Re: Q and Papias

> I am curious why you think it was _probably_ much larger.  It would
> seem to me that since we can only reconstruct the material that Matt
> and Luke share then we can not say one way or the other whether it was
> larger or not.

Here is where we run into some definitional problems.  We know that 
Papias for instance put together a 5 volume work of the collected sayings 
of the Lord.  Then we look at the gospesl we have, canonical and 
uncanonical, and the agrapha, and I don't think that we could come up 
with 5 volumes of stuff.  So what do we really have.  Wecan surmise that 
there was a lot more about jesus and his teaching whether oral trad, 
written document or whatever than we actually have or can reconstruct.  
Given that, do we call all these unknowns by a host of different names or 
shall Q suffice as an appellation for it all?  And by what criteria do we 
  But that is a general question.  More specifically, I think it larger 
than only what we have in Matthew and Luke because of the differences in 
some of the sayings, and the "levels" that some have discerned-a logia 
collection typically has different forms of sayings on the same 
topic-which I think may be the case here.  Not a very convincing argument 
granted, but there it is nevertheless.  And I agree with what Ken had to say.
> True, but aren't you in the same boat?  Above you said that Q was
> probably much larger that what we have in Mt and Lk, but that it was
> unreconstructable.
Yes, I am in the same boat-I was not being critical at that point.  Since 
we can only conjecture about what lies behind Q and Mark, they are in 
that sense "ultimate"-i.e. the end of the line for any certitude whatsoever.
I think that has to be our beginning point(s) regardless of our position 
on the issue.
> I agree that the 2 source theory is a simplified model of what
> actually took place.  However, I am not convinced that it is too
> simplistic.  Considering how long it has taken for the Q hypothesis to
> approach something like widespread acceptance, I doubt that a more
> complex hypothesis will have a chance, since it will have to rely on
> much more ambiguous evidence.

Not necessarily.  There are those even now who have refined the 2 Source 
H. and made it much more complex than that which is taught in NT courses, 
as I know you are aware.  In those studies, we have the beginnings of 
more "complexity".  And I am not certain that the evidence is as 
ambiguous as we suppose.  The more we learn about the ancient world, oral 
tradition, written texts, and communication, the more solid that evidence 
becomes.  Perhaps in the end, we need to leave a lot of room for shoulder 
> if that does happen, I doubt if it is by any of the alternatives that
> I have seen suggested so far.

I don't really have a solution at this point, so much as disgruntlment at 
the solutions currently offered.  So far I am working on what I see wrong 
in the current situation.  Then I will begin to look in detail at a new 
solution, hopefully in dialogue with others like yourself.

Further, I would rather have no solution to the problem then one that in 
my opinion doesn't work, but that too is just opinion.

Larry Swain
Parmly Billings Library