Re: Q

On 18 Oct 1994, Stan Anderson wrote:

> Thanks, Larry, for your cogent of what a hypothesis is and is not.
> However, I don't quite follow you at one point.
> I don't see that the recent studies on Q have differed that much about
> the basic Q hypothesis. . . . [current diversity] does not show a
weakness in the Q hypothesis, but is instead
> an indication that the hypothesis is bearing fruit.
Stan, I'd agree basically.  I didn't say that the diversity shows a
"weakness" in the Q hypothesis, only that beyond the basic agreement on
some kind of Q document(s) explaining best the Synoptic data, there is
diversity:  e.g., originally Greek or Aramaic?  Originally a widom
document or apocalyptic/deuteronomistic?  one redactional stage, two or
more? did Q function as a "gospel" document exhibiting basically the
religious views of a particular community or did it serve some other
function(s)?  Did Mt and Lk use the same text or differing versions of a Q
document? etc.
	The above does not mean "weakness" but it does mean that one must
own up to their being significant disagreement among Q specialists, and
that consequently it is not yet clear which version of a Q hypothesis will
"win out" if ever.

> . . . my impression is that those who are
> proposing those "spinoff" views are frustrated at the arrogance of
> those who sit back and pooh-pooh their ideas without taking them
> seriously or offering better counter-proposals. :-)
I'm aware of this feeling among some Q devotees.  I rather think that
there is some sort of dialectical relationship between the frustration
felt in both camps.  From my perspective, the impression is often taken
that some, particularly sometime advocates of the Q project imply or
proclaim that only those committed to the Q project can be counted as
having a worthy opinion on Q.  That is, there is an impression of a very
American-style (so say I from Canada) "franchising" approach to
scholarship--if you don't purchase a franchise from us, you don't have a
right to operate.  (There's a somewhat similar problem with regard to
historical Jesus stuff and the Jesus Seminar.)
	Also, some of the rhetoric is a good deal less than qualified
(e.g., I don't think I've seen anyone calling Q a "sayings gospel" ever
acknowledge that others who have spent some time on the matter demur from
that view of the religious function of Q).  I could wish that those
advocating some of the "spinoff" views would emulate my good friend John
Kloppenborg, who has such views of his own but whom I have found to be
consistently charitable, willing to admit weak points in his case, and
ready to concede when a matter was debatable, even if he held a convinced
view.  I'm so impressed with these qualities in John that I have promised
myself to try to imitate them myself on such controversial matters.
Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba