Q

The attention given to Mark at the end of the nineteenth century is paralleled by the amount of attention lavished on Q in the closing decades of the twentieth century. Consequently we must pay particular attention to Q and to the issues raised in recent discussions, not least because of Q's potential significance for any inquiry into the mission and message of Jesus.

The second conclusion of the two-document hypothesis has not achieved such an overwhelming consensus among NT scholars, but still remains a persuasive working hypothesis for the substantial majority.28 The close verbal similarities between many Matthean and Lukan, non-Markan, passages are difficult to explain otherwise than on the hypothesis of literary dependence when the tradition had already been put into Greek.29 That Matthew and Luke drew at least these passages independently from a Greek source Q continues to provide the best working hypothesis; though it is also worthy of note that for some reason, the only alternative offered has been that Luke drew his 'Q' material from Matthew, with the possibility hardly considered that Luke was written prior to Matthew and provided the source for Matthew's 'Q' material.30

28. See particularly the arguments of Kloppenborg, Formation ch. 2; also Excavating Q 87-111; C. M. Tuckett, Q and the History of Early Christianity {Edinburgh: Clark, 1996) ch. 1; these include the unavoidable conclusion that Q was written in Greek (Formation 51-64; Excavating Q 72-80; Q 83-92) and Kloppenborg's important restatement of the argument concerning the order of Q (Formation 64-80). D. Catchpole, The Questfor Q (Edinburgh: Clark, 1993) argues overall persuasively that in sixteen shared pericopes Luke has preserved the original form (1-59). The International Q Project has now produced J. M. Robinson, P. Hoffmann, and J. S. Kloppenborg, eds., The Critical Edition ofQ: Synopsis (Leuven: Peeters, 2000). For earlier presentations see A. Polag, Fragmenta Q: Textheftzur Logienquelle (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1979), followed by I. Havener, Q: The Sayings of Jesus (Collegeville: Liturgical, 1987); J. S. Kloppenborg, Q Parallels: Synopsis, Critical Notes and Concordance (Sonoma: Polebridge, 1988); Miller, ed., Complete Gospels 253-300.

29. The best examples are: Matt. 3.7-10, 12/Luke 3.7-9, 17; Matt. 6.24/Luke 16.13; Matt. 6.25-33/Luke 12.22-31; Matt. 7.1-5/Luke 6.37-42; Matt. 7.7-1 I/Luke 11.9-13; Matt. 8.19-22/Luke 9.57b-60a; Matt. 11.2-11, 16-19/Luke 7.18-19, 22-28, 31-35; Matt. 11.21-27/ Luke 10.12-15, 21-22; Matt. 12.39-45/Luke 11.29-32, 24-26; Matt. 13.33/Luke 13.20-21; Matt. 24.45-51/Luke 12.42-46.

30. Possibly a carry-over from the old assumption that the first Gospel was written by one of Jesus' twelve disciples and that Luke, the author of the third Gospel, must have been more remote from what he recorded. Or, more likely, the influence of Luke 1.1, indicating that Luke was aware of 'many' predecessors. But Flusser is convinced that Luke is the oldest Gos-

More serious has been the failure to reckon fully with the complications involved in the 'Q' hypothesis which continue to bedevil its developed use. One is the fact that the letter 'Q', strictly speaking, can be used both for the material which is actually common to Matthew and Luke and for the document from which that material ex hypothesi has been drawn.31 The other is that, as Streeter and most commentators have noted, we can hardly exclude the likelihood that Matthew drew on some material from this document which Luke ignored and vice-versa.32 In other words, the very definition of 'Q' (material common to Matthew and Luke) prevents us from seeing the true extent of the hypothesized source.33 These concerns are met to a fair extent by arguing,34 first, that the 'Q'/'q' material has a coherence and unity which implies a coherent compositional strategy;35 and second, that, on the parallel of Matthew's and Luke's use of Mark, it can be judged likely that Matthew and Luke made use of the bulk of 'Q' (that 'q' is most of 'Q').36 However, the fact remains that 'q' material varies in agreement of wording very substantially, from nearly 100%

pel (Jesus 21-22, 221-50). And see now M. Hengel, The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ (London: SCM, 2000) ch. 7, particularly 169-86, 205-207, who argues precisely for Matthew's dependence on Luke (as well as on Mark), and who concludes that it is simply impossible to reconstruct a sayings source (Q) (178, 206).

It might have been wiser to denote the actual common material as reserving 'Q' for the hypothesized written source, but it is too late to introduce such a refinement.

32. Examples suggested include Matt. 10.5b (Catchpole, Quest 165-71); 10.23 (H. Schürmann, 'Zur Traditions- und Redaktionsgeschichte von Mt 10,23', BZ3 [1959] 8288); 11.28-30 (J. D. Crossan, Fragments: The Aphorisms of Jesus [San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983] 191-93); Luke 4.16-30 (H. Schürmann, Lukasevangelium [HTKNT 2 vols.; Freiburg: Herder, 1969,1994] 1.242; Tuckett, £227-28); 15.8-10(Kloppenborg, ExcavatingQ 96-98); and 17.20-37 (R. Schnackenburg, 'Der eschatologische Abschnitt, Luke 17.20-37', in

A. Descamps and R. P. A. de Halleux, eds., Melanges bibliques, B. Rigaux FS [Gembloux: Duculot, 1970] 213-34).

33. Note, e.g., the questions raised by A. Lindemann, 'Die Logienquelle Q: Fragen an eine gut begründete Hypothese', in Lindemann, ed., Sayings Source Q 3-26 (here 4-13, 26).

34. Kloppenborg, Formation 80-95; Tuckett, Q 92-96.

35. See particularly A. D. Jacobson, 'The Literary Unity of Q', JBL 101 (1982) 365-89, reprinted in J. S. Kloppenborg, ed., The Shapeof Q(Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994) 98-115; also Jacobson, The First Gospel: An Introduction to Q (Sonoma: Polebridge, ch. 4. The argument was already made by T W. Manson, The Sayings of Jesus (London: SCM, 1949) 15-16; cf. Streeter, Four Gospels 289-91.

36. But if Luke contains only about 60% of Mark, the argument becomes a little thin, despite Kloppenborg's suggestion that Luke valued Q more highly than Mark, from which he deduces that Luke would have preserved more of Q than he did of Mark (Formation 82). C. A. Evans shows how diminished would be our appreciation of Mark if we had to depend only on what was common to both Matthew and Luke ('Authenticating the Words of Jesus', in

B. Chilton and C. A. Evans, eds., Authenticating the Words of Jesus [Leiden: Brill, 1999] 3-14 [here 6-10]).

to around 8%,37 so that the confidence in the existence of 'Q', based as heavily as the hypothesis is on the passages towards the 100% end of the scale, must inevitably be weaker in regard to passages towards the 8% end of the scale.38 Alternatively expressed, given the amount of editorial modification which Matthew and Luke must be assumed to have made (again on the parallel of their use of Mark), it becomes exceedingly difficult to move from 'q' to 'Q' with much confidence on many textual details.39 Streeter's further tion,40 that a substantial portion of the common ('q') material was actually derived from oral tradition (not 'Q'), has fared little better, but deserves more attention, since it allows the possibility that Matthew or Luke knew variant oral forms of some 'Q' traditions and on several occasions at least preferred the oral version. We shall have to return to the issue raised here later.41

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