Re: Q

Larry Hurtado wrote:

> 	Some on this list recently have shown disdain for the Q-hypothesis
> because it is ONLY a hypothesis.

As for myself, that was not in any way my intent.  Like you, I have 
difficulty with those who make broad claims for early Christianity based 
on Q, notably Mack's recent work and Stephen J Patterson in Bible 
Review.  Q is a valid and important hypothesis.  My ultimate opinion on 
the subject is in flux-and unusual.  I have no problem with a collection 
of Jesus' sayings as a source, or even as something that circulated in 
the early church.  I still however am not convinced that one Q, one 
source, is able to explain all the difficulties and problems we discuss 
in relation to the Synoptics.  Neither does the Farmer-Griesbach.  Few of 
the theories put forward seem to me to adequately take into account the 
complexity and variety of the time.  But to reject the 2-Source Hypo is 
not automatically then to be read as being ignorant of the Q project and 
their findings, be behind the times, or just plain stupid.  Pay attention 
Sterling, and even though we may disagree, I would hope that you are able 
to conduct yourself with a little more decorum in this thread than you 
have hither to.  I respect your scholarship, please help me respect the 
person as well.

> devoted to such questions.  In the case of Q, I perceive it to be a widely
> held hypothesis, but not (yet? ever?) the only proferred explanation.

Along these lines, Sanders and Davies in _Studying the Synoptics_ after a 
fair review of the Synoptic problem make it clear where they stand.  But 
they do review the options.  That is not always done, and while some have 
not committed themselves to print, I have heard it taught in our 
universities that Q is the only explanation-and it is taught as a 
historically verified situation, not as a useful construct of how many 
believe history occurred.  To me one is didacticism of the worst kind, 
the other is scholarship.

> 	So Sterling Bjorndahl, Greg Bloomquist, and those actively
> involved in the Q project of the SBL quite understandably take offence at
> people not actively involved in Synoptic research disdaining their hard
> work.

It isn't disdain.  Part of what we do as academics is argue and pil pul 
things to death.  The disagreement in the long run should help to sharpen 
things rather than muddy the waters.  It is plain that I disagree with 
the 2 Source hypothesis (which by the way does not entail a rejection of 
Q, one piece at a time please), but to say that I disdain then J 
Kloppenberg classic work on the subject-think again.  That is a piece of 
careful study and well reasoned argumentation.  Deservedly classic.  ANd 
I attempt to read the papers presented at the SBL meetings yearly.  More 
good stuff, by and large.  Disdain and disagreement do not go hand in glove.

Larry Swain
Parmly Billings Library