Where does this "Aramaic Q" stuff come from? I don't know anyone
currently working in the field who holds that. That's why I want people
to keep up with the reading, Kenneth. The argument that goes, "Golly,
we can't know anyting about Q because there's no consensus about it,
just look at the debate over whether it was in Aramaic or Greek" --
there's no debate, so that argument falls apart. Please, stop building
up a straw argument. Argue with us about what our hypothesis REALLY
says, not just what you THINK it says.
Let me put it this way. Claims that Q was in Aramaic have about as much
status in the discipline as claims that the Dead Sea Scrolls date from
AFTER the time of Jesus & reflect something about early Christianity.
I.e., this is a marginal position. Should I pooh-pooh the field of Dead
Sea Scrolls studies as a whole just because there's not 100% agreement
among the people in the field? Should I say, "We can't know anything
about the Dead Sea Scrolls, since we don't even know their date"?
Same with the debate over whether Q was oral or written. I don't know
anyone in the field who claims it was oral. That just doesn't work.
You don't get verbatim agreement in large expanses of Greek text from
oral tradition (e.g. Luke 3:7-9 // Matt 3:7-10). The claim, that people
were memorizing this stuff, is a) unsupported by any evidence that such
memorizing was going on at this time & place in history, and b) given
the lie by the amount of DISagreement in other parts of the texts (why
should John the Baptist's stuff be memorized so well but Jesus's stuff
show more signs of disagreement?).
No, the Q hypothesis (and I don't hesitate to call it a hypothesis)
involves a WRITTEN GREEK source. Undoubtedly Matthew and Luke had
slightly different copies of it before them, but there is not really any
way to control that discussion. Therefore the International Q Project
has consciously ignored that possibility (thereby consciously
over-simplifying the model) so that we can get our basic work done.
We'll add finesse in the coming years. You can't do everything at once.
Several people have asked me questions privately. I apologize greatly
for not responding, but my workload is really heavy right now. I'm
creating problems for myself by posting this, but it's so hard just to
let it go. :-)
Sterling G. Bjorndahl, bjorndahl@Augustana.AB.CA
Augustana University College, Camrose, Alberta, Canada (403) 679-1516
When dealing with computers, a little paranoia is usually appropriate.