b-greek-digest V1 #600
b-greek-digest Wednesday, 8 March 1995 Volume 01 : Number 600
In this issue:
Q: reality or fantasy?
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 1995 01:15:51 -0500
Subject: Q: reality or fantasy?
Picked up on your discussion about the existence of Q. Thought I would
make a few comments on what you said about Q as a weak hypothesis.
I think you are right about Q being a vaportext. That's exactly what it
is. My area of concentration is Textual Criticism (the study of NT
manuscripts) and it bothers me that some people give Q the weight and
validity of actual manuscripts that I have held in my hands.
My understanding is that the only reason the Q theory exists at all is
because scholars have been at a loss as to which Gospel came after Mark:
whether it was Matthew or Luke. If you suppose they were published at the
same time, then a common source (=Q) becomes a possible explanation for the
material found in Matthew and Luke and not Mark.
But the whole idea that Matthew and Luke came out simultaneously has no
textual proof either external or internal. Its just because of the
atmosphere of indecision in the scholarly world that the Q theory arose.
If Matthew was written second, then Luke copied the non-Markan material
from Matthew. If Luke was written second, then Matthew copied the non-Markan
material from Luke. It's just that simple.
If the shared material fits one or the other better, it would just be a
matter of deciding which one and interpreting it accordingly.
But I admit its tough to decide if the Matthew-only material or the
Luke-only material fits better with the shared material (what is called Q).
Niether seem to jive well with it.
Here's another thought.
Actually, I believe the shared material fits best theologically with Mark
and there is the possibility that Mark had these passages before a redactor
cut them out. They both share apocalyptic outlook.
And it's pretty much clear that someone truncated the ending of Mark (the
manuscripts bear this out). Still its hard to imagine all the Q material
coming after 16:8.
But if you go beyond the manuscript evidence, and look form critically at
Mark, one can see how Mark is a passion account (possibly a midrash or
sermon) with a pre-passion ministry prologue and little apocalypse (chapter
13) all sown together. In this there is some room for Q, but I still can't
clearly see where. And there is no manuscript evidence for this.
Maybe the reason the common material is found in different places in
Matthew and Luke is because they were both familiar with the long and short
versions of Mark and felt free to move that long version material around
which was edited out in short Mark.
So there you have another vaportext theory! Hope you enjoy it, or at least
enjoy debunking it. Me, I just love studying the Scriptures so much that I
can't help imagining where they all came from, how they developed and how the
church handed down this written tradition of the gospel to us.
Tim Staker -- Timster132@aol.com
End of b-greek-digest V1 #600
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