The "Q" discussion

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Fri Oct 13 1995 - 19:37:25 EDT

Dear friends,
                May I plead what many have pleaded before? --That we
keep this List to issues of Biblical Greek, and not veer off to other
subjects of which it reminds us?
        And since I was cited in one posting, may I clarify a few facts?

        (1) The hypothesis that Luke saw Matthew, having already seen Mark,
is surely properly called "the Ropes Hypothesis". James Hardy Ropes at
Harvard taught this for decades, and publicly expressed it in his final
book, published soon after his death. Farrer did not think it up, Goulder
did not think it up, and even Hobbs did not thing it up.
        (2) H.H.Holtzmann, in fact DID come up with this hypothesis, long
after he had decided on Mark and Lambda (later called Q) as the sources
of Matthew and Luke. Though is is usually called "the Father of Q"
(that title should go to his predecessor, C.H.Weisse, 1838), by 1878
was publishing the conclusion that Luke saw Matthew (two places that year,
JfPT 4 and TLZ 3); and he guided the doctoral dissertation of Eduard
Simons (pub. 1880) which demonstrated Luke's use of Matthew. This
"Father of Q" then re-affirmed his belief that Luke worked from Matthew in 1881
(TLZ 6), and his Historical-Critical Introduction to the NT of 1885,
repeated as late as the 3rd ed. of 1892, took the same position, supporting
the Simons argument.
        (3) The position that Matthew and Luke used two primary sources,
Mark and Q (the "two-source hypothesis") and the position that Mark is
a conflation of Matthew and Mark (the wrongly-named "Griesbach hypothesis"
[Griesbach lifted/borrowed/swiped/plagiarized the position from Henry Owen
while he was in England] which should be called the Owen hypothesis) are
not the only alternatives. If Luke saw Matthew, then it is quite possible
(probable, say supporters) that Q is an unnecessary postulation.
        (4) Though I personally hold to the priority of Mark AND to
Luke's use of Matthew (thus finding no need for Q), and have addressed
the SBL national meetings twice on this subject, and have published two
articles defending it, and have argued with Neirynck at SNTS meetings
about it, and have guided doctoral dissertations on the subject,
I AM SICK OF IT! As I have repeatedly said, I don't even cae about the
issue, and have always felt that I was dragged into it unwillingly.

        This does not mean that the List should not discuss the pro's and
con's of the topic because I am tired of it; I only suggest that there must
be other forums where we can argue about source criticism, about our own
religion and theologies, about whether we think we should speak in tongues
today, and about many other things. Dr. Marotta has most wonderfully and
generously made THIS forum available, to discuss BIBLICAL GREEK. Let's
do that.

Edward Hobbs

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