Re: here's what's wrong with Q

From: Stephen Carlson (
Date: Sat Oct 14 1995 - 23:28:42 EDT

About the explanatory power of the 2SH:

Actually I would dispute the explanatory power of the 2SH, in this
sense. What does Q tell us beyond the mathematical operation of
(Mt*Lk)-Mk? Not very much. It's not a pure sayings gospel, like
Thomas, because it includes at least one miracle story and narrative
about John the Baptist. When ad-hoc material is thrown into a
source that violates its genre, one has to wonder whether the source
critic is "curve fitting" as the physicists call it. Both the
astronomical theories of Ptolomy and Copernicus/Kepler explained the
data from a mathematical perspective, but Ptolomy's theory had to
resort to curve-fitting, or "epicycles," to get the numbers to work
out. Does the inclusion of the non-sayings material in the Sayings
Gospel Q constitute the epicycles of the Two Source Hypothesis?

Curve-fitting is usually a sign that one's theory is running out of gas.

Stephen Carlson

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