary of what Arnal says on pp. 10 and 11 (ibid.).
51Lindemann, ed., The Sayings Source Q, has 805 pages.
52Goodacre, case Against Q.
54Goodacre later notes that E. P. Sanders and Margaret Davies in Studying tlie Synoptic Gospels (Philadelphia: Trinity, 1989) support Goulder’s views on synoptic relationships in his commentary on Luke, but because of Goulder’s other views Goodacre rejects the idea of a “Farrer-Goulder theory” in favor of a “Farrer theory,” which he finds “preferable” (p. 14). Goulder, he suggests, demands Matthean creativity on too grand a scale.
55Goodacre, case Against Q, 11.
57IMd., 15. Goodacre is even convinced that most of those who disagree with his views have either a “sentimental attachment to the familiar” or that his views are “unknown” (p. 17)!
58Goodacre for some reason does not say anything about his fellow countryman Henry Owen and calls the theory simply the “Griesbach hypothesis.” see Baird, History of New Testament Research, 1:143: “Griesbach’s position had been anticipated by Henry Owen.”
59Goodacre, case Against Q, 46.
60Ibid., 47. However, such an argument is quite unconvincing. Why, for example, would Luke, who has such a special interest in the Holy Spirit, change Matthew’s “Spirit of God” (Matt 12:28) to “finger of God” (Luke 11:20)? Goodacre cites this crucial text only in a footnote reference to another author (p. 61)! In a section on “alternating primitivity” (pp. 61-66), he uses circuitous and unconvincing arguments to counter the obvious fact that Luke’s shorter versions of the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, and the doom oracle of Luke 11:49-51 are the more primitive forms!
61Goodacre, case Against Q, 52.
63There may be times when scholars do assign certain expressions to an author that also appear elsewhere. However, Goodacre does not tackle the statistically demonstrable fact that certain expressions are used by one author far more often than by another author, and that sometimes “Matthean expressions” occur only once or twice in Q or Luke. I am not sure, therefore, that Goodacre does, in fact, have a valid argument here.
64For some reason the 2001 vol. is no. 214 in that series, but the 2002 vol. is no. 207.
65Labahn and Schmidt, eds., Jesus, Mark and Q. Five of the contributions are from Germany, two from the United State, and the remaining five come from, respectively, Hungary, England, Canada, Finland, and Austria.
66Han, Jerusalem and the Early Jesus Movement. Note that as late as 2002 the idea of a Q “community” was still alive, despite Kloppenborg’s rejection of the word.
69At the Evangelical Theological Society meeting in San Antonio, November 1719, 2004, Nicholas Perrin of Biblical Theological Seminary informed me that he and Mark Goodacre are publishing another book in early 2005 arguing against Q on the basis of the major and minor agreements of Matthew and Luke against Mark.
70Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus (London: SCM, 1906), 401. In the new, rev. ed. of 2000, the quote appears on p. 487.
LESLIE ROBERT KEYLOCK*
* Leslie Robert Keylock is Professor Emeritus of Bible and Theology at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He is currently Adjunct Professor of New Testament at Trinity College of Florida in New Port Richey, Florida and Adjunct Professor of Bible at the Baptist College of Florida Extension Tampa in Brandon, Florida.
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